Saturday, October 29, 2011


So the tournament is officially over. I had high expectations and unfortunately they came short, but looking at the big picture I think it was a great start. 

As many may or may not know, the womens national team has been inactive for the last few years. The preparation for this tournament began in January; however a lot happened until that point. Teammates got injured and some got sick. The foreigners didn't come til les than a month before with three never even playing for the team. And some players had to take care of their daily life first I.e. Jobs so they couldn't participate. All those factors affected us though we still put a great fight and shocked many teams and their coaches. On top of that are disputes of whether the AFF purposely gave us the game tape of myanmar after the first goal they scored (which was conveniently offsides) and then enriching tape short for Malaysia (where their goal was also offsides). Those goals were game changers. Lastly, a handball in the box was not called. Though, I had a coach tell me once that of u are good enuf u make ur own luck. U never want to blame the refs. I think it is just frustrating that we could have even done better. Though with minimal support and our personal lives to attend to (most are still in school or have jobs) we did pretty darn good. We learned a lot from this tournament which will only help us in the future. And the most important part we grew as team and as a family. I am in awe of how close a team could be coming from different areas, backgrounds, ages. It is web more fulfilling to be on a team with people u love to be around and have fun with. There is much work to be done but all of it is tangiable. I cannot wait to see this team improve more and more. I think many will be surprised :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

SA-BY-DEE LAO! (Hello Laos!)

We are finally here! This is IT!!!! I have been preparing for the last few weeks now with these girls.  They have been training since the beginning of this year!  Now here we are here at the ASEAN Football Federation Tournament that we have all been training for.

A little info on the tournament:
The tournament is being held in the Laos capital, Vientiane.  The teams are broken into two groups.
Group A:  Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Laos
Group B:  Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines

Our schedule:
Monday- Myanmar
Wednesday- Thailand
Friday- Malaysia

Sunday- Semifinals
N. Tuesday- Finals

All are teams are beatable but our competition is definitely Myanmar and Thailand.  Though, we have heard Malaysia has lots of new players as well as Myanmar.  Myanmar also has a new coach form Japan.  And this and that team have been preparing for this and that long.  In my eyes this is anyones tournament.  We have already been a favorite for last in our group.  I think that is the best position we could be in.  Everyone underestimating us.  Perfect.  Thailand will struggle to be stay on top.  They have everything riding on them.  We, on the other hand, have all the opportunity.  I told my teammates today, "Nothing to lose, and everything to WIN!"  We have a chance to make history here! It's gonna come down who wants it the most.  Who going to battle!?  Who will rise to the occasion? We are a young team and we should use that to our advantage.  We have energy and spirit.  No need for nerves!  We don't have all the pressure.  I know we can do this we just have to believe in ourselves and each other.  At the end of it all, I know all of us will grow from this.  I already have.  Never have I been so close to a team in such a little period of time too!  I have known these girls for a month and they already feel like sisters to me.  So many teams before had all this drama!  This team is so different! We have so much fun! And everyones like me for me.  No one telling me who to be.  Im just myself!  Such a good vibe!  Everyone wants the best for each other.  I love it!

Anyway, we do have a chance and a good one!  We will take it one game at a time!!



Wednesday, October 5, 2011

jeepneys, typhoons, banyos, and perms

 so i finally had a day of commuting!!! i have been blessed with having a driver take me everywhere around town, but when i visited with my cousins i was at their mercy! lol. it was actually fun and very interesting.  we took a jeepney, a bus, and a van all in one day! i am glad i was with all them, because they actually knew what they were doing.  it's pretty crazy how it works around here. i would be so lost!. basically the jeepneys run a certain route and its 8 pesos to get on and sometimes u pay more if you end of going really far. i still don't get how u know which one to get on. u sort of ask around and look at where the jeepney says its going (usually painted on the actually jeepney-picture pending!).  after we hopped on the jeepney we ran to get a bus, and I have no idea how we knew that was the right one, but i guess it was easier since we were going to Mall of Asia which is a popular spot.  on the way home we took a van and it wasn't as quick as going to the mall because we literally waited til a normally 12 passenger van had 16 passengers. we sat in this van for over an hour to fill up!!! so u definitely have to have patience and tons of time to spare if you are commuting. and even when you have a driver there is a lot of traffic so u still need to factor that into ur day.  errands that take a morning in the states, could take two days here.  it's okay though since i don't have school or a job to worry about; just soccer :). also, to alleviate traffic, everyday there is restrictions on who can be on the rode depending on the last digit of ur license plate. for example, say on tuesdays, 5's and 6's can't be on the road, so if ur car ends in a 5 or 6 u either have to commute or use another car.  i thought that was pretty interesting. manila is a lot different than the last time i was here! thank goodness for skyway ( the main toll road that we end up using everyday!) tho the tolls are high! but thats my experience with the transportation so far. i will probably experience the tricycles soon when i visit my cousins in the province!
 so there has also been two typhoons here. they actually weren't that bad. the first one was worse. it was really just windy and rainy and that put a damper on our training.  the fields are always wet and so they never really recover.  its sooooo muddy and it is hard to even enjoy playing when the fields are so bad.  though u learn to adjust to it.  chipping the ball over the mud puddle or having to dribble around it.  it makes u think and adjust so i guess ill give it that. but ill take turf any day :) anyway the picture above it a pic of a billboard. u kno its gonna be bad weather when they roll them up.  its pretty neat that they just roll up their billboards for the storm, tho when u ride on the skyway manila looks dead and dismal.  i def like the billboards up and on that note i like "what's in" here. i feel less pressure to be a certain image, maybe because Iin reality I'm closer to the image in the philippines.  i think its weird tho how everyone wants to be white! all these creams and products to make u whiter! and all the girls on the billboards are mostly filipinas! they are healthy looking and not frail. they have dark hair and are just naturally pretty.  i just like the overall vibe here!
haha i had to take a picture of this!!! these banyo (comfort room) signs are everywhere! the rice hat man and the female wearing the traditional dress in the philippines i.e. the one with puffy sleeves :) haha really i just think this sign is cute, fun, and unique. the little quirks that i love in asian culture ^^
and finally i got a perm!!! it was a long process!! as i never get my hair done and i had to sit still for a longgg timeee (not my tired eyes lol) so goodbye super straight asian hair! i want some curls and volume! i like it! i don't get to wear my hair curly enough! so yay!!!

well! thats it for nowww! its been hard to blog just because I've been so tired!! but i love this!! i literally just play soccer and go to the gym everyday.  when we have time we walk around the malls.  we get home service manis/pedis, waxes, and massages!! i feel so blessed to have this adventure! i could get used to this!! i kno for sure that i will be back here more often! I'm so happy here! :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

misspellings.. gahhh.. stupid mac!!

so i meant nanay not nanny!!!! the stupid autocorrect with mac messed up!!! gah doesn't recognize filipino words. just wanted to note that! and i meant pinay not piney!!!! sorry!

new sisters, new foods, new haters

So i finally met my teammates!!!! i have almost met all of them!! before i even met them they had already been all over Facebook and had been randomly calling sam (the daughter of coach ernie where i am staying) and asking to talk to me... haha meanwhile the nierras are teaching me tagalog to say to them.. all i got was sino itich (spelling?) meaning who is this? and of course they all gasp and burst out laughing... and so when i finally meet them in person.. they are exactly that lol. bubbly, energetic, and animated. there is never a dull moment with this group. i was very excited to have such a great welcome! there was no judging, no spite, no bitterness, no negativity!! just warm-hearted, determined, passionate girls and we shared the two most important things in common.. filipinas and footballers. 

well, now i had to see what this team could do.  before i even came to the philippines for this trip i didn't even think about how good or bad or mediocre the team would be.  because at that point i didn't care.  this experience was exactly that.. about the experience.  how often do u get the chance to see where u come from and what ur heritage is all about while doing what your most passionate about. this was an insane deal! i almost expected the team to be awful just because everything had seemed so perfect.. well, our team may be on the younger side, but do they have potential!!!!? they certainly do. not only that i firmly believe we can win this tournament in october. i don't think some of the girls give themselves enough credit. there is some quality soccer going on matched with some great attitudes. i mean i show up to games and practices and enjoy my teammates company and have fun with them.  there were times when i didn't have that where soccer was soccer and i was playing only for myself.. now i can say i play for malditas, my teammates, my family, my country, and God. WOW!!! does that sound amazing.. i play for my country!! 

anyway, i couldn't ask for a better group of girls. don't get me wrong we have a lot of work to do in the next few weeks.  though we certainly have a fighting chance.  i just hope we can rise to the occasion.  we are underdogs, but i like it that way.  everything tastes a little bit sweeter when ur proving everyone wrong ;-) .

the first field i ever played on in the philippines!!!

as for food!! i have had some interesting things.. and gahhh i don't remember names so feel free to comment and tell me again lol. so i had "banana leaf" and u ate on banana leaves.. haha it was good! and at the house i had like meatloaf with egg, cheese, and hot dog in the middle. this was definitely a new twist for me. it wasn't bad and was actually pretty good but then i just started thinking about how i was eating a meat loaf with a chickens egg and a cows cheese and a hot dog.. was just weird to think about all the animals i was eating.. but its actually very clever way to get multiple food groups and not waste any food! 

i also OMG.. tried fish today!! milkfish.. first time in maybe 17 years lol when i decided it was cool to eat fish and rice for breakfast when everyone else got lucky charms and captain crunch!!! but yea it was actually good! lol 

mom i ate some fish!!! the one on the lefttt!!!!
ok and lastly.. gosh.. got heated in the interview today lol. some guy was just asking such annoying questions. i knew he was just trying to start stuff but seriously .. unnecessary.. especially with such a growing sport that is fairly new to the country.. who is gonna think filforeigners are bad. its like I'm a freakin muggle.. i wanna be a wizard but I'm half human.. so now the wizards think I'm not as cool.. so i wanna embrace being a filipina and the filipinos say I'm not filipino enough! okay.. i could go forever on this topic but ill keep it short..

filipino blood runs through my veins..  i can't stand when people think I'm some really tan white girl. and for the people that kno theres something special i love sharing with them that I'm pinay.  why wouldn't!? i may have never lived in the philippines but my nanny did for half her life.. and she obviously made an impact on me if the second half of her life later guess who's knocking at the philippines door!? me! it really at times can be hard to be half and half. at times there is a loss of identity or a confusion or just a feeling ur missing something. this experience has already began to fill that part i am missing.  why deny the people that have the blood, the pride, and the passion to be a pinoy?? are we halfsies supposed to make our own country our own land. if we have two halves we have two halves. if we like both we like both! 

my cousins!

i had a nick name in college in my asian cultural alliance. it was "hapa" which means part asian and part something else. this guy did studies on hapas, being a hapa himself (can't remember his name), and wrote about the identity crisis hapas run into and mixed races for that matter.  of all places in the world.. the philippines would be one of the most accepting and grateful for a person to want to embrace their heritage. so for the haters or those who just like to question and start stuff for dumb reasons.. i kno what i am and i kno this is a part of me. u can't take it away from me. only i can define myself and kno where i belong. and right now, i kno i belong here in the philippines, playing for my country! #pinaypride #malditas #hapa

ps sorry if this is all over the place!! tired lol~!
pps for those who can't tell at all that I'm piney.. COUGH COUGH!
I'm the one on the right
my awesome family :)

loveee cooke

Thursday, September 15, 2011

photos i forgot to upload!

 on the plane getting ready for departure!
 a toliet in japan!! i went to the stall next to it with a regular toilet although even that one had all these controls and buttons that i didn't even understand lol
a quick pic of the house i am staying in!! so beautiful!!! i feel like a celebrity. my parents definitely need to buy some property here! i might too!

and thats it for now!


food, food, FOOD!

i have already had some amazing meals both filipino and elsewhere.  yesterday for lunch i had beef and mushroom over rice with asparagus. for dinner we had chicken, vegetable lumpia, and rice.  the lumpia was paired with this spicy vinegar sauce.  the chicken had a spicy soy sauce with the juice of a filipino lime (calamansi).  these simple addition really add flavor to the dishes!

this morning i was healthy and ate cereal and fruit again.  thought i did have a taste of fried banana!! yum! i also realized that milk isn't necessarily in the cold aisle and that most of it actually is found in dry ones! u refrigerate after opening of course, but still! very different. i mean i understand like rice milk or coconut milk or other milk but regular milk! i think i prefer it being found in the cold section.  the one i had was supposed to be a version from new zealand.  it still tastes the same i suppose lol so I'm not worried!

for lunch we ate at a japanese restaurant and i ordered a california roll. the filipino spin on it was that the avocado was replaced with mango! it was actually a great addition and added a little sweetness to my sushi.  i also go orange iced tea and that was delish. i found a pretty good replacement for my sweet tea back in the south.  the flavored iced tea here is extremely fresh just like everything else here! and since i loveeee fruit i picked a great place to be.  then for dinner we ate at an italian restaurant.  one of the dishes we got was pizza. it was rectangular and very very thin crust. it was cut into strips rather than squares.  my family called it "italian lumpia" because u take bean sprouts and a type of lettuce and roll the slices up into a lumpia thing (lumpia is the filipino version of an egg roll btw).
i thought it was creative and nonetheless delicious.

other than eating.. i have been resting.. haha.. and sleeping.. but i feel a lot better this evening and i think i am almost over the jet lag! gym tomorrow morning and then a game in the afternoon. i can't wait! til then i need to up my learning of the language. i still don't even kno the anthem!! :/


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First Day

So I woke up this morning and met my new fam! or should i say pamilya :) all very very nice. i had a pretty normal breakfast.  cereal and fruit and freshly made apple, orange, pineapple juice.  i was relieved to find out my sister here is a picky eater like me and doesn't really eat all the filipino food. so now theres less pressure and worry about the food! i am definitely willing to try, but baby steps!

this morning i got my passport processed and i should have my philippine passport next week ::smiles::
i got a few looks because i was wearing a tank top and was supposed to be wearing a collared shirt.  i had one in my bag, but i didn't want to wear it until i had too. it's so hot here! i discovered the umbrella and decided i need to start using one. i love the sun, but when I'm not in soccer clothes sweating is not pleasant nor flattering.  we were in and out of the passport office in less than an hour.  thank you philippine football federation!

we ran some errands today and went to the philippine version of cosco, sam's club, bj's etc.. s&r was packed from a sale! i wanted to take a picture because i couldn't believe how packed it was, but i didn't want to be rude lol. also, it was so weird being able to see everything.  i am taller than all the females and a lot of the males! it is weird being the tallest!  we left because we were not waiting in those lines! we went to the grocery store instead which was empty since everyone must have been at the s&r sale.  we also got a drink at the juice bar to keep me energized.  my family doesn't want me to sleep so i can adjust to the time.  i really feel alright, but the yawning is getting annoying and it just feels weird having my body trying to shut down on me in the daylight lol. working night shift at the nuclear power plant helped because i feel better than the last time i came to the philippines. i had no chance of staying up the whole day! and now in half an hour i get a massage :) the last time i had one was the last time i was here (6 years ago). lol. they are so cheap!

also i forgot to mention earlier about how my flight went. wasn't as bad as i thought and i was sitting in the middle and traveling alone! the man next to me though got up a lot so i was able to too. and he was such a sweetheart and was just helping and being nice when he could. by the time we were flying from japan to the philippines the newcomers had thought he was my dad and had asked him if he had a white wife lol. he was told them that i wasn't his daughter obviously lol.  that just shows you how generous and genuine these people are.  what a great country to be a part of.  on that note.  it is a bit different traveling here knowing I'm going to be here much longer than any trip i have taken outside the US and because things aren't as temporary everything feels different.  i feel myself trying to adjust instead of just experiencing and observing its more like I'm trying to fit in and belong here.  its not all that weird because I'm used to hearing my mom talk on the phone or to her friends in another language. it is again comforting to here the language. I'm beginning to see this other side of me that wanted to exist, but couldn't fully in the US.  i hope to learn and pick up on the language, culture, and customs.  After all i will be representing the Philippines now and i don't even know the anthem!! on that note I'm going to practice and learn some more !!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011


20ish hours later and I am finally here in the Philippines.  As soon as I stepped outside I picked up the memorable scent of my second home.  It's kind of this warm burning smell, but surprisingly it's comforting.  Someone started to talk to me and I began to tell him that I was here to play for the Malditas, the Women's National Football Team.  He seemed confused and I explained to him that it was like the Azkals women's team.  That seemed to help.  I quickly reaffirmed that we were the Malditas, however.  I was proud to tell my story of how I ended up in the Philippines. And I cannot wait til the story begins to unfold so I can tell more.

Shortly after my convo with the airport employee, I met up with my Coach.  He told me I was going to get interviewed.  The time was just a little after 11pm and after over 20 hours of traveling and the greasy sweat ball I had become did not want to be interviewing in this state lol. But I couldn't say no!  We went to some sort of plaza which reminded me of the Bellagio or Casear's Palace in Vegas but on a smaller scale. There was a casino, shops, restaurants, and clubs.  You couldn't even tell you were in the Philippines other than the fact there was minimal white people.  We had the interview in the Philippine version of Starbucks (i forget the name).  I was not hungry on account of being fed 4 times in the plane lol.  The interview was fun and Coach and I went to the house.  I'm set up in a beautiful house made out of concrete and marble and more. I need to get some rest though! I just wanted to get something down before I went to bed!  Paalam! Bye!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Philippines National Team

I feel so blessed that my dreams are coming true!  First the Real World (although afterwards I was like.. huh didn't need that lol) and now this.  For me soccer has been a part of my whole life since I was 4.  I don't know anything like I know soccer.  Soccer is my passion.  When I am on the field, I am in my element.  I never feel more like myself.  I am confident (except some times a little less confident when we are playing teams like FSU or UVA), but still confident.  I thought soccer was going to be over after high school!  Well I intended to play D3 at the Coast Guard Academy and then I got a scholarship to Loyola, something I never thought tangible.  I didn't think I was good enough to even play D1, let alone get a full ride! So I had to take it.  Soccer has been number one my whole life.  I have sacrificed a lot for it.  Our family vacations were my soccer tournaments.  I had to drive 2 hours to some practices in high school!  I didn't take sick days.. i took soccer days lol.. and after college when it was all over.. i kidna didn't even kno who i was or what i wanted to do with my life.. i didn't go to school to go to school. i went to play soccer.. i didn't care nearly as much about school as i would have with out soccer.  so then the real world happened. and then some random jobs after that.. and then out of nowhere i ask my friend cynthia about the philippines national team (the women's world cup was going on obvi) and she gave me the info and i said what the heck ill email them..

and now i find my self training to be on a national team.. hey its not the US, but still this big. and in fact this may mean even more to me than being on a team that was in the world cup final.. because this is my family.  this is my other half.. this is something i haven't had the chance to get to kno as much as i would have liked to.  

i grew up in a predominantly white town with surprisingly a handful of filipinos (musta been that navy base lol).  but when i got to high school all the filipinos were at the other high school.. and other than a couple yearly filams (filipino american get togethers) and birthdays.. i really was detached from that side of me... my mom didn't teach me the language and i really didn't kno a lot other than a few random traditions and silly superstitions. 

when i got to college i stumbled upon the asian culture alliance after my friends invited me to go one day.. naturally, the club had lots of filipinos.  this wasn't until my sophomore year tho. and the year before i got the chance to go to the philippines to visit my family over there.  our whole family went and it was one of the best trips of my life.  this is what made me want to know and learn and be a part of this culture even more.

and now i find myself training to go overseas to those islands I have only been once in my life to represent the people.  i am honored for such an opportunity and honestly a little nervous.  if you kno anything about filipinos you kno that they are good people.  they are loving, honest, proud, oh the list could go on.  they are the type of people that with barely anything they will give you their everything.  they are some of the most caring respectable people on the planet.  i am happy to be able to call myself a citizen (paperwork pending). and if its one thing i hope to do... it's to make the Philippine nation and people proud.  and most of all my mother and family. yeaaa real world really didn't help with that one!

it starts today! LET"S GO MALDITAS!!!! 

New Blog

Well, here's to my first post of my new blog!  

Let the adventures, stories, ramblings, poetry, venting, etc.. BEGIN!