Rhea Dimaculangan has been in the volleyball scene in the country since 2007.
Back then, she was just a rookie at University of Santo Tomas. Since then, the game she loves the most has evolved enormously, every year that passed.
And for the 30-year-old PLDT setter, she simply feels happy to witness firsthand the growth of volleyball here in the Philippines.
“Super swerte ko rin na naabutan ko itong generation na ito,” the decorated setter said on The Game.
“Swerte na nakapaglaro ako, nakapaglaro ako kasama ‘yung mga bata. Feeling blessed pa rin at least, nandito pa rin ako hanggang ngayon.”
Looking back on her collegiate years with the Golden Tigresses, the former national team mainstay said the experience back then felt different.
Fans were there, but not as much like today where crowds swarm the venue to the rafters, be it at the collegiate or the professional level.
“Hindi ganon masyado ‘yung fans dati,” shared the multi-time best setter in different tournaments.
She said another difference-maker for the growth of popularity of volleyball here was social media.
In 2012, Dimaculangan’s last playing year with UST, Twitter was just six years old, while Facebook was just eight years old.
“Before ‘yung social media, hindi pa rin ganon ka-uso noong time na ‘yun. Kumbaga parang mas naging wild na ‘yung mga fans, mas marami na ‘yung supporters.”
But despite the changes in the game’s landscape, the 2018 PSL Most Valuable Player did not let it affect her game.
After her collegiate career, Dimaculangan has won four Philippine Superliga championships and three Best Setter plums. She has also played in three Southeast Asian Games tournaments.
Now with a young squad in PLDT in the Premier Volleyball League, the veteran looks to be the one to lead the team to greater heights.