A Champion’s Touching Story On And Off The Football Field

Philippine Daily Inquirer


WOOL Reyes (left) with his brothers and mother

After winning all 16 games in this year’s United Football League, Team Socceroo Football Club’s second division perfectly finished this season and continues to play the sport with a “full heart”—the mantra of its late cofounder, Wool Reyes.

Early this year, Wool, the fourth in a family of nine, died at age 34 from cardiac arrest after a brain aneurysm. Though he died at an early age, those who had known him say he lived a full and fulfilling life.

“Kuya Wool was a family man who loved his family and sacrificed a lot,” said his brother, cofounder and team manager Nicholas Reyes, who now runs the academy with his brothers Michael and Paulus.

Wool also helped establish a soccer and futsal program at the University of Asia and the Pacific while working on his Industrial Economics degree and earning his Master’s in entrepreneurship at the Asian Institute of Management.

Soon after, he founded Team Socceroo FC, even as he took over as head of the family at age  24 after his father Wency died.

“I still remember that time our father passed away 10 years ago and Kuya Wool and I were crying in the car,” said Nicholas. “He said to me, ‘Wala na si Daddy, but we have to be strong and support each other especially mom and mga kapatid natin.”

Though he took on heavy responsibilities early on, Wool is remembered by friends and family as someone they could count on for almost anything, from counseling to partying.

Nicholas fondly recalled a “gimmick night” in May last year when Wool took him and his friends out to Privé, a bar at BGC, and instead of lining up to get in, he managed to skip around 100 people.

“He said, ‘Ako bahala, relax lang, ganito strategy,’” recounted Nicholas. “When we reached the entrance and the bouncer saw us, he said, ‘Uy, halika dito, kasama ko lahat ito ah…’ The bouncer, confused, thought he was a VIP and let everyone in.”

Apparently, Wool had the ability to deal with any situation, effortlessly and optimistically.


“He was also the main reason we started playing football,” said academy director Michael. “When he was 7 years old and in grade school at PAREF Southridge School, our mom (Maria Cristina) noticed he was always very energetic, so she decided to enroll him in football.”

Nicholas added: “He lived a balanced life, was a man of character, and who kept God as his focus for our family.”

Wool firmly believed in the development of Philippine football by training the youth at the grassroots level and setting values-before-victory principles that his brothers continue to inculcate.

The Manila-based football club that promotes football for seniors and the youth has grown since the Reyes brothers established it in 2010.

Through one of its programs, FC Barcelona Escola Camp, young football enthusiasts are taught by one of the best football clubs in the world, which has produced great talents like Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernández and Andres Iniesta.

“Kuya Wool remained a keen sportsman and a proud founder of Team Socceroo,” said Nicholas. “He gave his full heart to the football club, from the kids playing all the way to the UFL team which is now at the top of the UFL League.”

Wool joined tournaments abroad such as the Helsinki Cup and Gothia Cup in Europe, and became the captain of his school’s varsity team, leading it to football championships.

“He would always get us to play together, and I knew that playing together in football tournaments taught us more than just the game of football,” said Paulus, the youngest of the four brothers involved in both coaching and marketing of the academy.

Fueled by Wool’s commitment to the sport, their love of football started in childhood. “He had a strong heart and a strong will and he inspired me to be passionate,” said Michael. “He would always say that every problem has a solution.”

Family thing

From watching each other’s games and training together, to playing futsal on the streets at night and football in the park, the brothers forged a strong bond with the sport. With very encouraging parents and five supportive sisters, football also became a “family thing.”

“Working with your brothers is like a roller coaster with ups and downs, but at the end of the day, the ride is always worth it,” said Nicholas.

With a common goal of producing young, well-formed players who can represent the national team through the ranks and play in international tournaments, Team Socceroo FC seeks to promote Philippine football following Wool’s philosophy: “Plenus pectus—it means ‘full heart,’” said Nicholas. “If you put your heart in anything, everything follows.”

With their evident camaraderie and passion for football, the brothers make a stronger team not only in sport, but also in business.

But most important, it has made them into well-rounded and conscientious men. As Paulus said, “The reality is that not all children will end up as football players, but to instill in them values makes their experience in our academy worthwhile.”

“Winning is good, but winning with values is better,” said Nicholas. “Kuya Wool knew his limits, values and virtues instilled by my parents, and which I am very proud of.”

He added, “Kuya Wool left the world a better place than when he found it, and for that, we will always be grateful.”

Log on to and register to read about Team Socceroo FC’s coming women’s squad, adult classes and futsal tours.

by Carmencita S. Sioson

August 10, 2013

PAREF Woodrose Students Win In 2013 China Math Olympiad

After making their marks at the recently concluded International Math Olympiad in Colombia and at the China Math Olympiad, Filipino students ended China’s dominance in an international math competition in Singapore, bagging 161 medals to rule the competition.

The Filipino math wizards won 23 gold, 45 silver, and 93 bronze medals to finish first in the 9th International Mathematics Contest (IMC), which drew about 1,300 participants from 10 countries.
China, which has lorded over the IMC for several years, settled for second place this year with 153 medals consisting of 22 gold, 44 silver, and 87 bronze medals.


Besides the 161 medals won by the Philippines, Jan Kendrick Ong of Chiang Kai Shek College was adjudged as the top scorer in the Grade 8 division, said Dr. Simon Chua, head of the Philippine delegation and president of the Mathematics Trainers Guild-Philippines (MTG).

“This year is emerging as very fruitful for our young math wizards. The medals won in Singapore are in addition to the medals and awards we won in math contests in Bulgaria, Turkey, China and Hong Kong,” Chua said.


After the Philippines and China, Singapore placed third in the IMC with 124 medals followed by Taiwan with 117, Indonesia with 93, South Korea with 78, Thailand with 51, Hong Kong with 6, Iran with 5 and India with 3.


The awarding ceremony was held at the D’ Marquee at Downtown East in Singapore on Aug. 4.


Among the Filipino medalists were Andrea Sze Robang and Isabel Jocyn Villanueva of PAREF Woodrose School. Both received bronze medals.


Posted on 06 Aug 2013 at 3:39pm

PAREF Rosehill Teacher LET Topnotcher


Philippine Daily Inquirer

May 20, 2013

Although she trained to be a teacher, Aileen Dacasin spent only a year in the classroom after graduation before pursuing another career path.

But it proved to be only a detour and the road she took eventually brought her back to teaching.

“I take my topping the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) as providential,” said Dacasin, who was No. 1 in the exams for elementary teachers.

“God didn’t place me on top just for me to abandon teaching,” she said. She will continue to believe so “unless, of course, God Himself makes it clear to me that He wants me to be a mongha (nun) at this instant.”

A 2010 graduate of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, Dacasin had a rating of 89.8 percent to lead the 10,310 passers out of 37,117 examinees, according to the Professional Regulation Commission which released the results last month.



The topnotcher initially pursued a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics degree before moving to the College of Education to work for a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

“After graduation, everybody went into teaching, so I told myself, I had to join the bandwagon. But I realized  I wasn’t ready,” she said.

“I literally became a bum for a while since I didn’t want any commitment … I did tutoring. Then I decided to go back to my alma mater,” she said.

In 2011, Dacasin began teaching in the nursery-to-high school Mother of Divine Providence School in Marikina City. She left after a year to join a publishing company as a book editor.

The 25-year-old resigned in April but continued to contribute articles to the company’s supplementary educational magazine.

She then decided to go back to teaching. “I missed it,” she said. “Teaching is very fulfilling because you directly see whom you are serving. You directly give yourself to them.”

Dacasin said she hoped to balance writing and teaching as she prepared to start working next week for PAREF (Parents for Education Foundation) Rosehill School in Antipolo City.

“I want to give myself a chance to understand how the PAREF system works,” she said. “I believe that the parents are the first educators of their children. Teachers are only there to assist the parents.”

The PAREF system recognizes parents as the primary educators and emphasizes the importance of parent-teacher collaboration in a child’s education, according to the academic organization’s website.

Dacasin explained that the system was about a community of parents helping each other. “Parenting is not usually everyone’s forte so parents need to learn from and help each other,” she said.

The teacher considers herself a “lifelong learner.” Philosopher Peter Kreeft is one of her heroes. She was still at UP when she first read Kreeft’s “Three Philosophies of Life.”

It was one of the most inspiring books, she said. “It makes you think about your philosophy in life and how you live your life.”

Among her other favorite books are Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree,” Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” and “Other Stories,” and J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “The Silmarillion.”

Dacasin looks up to teachers like Socrates and Indian toy inventor Arvind Gupta who traveled to schools to share his love of science.

Her advice to those who will be taking the teacher’s board exams? “Look beyond the LET. See yourself as a teacher. How would you like to be? Which theories or principles will you uphold? What do you believe in?”

By Rima Jessamine M. Granali

PAREF organizes 1st National Congress


MANILA, Philippines - At the close of the 35th year celebration of the Parents For Education Foundation (PAREF) last August 2012, DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro mentioned in his keynote address that, “among the different models that try to put in place what is enshrined in our Constitution, I cannot think of any other model except the PAREF Foundation — where parents take on a very definite role, engages teachers and educators and institutionalizes this model of how parents and teachers can work together so they are a part of the curriculum, the community, and the environment that the school will be and what they intend their children and their graduates after they finished.”

As a response to the invitation of the DepEd Secretary “to ensure that the rest of the schools in the Philippines can learn from your parents can actually be fully engaged and how they can implement what is enshrined in our constitution that the parents are the primary agents of education for their children,” PAREF is organizing the First National Congress on Home and School Collaboration entitled “Together to Get There.” This will be held on Jan. 25, 2014 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at SMX Convention Center Taguig, SM Aura Premiere, Taguig City.

Dr. Andrew Mullins will be the event speaker. In his position as headmaster of Wollemi College in Sydney, Australia, he has involved parents in the process of developing values in young people. He is the author of Parenting for Character. He has done his doctoral thesis on the neural bases of virtue. He was formerly the headmaster of Redfield College in New South Wales, Australia.

For information, visit


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