February 21, 2024

For the (pop) culture: Filipinas imagined as kickass Filipina fictional characters

For the (pop) culture: Filipinas imagined as kickass Filipina fictional characters
Art by Royce Nicdao

To some, it may still feel stranger than fiction. But yes, it’s definitely, 10000000%, mamatay-man-peksman true, the Philippines is going to compete in the FIFA Women’s World Cup!

For decades, it was merely a pipe dream. A hallucinatory vision. Filipina football players featured in the sport’s grandest stage? Nah. 

Well, yeah. YEAH! Unlike buying rice at P20 per kilo, the promise has been finally fulfilled. And the Philippine women's national football team will look to create even more history. 

The Filipinas have shown courage, resolve, heart, and faith throughout their inspirational journey. They’ve grown to love representing the flag. Many of them have said they want to connect more with their roots

Is there a better way to help them do that than by introducing them to some Filipina fictional characters? Yes. But not as fun as this. 

Sarina Bolden - Darna

Darna is hands-down the most iconic female fictional character in the Philippines. Bolden is hands-down the biggest weapon of the Filipinas. The obvious parallelism is there. Like Darna, the 27-year-old striker is fearless and stays composed even in do-or-die situations. She fired the historic goal to send the Philippines to its first-ever FIFA Women's World Cup and made a walk-off game-winner against Malaysia in the Southeast Asian Games last May.

“Coach Alen, ang bato!” Too much? OK.

RELATED STORY: Alen Stajcic reveals process behind final roster selection for FIFA Women’s World Cup

Hali Long - Dyesebel

After Darna, Dyesebel is perhaps the second most iconic female fictional character in the Philippines. She is a brave and empowered woman. Much like Long, who has been a champion of advocating for her fellow female athletes. Dyesebel experienced many challenges, and so did Long, who endured the struggling years of the squad. She kept her head above water. It’s no wonder why she’s a co-captain of the Filipinas. 

Plus, like Dyesebel, who’s half-fish, the Missouri-born Long is also, um, half-blooded.

Filipinas defender Hali Long fired up after Manila leg of FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy tour

Olivia McDaniel - Wave

Forget Olivia Wilde in the Marvel Universe! Aside from Dyesebel, another water-based Filipina fictional character is Wave. Added to the Marvel Universe in 2019, the Cebuana superheroine’s main goal is to protect the Philippines (maybe that should be the newest tourism slogan). Like Wave, McDaniel serves as the protector of the Filipinas, keeping opponents from scoring with her agility, reflexes, and IQ.

It also helps that Olivia McDaniel sounds like a real name of a superheroine. Or Chandler McDaniel’s sister.

RELATED STORY: Goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel's 'music video' shows why Filipinas are a lovable bunch

Katrina Guillou - Metalika

Kids, this is the part where we tell you to Google “Combatron.” Featured on the well-loved Funny Komiks, it was insanely popular in the 90s. Combatron had a female teammate named Metalika. The pink-armored cyborg was feisty and aggressive. Guillou embodies those same qualities for the Filipinas. She’s not afraid to rough it up despite her size disadvantage. She's relentless on the pitch. The 29-year-old midfielder is grit personified.

In an amazing coincidence, Guillou’s favorite band is Metallica. No, we just totally made that up.

RELATED STORY: 'You never know': Filipinas striker Katrina Guillou's creative habit got her noticed by PFF

Sara Eggesvik - Princess Sara

 Wala lang, magkapangalan kasi sila.

And yeah, before you take out your pitchforks, we’re aware that Princess Sara (or is it spelled Sarah?—well, po-tay-tow, po-tah-to) is not a Filipina. But she sure seemed like one in the Tagalized version of the classic Japanese anime. Especially when she’s making balat the patatas and getting wakwak-ed by Miss Minchin.

RELATED STORY: World Cup-bound Filipina Sara Eggesvik’s TikTok is treasure box of football skills, quirky humor, and cuteness

The FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will kickoff this July 20. The Filipinas will start their campaign against Switzerland on July 21.