Not many may know about this, but Sisi Rondina and June Mar Fajardo are actually related to each other.
The volleyball star revealed to Tiebreaker Vodcasts’ The Prospects Pod, presented by SMART and Cocolife on Friday, that they are distant relatives.
“Oo, malayo. Pero pinsan ko siya — pinsan namin siya,” she said, much to the surprise of podcasts hosts Kiefer Ravena, Randolph Leongson, and Norman Riego.
Both Rondina and Fajardo are from Cebu. The former grew up in Compostela, where Fajardo was born before he and his family moved to Pinamungajan.
The 23-year-old admitted that she could not believe it when she learned of her relation to Fajardo, who’s seven years older than her.
“Kasi meron akong pinsan na Rondina, pinsan ko siya dito lang din. And then si Kuya June Mar, umuuwi rin dito,” she said.
“So sabi ko sa pinsan ko, ‘Pinsan niyo ba ‘yan?’ Sabi niya, ‘Oo pinsan natin ‘yan.’ Sabi ko ay weh? Paano?'”
Fajardo, meanwhile, confirmed the connection.
“Pumupunta ako doon ‘pag may time pero hindi madalas. Doon nakatira ‘yung pinsan ng pinsan ko, Boboy Rondina,” the San Miguel star said.
“[Pinsan ko si Sisi sa] Mother’s side.”
Rondina said that she had met Fajardo here in Manila once, when they both served as guests for a TV show.
“Nag-meet lang po kami sa guesting lang, kaming dalawa. So nung nakita ko siya, sabi ko lang, ‘Hi po’ tapos binisaya niya ako,” she recalled.
“Sabi ko, ‘Oo nga pinsan ko nga siya.’ Kasi parang okay naman ‘yung pag-pansin niya sa akin.”
Surely, their relatives back home are extremely proud of what both athletes have accomplished — so far — in their respective fields.
Fajardo has now made his case as the PBA’s greatest, as he is the league’s reigning six-time Most Valuable Player — and at only 30 years old.
The 6-foot-10 slotman also has eight championships, with three Finals MVPs and eight Best Player of the Conference plums, and more may come in the next few years.
The UC product has also become an integral part of the Gilas Pilipinas program, having suited up for the national team in the last two editions of the FIBA World Cup.
Rondina, on the other hand, is one of the country’s finest volleyball players today, having tasted success at all levels she has played in.
The 5-foot-6 outside hitter was crowned the UAAP Season 81 MVP after steering University of Santo Tomas to the Finals for the first time in seven years. She had also led the Golden Tigresses to four UAAP Women’s Beach Volleyball gold medals, and those came with an MVP award each.
A three-time PSL champion, Rondina had also made a mark in the international beach volley stage, helping the country snag bronze in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
“Masaya kami na inabot namin kung nasaan kami ngayon. Kita niyo naman ‘yung pinanggalingan namin. Parehas kaming galing Cebu, hindi naman kami kilala,” said Fajardo.
“Pero masaya kasi kahit paano, nagiging inspiration kami para sa mga kababayan namin.”