Abandoned in an orphanage called Buklod Kalinga by his birthparents, Azkals standout Simone Rota now gives back to children who were abandoned and left behind as well.
Rota was left in an orphanage of Buklod Kalinga run by Franciscan sisters in Parañaque when he was just six months old and was raised by Sister May Memorial, who he considers a second mom to him. He was eventually adopted by Maurizio and Marilena Rota, a couple from Italy, and moved to Milan with his new family.
As Rota grew, he found his passion for football, eventually signing his first professional contract at 17 years old. He received his first professional contract and he would go on to play for teams in Italy and Switzerland for the next 12 years.
Though he lived a happy life in Italy, Rota received a call from then UFL champions Stallion in late 2013, asking him to pack his bags to return to his country of birth.
“I decided to come back to the Philippines because Stallion called me to play, and, at the same time, I wanted to visit my country, and find some reason about my personal life,” he said.
He continued to play football, this time in the United Football League and later on as a member of the Philippine team, the Azkals.
He added: “It was like a dream to represent the Philippines and, and I’m still living my dream.”
In 2014, he was reunited with Sister May of the Buklod Kalinga orphanage. He also decided to try and search for his birthparents but he was unsuccessful. Yet Simone has found a new, bigger family when he decided to return to the Buklod Kalinga Orphanage. He now runs a food program with them and teaches the kids football.
“I try to inspire the children, teaching them that sports can be a new way of life,” shared Simone. “But at the same time, they have inspired me because they teach me how to live the simple life and the importance of simple things.”
Rota’s story was recently featured on ESPN’s Inspiring Bonding Moments.
TCL invites families to share life through sports with inspiring web series
TCL, one of the world’s leading players in the global TV industry, is inviting families to share life through sports as it launches online videos highlighting inspiring stories of athletes.
Created in partnership with ESPN, the four-part web series called ‘Inspiring Bonding Moments’ shares the untold stories in sports, featuring athletes from the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia.
The first video focuses on Philippines-born football player Simone Rota and his journey back home to seek his biological parents.
Presented by TCL, the story of Philippines’ Simone Rota, who began life in an orphanage before achieving his dreams.
According to TCL’s Brand Marketing Manager, Amor Joaquin-Golifardo, the web series aims to “connect people through inspiring sports stories.”
“TCL stands for The Creative Life and we believe that technology can and should be used to bring people together. We are showing people another side of these athletes and sharing very personal stories about love, loss and giving back, that everyone can relate to and be inspired by,” explained Ms. Joaquin-Golifardo.
As part of its 35th anniversary celebration, TCL is also playing it forward as it donates sporting equipment to the orphans of Buklod Kalinga.’
“Like Simone, we want to encourage the youth to develop their talent in sport. Aside from catching their favourite sports heroes on TV, we hope that the equipment we gave them can help shape the next generation of Filipino footballers,” said Ms. Joaquin-Golifardo.
To catch more of the “Inspiring Bonding Moments” web series, visit https://fb.com/tclphilippines/videos
35th Anniversary Deals
Filipino families get even greater rewards this holiday season from TCL as TCL unveiled its anniversary raffle promo Cool Deals Hot Wheels, where two Toyota Wigos are up for grabs.