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!