Fil-Am NFLer Doug Baldwin talks Yolanda, playoffs, lumpia

Fil-Am wide receiver Doug Baldwin of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks says his Tacloban City-based family is all safe and accounted for following Typhoon Yolanda as he turns his attention to the New Orleans Saints this weekend

EYE ON THE PRIZE. With his Tacloban-based family safe, Seattle Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin looks to lead his team to a playoff win this weekend. Photo courtesy Seahawks official Twitter.

MANILA, Philippines – Wide receiver Doug Baldwin of the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks is definitely in touch with his Pinoy roots. 

Baldwin, who is a quarter Filipino on his maternal side, held a live video Q&A session on Tuesday night through the streaming site Spreecast.com, discussing topics from his Tacloban City-based family’s safety after Typhoon Yolanda, his team’s preparation for their playoff game this weekend against the New Orleans Saints and his favorite Filipino food. 

He made headlines in November when he came out of the tunnel prior to a game against the Minnesota Vikings carrying the Filipino flag upside down following Yolanda. Though he initially expressed concern for his family’s safety in the immediate aftermath, Baldwin says that his family is all safe and accounted for.

“My family, they are all accounted for,” said Baldwin, 25, in response to a question posed by Fil-Am sports reporter Bernard Aguinaldo. “They are doing well, actually. They had some trouble getting some food earlier on, but they are doing much better now. All my family members, they moved up to my aunt’s house in Manila. So they are all partying in one house right now. But everybody is safe and sound.”

Baldwin’s grandmother, who lives in Tacloban, has helped foster his love for Filipino food, including his personal favorite lumpia. “Don’t get me wrong, I like pancit, I like chicken adobo, but lumpia is probably the best,” said Baldwin, a native of Gulf Breeze, Fla. who attended Stanford University. “It’s not the best for you but my grandmother makes this amazing sauce with it so you can’t beat lumpia.”

Baldwin’s Seahawks are the top-seeded team in the National Football Conference (NFC), having finished the regular season with a 13-3 record and will face the sixth-seeded Saints (12-5) at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash. on Saturday night (Sunday morning in the Philippines).

Baldwin, who was the Seahawks’ second leading receiver during the regular season, finishing up with 50 receptions for 778 yards and five touchdowns, cautioned that the Saints were dangerous underdogs despite the Seahawks 34-7 victory over them a month ago. The Saints won an NFC wildcard game this past weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles 26-24, while the Seahawks enjoyed a bye.

“As the number one seed, you get a bye week, you get complacent,” said Baldwin in a video on SeattleTimes.com. “The sixth seed is hungrier, they just came off of a game. They’ve found their focus, they’re probably more focused usually, that’s how I see it going. I think we’ve done a great job trying to stay focused this bye week, focusing on ourselves.”

The winner of the Seahawks-Saints game will play the winner of this weekend’s San Francisco 49ers-Carolina Panthers game the following weekend for the NFC championship, with the winner of that game facing the winner of the American Football Conference (AFC) championship in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2 (Feb. 3 in the Philippines) at MetLife Stadium in N.J. -Rappler.com