Life story of Azkals player Simone Rota in Sinag Maynila | Inquirer Entertainment

Life story of Azkals player Simone Rota in Sinag Maynila

/ 12:50 AM March 13, 2018

Simone Rota

Since I grew up in show biz, I hardly get starstruck by actors. But when it comes to athletes, I turn into a fangirl. Their discipline and rags-to-riches story amaze me.

To say that I was blown away by the documentary about Azkals player Simone Rota would be an understatement.


Catch Sinag Maynila entry “Journeyman Finds Home: The Simone Rota Story” at SM Cinemas (till March 15). We gave the heartwarming film a grade of A at the Cinema Evaluation Board.

It bagged the Audience Choice Award at the European PH International Film Festival (EPIFF) in Florence last March 9.
Simone is movie star material. He has a striking resemblance to Zanjoe Marudo and Derek Ramsay.


When he was an infant, Simone was left in an orphanage by his mom. An Italian couple then adopted him. He grew up in Italy and made his mark as a football player. When he was of age, Simone yearned to know more about his Filipino roots, so he decided to come home.
The Azkals star’s search for his biological mother was all in vain. Despite his frustration, he harbors no bitterness.

Simone’s life story serves as a reminder that positivity and kindness are the best antidotes to this cruel world. The gentle giant could very well afford to live in a posh condo, but he opted to stay in the orphanage where his mom left him, Buklod Kalinga.

He’s a father figure to the orphans who look up to him as their idol. He patiently teaches them how to play football gratis et amore. Simone is truly an MVP on and off the football field: He’s a Most Valuable Paternal figure.

Here’s my chat with Simone:

Are you willing to join show biz? I would not mind joining show biz. It will be something new for me, and I like to challenge myself. But it will depend on my schedule because, for now, my priority is football. I am committed to my club, and I need to follow my dream to achieve AFC with the Davao Aguilas, qualify in the national team and eventually join the Asian Cup.

What’s the latest about the Azkals? We’re preparing for the most important game against Tajikistan to get our spot in the Asian Cup. It will be the first time ever that the Philippines will join the world competition.

Are you still searching for your biological mother? Since I was a young boy in Italy, I really wanted to search for my biological mother and ask why she left me but, at the same time, to say thank you because, without her realizing it, she gave me the chance to have a bright future … and an amazing Italian family.


After three years I understood that I didn’t need an answer to my past, because I found my second family at the Buklod Kalinga mission and with Sister May. I already have closure and inner peace.

What compelled you to share your life story? To give hope to the kids who are into football … that sports can change their lives, give awareness about children left in orphanages like me, remind parents that having kids is a big responsibility, and encourage athletes with injuries or people going through tough times to never lose hope.

What are your thoughts on love? For me, love is one of the pillars of life. If it’s done the right way, it can give you power for everything.

Everybody deserves to fall in love and find love. It’s a wonderful feeling, but it can also be really painful.

I’m not in a relationship, but I think I’ve found the girl who could be the one. I’m Italian at heart, so I love very passionately.

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