NFL season has already started in the U.S. and the Philippines has its own version – The Philippine American Football League, better known as PAFL. But did you know that American Football is not just a man’s sport?

PAFL has a women’s division for flag football. Flag football has less contact than Tackle football but offers the same amount of fun and excitement to players and spectators alike. It can be played co-ed or exclusively for males/females only.

A solid evidence of women’s growing presence in the sport, the first ever Women’s Passing League tournament was held last June 2017 at the UP Sunken Garden. The teams who participated were the Iron Maidens, Juggerbelles, Flag Guards Vixens, Da Chickas Bagets, and Da Chickas Titas.

Not only are these ladies football fans, but they also showcase the same intensity on the field as our tackle football players.

Let’s get to know the roses among the thorns:

Da Chickas

LOGO-DC

Composed of both vets and newbies, Team DC had to split the team into two for the last tournament. DC Titas was the previous tournament’s 1st runner-up. This time around, the team is set to merge these two teams in order to win.

DC
(1st Row Topmost (L to R) Andrea Muer, Shan Cabrera, Lorrie Sio, Jar Reyes, Co Del Rosario. 2nd Row (L to R) AJ Suazo, Nes Celeste, Mera Pitogo, Ruth Pagulayan. 3rd Row (L to R) Faith Belo, Meg Reyes, Carmina Labonete. 4th Row (L to R) Kharla Lariosa, Nadine Belo, Time Tantay, Therese Edu. Source: Facebook – Nadine Belo)

PLAYER NAME: Andrea Muer
NICKNAME: Mae
AGE: 32
TEAM: Da Chickas
POSITION: QB
JERSEY NUMBER: 10

When did you start playing football?
I started playing around 2005/2006. I’ve been playing on and off since then.

How did you know about American Football?
It was introduced to me by a friend back in college. I was hooked ever since.

Can you give a brief description the position/s that you play?
The quarterback calls the plays in the huddle and throws the ball to an eligible receiver.

How do you prepare for your tournament?
My team is fortunate enough to be trained by the skilled and experienced players of Datu and Wolves, namely Aaron Velasquez, Wewe Alvero, Toots Vergara, Ian Lim, Nico Sy, and Martin Antonio. They give us position specific drills to do. I also workout and visualize how I’d perform during a tournament.

Do you see yourself playing tackle football in the future?
My doctor told me not to. Haha! Should women’s tackle happen in the future and my doctor gives me a go signal, I’m game.

Do you watch NFL?
Yes.

Which NFL Team do you support?
No team in particular. I just love watching when I get a chance.

Which PAFL Team do you support?
Datu

Which teams would you want to see in the finals?
Datu Vs. Wolves.

 

PLAYER NAME: Kharlamara Lariosa
NICKNAME: Kharla
AGE: 35
TEAM: Da Chickas
POSITION: WR/DB/MLB/Safety
JERSEY NUMBER: 05

When did you start playing football?

I started playing Feb 2015. I talked to a random girl looking for sports apparel in a store. She said she plays football. I asked if I can join and she said yes! So I went to UP not knowing anyone or anything about football, I even thought it was soccer! Ever since it’s been #ballislife for me!

How did you know about American Football?
I knew about American Football from the movie “Little Giants” which starred Devon Sawa. (Lalo napaghalata ang edad! )

Can you give a brief description the position/s that you play?
When I’m on offense, I’m a wide receiver (WR). As a WR, my job is to catch the ball especially the long passes/bombs and score a touchdown.
When I’m on defense, I play different positions (DB/MLB/Safety) depending on the need. In the defense, no matter the position, my job is to stop the receivers from catching the ball by deflecting or intercepting it. If I can’t-do that, deflag the receiver so she can stop advancing the ball to score a touchdown.

How do you prepare for your tournament?
I train with the team every Sunday in UP, rain or shine. I also join UST’s flag team training when I have time.

Do you see yourself playing tackle football in the future?

Not keen but if the training is good and there is proper equipment, I might. I’m so small, I’m not sure if I can take the hits. Baka lumipad ako hanggang end zone dahil sa impact ng tackle! Lol.

Do you watch NFL?
No.

Which NFL Team do you support?
Pats? Since I know Tom Brady because he’s the husband of Gisselle, the supermodel. Peace Pats’ fans! No, I’m not supporting any NFL Team.

Which PAFL Team do you support?
DATU! TRIBE PRIDE!

Which teams would you want to see in the finals?
Datu and Wolves!

 

Flag Guards Vixens

LOGO-FG

The Flag Guard Vixens are one of the strongest contenders of the league. With their experienced players, they are a team to look out for. The team holds regular training so that they can get the win this upcoming tournament.

FG
(Standing (L to R) Georgina Guevara, Therese Galang, Clay Dumlao, Bec Sarmiento, Heidi Franco. Kneeling (L to R) Shong Goco, Carl Soriano, Lizzette Zamora, Liz Sarte, Nancy Tan, Owen Santos. Source: Georgina Guevarra)

PLAYER NAME: Georgina Guevara
NICKNAME: George
AGE: 30
TEAM: Flag Guards
POSITION: Tight End/Center/D Line
JERSEY NUMBER: 13

When did you start playing football?
April 2013

How did you know about American Football?
Back when I was in grade school, I studied in LA. Most of my friends and relatives were into Sunday Night Football.

Can you give a brief description of the position/s you play?
If we are going with a girl line up I usually play the center position. As center, I snap the ball to the QB.  I also assume the position of tight end to either block on the line or run a route. I play D line when the opposing team uses an all girl O line or when we need a girl to rush the quarterback.

How do you prepare for your tournament?
I try to hydrate and get as much rest the week prior to the tournament. On the day of the tournament, I do a lot of stretching and catching drills.

Do you see yourself playing tackle football in the future?
Not really.

Do you watch NFL?
Yes!

Which NFL Team do you support?
Can it be [two] teams? Lol. Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys

Which PAFL Team do you support?
All of them – I haven’t really watched all teams play yet and besides, most of the players from flag whom I know play for different teams so I support them all.

Which PAFL teams would you want to see in the finals?
Got some insights. Wolves may be one. As for their opponent, hmmm… can’t really tell.

 

PLAYER NAME: Lizzette Zamora
NICKNAME: Liz
AGE: 31
TEAM: Flag Guards 2015-Present (Griffins 2005-2008/9, TSG 2011/12-2015)
POSITION: Off – Wide/Slot Receiver, TE, QB; Def – CB
JERSEY NUMBER: 15

When did you start playing football?
2005

How did you know about American Football?
My dad is a fan. I learned about flag football thru a friend who played ultimate frisbee. I asked her if she knows of any other team sport I can join that is not ultimate.

Can you give a brief description the position/s that you play?
It’s not always about speed or height. It’s also about precision and accuracy when running the routes given to you, or reading your opponents and using your team’s chemistry in finding ways to counter their moves. Knowing the basics is important, as well as having presence of mind.

How do you prepare for your tournament?
We try to hold regular training as a team. I try to work out on weekdays. Of course, after training and working out, we drink.

Do you see yourself playing tackle football in the future?
I’m open to it. Why not, right?

Do you watch NFL?
Not religiously.

Which NFL Team do you support?
Patriots, Packers, Broncos are my dad’s top 3 teams.

Which PAFL Team do you support?
Does FG Vixens count? No specific team because I support all teams for their contribution to the sport and the community.

Which teams would you want to see in the finals?
Secret.

 

Iron Maidens

LOGO-IRON-MAIDENSThis young team consists mostly of college students. Despite this, the Iron Maidens proved their teamwork when they became the champion of the Women’s Passing League. They are more than ready to defend their title.

Iron-Maidens
(Top from left to right: Janela Angeles, Vida Gonzales, Joanne Lu, Bernice Mendoza, Ramona Datu, Ariana Manalo. Bottom from left to right: Nikki Hibo, Keith Oliver, Vren Ceralde, Kelden Laguting, Cheska Jimenez, Jem Cabanlong, Sophie Silvestre, Ingrid Manzano .With their Coach Paul Le. Photo from Facebook – PAFL)

PLAYER NAME: Joanne Lu
NICKNAME: Joanne/ MamaLu 😂
AGE: 28
TEAM: Iron Maidens
POSITION: Line/TE
JERSEY NUMBER: 21

When did you start playing football?
2003

How did you know about American Football?
My brother asked me to join his team back when I was in high school. I had no idea what football was back then, but when I started playing, I eventually learned to love the sport.

Can you give a brief description the position/s that you play?
Basically, I either protect the quarterback or rush to the quarterback. When playing tight end, I either stay in the line or run a route depending on the play

How do you prepare for your tournament?
We practice as a team. We do the basic drills and do scrimmages. Other than that, I go to the gym

Do you see yourself playing tackle football in the future?
Definitely. I really wanna try it out if given a chance.

Do you watch NFL?
I used to.

Which NFL Team do you support?
I’m not really into the NFL anymore.

Which PAFL Team do you support?
Wolves.

Which teams would you want to see in the finals?
Hopefully the Wolves and probably Datu.

 

PLAYER NAME: Dominique Marie F. Hibo
NICKNAME: Nikki
AGE: 20
TEAM: DLSU Tyrants/Iron Maidens
POSITION: Center/Tight-End
JERSEY NUMBER: 80

When did you start playing football?
I started playing when I was little with my brother. We were each other’s playmates and that’s how I first learned how to catch and throw a football.

How did you know about American Football?
I grew up in the Chicago so American Football was a big part of my childhood and of the community there.

Can you give a brief description the position/s that you play?
Center is the one who is in charge of snapping the football to the quarterback (QB) and also blocks off defenders trying to tackle the QB. Tight end would be the player that has the ability to be a blocker and/or a receiver depending on the play.

How do you prepare for your tournament?
Through proper conditioning and making sure I attend all the training session I can. While keeping your fitness in check, it’s important to also train as a team cause it’s a team sport. Chemistry with each other is important during game day.

Do you see yourself playing tackle football in the future?
Probably not as actively. HAHAHA I’d like to save myself from getting injured. But I’d like to try playing it!

Do you watch NFL?
Yes!

Which NFL Team do you support?
I’ll forever support my home team the Chicago Bears! ❤ But I’m also a huge fan of the SF 49ers! :))

Which PAFL Team do you support?
Go Wolves!

Which teams would you want to see in the finals?
Wolves vs. Cavemen!

 

Team M

LOGO-TEAM-M

Team M has yet to make a comeback. This league will be their first year in the PAFL. The team consists of vets who are pioneers of flag football in the Philippines. Surely, they will come back stronger in order to get that win.

PLAYER NAME: Gaby Dela Merced
NICKNAME: Gaby
AGE: 35
TEAM: Team M
POSITION: QB
JERSEY NUMBER: 12

When did you start playing football?
2002

How did you know about American Football?
I used to see it on TV. Then Marga asked me to try it out.

Can you give a brief description the position/s that you play?
AF [American Football] is very strategic. It demands a lot of mental, as much as physical, stamina. The QB is in charge of orchestrating the most optimal play given current scenarios.

How do you prepare for your tournament?
Right now, a lot of us haven’t played in a decade. So it’s pretty much getting back into shape and scraping off the rust haha.

Do you see yourself playing tackle football in the future?
Pre-injury, I would have definitely tried it

Do you watch NFL?
Yes, though not as much lately

Which NFL Team do you support?
Seahawks.

Which PAFL Team do you support?
There were a lot of the boys that played flag and started playing in the PAFL. Back then it was just 1 team. Now they’ve spread out. Will definitely still root for them [all].

Rain or shine, these ladies are down to play. They have proven that football is a sport that does not discriminate – and to show everyone that they too can make those catches and touchdowns.

Catch DC, FG Vixens, Iron Maidens, and Team M on November 12 (9:00 am to 6:00 pm) at Circuit Makati Blue Pitch as they battle it out to win the championship.

The PAFL also like to thank all of our sponsors:

#SummitWater
#CobraEnergyDrink
#SkinnyMikesBGC
#JeremyTudTattoos
#HappyTables
#MMPAwardsSpecialist

For schedules and other inquiries, please visit www.pafl.ph or like our Facebook page, fb.com/philippineamericanfootballleague and our Instagram Account: @philippineamericanfl.

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