Volcanoes playing for Pinoy pride

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 March, 2012, 12:00am


Some Tagalog words have made their mark in the English language, one of the more notable ones being 'boondocks' (bundok in the original), which means a place far from civilisation, a word popularised by the American military.

The military also left behind a nickname which has become attached to the Philippines sevens team, one of two newcomer squads (along with Guyana) this year.

Peter Lawrence, vice-president and treasurer of the Philippines Rugby Football Union, said: 'The team name, Philippine Volcanoes, was adopted from the 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment, composed of Filipino Americans, who saw battle during the second world war.' The regiment's insignia depicted an erupting volcano. 'The first Philippine national rugby team was a mix of expat and Filipino players.'

Lawrence, an Australian private equity consultant, said: 'The team is beyond happy to receive an invitation to the Hong Kong Sevens We're hoping the spot at the Hong Kong Sevens and our hosting of the Asian 5 Nations Division One in April finally brings rugby to the consciousness of the Filipino public and helps us on the way to making it a sport widely recognised and played by many Filipinos.

'With over 150,000 Filipinos living in Hong Kong, there's been a tremendous amount of grass-roots support for the Volcanoes. Several dozen people have travelled to Hong Kong because the Volcanoes are playing.'

Among them is proud parent Mary Lou Saunders. 'I have three sons, and two of them [Oliver and Matthew] are playing in the Volcanoes,' she said. 'At the Sevens, our sons are 'doing it for mum' and for their Pinoy pride.'