They’re not just competing for the country, but also for their parents.
The Philippine women's national football team’s journey to the FIFA Women’s World Cup has been nothing short of amazing.
From notching their best-ever finish at the 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup to winning the 2022 AFF Women's Championship, the Filipinas have proven that they have what it takes to compete against some of the best.
But their journey to reaching the World Cup has not always been smooth-sailing.
The team has had its ups and downs. For instance, while it does receive praise for the glory it is giving the country, some have had the nerve to question what they perceive as the lack of homegrown talent in the team. Some are even insinuating that the Filipinas aren’t Filipino enough.
But while many of the players do have mixed bloods in them, they are certainly more than proud to represent and give their 100% for the country.
For one, midfielder Katrina Guillou, who was born in Washington DC, said she’s proud to compete in the FIFA World Cup for her Filipina mother.
"Getting to share this with my mum, who was born and raised in the Philippines, it's meant a lot to kind of represent her, do everything for her and our family," Guilliou said in an interview with Optus Sport.
"I know they just have a lot of pride for it and it's great to be able to share something with them,” she added.
The same sentiment is shared by defender Malea Cesar, who is representing the Philippines for her Filipino father—himself a national team member but for a different sport.
"I grew up with my dad, [and] he represented the Philippines in track and field, and so I always knew that was something that I could do but I never really knew that it could be playing football,” said Cesar.
“So, to be able to follow in his footsteps is amazing, but to be able to do it in a sport I love is also a really big honor,” she added.
Full Filipino or mixed, the Filipinas are here to represent the country in whatever way they can.
With the FIFA Women’s World Cup less than a month away, the national team is full steam ahead with its preparations for what will be their biggest tournament yet.