I wish to convey my warmest congratulations and utmost admiration to Team Filipinas for their historic victory at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Their feat is nothing short of spectacular. Sino po ba ang mag-aakalang makakarating ang Pilipinas sa pinaka-prestihiyosong paligsahan ng football sa buong mundo? Surely, we are known all over for our fighting skills at talagang kinakatakutan ang mga Pilipino sa boxing ring, dahil sa tatak ng ating Pambansang Kamao, the legendary former Senator Manny Pacquiao. Kinilala rin tayo sa bowling at sa billiards, dahil sa ating mga tinitingalang atleta na sina Paeng Nepomuceno at Efren “Bata” Reyes. But it was a Filipina, Mr. President, who put us on the map in terms of sports—the late Lydia de Vega, na tinaguriang Asia’s sprint queen noong 1980s. It was another Filipina Mr. President that would bring home our very first Olympic gold–ang weightlifter natin na si Hidilyn Diaz.
Mr. President, never did we imagine that the Philippines stands a chance to play alongside the world’s best football players. Until there was the Team Filipinas.
The past year has been full of remarkable achievements for the team. They gave the country its first Southeast Asian Games in football since 1985 by winning in Hanoi, Vietnam. The women’s national football team also bagged the ASEAN Football Federation Women’s Championship Trophy last July 2022. Last January of last year, they secured a spot at the FIFA World Cup following a debut at the semifinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup.
Mr. President, allow me to offer my deepest gratitude to the 23 women of Team Filipinas, as well to their coach and support team and of course, to our very own Senator Pia Cayetano—for what is hailed as one of the brightest moments in the Philippine team sports history.
Thank you for showing what the Filipinos are made of – capable of defying the odds, exceeding expectations, and conquering seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Gaya po ng aking mga kasamahan, naniniwala po akong nagsisimula pa lang ang Filipinas at nananabik po akong panoorin pa ang marami pa nilang pagtatagumpay sa hinaharap, at pagwawagayway ng ating bandila sa mga susunod nilang laban.
This representation will be greatly honored if I will be included as one of the co-authors and co-sponsor of the Senate resolution commending our new sports heroines and true Filipino champions.
Maraming salamat po, Ginoong Pangulo.