Fear often hinders us to reach our own potential. Eli, from the very beginning, put on a brave face and gave her best to shun the whispers of doubt in her ear. The 23-year-old shares, “‘Yung natutunan ko is you have to fight for yourself.” The strong-willed Adamson pride, from her beginnings as a nervous tryout to one of her school’s mighty contenders, has proven how courage can get you far.
“Grabe ‘yung takot ko,” is how Eli describes her first encounters with volleyball. The idea of playing this sport wasn’t in her original plan, as she looked ahead to pursuing business or becoming a flight attendant after college. But it seemed like sports is an innate talent, and soon enough, this Lady Falcon turned to be one of the sought-after players in her school’s team.
It isn’t a smooth road, though. She has learned how to toughen up, not just in games and her life, but also with battles she has to fight within. “May times na sobrang nagda-doubt ako sa sarili ko,” Eli reveals. It’s in these moments that she recognized the importance of staying true to yourself, and to take a stand on what you believe in. It molded her to become a better person, she says.
Eli didn’t bully herself into turning cynical; instead, she saw these experiences as lessons to learn from and be grateful for. “Mas naging malakas ako as a person, mas naging maganda ‘yung mindset ko at mas na-build ‘yung confidence ko,” she recounts.
Now, we’re faced with the Eli Soyud she’s transformed into—a headstrong young lady who wants to be known as someone who’s silent but deadly, so to speak. Unbending to societal standards of today, she takes her attitude no matter what the situation is. The Falcons Captain is a true leader, seeking to be an example to her teammates and to fans who look up to her as well.
“Ako ‘yung palaban na. Hindi na ako ‘yung hinahayaan na lang na apihin ka or i-take advantage ng iba,” she says firmly. Eli hopes to inspire this outlook, while staying positive in the midst of some pessimistic circumstances surrounding our world.
Her advice? Take a stand for yourself. “Mas panindigan at mahalin ninyo kung anong meron kayo," she says. Eli has grown to be indestructible, and it’s what makes her strong. Recognizing her potentials and weaknesses alike as she honestly treads her own path is her secret strength. Nothing can put her down now.
Photographed by Erwin Canlas
Creative Direction by Madel Asuncion
Art Direction by Mikka Caronan
Styled by Aldrin Ramos
Assisted by Daphne Aranilla and Sammie Rodriguez
Makeup by Janell Capuchino, Andi Sapina, and Jean Lim
Hair by Francis Guintu, Nikko Bruel, and Jhear Abellar
On Eli: Top by All Star at The SM Store, Pants by H&M, Jacket by Forever 21
Catch the UAAP Season 81 Women's Volleyball games starting on February 16 on ABS-CBN Sports+Action.
ALSO READ: #TheStrongSide: These UAAP 81 Volleyball Stars Get Real On Embracing Their Truest Selves