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Vince Ongtangco | Faces of Midland

01/24/23

Finding an Identity |

For Vince Ongtangco, one’s identity is constantly changing and expanding. Moving from the Philippines to America when he was young, Vince learned firsthand how life, in all of its variables, shapes who we are. Through the change, however, we find ourselves in the central constants.

When coming to Midland, Vince admits that his primary focus was playing basketball. His future career was on the backburner in favor of the sport he loved.

“I literally thought my world was going to be just basketball. When I got here, I didn’t even realize I would, you know, have to find a job after all of this!”

During his time at Midland, Vince has seen those priorities change. With injuries setting him back, he has since shifted his focus to more fulfilling roles. His mentorship roles as an RA and assistant girls basketball coach at Millard North High School have become new focuses for Vince.

“Now I have campus ministry, residence life, and I coach basketball. It’s a different side to everything, but all that has helped me where I want to go. I want to be a basketball skill trainer. So not technically anything that would involve coaching, but more involving skill development and player development. I have no doubt that will be a more authentic role for me to be in.”

Through his shifting roles at Midland, Vince has been able to find the constant in his identity: his faith. Growing up in the Philippines, Vince was raised Catholic. However, his faith did not become his own until he was reintroduced to his faith when he moved to America.

“ I moved to America and my friend introduced me to a youth group and Bible study. I just had so many questions about the difference between Christianity and Catholicism. I started to learn a lot and at Midland, I had a lot of people who are Christians as well as and I got connected with that community here. It became about experiencing God and knowing God together. A lot of times, I didn’t have that when I was in the Philippines.”

His faith has become a core part of his identity. Whether he is a teammate, a mentor, or a coach, his faith informs his identity within these roles.  As a Christian, he views his faith as a guiding part of him no matter what he sets out to do. 

“In basketball, I struggled with my identity. I thought I was going to be this basketball player. It says in the Bible, where your heart is, your treasure will be also, and I was putting my heart and my treasure in basketball, but now I am sliding off that. I am learning more about where I’m at in this ministry. Wherever you’re at, or whatever you do, it’s your ministry growth. I have realized you don’t have to be a pastor to be able to minister other people.”

Vince Ongtangco is a junior strength and conditioning major from Alma, NE. To share your story or nominate a friend, email social@midlandu.edu or post using #FacesofMidland.


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