February 28, 2024

Katrina Guillou's perfect description of Filipinas' historic journey to FIFA Women's World Cup

Katrina Guillou
Art by Royce Nicdao

Time stands still when you do something memorable, something special, something unbelievable.

Katrina Guillou of the Philippine national women’s football team (PNWFT) should know. She experienced it first-hand not too long ago.

A year and a half back, Guillou was part of the Filipinas team that beat Chinese Taipei in a thrilling shootout in their quarterfinal battle at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 held in India. With the stunning win, the Filipinas accomplished something no national football squad has ever accomplished: qualify for the World Cup—the biggest, most prestigious football conclave in the world.

And, looking back at that historic moment, Guillou described to Australia's Optus Sport exactly what was going through her mind at that moment forever etched in time.     

"[Against Chinese Taipei] it took me a few seconds,” Guillou recalled. “I definitely realized as soon as the celebration started [that] I had a little five-second pause, but it felt like a few minutes for me where I'm like, 'We just won this game. We've gone further than we ever have in this tournament. We just qualified for the Women's World Cup,'”

In other words, time stood still for Guillou—even for just a few fleeting seconds.

Over a year has passed and Guillou continues to search for the right words to fully describe the Filipinas’ momentous achievement. One thing is for certain, though: She is mighty proud of the history this special group is making.

“From there, I still can't even put into words how exciting it's been,” Guillou admitted. “But just to realize at that moment what we've accomplished and how far we've gotten as a team in such a short amount of time of being all together since maybe November leading up to the camp like it's pretty astonishing.”

Astonishing seems just about right to describe the Filipinas’ spectacular journey.

And they are only getting started.