July 15, 2024

Filipina athletes you really need to pay more attention to

Filipina athletes you really need to pay more attention to
Art by One Sports

Be honest. Do you know how these ladies brought so much honor to the Philippines?

Many Filipinas in the sporting world remain underappreciated no matter how impressive their accomplishments are, no matter how excellent they perform in the international stage. So, to make things right, we’re putting the spotlight on the nation’s female athletes who deserve more love and recognition, especially from their countrymen.

Sarina Bolden

Sure, the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) named her Miss Football this year, but the reverence for her should go beyond the circle of sports journalists. Sarina Bolden should be a household name by now given her track record.

Being responsible for the goal that clinched the country’s first ever appearance in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, we look forward to the day when her name is mentioned in the same breath as the biggest sports personalities in the Philippines.

Pauline Lopez

Endorsement deals in the Philippines are usually reserved for celebrities from the showbiz world. But if companies are looking for a great brand ambassador, the two-time SEA Games gold medalist for taekwondo should be among their top choices.

Anyone can definitely look up to a total package like the 26-year-old martial artist, who has also been advocating for kids to get into taekwondo by holding free clinics. 

Julie Uychiat

The Filipina nurse turned runner carried the Philippine flag across seven continents under extreme conditions to finish the 2023 World Marathon Challenge. She made it to the podium six times, four of which were first-place finishes. While doing all that, Uychiat raised funds for the neglected and abused kids in her hometown of Bacolod.

It’s about time the entire nation takes notice of this incredible marathoner and real-life hero.

Bianca Pagdanganan

 Women’s golf in the Philippines seemingly took a hit when Yuka Saso chose to represent Japan. But the country can still pin its hopes on another terrific female golfer in Bianca Pagdanganan.

In terms of bringing glory to her motherland, she has been good as any putter, winning the Asian Games gold medal in team competition and two more gold medals in the SEA Games. She also notched her first pro win last February. So, remember her name and put more respect on it.

Meggie Ochoa

Meggie Ochoa is a multiple-time world jiu-jitsu champion. She has brought honor to the country many times as a member of the national team. Claiming the label, "best in the world," more than once, and being a passionate child’s rights advocate with her "Fight to Protect" program, it’s a travesty why this amazing human being isn’t getting enough credit.

But hey, Ochoa has been featured on a Hershey’s chocolate bar for International Women’s Month. Here’s hoping that things are truly starting to move towards the right direction.

Junna Tsukii

This Filipino-Japanese karateka started making noise in the kumite 50-kilogram division in 2017. Since then, she has bagged four medals in the SEA Games, including a gold. She has also won silver and bronze in the 2021 Asian Championships and the 2018 Asian Games, respectively. But her real coming out party came in the 2022 World Games in Birmingham where she captured the top prize.

We implore you to hop on the Junna Tsukii bandwagon before it’s too late.

Janelle Frayna

The 25-year-old pride of Legazpi, Albay is the first Filipina to be named Woman Grandmaster by the International Chess Federation. She’s got immense potential and with the right moves, Janelle Frayna can be her sport’s next big star, not just locally but also globally.

Once she gets the right amount of support, the three-time Philippine Women’s Chess champion will be on her way reaching new heights.

Kim Mangrobang

Kim Mangrobang is the Philippines’ number 1 female triathlete. But as an athlete per se, she might just be the country’s pound for pound best, especially in terms of endurance and conditioning.

Having won five SEA Games gold medals (four individual, one mixed relay), it can also be said that she is Southeast Asia’s triathlon queen. Really, Mangrobang needs to be treated like one because she belongs in Philippine sports royalty.

Denice Zamboanga

Despite her cheesy moniker, Denice “The Menace” Zamboanga is a major player in the MMA realm. Winning her last two bouts, the tough-as-nails fighter improved her record to 9 victories and 4 defeats.

More proof that she’s ready for the bright lights was her earning a pressure-packed, hard-fought decision over Lin Heqin of China in One Fight Night 5 at the Mall of Asia Arena last December.

Aleah Finnegan

We’re not exaggerating when we say that she’s an incredibly gifted gymnast. Last February, Aleah Finnegan scored a perfect 10 followed by several near-perfect 10s in different disciplines for Louisiana State University in the NCAA. Looking at her highlights we’ll make you ask whether or not Finnegan possesses superhuman powers.

With the Philippine squad, the 20-year-old Filipino-American has won a couple of gold medals from the SEA Games team event and vault competition. The country certainly doesn’t want this world-class talent—everyone on this list, really—to say, "Ako nga pala ‘yung sinayang niyo" in the future.

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