Fil-Am who plays soccer in Brazil also kicks it with PH nat’l women’s team
Philippine National Women’s Soccer Team soccer player Reina Bonta, 24, is one of only four non-Brazilians in a professional Brazilian women’s club based in the city of Santos.
Before joining Santos FC last March, the defensive forward in October had joined the Philippines national team, which is bound for 2023 Women’s World Cup.
Bonta played high school soccer at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd and college ball at Yale. She is the daughter of Rob Bonta, first Filipino American Attorney General of California who was also first Filipino American in the California State Legislature.
Reina’s father, who was a soccer player at Yale himself, was among her coaches when she started out with Oakland club Bay Oaks.
Her subsequent youth soccer for the De Anza Force was particularly grueling, she told SoccerAmerica. Com.
After school, she had to commute by public transportation – Uber plus trains and skateboard—to the team’s practice field across San Francisco Bay from her home in Alameda, California.
De Anza Force 98 won the 2013 Elite Clubs National League (ECNL U-14) national title and reached the ECNL national final four three other times.
Aside from touring Brazilian cities for Santos, Bonta has traveled with the Philippine national team to Tajikistan and Cambodia. “It’s such a blessing to be able to represent both an iconic club and a history-making national team,” Bonta told Soccer America.
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Reina is also a filmmaker and photographer. She is steeped in Filipino culture through her grandmother, Cynthia Bonta, who taught her Filipino dance, fed her Filipino food, and brought her to political events “in Sacramento with the Katipunan ng mga Demokratikong Pilipino (KDP)/Union of Democratic Filipinos.”
Her parents and grandma “approach the idea of love for the Filipino community through a lens of social justice and activism, which has been really formative for me as a Filipina American woman,” she said.