The 2019 batch of the Philippine Girls Under-16 National Football Team are mourning the passing of Bea Luna.
Luna, who was just 16 years young, passed away last Tuesday due to arteriovenous malformation (AVM).
“Hindi ko ine-expect na mangyayari ito sa kanya, pero alam ko na happy siya ngayon,” shared 15-year-old teammate Chenny Deñoso during a tribute episode of Pinay Futbol’s forum last Thursday.
Her teammates knew, though, that Luna did not give up easily. Even at such a young age, she always fought for everything.
In Baguio City National High School, Luna would do the extra hours after class to improve her game. Then when she was called up to the national team for the Philippines’ campaign in the 2019 AFF U-15 Girls Championship, Luna always entered camp with a chip on her shoulder.
“Before the cutoffs, umiyak siya because she was scared na she was going to be cut. She gave her best and grabe talaga ‘yung pinakita niya. She continued to work hard to make the first eleven,” said MJ Villacin.
“Bea is really hardworking and very positive. It will be different playing na wala siya. We will always be playing for her.”
Meanwhile, family and country were always on Luna’s mind.
When the team competed in Chonburi, Thailand, she would cry at night, fighting homesickness. But she was dedicated to serving her country.
“She always faced every challenge with her head up high and with a smile. I think we can all agree that she was a loving and caring person. She always put everyone above herself,” said team captain Raya Tolentino.
“I remember her crying to us because she missed her family in Baguio but was always her dream in the national team.”
Though she wanted to come home, she never left her teammates behind.
“Sobrang nakakadala tawa niya. Every time na matutulog na kami, lagi kami magkatabi. Lagi niyang gusto na may kasama,” shared Jorgina Ele.
“Ayaw niya na naiiwan.”
Luna tried her very best to not leave her teammates, her family, and her country. But the illness she experienced was just too tough for her to overcome.
Devastated though her teammates are, they now have to move forward together. And they will do so, keeping the good memories they had with Luna in their hearts for as long as they play the beautiful game.
“Bea is a strong person. She always fights to the end. I wish that all of this was just a dream. I know that she wants us to be stronger,” closed Kam Rodrigo.