Philippine laws state that a person born to Filipino parents is himself or herself a Filipino no matter you came from — jus sanguinis.
Such is the power of the bloodline, that most Filipinos born abroad are drawn to ignite their heritage and lineage.
Fil-Aussie tennis player Lizette Cabrera is no exception.
The current world No. 119 was born 23 years ago to Ronnie and Maria Cabrera in the small suburb called Townsville in northern Australia. The family had to move somewhere else 13 years after.
“I have moved to Brisbane at the age of 13 to further my tennis and train full time at the National Academy here,” Cabrera recalled.
And that very same age, though, she was able to go here to her parents’ home to play in the tournament. She surely loved every minute of it.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t see much aside from the tennis courts and the hotel, but obviously enjoyed being there,” Cabrera narrated.
“Everyone could kind of tell that I was Filipino, and I got to talk to a lot of younger kids and kind of say what is meant like if I was to grow up there. But I loved it there.
The rising tennis star continued, “The mango is so good; I love all the food. I felt really at home, and it was fun to kind of translate some words to my Australian friends when they struggled with translation even though everyone in the Philippines speaks amazing English. But I wish I could have stayed longer and visited some of my family who is still over there.”
Like every Filipino, the Cabreras are a huge clan and the young athlete is thankful to have such a vast support system.
“My family in the Philippines is very supportive of my tennis. They always ask me where I’m going, where I’m playing, where could they stream it on their iPad.”
She said, “It is good to know that I have so much family in Australia and also in the Philippines who are supporting me and always kind of have my back, which is a really nice feeling to have. You know, in the road, you have to surround yourself with the right people regardless of how you’re going with results.”
Going into tournaments, many would mistake Cabrera for a Latino because of her surname. However, upon learning she is representing Australia, they kind of knew there is something else.
And to which Cabrera would say, “I am Filipino, but I was born in Australia. But whenever I have the chance to talk about my heritage, I do, I am very proud to be a Filipino.
“I am looking at hopefully returning sometime this year. I would love to kind of go back and meet my other family, and just see what I can do and help out. I want to go see people in less fortunate places and help kids pick up a tennis racket, kind of inspire them in any way I can.”