The overwhelming response of fans and players touched the hearts of Kerwin Francisco and his friends after their TikTok video of playing volleyball in a remote place went viral more than a week ago.
The video, which showed some of Francisco’s friends playing barefooted on rough soil and surrounded by trees, was re-posted on the social media accounts of Volleyball World. With a caption, “No Shoes, No problem”, it has already garnered 4.7 million views as of this writing on Facebook and more than 10,000 likes on Twitter.
Francisco’s original video on Tiktok, meanwhile, has already gained 1.2 million views and more than 100,000 likes.
“Nakakatuwa and overwhelming kasi di po namin in-expect from Tiktok na ma-feature po yung video namin,” Francisco told Manila Bulletin.
“Sobrang saya lang kasi ang daming naka-appreciate ng paglalaro namin tapos ang dami pong magagandang comments ng mga kapwa Pinoy and foreign people.”
Even star players and national team members like Aby Maraño, Ish Polvorosa, Alyssa Valdez, Sisi Rondina and Denden Lazaro re-posted the video, impressed by the athleticism of Francisco and his friends.
Some foreign fans were also quick to note Francisco’s abilities as a setter.
As a PE instructor at Zamboanga Peninsula Polytechnic State University, Francisco said he dreamed of playing for the national team someday.
“As a player po, isa po sa mga pangarap ko po ang mabilang sa national team. Ang mabilang po sa Team Zamboanga nakaka-proud na po sobra, what more po if Philippines na po yung dinadala. Sobrang laki ng naitulong sakin ng volleyball,” said Francisco, who was a former team captain of the Western Mindanao State University during his collegiate years.
His friends in the video, who are college and senior high students, also dreamed of the same thing.
They hope that someday, they can have the chance to make it from playing outdoors to a fancier stage with the national flag printed on their shirts.