February 25, 2024

Baguio footballer Eloiza Fagsao has hurdled the challenge of being a student-athlete as she graduated cum laude at the University of the Philippines Diliman.
Fagsao finished Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education under the UP’s sports program while her older sister, Donnabelle, also graduated from the same university and course.
The Fagsao siblings, who were products of Pinget National High School and the Cordillera Binnadang Football Club grassroots program, are members of the UP Lady Booters with Eloiza as the team captain.
“I am thankful that I focused as a student-athlete and did not have to worry about our financial needs. All of my time were spent on training and academic requirements,” Eloiza said.
The 23-year-old Eloiza is currently the midfielder for the Philippine Women’s National Football Team and had a chance to play during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games hosted by the country.
In 2018, she was one of the featured young people in Uniqlo’s “Future Heroes” campaign being the team captain of the UP Lady Booters.
“Hard work has always been a part of my philosophy. My parents work multiple jobs – sidewalk vendor, janitor, farmer – to provide for my sister and me. So, most of the time, we’d go help them out right after our training. I’ve chosen to embrace adversity and hardship because of the values I learn in striving for success,” she said in the brand’s interview.
She has cited the value of commitment, discipline, and taking on one’s responsibilities to excel as a student-athlete.
Coach Ariston Bocalan of the Cordillera Binnadang Football Club said Eloiza’s feat is a testament that sports programs contribute to the success of student-athletes. He recalled the time he had to convince the parents of the Fagsao siblings for them to join the Palarong Pambansa in 2014 after they showed great potential in football.
That time, the Fagsao siblings, who trace their roots to Mountain Province, were barred from travelling during their sister’s wedding as it was their custom that members of the family should not travel, especially because they are siblings, which elders consider bad luck.
But their parents were convinced after it was explained to them the event could open possibilities for their children to get full college scholarship from interested universities.
The Fagsao siblings showed their prowess during the national sports event, and true enough they were scouted and given scholarships by UP.
Bocalan said success stories such as the Fagsao siblings prove that sports could help in the development of young people.
“Sometimes we cannot blame parents because they cannot understand how sports programs go. All it takes is really to convince and explain to them the potential of their children and what sports program they could do to further help their children grow,” he said.
Eloiza, who has a year left for her playing year, said she is now bent on preparing for work.
“To my coaches, thank you so much for everything. Thank you for pushing us to go beyond our limits. For younger ones, as your older sister, I encourage you to go beyond your limits,” Eloiza said. – Ofelia C. Empian