White Christmases, international travels, and family time — this is how these Filipino athletes spent their holiday season.
For many athletes, the holiday season is a very special time of the year. They get to break free from their usual training programs and diets, relax, and enjoy time with loved ones — and not just as a way to celebrate the holidays, but also to celebrate their triumphs from the year that has passed.
2023 was definitely a big year for Philippine sports. Here’s how these Filipino athletes used the holiday season to celebrate!
Filipina tennis star Alex Eala spent her 2023 season traveling from country to country, competing in various tournaments to improve her professional standing. It was all worth it in the end, as she recently climbed up to her career-best rank of No. 185 on the WTA rankings.
To celebrate, she had herself a “White Christmas” — though not your typical kind. Instead of snow, she enjoyed the holiday season on the white, sandy beaches of Boracay, diving, swimming, and surfing with her family.
Like Alex Eala, Filipino basketball star Kai Sotto also spent the holidays bonding with his family members. And what better way to do so than by channeling your inner kid?
On his social media, Kai Sotto shared photos of his holiday celebrations — enjoying the rides in Disneyland and enjoying games with his loved ones.
Kim Kianna Dy
With another recently concluded PVL Conference done and dusted, volleyball star Kim Kianna Dy enjoyed her off-season going on an adventure.
Throughout the holiday season, she traveled around Dubai’s tourist attractions — getting an adrenaline rush on the sandy dunes of their Desert Safari and adding new pieces to her fashion collections from Dubai’s local gems.
Bianca Bustamante’s 2023 was arguably her most successful yet, as she has become one of the racing world’s biggest rising stars. But, this meant that she spent most of her year away from home, racing and training all around the world. Thus, she was over the moon to be spending her holidays from the comfort of her home in the Philippines.
“Pure joy to be able to explore my country even more, experiencing all the things I couldn’t do as a kid cos I was too determined to make it in my sport,” Bianca wrote on her Instagram post.
The Ildefonso Family
With Dave Ildefonso playing in the Korean Basketball League, the Ildefonso family was definitely beyond happy to be reunited for the holiday season.
“My cold Christmas just got a bit warmer,” Dave wrote on his Instagram post, sharing photos of him and his family’s holiday celebration. Though they are bundled up in thick jackets and scarves to survive the winter, there is truly no warmth that compares to being all together for the holidays.
With these Filipino athletes getting the R&R they deserve, they are all definitely looking forward to starting 2024 on the right note.
Banner image from Bianca Bustamante.