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Felicia Cui is Serving Beauty and Brains On and Off the Court

Hello Felicia
Know more about volleyball's cutest but toughest It girl.

The first thing you’ll notice upon walking towards FELICIA CUI are her eyes: wide, deep-set, and light brown. I had to ask her twice during our shoot if they are natural—and they are. Effortlessly cool with an understated glamour, Felicia exudes a warmth that charms people around her in spite of her sensible shyness. Indeed, there are a lot of things about Felicia that strikes anyone who first meets her.

Take for example, she’s one of collegiate volleyball’s unlikely stars, standing at only 5’4” but playing as an open spiker in a sport relatively known for tall ladies in this position. She started her journey in the sport pretty early, being a part of her high school volleyball varsity team. Colleges and universities soon began to take notice of this petite but powerful spiker, and by the time she graduated, she was recruited to a collegiate volleyball team. Felicia first spent a year in Ateneo de Manila before transferring to De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde to pursue Industrial Design, a course that she felt was more aligned to her interests.

These days, aside from school and sports, Felicia also delves into modeling and the arts. Her preferred aesthetic is evident not only in her social media presence but also in her personal style, which according to her is “everything old school and vintage”. A bit of a chameleon, Felicia transforms herself into a different girl depending on her mood or current style inspiration. Outside of the court, she’s all about the French-mod look as she takes after her girl-crushes Kim Jones and Taylor Lashae. Get to know more about this rising sports star as she talks about finding balance between sports and her studies, her love for the arts, and what she plans to pursue in the future.

Being a student athlete is no easy feat. How do you balance your time between your studies and training?

Basically, what I do is when I’m in training or when I’m studying, I really go all out. So when I go out of training, I don’t think of volleyball anymore since it already takes up half of my day. With my studies, as much as possible, I really focus because I don’t really have that many breaks in between my classes. I try to do my homework in school, so that when I get out of school I don’t think of my acads anymore and I can focus on other things.

Do you still have time to do other things, like going out?

I guess it’s just one of the things that I have to sacrifice. If I go out, I’m usually too tired already, so I just really manage my time–like only if it’s worth it, then I’d go out.

Aside from volleyball, what are your other hobbies?

I’m an artist. I paint, but I don’t sell [my works] ‘cause I’m not yet that confident with showing my art in public, so I just paint a lot for my friends. I also make sculptures.

 

 

 

 

I don’t plan to do it professionally, but then I guess, if the opportunity opens, then I can consider it. But as much as possible, I want to pursue something else since I’ve done it [volleyball] already for most of my life.

Wow, that sounds interesting! What kinds of paintings do you do?

I don’t really like conventional paintings. I usually like paintings with a pop of color. I don’t have specific types of paint that I always work on. I really mix colors like pastel and other shades. When I do art, I like it doing by hand, not like [digital] graphic design.

You’ve already played for KIA in the Shakey’s V-League. Do you still plan to play volleyball professionally in the future?

I don’t plan to do it professionally, but then I guess, if the opportunity opens, then I can consider it. But as much as possible, I want to pursue something else since I’ve done it [volleyball] already for most of my life.

How do you keep yourself fit and healthy?

I grew up with a family who are really used to eating a lot of veggies, so I’d always eat veggies in every meal. They think I’m on a diet, but I really just like eating it, so basically just eating healthy as a lifestyle. My dad used to be an athlete and my sister used to be a cheerleader, so it’s just that for me. Obviously, volleyball and in my free time, I also workout in different studios.

What’s your favorite workout?

Circuit training, or anything close to volleyball because I don’t really like going to the gym. I find it really boring, so I like active and fun workouts like cycling.

We noticed in your Instagram that you like being outdoors and traveling. What’s your favorite travel destination?

The beach, for sure.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done so far?

Paragliding in Jakarta. I’m super afraid of heights, but we had no choice because we drove two hours up the mountain and I didn’t even know that we were gonna do paragliding. So obviously, I had no choice but to do it. At first it was super scary, but it ended up being so much fun.

 

 

 

 

My dream is to study for a year or two in a different country like Spain because they’re really good in art. I’m thinking of maybe taking up a course in Architecture or Interior Design.

Do you consider yourself a beauty junkie? What are your must-have beauty products?

Well, I’m not a super beauty junkie, but I like lippies and anything for the brows.

Since you live a very active lifestyle, what’s your usual beauty routine?

I always wash my face all the time, ‘cause I live in Taft. So before I put something on my face like makeup especially, I always wash my face.

What’s probably your biggest beauty splurge?

I’m not the type to really put on makeup, but if I were to splurge, it would be on something like foundation, something just basic because I don’t really like to put on makeup all the time.

Who is your beauty crush?

Taylor Lashae! I cut my hair like this because of her, and also Kim Jones.

Your look right now has unconventional charm that’s cute and quirky. What other beauty and style trends have you been wanting to try out?

Coloring my hair, but I feel like I’m going to destroy it. So once I start coloring it, I really need to maintain and take care of it. I really wanna bleach my hair a light pink color, and also platinum blonde.

What inspires this personal style of yours?

Something old school and very vintage, because I grew up listening to old songs.

How about it music, what’s on your playlist these days?

I don’t really have a favorite artist because I keep on changing my playlist when I like someone. For girls, I like artists like Amy Winehouse and Jorja Smith, those type of voices who are really old school. I like old songs like those from Earth, Wind and Fire. I also like listening to rap artists, like these days my favorite is Chance The Rapper.

What are your favorite Instagram accounts right now?

Kim Jones and Mari Jasmine ‘cause I feel like they really stick to the same vibe, and for travelling, Kimi Juan.

You’ve been doing some modeling on the side, but have you thought about going into it full-time?

Yeah, the only reason why I can’t do it full-time is because I really don’t have the time right now because of school and volleyball. Hopefully, I’ll get to do it more after I finish school.

 

 

 

 

Just be confident and believe in yourself because we can be unique. They always look at us girls because they have a specific image in mind, like for volleyball players, it’s usually tall girls. I realized that even though I’m small, I can work more to perform just the same as tall players.

What are your plans after graduation?

My dream is to study for a year or two in a different country like Spain because they’re really good in art. I’m thinking of maybe taking up a course in Architecture or Interior Design.

Do you plan to practice as an industrial designer?

Yeah, because for industrial designers, they don’t need to take a board [exam]. Basically, they can go anywhere. My course is really broad, it’s really flexible that’s why I can shift to Archi or Interior Design.

Any advice you can give to young girls that want to go into collegiate sports?

Just be confident and believe in yourself because we can be unique. Like for me, going into a sport that usually sees tall players, I’m one of the smallest spikers, so I really just had to work hard. They always look at us girls because they have a specific image in mind, like for volleyball players, it’s usually tall girls. I realized that even though I’m small, I can work more to perform just the same as tall players.

 

Photography by Miguel Alomajan

Makeup by Zidjian Paul

Hair by Jeff Valenzuela

Styled by Angela de Dios

 

 

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