Becoming Barbie: The Rising Rookie of FEU Lady Tamaraws

FEU Advocate
December 03, 2022 05:01

By John Vincent Cruz and Ma. Katlene R. Angcanan

Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws' newest addition, Jimy Jean “Barbie'' Jamili, is the name one should watch out for after the series of preseason women’s volleyball games. 

The green-and-gold rookie is on her way to help rebuild the Lady Tamaraws’ legacy for the upcoming University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament.

A head-turner inside and outside the court

With her charming aura and explosive aces, Jamili is truly one of the sought-after rookies of her batch. While looks can definitely kill, the player’s crosscourt spikes left Tamaraws and volleyball enthusiasts in awe of her prowess in the sport. 

Coming from the prestigious volleyball high school program of Nazareth School of National University, the 19-year-old is not just here to be a regular player but to be a valuable asset for her new team.

‘Yung strengths ko po [in playing volleyball] ay check ball and down the line (My strengths [in playing volleyball] are check ball and down the line),” the rookie shared.

Standing at five-foot-five, Jamili's below-average height as a volleybelle did not hinder her from showcasing her skills in the preseason match against San Sebastian Lady Stags, where the rookie outside hitter contributed 11 points on ten attacks.

As the Tamaraw community roots for her to be included in the lineup for the long-awaited UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball games, the student-athlete’s journey towards greatness is just the start of many triumphs. 

Small-town girl with big dreams

Born and raised in Liloan, Cebu, the Tourism-major developed her love for volleyball during her formative years. With her grandfather’s wish to see her on television someday, the rookie knew she had to step up and live out her dreams.

The rookie pursued trying out for the volleyball team in her hometown, and from then on, became consistent with her training.

Gusto ko po kasi ano, i-try kung anong meron po ako tapos naisip ko po sumali sa [volleyball team ng] school namin. Ni-train po ako ng coach ko and nakitaan niya ako ng ano [potential] (I want to try what I have, and then I thought of joining our school [volleyball team]. My coach trained me and saw [potential] from me),” she revealed.

With immense potential and skill, Jamili ultimately chose FEU as her second home out of all the UAAP-accredited schools.

Maganda kasi ‘yung opportunities dito tsaka feeling ko new beginning siya sa akin (The opportunities here are good, and I feel like this is a new beginning for me),” the green-and-gold volleybelle stated.

Upon entering her new home this semester, Jamili was welcomed by her teammates with such fondness and warmth. She said that the camaraderie in her team made it easier for her to adjust to the new environment.

Madali pakisamahan mga teammates ko. Kinakausap nila ako para hindi ako ma-homesick (My teammates are easy to get along with. They talk to me, so I don't get homesick),” she shared.

Breaking new grounds

Just like any coming-of-age story, Jamili is still working on her self-esteem inside and outside the game. The student-athlete is actually shy in person despite fans viewing her as a fierce player in the game.

“Need ko i-improve sa sarili ay yung confidence sa sarili at maging matapang sa laro (What I need to improve on myself is confidence and to be brave in the game),” the timid player revealed.

Despite these setbacks, she believes her eagerness and hard work will bring great success to the team. Along with her teammates, Jamili underwent rigorous training six days a week in preparation for the UAAP Season 85.

“Ready na po kami as a team, but madami pa po kami kulang sa isa’t isa. Need pa po namin i-improve yung sa training at tsaka yung chemistry namin (We are ready as a team, but we still lack a lot from each other. We still need to improve our training and our chemistry),” she said.

Stepping out of her comfort zone, Jamili is prepared to rise above the challenges brought by new beginnings. Although her participation in this year’s season remains unknown, one thing is for sure—the rookie will continue to bring pride to the Morayta-based squad. 

(Photo by Raphael Bautista & Jan Dandiego/FEU Advocate)