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Backstage Pass

Life outside football

/ 04:30 AM May 01, 2015
ALY Borromeo (Photo by Marco Asperas; Shoot location: Focus Athletics)

ALY Borromeo (Photo by Marco Asperas; Shoot location: Focus Athletics)

FOR AN athlete, a bad knee injury can be career-ending. While the injury can be treated and can eventually heal, the athlete still suffers mentally or psychologically while spending time away from the action.

On Oct. 15, 2011, Philippine national football team captain Aly Borromeo suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in a game against Diliman Victory Liner. He underwent a rigorous treatment and rehabilitation program. While recovering, he used the opportunity to explore other interests.


“The couple of years away from the game made me realize that life isn’t just about football,” Borromeo admitted.

While undergoing physiotherapy in Sydney last year, he got a certification in fitness and sports nutrition, cofounding a nutrition company called Healthy House. “We deliver food tailored to one’s specific goals and needs, whether one has a sedentary or active lifestyle,” he said.


It’s been four years since the injury, and the 31-year-old Borromeo has returned to the game none the worse for wear.

Backstage Pass caught up with the Azkals player at Focus Athletics, where he trains. He talked about nutrition, fitness and the things that keep him motivated.

Giving back

A person that has influenced my life is…  Michael Jordan. He’s a true global icon. He’s an influence on all kinds of athletes, and I relate his advocacy to the way I play football.

I’m most proud of… how far we’ve come as a nation to embrace football. This has been my  advocacy since I started playing for the Philippine team. What’s great is that we’re just starting, and there’s so much more to give back to the people.

I have a deep love for… sports. I was in varsity basketball, tennis and football in high school. I’d love to play football the rest of my life, but there comes a point when your mind wants to keep going but your body can’t. I golf, since I also played it while growing up.

You’d probably guess that… I love food. Most of the time, I “kill” myself in the gym just so I can indulge afterwards. I love red meat and treat myself to a nice juicy steak once a week.


Nivea sunblock

Nivea sunblock

I train at least… five or six days and go to the gym at least four times a week. Football is my career.

The exercise regimen I swear by is… resistance training. I make it a point to do it four to five times a week. 

The one big lesson I learned while recovering from an injury is… perseverance. You can always go back to where you left off. It’s just having the proper mind-set and determination to achieve your goals.

Vitamins and supplements that get me through training days are… whey protein after workouts. I also take a lot of fish oil, vitamin D, turmeric and glucosamine for anti-inflammatory purposes.

200 pairs of sneakers

My default outfit is… a V-neck or crew T-shirt. I’m a simple guy so I love regular tees. It’s what I wear day in and day out.

I have a penchant for…  sneakers. I probably have about 200 pairs in my closet. I have running, basketball, football, lifestyle and skateboard shoes. I’m a shoe addict. I would line up at 3 a.m. just to purchase retro Nike Air Jordans.

My favorite men’s accessory is… my Nike+ sports watch. It tracks down all the stats I need for my lifestyle. I work out every day so it monitors calories burned, running distance, heart rate, etc.

If I had to live with only one electronic gadget, it would be… my iPhone. I’m not really a techie, but my iPhone does everything for me.

My workouts are… basically all sports-specific. I do a lot of strength training that incorporates movements on the football pitch; also a lot of mobility and plyometrics during preseason. During the actual season, I do a lot of bodyweight exercises and dynamic stretching because we’re playing every day.

No to perfumes

When it comes to grooming… I  trim my beard with a clipper, leaving a little stubble. I’m not fond of perfumes. I use Nivea Sunblock SPF 50 to shield myself from the sun during games.Physiogel Cleanser

My bath essentials are… Physiogel cleanser for my face, Head & Shoulders shampoo for my hair, and Dial gold soap to remove the dirt and grime after playing in the field; Aquafresh toothpaste and Listerine; and Old Spice roll-on because I don’t like using antiperspirants.

Specialized training

It is frightening for athletes to suffer a torn ACL. Tom Brady, Tiger Woods, Jabari Parker and Robert Griffin III had to take a break for eight to 12 months. Focus Athletics gym specializes in training different types of athletes, physical therapy patients and even regular individuals.

Staff doctor Rich Pasion evaluates the client, then a coach develops the exercise and conditioning programs to help the client attain physical fitness goals.

Focus Athletics is at 2259 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City (behind the Pancake House building); tel. 0920-9257893 or 8174599.

Top tip

Been sweating around the gym all morning? Backstage Pass recommends these refreshing products: Nivea Body In-Shower Body Milk, P169; Nivea Men Anti-Acne Brightening Mud Serum Foam, P149; and Nivea Lemongrass & Oil Soap, P49.

Nivea is available at Watsons and supermarkets nationwide.

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TAGS: Aly Borromeo, anterior cruciate ligament, azkals, exercise regimen, football, Philippine Azkals
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