“I REALLY don't know why.”That was Deanna Wong's reply when TV host Boy Abunda asked her why she's so popular.Wong, who plays as a setter for Choco Mucho in the Premier Volleyball League, is a good player, but she's not on the level, at least not yet, of those superstar volleybelles like Jia de Guzman and Alyssa Valdez.And yet, she's easily the most popular or at least the most adored of them all. Over on social media, Wong has 2.3 million followers on Tiktok and 1.5 million on Instagram.
Outside, the Ateneo standout is being flocked by people wherever she goes. The arenas are near jam-packed if not jam-packed whenever she and the Flying Titans play.Last year, Wong's fans even camped outside her family's home in Minglanilla, Cebu, in a Lenten season at that, just to have a glimpse of her. Wong's fans also pooled their money to put up a Happy Birthday greeting in an electronic billboard along EDSA on her 24th year last July.And in the last few days of 2022, a video went viral on social media seeing Wong, also known as “Boss D,” being escorted by security and some policemen at SM Butuan so as not to be swarmed by her ardent supporters. Some big actors and actresses don't even have this level of following.It is phenomenal. It is crazy. Some people even call it cultish.Whatever the reason of Wong's immense popularity maybe, whether that's because of her volleyball skills, her dance moves on TikTok, or her relationship with fellow volleybelle Jema Galanza in the past and Ivy Lacsina in the present which is empowering to the LGBTQA+ community, one thing is for sure, Wong inspires — a lifesaver at that.”I inspire a lot of people despite me not knowing what I did. I really don't know. It's a nice feeling to know that I inspire people,” said the UAAP Season 80 Best Setter and Season 81 champ in “The Boy Abunda Talk Channel.””Even the mere fact that I eat, my fans tell me that they now have the appetite to eat. That's the best thing. I am touched every time I hear them say that I saved them from depression, anxiety. That's one thing that truly inspires me. It's really humbling that you inspire people despite not knowing what you did.”Inspiring and popular as she is, Wong, who said that her popularity skyrocketed during the 2021 PVL Open Conference bubble in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, also had her fair share of lows in life.There was a time when she almost quit playing volleyball. There was a time when she said she's losing herself, and there was a time when her parents didn't immediately approve of her being a lesbian.”[I was on the verge of quitting volleyball] at the edge, or at the peak of it, you can't really avoid having problems, difficulties, and hardships in life,” said Wong without specifying anything in “Luis Manzano's Luis Listens.”But Wong knows her “why,” and that's enough for her to carry on.”What I always say to myself and what I always say to other people is whenever you think of quitting, remember why you started in the first place. That's what I'm holding on to because I know everything's going to be worth it in the end. Know your why.”Learning, understanding and applying the proverbial “self-love” also got Wong out of the doldrums.”Self-love. It was really something I couldn't find before, over the past year, because I was like, in a state of losing myself,” Wong shared in “The Boy Abunda Talk Channel.””There are a lot of times that you seem like you'll really break down, to the point of not even knowing how to love yourself. But step by step, day by day, you'll realize that it's really not a hard thing to do because just by going out by yourself, is already a form of loving yourself. It's a process.”And while it took some time, Wong's parents eventually accepted her being a lesbian.”It took a while, but at least we got to the point that they've accepted who I am. As long as you're not doing anything bad, I think that's what they're seeing right now.”
Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net