This is part of #KaraniwangLGBT, which Outrage Magazine officially launched on July 26, 2015 to offer vignettes of LGBT people/living, particularly in the Philippines, to give so-called “everyday people” – in this case, the common LGBT people – that chance to share their stories.
As Outrage Magazine editor Michael David C. Tan says: “All our stories are valid – not just the stories of the ‘big shots’. And it’s high time we start telling all our stories.”
Briging – an out and proud lesbian – started playing footbal (a.k.a. soccer) when she was still young. “Nabuligan ko sang soccer nga maka-pasar high school. Dako akon pasalamat. Nabuligan ako sa pag eskwela ko (Soccer helped me pass highschool. I owe the sport a lot. It helped me cope up with my studies),” she said.
It is, therefore, not surprising that Briging sees soccer as is a “feel good sport” that gives her an alternative lifestyle; and it is something that the younger generation ought to also learn. “Para ma-share ko man sa ila ang gin-tudlo sa akon kag para damo man sila ma bal-an sa hampang. Instead nga mag-tambay sila ihampang na lang nila (So that I can share to them what was taught to me for them to learn how to play soccer. Instead of doing nothing, they can use that time to play).”
Briging credits football for keeping spirits (hers included) high.
Helmed as the “Alaska of the Philippines”, Estancia (celebrating its 100th year by 2018) is home to seafood served at the Punot Grill & Restaurant in Paon Beach Club, where Briging also makes a living. In 2014, supertyphoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) damaged many parts of Estancia, when a massive wave hit the municipality. And Briging and her family were not spared from the damage.
“Grabe man ang epekto sa amon eh. Ubos man amon gamit (The typhoon greatly affected us. Many of our belongings were not saved),” she said. “Ang amon na hampangan na guba man (Our soccer field was also damaged by the typhoon).”
But Estancia – geographically located on the northern part of Iloilo Province, and is a small fishing municipality that is considered home by about 42,000 people – is also known as a driving force in promoting football (futbol or futsal to the locals). “Mayo gid nga lingaw ang futbol. Maka bulig sa ila kaugalingon (Futbol is a good pastime. It helps the person a lot),” said Briging, one of the pioneer players of the Estancia’s all-girls team, which even won the Governor’s Cup in 2012. She now coaches/trains the younger generation of futsal girls.
Briging now advocates for people to play for their passion, not only because it could help build character, but also because it could introduce one – as it did to her – to an alternative family.