Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Know Your Azkals: The Filipino Anton


I almost forgot about the Know Your Azkals feature! Good thing it crossed my mind today, let's know more about my fave Azkal- Anton Del Rosario!


When Anton Del Rosario walked inside the coffee shop with his French-Filipina girlfriend, you would honestly think you landed on an episode of The Hills. But don’t let the foreign looks and American twang mislead you. Anton is just as Filipino as we are – well almost. 



Anton’s Fil-Am dad visited Manila after the Vietnam War. Within three weeks, he met Anton’s mom, courted her and married her. They moved to San Francisco where Anton was born and raised along with his brothers. 

“I grew up in San Francisco, but the Philippines is my home too," he says. 

Anton has never lost touch with his roots here in Manila. His family used to visit the Philippines twice or thrice a year for vacation. He even played for De La Salle University’s football team for a year. 

Although he trained with the Azkals for the 2000 World Cup Qualifiers, it wasn’t until the 2004 Tiger Cup that he seriously committed to playing for the country. 



“It was the first tournament I joined with Aly, Ian, Chieffy and Chris. In 2004, we beat East Timor. It’s my fondest memory in the Azkals because it was the team’s first win in like 12 years," he says. 

Anton started playing football when he was six-years-old. He’s 29 now and his love for the sport has not waned. (By the way, when I asked his age, he said it’s “something you should never ask a guy" but revealed it anyway.) 

For all the good things football is, he says he hates the pointless running. 

“I hate running for no reason. I mean, if there’s a ball in front of me, I would understand it. But just running around aimlessly? I really hate that," he quips. 

Well all that running keeps him in shape and has already gotten him in teams such as Notre Dame, Belmont, Kaya and Harmony. Not really “aimless" if you look at it. 

Girlfriend, kids and partying 

Anton’s been here in Manila since December 2009. He met his girlfriend Laetitia through common friends and they’ve been together for over a year now. 



Laetitia says he’s really “makulit" and sweet. He’s done a lot of romantic things for her, but her favorite is the time he surprised her with a huge bouquet of flowers in the office. 

Anton also spends a lot of time with his family especially now that his mom and three brothers reside here in Manila too. If ever you’ve seen photos of him with little kids, those aren’t his children – they’re his nieces and nephew. 

“I really love children. I actually want to have four or five kids of my own," he says and turns to his girlfriend for approval. She just smiles and nods. 



But for now, Anton is more bent on putting up a business here in the Philippines and squeezing in a party every now and then. 

“If I had to quit football, I’d probably be taking up law," he says with utter confidence but then bursts into laughter. 

“No actually, I’d probably be partying in the US." 

Off the pitch, he describes himself as very friendly and social. In fact, two of his favorite places here in the Philippines are Boracay and Fiamma. Very party-esque indeed. 

Interview from gmanews.tv
photo credits: http://rai2montero.tumblr.com/, Anton's Facebook page

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