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Gretchen Ho Talks About The New Sport She Loves: Racing

"Anything can happen at any moment so you have to be very focused,” she says about the sport she once feared but now extremely enjoys

Whether it be sports or the media industry, one can say Gretchen Ho is passionate in everything that she does. “Ngayon, sobrang feeling ko nasa best place ako in my life because I get to host, I get to play volleyball pa rin, and I get to do sports at a high level,” she tells Metro.Style. “Parang all my hard work is paying off but I definitely know I’m just getting there so it motivates me—'yung challenge to constantly perform at my best every single day.”


Admittedly, it took her a point of burnout to realize that she had to take things slow as she tries to reach her full potential. “Dati, sobra akong gigil na tuloy-tuloy lang akong nagtatrabaho, nakalimutan ko na sarili ko,” she muses. “Ngayon, mas maalaga na ako. Ang result niyan, mas happy ako, mas healthy ako, mas tumaas na 'yung level of performance ko.”

Taking care of herself means following a skincare routine and working out regularly, says the TV host. “It has to be part of my schedule because however you take care of yourself radiates through your job. It shows in the morning when I host, when I do shoots, it reflects in my confidence when I face people,” the Céleteque endorser shares. “If I have zits, if I look haggard, I don’t feel so confident facing people, so for me, I try to correct that from a prevention point of view. It’s been a long journey getting to that kasi medyo matigas 'yung ulo ko. 'Yung mom ko, sinasabi lagi sa akin, ‘mag-sunblock ka, mag-moisturize ka,’ eh wala akong pakialam noon. Now, umo-okay na 'yung skincare ko. I’m 29 years old but I feel younger. 'Tsaka working out is also important.”

Gretchen Ho in an ensemble by Rosenthal Tee during the recent ABS-CBN Ball. During the big event, she was absolutely pimple-free, thanks to Céleteque Acne Spot Corrector Gel. | Photo from @gretchenho
Check out Gretchen's beauty campaign video here: | Gretchen for Céleteque

Self-love undoubtedly made her do more and be more. A true multi-hyphenate, Gretchen has entered the field of racing—a sport she once feared. “Nu'ng in-invite ako sa racing, I was like, ‘Oh, interesting’ but I’m scared because you don’t know what’s going to happen to you. Tapos when you try it out, parang nakakatakot talaga siya,” she shares, adding that she only saw it as a challenge to overcome. “Ako kasi 'yung type na ayaw ko na may nagho-hold back sa akin. Naiinis ako kapag nagpapatalo ako sa takot so mas lalo ko siyang ginawa hanggang sa practice ako nang practice and then I got in, [Toyota Philippines] got me.”

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I have faced the rain many times in my life. I’ve fallen down, been criticized, been underestimated, boxed in, judged, hated, and before when I was younger, I’d take it so hard. Now for me, it’s all part of the game. The downs are in sync with the ups. The downs make you stronger, while the ups tell you “congratulations! you’ve overcome this level of challenge in your life!” I’ve learned how to take the heat. Instead of avoiding the criticism, I face the bullets, because acknowledging your weaknesses will only help you solve the problem faster. Learning how to lose is as valuable as learning how to win. I’ve also learned how to celebrate every victory, no matter how small or big they are, and forgive myself when I don’t achieve my goal. I am, only human, after all. As long as I’ve done my best today, pick up the learning, and assure myself that I’ll strive to be better tomorrow. Thank you @toyotamotorphilippines for always pushing me to the limit. I’ve gained friends in equally competitive people — @fabioideofficial @dandanmatsunaga @troymontero @milesaubrey @chiefilomeno @andersongeraldjr. We all have a blast being able to push ourselves beyond our fears to try to take it out there. There is nothing that compares to the adrenaline rush behind the wheel. At the end of the day, win or lose, we know there is a beer shower that awaits 😊 To God be the glory!!! Final leg of the #ViosRacingFestival coming up this November!!! #womaninaction #athleteforlife 📸 @aubreylavern @toyotamotorphilippines

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It didn’t take her long before she could learn how to be fearless on the road. “When you keep on doing it, you get better, you learn the tricks, and then you become a safer driver because you master it more. It’s not about being aggressive eh, it’s about being smart. Fast, but smart,” she stresses. “Sabi nga nila, sa racing, you have to go slow to go fast kasi 'yung mga turns, kailangang dahan-dahan. Sobra siyang challenging kasi you always feel like you’re on the line, anything can happen at any moment so you have to be very focused.”


When asked about the best thing about racing, she was quick to point out the thrill that comes with it. “The adrenaline rush, being able to finish it, being able to do well, and napa-proud ako sa sarili ko na hindi ko rin akalain na magagawa ko eh so parang wow, legit na ako na racer and talagang lahat kami, competitive.”


Gretchen has an upcoming race in November. While she hinted it might be her last, she expressed interest in joining international tilts in other sports. “Racing, it’s so expensive kasi 'yung damages ng car and you have to do full-time,” she says. “P'wede siguro sa bisikleta or duathlon. Madami pa akong ibang pangarap eh.”

With her go-getting personality, there's no doubt that she will achieve whatever she sets her mind on pursuing. 

Photo by Brooke Villanueva