Faces of Cebu Life!

FACES OF CEBU: Khylem Progella, 18, champion beach volleyball player

Khylem Progella

Khylem Progella. | contributed photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines–Cebu has produced numerous talented volleyball players.

Among them are Sisi Rondina from Compostela, Cebu, Deanna Wong from Cebu City, and Isa Molde and Gretchen Soltones from Catmon, Cebu.

At present, another Cebuana is making waves in the national scene in Khylem Progella.

Progella, 18, is from Labangon in Cebu City. She made a name for herself in the beach volleyball scene after helping the University of  Santo Tomas (UST) win the girls’ high school beach volleyball title of UAAP Season 85.


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“It feels unreal pa din kahit na nakuha namin ang [season 85] championship kasi nakikita din talaga namin na ang mga ibang team ay grabe ang paghahanda nila sa season na ito,” she said.

(It still feels unreal that we got the season 85 championship because we really saw how other teams prepared for this season.)

Progella, together with teammate Cameron Grace Villaluz, and third player Grithney Jhyn Dadang, helped UST’s beach volleyball team log successive titles.

UST pulled off a 21-15 21-17 win over Far Eastern (FEU) University-Diliman last Sunday, May 5, to win the crown.

With her stellar performance in Season 85, Progella was named season MVP.


Hailing from a city known for its love of sports, Progella’s victory serves as a testament to her dedication and skill.

Progella said she started playing volleyball since she was Grade 2 at the Labangon Elementary School during the school’s intramurals.

“I was influenced by my mom, who was a volleyball player before,” she said in an episode of CDN SportsTalk

“I didn’t get to see her play but we used to play together before and she was the one who slowly trained me when I was young.”

She also looks up to volleyball icon Alyssa Valdez, whom she says is a very tough volleyball player on the court.

She admires Valdez’s skills and leadership on the court.

Progella had stints with the Southwestern University (SWU) indoor volleyball team when she was at the 7th grade before going to the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) from 8th grade to 10th grade.

She was scouted by UST during a beach volleyball tournament in Cebu during the pandemic.

Her latest feat was her second beach volleyball title with UST. Progella won her first title with UST at the expense of Adamson last year.

Ultimate goal

While she is making a name for herself in beach volleyball, Progella said she is not closing her doors on indoor volleyball. 

“Sa karon beach volley sa. But I’m not closing the door on indoor volleyball,” she said in an interview with CDN Digital.

(For now, my focus will be on beach volleyball. But I’m not closing the door on indoor volleyball.)

Progella said her ultimate goal as a volleyball player is to be able to play and win in the Southeast Asian Games.

Progella has this message for aspiring volleyball players in Cebu.

“Dasig mo kanunay. Ayaw mo kahadlok mo suway sa mga butang nga kahibalo man mong para sa inyoha, sa future ninyo. Keep your mind strong, especially your heart.”

(Be resilient always. Don’t be afraid to try things that you know is for you and your future. Keep your mind strong, especially your heart.)

TAGS: Cebu, UAAP, volleyball
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