Monday, July 4, 2016

Philippines National Team Update: Week 3

Philippines UPDATE:

Today marks Week 3 of my time in the Philippines. The last two weeks have felt like two months! Manila traffic is no joke! I also have been feeling like I am living in The Challenge House again, but the far less glamorous version of it, sans drama too!

We are all currently living in the Philippines Sports Complex known as Ultra. I have been here before and it is still a place I wouldn't pick to stay, but you must deal with cards you are dealt and carry on! Team bonding is at an all time high. We are starting to mesh. You won't see the filams (filipino americans) in one room and the local based players in another. We are in three rooms and even in down time we are all mixed  We are blending well and one thing you should know about us filipinos is that we love to joke! Lots of laughs and memories are being made in the time we are not on the soccer field.
Goofing around after practice with some of my teammates

As for soccer, we are getting there! We are grasping our concepts and figuring it out. I enjoy listening to others speak in Tagalog because I try to see if I know what everyone is saying. I really want to learn, but it is hard at my age!! There are times where I definitely have to ask questions to make sure I understand. I am sort of used to this from my time in Sweden when I really had to ask questions and get the english version! It's a process, but it is really cool to see soccer from multiple perspectives and cultures!
Talking football with the fathers of football in the Philippines

Besides soccer and hanging with my teammates, I have also got the opportunity to visit with my cousins based in Manila. It has been great to get to know them more as I have only been able to see them face to face a few times in my life! Family is family and it doesn't matter because we are there for each other no matter what! I am learning new things about them and myself every day. It's a beautiful experience even in the tough times. I really appreciate the life that I have and all that I have. Can't wait to get into next week with a focused mindset on our tournament. It's only 3 weeks away!! Let's do this!
Spending downtime with my cousins in Taguig

Peace out! <3 Cookie,

Philippines National Team Week 1

Hi peepsss! Just a little update for me. I have settled in Manila. Still adjusting the time difference. First, a few of my teammates and I stayed at the infamous Ultra (Philippine Sports Complex). Renovations have been made, but they are still on their way. They were successful in their rat trap we had in the hallway. Poor Erwin passed away the other day from starvation I am guessing. The cats are going crazy. ‪#‎onlyinthephilippines‬
The 'filams'--we all flew out to training camp to compete for spots on the
AFF 2016 roster to be held in Myanmar July 26th-August 5th
The weather is HOTT! Heat index 108. Makes soccer super interesting! I am losing water through sweat faster than I can drink it. The first day I came off the plane, met two of the girls for lunch, and then went right to the first training session! Today is my first day off and I am enjoying it through rest and hydration. Ordered a massage last night before sleep. At 250 pesos ($6), I will be getting these weekly.
Enjoying the beach on a rest day with my former teammates and friends!

Everything else has been awesome. It feels great to be back in my second home. I am so happy interacting with all the players no matter where they are from. Each of them, I feel as if we are long lost sisters. It's hard to explain. Through these experiences, I find myself and my identity. It's overwhelming, emotional, and magical. This is literally the greatest feeling in my life to do the work I do here. To play soccer with my long lost sisters.. talk about enjoying the moment and life fulfillment..Though we have a bigger job to do than just enjoy our life here! We are here to perform. We are here to do represent. When AFF comes in July, we must present the best team yet and do the best we have yet. Every tournament, game, or even practice, we must try to be our best, so that this team will continue to grow and develop. One day, you will see the Philippines in the Women's World Cup. This dream has already begun. Maybe I won't be there, but I am a part of it now and am ready to help do my part! ‪#‎Laban‬ ‪#‎Malditas‬ ‪#‎PWNT‬ ‪#‎TeamPilipinas‬

Group picture of all those that attended tryouts!

Ready for take off

Getting to know Coach Buda!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I'm Back Part 2

So we left off with my finishing up my Euro Trip. I came home in October and had no idea where to go from there.  I knew I had an itch to live somewhere else and I always wanted to go to California! A few months later after networking at the annual coaching convention, I decided to move to LA.

The move wasn't that tough as I had a lot of family and friends out there to ease the transition.  I had soccer friends, high school friends, and even real world friends.  You know what I even had friends that I had met at the Coast Guard Academy AIM program that I met one summer back in high school. It is crazy how small this world is!

Anyway, I started working for Beast Mode Soccer as a trainer and an assistant. What an experience! I still work for them and it's incredible. I have learned so much as a trainer and even as an admin assistant.  The best part is that I am doing soccer things! It is connected me with even more people.  I have been able to train with women's soccer pros including Whitney Engen, Rachel Daly, Emma Kete, the list continues. I met Soccer Grl Probs which mind you were my college rivals back in the day!! We had a blast, but Loyola will always be better than Fairfield ;) . For whatever reason, LA is a hub for many people on business and leisure travel so I ran into my teammate from Canada that I played with in Sweden. My dad, brother, and uncle visited.  My brother's friends actually lived there. I finally met my social contact Chris Gorres, who is now my sports performance trainer.  I mean there is just a lot going on in LA!  If you get past all the superficial fakes, you will find a good time and good people. This past year has really been a good one in my transition from player to who knows what is next for me!  Though, we all know I am still playing.. which will bring me to my next post on the Philippines National Team.

View from my aunt and uncle's deck in Marina del Rey!

Carmen the Canadian that was passing thru LA on 
St. Paddy's Day and went out of her way to come see me!!

Just training with Whitney Engen, World Cup gold medalist!

Hanging out with my Santa Clarita soccer teammates in Colorado 
during one of our away game weekends!

Randomly meeting Alex Morgan in Hermosa Beach 
across my old work spot of Hennessey's!

When I visited the my fam on the East Coast, Trainer Chris Gorres let me 
jump in a session with these soccer studs, Crystal Dunn, 
Ali Kreiger, Ashlyn Harris, and Yael Averbuch!

Slim, Lauren Holiday, David Copeland-Smith, and I 
working at Lauren and Jrue's Soccer Camp at UCLA

A still clip from some of the stuff 
we shot out in LA for Beast Mode Soccer!

Soccer Grl Probs!! Love these girls Alanna, Carly, and Shannon

The Beast Mode Soccer Team at the NSCAA Convention

Finally my fam out in Cali! Rest in peace Uncle Larry.
 I am happy to have spent some extra time with you before you left this earth.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

I'm back!! Part 1

Hi Ya'll!

I am finally back!! It's been almost 2 years since I have posted,  but I will fill you in on what's been going on!

Since I last posted.. well first, I finished up the season with Landsbro IF in Sweden. Gosh I had such a good time and find myself missing my teammates, the country, and fika!!  

My teammates of Landsbro IF in Vetlanda, Sweden

I was so happy that my parents were able to come and visit me and see the country.  We all enjoyed Midsommar with my host family and got an authentic experience. 
At my host family's lake house celebrating midsummer!

This leads me to one of my favorite memories of Sweden where my teammates and I went to an EDM concert in Gothenburg.  What craziness that was!!  Some how I was able to get back stage and take a shot of Yager with Tiesto.  Skål! (Cheers in Swedish!)
Summerburst in Gothenburg 

I made the video around 30s .. :)

Halfway through the season, we got a month break and I took advantage of being in Europe! First, my sister met me in Greece for a week trip where we met up with one of my college buddies who's family is from there. Oh man do I miss the food and the frappes! The water is unreal beautiful and the people are so generous. 

Sis and I in Athens at a hostel

On an uninhabited island well except for goats! 
The island in the background is Kasos where we stayed!

My next trip was to visit a teammate from the Philippines National Team who is based in Germany. She lives in Aachen.  We took day trips to Brussels, Amsterdam, Maastricht, and met one of our other teammates in Colonge. 

At a German carnival. Think beer gardens galore!!

I am in 3 countries at once! Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium.

What a welcome from my philippines teammate, Cristina!

Soccer everywhere in Europe!


From there I decided to go solo and take a train down to Munich. What a great idea! After enjoying a beer or two or three :) at the Hofbrauhaus, I toured Allianz Arena, home of Bayern Munich, and then took a bus to Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. Both were definitely cool places to see!

Bayern Munich's Locker Room
Neuschwanstein Castle

I then took a train to Berlin and did some serious historical sightseeing. Next, I made my way to Copenhagen where I met up with one of my friend's from California who was attending music school there. Copenhagen was beautiful and the people were so chill and friendly!


Finally, I made it back to Sweden. After finishing out the season, and even playing goalie for a few games (mad respect for goalkeepers!!), I couldn't help but make one last stop on the way home at London to catch a Chelsea game at Stamford Bridge.  

All in all, a good freaking experience!

Next post will fill you in on my time out in Los Angeles with Beast Mode Soccer!

Peace out,