Rocky's x Jj Sarona: A triathlete’s adventure


A sportsman and a scholar, how does one young man manage to excel in both fields?

“It’s just a matter of time management. We all have 24 hours a day to manage and I usually plan out my week in advance and adjust it accordingly. Planning the week helps me keep track of the time and make sure everything is balanced,” said Jj Sarona, a 20-year old young man who’s thinking is mature beyond his years.

Jj is a student of the Ateneo de Davao University taking up BS Accountancy, and outside the campus he is a triathlete.

He was valedictorian in elementary and high school at Philippine Women’s College. In college, he’s consistently on the Dean’s List and won in minor academic contests.


Jj Sarona, 20, was lured into the thrill of triathlon at age 15

Life well managed. Good time management gets Jj the medals in school and in sports.


Even before entering the tertiary institution, he became a dedicated athlete.

At 15 years old, he caught an edition of the Durianman, a triathlon that features cross channel swim, bike and run legs. There was an instant attraction to the sport.

“Even as a spectator, I was able to feel the thrill and excitement of the sport. I fell in love with triathlon because of the variations during everyday training. Training always involves a new adventure day by day.”

He joined the Triathlon Association of Davao (Triad), the same group that hosts the prestigious local triathlon event that got him interested in his sport.

The variation of the sport is what excites him. There will always be something new every year, something unique will always come up around the corner, a new adventure, said this young thrill-seeker.

Swimming is one of the disciplines a triathlete trains on, cycling and running are the other two. It’s the variation of the sport that excites him.


Triathlon in Davao has a tight-knit society. The camaraderie and support, no matter what team one belongs to, make the sport fun. Competition is tough but it is fun.

“I train 4 to 6 times a week during race season and off-season, 3 to 5 days to maintain my fitness level. By myself on weekdays and with my teammates from Triad during weekends.”

Just like the achiever he is in school Jj excels in his sport. He marks “the youngest triathlete to finish the 2015 Ironman 70.3” held in Cebu as his greatest feat. But given the training involved for each contest no matter the distance, he sees every finish as great feat in itself. He has raced in Subic, Bohol, and Phuket for the Ironman 70.3 Thailand, his first race outside the Philippines. Actualizing that commitment into action is already a big achievement, he said.


Jj marks “the youngest triathlete to finish the 2015 Ironman 70.3” held in Cebu as his greatest atheltic feat to date.


When asked how education complements athletics, he replied, “School can be quite demanding and sports balances it out, since this is where I can release stress. We all need some kind of release from all the stress in life that’s why it’s recommended we all take some sort of hobby, even if it’s not necessarily through sports.”

Jj cites that one thing in common with the two roles he play is grooming. He prefers to keep his hairstyle short for very practical reasons—it lessens the drag when racing and it adheres to the university requirement, plus, it feels fresher and cleaner. Short hair works for him since he’s not fond of taking time just to fix his hair in the morning. “Less shampoo and no styling wax needed, that takes off time from my morning routine.”


Short hair means less drag, fresher & easy to manage, the ideal style for his sport & academic life.
Jj’s adventure? To continually be better than his old self. 
Adventure perfume from Rocky’s newly launched frangrance line is the traithletes choice of scent


Haircut is every two weeks at Rocky’s. “Rocky’s and I have the same birth year,” he revealed.

“I grew up with Rocky’s. My father and I go to the SM City branch. I tried out another barbershop but since I am starting to have a more hectic college schedule I went back to Rocky’s SM since it’s nearer and more accessible from our home.”

“Besides keeping my hair short to feel fresher, I always make sure I have a bottle of fragrance with me everywhere I go.”

Living an active life and staying in school almost all day long, especially with evening classes, takes a toll on odor. A long lasting fragrance will do the trick.

Recently, Jj discovered Adventure, one of the fragrances of Rocky’s

“I tried out Adventure perfume and the smell really describes the name. It has a very distinct smell I like, and the scent can excite the senses, just like an adventure. It also lasts long throughout the day.”

“It delivers to my senses the feel of a triathlon – it’s not boring, it stands out from others, and it endures.”

Rocky’s for his haircut and Adventure as his fragrance of choice, Jj personal grooming will leave a good impression on the people he interacts with daily in the sports arena and in the school campus.

“In triathlon, we all have their photos taken and these serve as memorabilia for races. No matter how tired we are after the race, we put our best smiles forward for the photographers to commemorate. Grooming helps me look fresh in the midst of strenuous physical activity. And now that I found Adventure, a scent in an easy-to-carry bottle, to look, smell, and feel fresh is no problem.”

What is Jj’s adventure?

“My adventure is to continually be better than my old self – may it be doing better in school, or beating my personal records in triathlons. Life is an adrenaline-pumping roller coaster ride but I believe I can always do better and that I can achieve what I want to achieve.”

Adventure perfume, from Rocky’s new fragrance line, is available in all Rocky’s Barbershops at Victoria Plaza, Abreeza Mall, GMall, SM City & SM Lanang Premier in Davao City, and Centrio Ayala Mall and SM City in Cagayan de Oro City.

Photography: Wizbren Ang

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Also published in the SunStar Davao newspaper.