Angelu de Leon’s love affair with badminton started because of a love affair with a badminton afficionado.
Her boyfriend was playing badminton regularly with Kennevic Asuncion and some friends and Angelu was merely a saling-ket, a cheerleader and spectator, always ready to lend the bf moral support.
After weeks of going to the court and doing nothing else, Angelu was finally persuaded to try badminton. She got hold of a racket and after a few shots, she got hooked.
That was three years ago. Today, with the bf already an ex, Angelu still plays regularly with friends. Unlike other who were into badminton because it was the “in” sport and everyone was doing it, Angelu’s love affair with badminton continues and is still going strong.
“Badminton is my sport,” Angelu says. “It’s a sport where I can still talk while playing, socialize with my friends, and be my competitive self.”
Angelu’s may be one of the most beautiful faces in show business, but make no mistake about it, she is no angel on court. A self-confessed trash talker, Angelu plays mostly with guys.
“I prefer playing with guys, kasi ang mga girls, di ba, medyo emotional, madaming mapiko. E ako, I’m very competitive, I trash talk and I don’t have any qualms hitting the shuttle straight into my opponent’s body. And besides, it feels better to beat guys,” Angelu says with a chuckle. So competitive is Angelu that in almost one year of playing with the same group of friends, she says her team was only beaten once. That means that they only paid once for the court fees and were always treated to free dinner.
When asked whether her guy friends give her some slack on the badminton court, Angelu defiantly says, “no way! They do not treat me like a lady and play against me like I’m one of them. And I won’t have it any other way.”
Her hard-hitting moves and competitive nature weren’t without a consequence. She suffered a minor knee injury during one of her games. But she isn’t cowed.
“I won’t give up badminton because of a minor injury. I’m tougher than that.”
Besides, badminton gives her too many positive benefits. Like her leaner, sexier body.
“I lost twenty pounds in four months. Regular badminton, diet and a lifestyle change did it for me.” Angelu adds that she researched the best diet for her and didn’t prescribe to a quick-fix diet.
“A diet that works for someone may not necessarily work for me. So I googled and researched my body type, my body chemistry and from there, formulated my own diet. I do not advice everyone to do it, but hey, it works for me.”
It works beautifully, indeed. Angelu looks so good and so young that she landed the pivotal role of Dingdong Dantes’ schizoprenic girlfriend in GMA 7’s hit show Ang Babaeng Hinugot sa Aking Tadyang.
“I wanted to go back to work, but I feel I’m too young for mother roles,” she says and adds proudly, “now I’m back to girlfriend roles, at girlfriend pa ni Dingdong.”
Her revitalized showbiz career means more taping schedules. Does it mean less time on the badminton court?
“I usually play every Mondays and Thursdays. But I have M-W-F tapings now for Babae. It’s a good thing my friends are willing to shift their playing schedule. I guess they’d miss me on court and would want a chance to beat me,” Angelu laughs.
Angele de Leon may play different roles on screen, but she won’t pass the chance at playing her favorite role – a trash-talking, hard-hitting, competitive badminton player.
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