For our fifth installment, we’re going out of the water and right back into the court. This time, we won’t deal with balls or discs, but with rackets and a little something called a shuttlecock. If you haven’t guessed it yet, then read on and you could learn something new, because we’re featuring the UPCM Badminton Team!
Led by Joyce Tiam-Lee and Jarvey De Guzman (both from Class 2020), the badminton team offers a slightly more casual, carefree, and fun experience while still honing their skills in the sport – enough so that the team managed to earn medals in last year’s Palarong Medisina. They also have good team support and have made lifelong friendships. The captains have both tried playing other racket sports, and they reveal that they also don’t prefer to be single… on the court, that is. Read on to get to know them a bit more!
UP MEDICS: How would you describe your team’s performance in the last Palarong Medisina?
Joyce and Jarvey: We placed second in Mixed Doubles, third in Men’s Doubles, fourth in Women’s Doubles. I think for a team whose “training” just consists of playing with each other casually, we did good considering some of our opponents were former UAAP badminton players.
UP MEDICS: Has your team participated in other events or competitions outside Palarong Medisina? If yes, what? If no, do you plan to change that?
Joyce and Jarvey: Apart from queuing/playing with strangers, Bakbakan is our only other event. Some members of our team, however, join their own respective tournaments. Perhaps participating in other events is a possibility, especially since badminton is no longer part of the roster of Bakbakan sports.
UP MEDICS: What do you think are your team’s strengths?
Joyce and Jarvey: Dahil wala kami masyadong “college varsity” members sa team, dinadaan na lang namin lahat sa sobrang lakas na team support (a.k.a. trash talking, joking around mid-game, moving on from losses quickly). We also just enjoy tournaments and do our best to ensure everyone gets a chance to play despite initial skill level… manalo o matalo, cute pa rin kami.
UP MEDICS: What do you think are your team’s weaknesses or areas that need most improvement?
Joyce and Jarvey: Our “strengths” are also our weaknesses in that we don’t really do legitimate training with a coach. We also don’t train on a regular basis… just when schedules permit talaga. As a result, mabilis kaming kabahan because we know we might be relatively unprepared. Even the easily winnable games become close matches because of those. Kaya binabawi namin sa encouragement and team support.
UP MEDICS: Does the badminton team have regular training sessions? If yes, how often, and what strategies do you use during training? If no, do you plan on changing that? How do you think this affects your team?
Joyce and Jarvey: We try to have regular training sessions, but coordinating the schedule of everyone is difficult especially since there was a time that most members are clerks/interns.
This year, we really banked on trying to “recruit” (aka magyaya lang casually) more newbies regardless of skill level, because we need “new blood” in the team. We always open it to any skill level because for us, what matters is really to have people who are willing to make time for the sport and na maghatak sa iba maglaro. We have had players who really started out on beginner levels pero dahil sa tiyaga lang and practice, nakapaglaro sa Palarong Med.
But we do our best to train at least once a week. Minsan umaabot ng 4 times a week kapag sobrang swerte o ginanahan. Training for us is just playing games while giving constructive criticism when possible.
UP MEDICS: How long have you been playing badminton? What made you start playing badminton?
Jarvey: Naging craze ang badminton sa Philippines, so my family wanted to try it. Started when I was in grade 5, I think? Then stopped playing the entirety of high school and most of college. Sa senior and super senior years of college lang ako nag-continue.
Joyce: I first “trained” in Grade 4, kasi salingpusa lang ako sa brother ko hahaha. Then by Grade 6, I loved the sport enough to really become serious about making it my hobby. That continued on ‘til high school because I joined the varsity. Then nung college, I realized I wanted to do more orgs than sports, so I only played on the side kung may free time or kalaro. Sa med, it was really my avenue to get fit despite the unhealthy lifestyle that’s med school.
UP MEDICS: How long have you been part of the badminton team? Why did you decide to join?
Joyce and Jarvey: Since LU3! We were lucky enough to find a group who played regularly sa may Courtzone, one of them happened to be a current member and she invited us to “try out.”
UP MEDICS: How do you think being part of the badminton team has affected your life?
Joyce and Jarvey: More than trying to get fit (HAHAHA), we gained lifelong friends <3
UP MEDICS: Why did you decide to be Captain? How does being captain differ from the other members of the team? (Does it entail additional tasks/responsibilities or an entirely different role?)
Jarvey: In the past years, since the responsibility of being captain falls on the clerks, it was between Joyce and me. Pero we decided that in terms of strategizing plays, coaching, and scouting people, I have more experience so ayun. But really, the term “captain” doesn’t really mean much in that pantay-pantay lang lahat. Ang pinaka-role ko lang talaga ay pakinggan/kilalanin yung members namin para makagawa ng pairings for the games.
UP MEDICS: Aside from the badminton team, are you part of any other team (sports team, choir, etc.) for the college or outside of it? What other sports/activities do you spend your time on?
Joyce: For me, more of civic engagement organizations inside and outside UP 🙂
UP MEDICS: How do you balance being Captain and being a medical student?
Jarvey: By delegating tasks to our younger members, who will also be our future captains 😉
UP MEDICS: Do you prefer to play singles or doubles? Why?
Jarvey: Doubles. Masyadong nakakapagod singles. Plus I like na I get to share the ups and downs of a game with someone. Lalo na kapag sobrang close ng laban or scary ng kalaban na nakakakabang maglaro…
Joyce: Doubles because you can rely on your partner, mas mabilis yung exchanges and therefore more exciting. Nakakapagod ang singles hahaha!
UP MEDICS: Do you think you can play table tennis or lawn tennis because you play badminton? (If you really play either or both of them, how different would you say your mental and physical preparations have to be for each of them?)
Jarvey: I used to play lawn tennis. I play table tennis. Same lang? Iba lang footwork and strokes…
Joyce and Jarvey: I used to play table tennis and I tried lawn tennis a couple of times for fun. Apart from footwork, mahirap for me in terms of wrist power kasi ‘yong badminton versus arm power for tennis (especially). Usually mas magaling ang mga tennis players mag-adapt to badminton than the other way around.
UP MEDICS: Free space!!! Anything else you want to say, shoutout/s, quotes of your choosing, etc.
Jarvey: TRAIN KAYO GUYS.
Joyce: Shout out kung may mga naglalaro ng badminton, either former players or gusto lang maghanap ng avenue to be a little more fit, we are more than happy to welcome you to our little fam. HAHA (especially girls because we need girls!!!)
They sure seem like quite the fun bunch, and it’s enticing to join them. If you’re interested, let any member know, or let us at UP MEDICS know and we’ll get you in touch. We may not get to see as much of the Badminton Team this year as badminton is not in Bakbakan’s official lineup, but let’s continue to #ShowOurSupport (#SOS) for them as they represent the college in the upcoming Palarong Medisina 2019!
Photos courtesy of Liana Mae Lobo (Class 2019) and Jeram Caezar Angobung (Class 2022). Many many thanks to Class 2020’s Joyce Tiam-Lee and Jarvey De Guzman for taking the time to answer our questions!