By Joshua Corcuera
Last Sunday, June 10, the Philippine national women’s football team—now referred to as Filipinas—defeated Indonesia 4-1 to secure their fourth consecutive win in the most prestigious football tournament in Southeast Asia. With this triumph, the Filipinas advanced to the final four with one group stage match left.
The 2022 edition of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Women’s Championship is hosted by the Philippines with matches being held in Manila, Imus, and Biñan. There are eleven participating teams which includes the under-23 delegation of Australia, one of the highest-ranked teams in the world, which we defeated 1-0. Along the way, the national team devastated Singapore 7-0 and Malaysia 4-0 before securing another win against Indonesia last Sunday. Their next match will be against Thailand, a higher-ranked team, this coming Tuesday to be held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila at 7:00 PM.
It is also important to mention that the Filipinas have qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand next year. As a matter of fact, I wrote an article about the same topic back in late January. So far, the Philippines is only one of two countries in Southeast Asia—the other being Vietnam—to qualify for the prominent tournament.
Despite these impressive achievements, however, the national team is not receiving enormous public attention. In its first match against Australia for the 2022 AFF Women’s Championship, only about 1,400 people watched live in Manila, and the next two matches against Singapore and Malaysia saw crowds of less than a thousand per game. In social media where their matches can be watched live, the live stream of their games merely received tens of thousands of views, with its most recent game against Indonesia having 61,000 views.
Our country remains vastly interested in more popular sports such as basketball and volleyball. While there is no problem with this, I am of the opinion that athletes in other sports deserve more attention and more support especially from the general public. With this in mind, it is imperative for those managing our national athletes to promote public awareness of our athletes and their games—especially prominent ones.
HELPING THOSE IN FAR-AWAY PLACES
Moving on to another topic, you may or may not have heard of what has been happening in Banaue in the Cordilleran province of Ifugao recently. It has been reported that flash floods and mudslides, as a result of heavy rains, occurred in such place. Despite the little news coverage, it is just right to commend those who helped and responded immediately to the devastating and unfortunate event. Among them is Angat Buhay, the non-governmental organization established by former Vice President Robredo, whose partner—the Isabela-Quirino Development Council—managed to distribute food packs and ready-to-eat meals as reported yesterday in the wee hours of the morning.
More importantly, however, is that we must prepare for similarly devastating natural disasters such as typhoons which are expected to become stronger and more frequent in the years to come as a result of climate change. It is imperative for corporations and governments to act more in mitigating and adapting to climate change and natural disasters such as flash floods. Likewise, ordinary people must be taught how to deal with real-life problems brought by climate change such as rising sea levels which is hugely problematic to coastal and low-lying areas.