The Philippine women’s water polo team is now ready and raring to plunge into action in the Singapore SEA Games starting next week.
With the help of Lamoiyan Corporation, makers of Hapee Toothpaste, the Nationals can now compete with dignity after weeks of uncertainty due to lack of funds to buy their own suits for training and competition.
Unknown to many, the women’s team will be seeing action in the biennial tournament for the first time. And because it does not have any record to back its claim that it can compete against the best in the region, it has to shoulder all the expenses.
Lamoiyan president and CEO Dr. Cecilio Pedro came to the team’s rescue by allowing the polo team to use the company’s swimming facility in Parañaque and providing them training suits.
“It’s our own way of helping our national athletes, we have been helping our national athletes but this is our first time to help the water polo team. Kawawa naman sila,” said Pedro, a swimming enthusiast since his college days at Ateneo. “They will compete using their own money so that shows their determination and character.”
“I just hope other companies will come out and help the polo team,” added Pedro, who is maintaining a basketball team in the PBA D-League.
Bernard 'Pretty Boy' Yang, Pedro’s special assistant and team manager of Hapee Toothpaste, believes the team can pull off a surprise despite its limited resources.
“They may not have the experience of other teams but have big fighting hearts so I salute them for that. I wish them well in their drive to gain recognition,” said Yang.
Ireneo Bautista, a member of the coaching staff, said the members of the team led by Kunti Dasi Tibby, Danyca Evangelista, Lia Co and Lyllian Grace Banzon, are all grateful for the time and help provided by the Hapee family.
The other members of the team are Sachi Dasi Tibby, Christine Hipol, Daniella Evangelista, Bea Garrido, Krystal Rae dela Cruz, Carla Grabador, Trixia Caguitla, Dara Evangelista and Jobelyn Ocampo.