AJ Pareja is doing double duty for the Creamline beach volleyball team as he made the cut for the men's beach volleyball training squad and is also the team’s doctor for its beach volleyball teams even as he aims to become an accredited FIVB doctor.

/ 19 May 2021

“I’ve known AJ since he was a teenager and I’m so proud of all his accomplishments. His goal has always been to represent our country in the international arena and I am so happy to journey with him towards his ultimate dream,” said Creamline beach volleyball program head Charo Soriano about Pareja. 

“His Creamline Beach family and the PNVF are here to support him all the way,” she added.

Pareja’s talents earned him a spot in the 10-man training pool despite incurring challenges that came along the way. 

“The preparation has been there since day one of the pandemic. It wasn’t an overnight success. Regardless if gyms or training facilities were closed, I kept my physical condition with home-based workouts as well as keeping my nutrition in check despite the constant temptation of binging at home,” averred Pareja. 

“Biggest key to my performance is having a professional coach who helped me study the sport at home and analyze lots and lots of videos of how the elite level beach players do it,” he continued.

Even after graduating from Ateneo and eventually passing the licensure exam in 2014, Pareja has been juggling both his profession and the sport he loves.

“I’ve been living out this balancing act ever since from college, med school, even during medical practice so I kind of have a grasp of it. It’s all about accepting that both commitments have high demands and figuring out when you can compromise effort for either one without negatively affecting the overall result,” the former Ateneo middle hitter said. 

“I’ve learned to say no when it doesn’t help in the progress of either commitment. It also helps a lot to have a support circle that understands your frequent absences because of these commitments,” he added. 

Pareja, who is vying to become an accredited FIVB Doctor, sees being part of Creamline’s beach volleyball program as special, especially on looking out for the welfare of his fellow athletes during this ongoing pandemic. 

“As the Team MD of Creamline Beach, I will ensure that the athletes are free from any injuries and that they’re keeping themselves safe and healthy despite the pandemic,” he said. 

“Drafting the medical protocols for all team activities has been both a learning and fulfilling activity for me especially to my other life as an MD,” added Pareja, who joined the program last year.

Pareja is no stranger to playing for the country, as the UAAP Season 72 MVP made a notable return to indoor volleyball in 2015 when he became part of the Philippine team who represented at the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.