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MANILA, Philippines – Members of the Los Angeles (LA) Galaxy team visited Tuloy Foundation in Muntinlupa City on Saturday, December 16, to help support and boost the performance of its football clubs through nutrition.
The Galaxy, who play in the US top-tier Major League Soccer, came with key players Edwin Cerillo, Daniel Aguirre, Carson Klein, Mark Delgado, and US national team members Jalen Neal and Mauricio Cuevas. They were also joined by Herbalife director of sports performance, nutrition and education Dr. Dana Ryan, and LA Galaxy sports performance team members Erica Capellino and Carlos Gomez.
In their first return to Manila since 2011, the Galaxy members shared the impact of proper nutrition in their careers and also scrimmaged with the Tuloy FC men’s team in the foundation’s new artificial turf to motivate them in their budding careers.
“It means so much to me. That’s what I live for – to make an impact on people’s lives. I think the most positive thing that I could do with my life is just to impact other people’s lives just like how others impacted mine,” said Neal.
LA Galaxy and Herbalife gifted Tuloy Foundation $17,500 (over P970,000) in support of its sports development programs in football.
Tuloy Foundation, which was founded by Fr. Marciano “Rocky” Evangelista in 1993, cares for poor and abandoned children aged nine to 18 years old from abusive and depressed areas in the metro. The foundation provides them housing, food, and education with a goal of reintegrating the children back to society and ending the cycle of poverty.
The foundation’s football clubs, Tuloy FC, had a breakthrough 2023, where the men’s team made its debut in the Philippine Football League’s Copa Paulino Alcantara and finished 10th in the tournament.
The women’s team returned to competing in major football tournaments by joining the comeback season of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Women’s League. Though Tuloy FC missed out on a semifinal berth in a 1-4 loss to first-time finalist Manila Diggers FC, Isabella Bandoja won her third-straight Golden Boot award in the league after tallying 19 goals in the 2023 season.
Tuloy Foundation’s sports development programs have produced national team players in different sports like Lito Ramirez, who is one of the top homegrown talents in the Philippine men’s rugby football team.
The latest from Tuloy FC to suit up for the national team is 19-year-old Harry Nuñez, who made his Philippine Azkals debut in the 2022 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Mitsubishi Cup.
In taking home the honor of being the youngest member to be selected into the senior team, Nuñez aims to be a role model to his teammates and friends in the foundation, especially those who struggle with vices.
“Sobrang thankful ako kasi hindi ko po akalain na maging teammates ko ang mga high-profile players [sa Azkals]. Marami ako natutunan sa kanila, marami rin silang tinuro sa akin at minomotivate nila ako to keep working hard para maging role model sa mga ibang players dito sa bansa natin,” shared Nuñez, who targets to play professionally after graduating from the foundation.
(I’m thankful because I didn’t think that I would be teammates with high-profile Azkals players. I learned a lot from them, they taught me a lot and they motivate me to keep working hard in order to be a role model for other players in our country.)
Seven of Tuloy FC’s women’s team members Bandoja, Mykaella Abeto, Jamielyn Nañez, Catherine Calatin, Lanie Ortillo, Joan Centino and Demely Rollon were selected to don the country’s colors in the Tri Nations Futsal tournament last October.
“Sobrang saya kasi ‘yung mga hindi namin naranasan sa football, naranasan namin sa futsal at mga big teams [Indonesia at New Zealand] ang nakalaban namin kaya marami rin kami natutunan sa kanila on how to play futsal,” said Bandoja, who was one of the first members of the Tuloy FC women’s team.
(We were really happy because what we couldn’t experience in football, we experienced in futsal. We went against big teams like Indonesia and New Zealand, so we learned a lot from them on how to play futsal.)
The women’s national futsal team Pinay 5 copped one win against New Zealand, 1-0, in the tournament.
With Bandoja’s continued leadership in Tuloy FC, she was called up again to join the women’s national football team’s training pool in the US. After failing to make the cut the last two times, she hopes to work harder in order to become the first Filipina player from the foundation.
“‘Yung sa sarili ko, gusto ko i-improve ‘yung physical fitness ko at mga skills tulad ng ball handling and shooting. Sobrang nakatulong din [ang tinuro ng Herbalife tungkol sa nutrition],” added the 21-year-old.
(Personally, I want to improve my physical fitness and my skills like ball handling and shooting. Even the lecture by Herbalife on nutrition was very helpful.) – Rappler.com