PHIL YOUNGHUSBAND: ‘I’m 21. I’m experimenting.’
But this Younghusband has been making some changes. Changes that involve his charmingly cheeky smile and long hours with a karaoke machine. “For the past week I’ve been on my Magic Sing,” shares Phil, “And I’ve been scoring 100 every time.” But why has he turned his killer competitive instincts on an innocent game of sing-along? That would be the fault of Celebrity Duets — Phil’s latest foray into the showbiz world.
Already branded a heartthrob, Phil has been making the most of his current visit here, converting his Eurasian good looks into celeb cred through endorsement deals with Adidas and the hunk-heady Hanford. But really, why would a football “Ledge” (as his big bro James nicknamed him) opt to tread the worn and weary path of model-slash-personality, whose wayside is littered with failed has-beens and forgettable “Fil-somethings”?
Recently rounding off a decade or so of wearing the Chelsea F.C. colors, it was more than just showbiz that called this striker home. The current Younghusband storm taking over Philippine athletics all started with a regular kid, who informed the Philippine Football Federation of the Younghusband brothers’ Filipino blood — a little trivia he discovered in a video game. “It’s weirdly funny that just a week before we were contacted, players in the changing room were wondering what if James and I played for the Philippines?” shares the pro footballer.
But making the decision to represent his mum’s homeland wasn’t as easy as a couple of collect calls. “To play for the Philippines, we had to sacrifice playing for England,” explains Phil. “My mum’s really proud to be Filipino, and so are we,” the young phenom reveals. “It felt like the right thing to do.” Despite the move being an inevitable first step towards Pinoy stardom, it’s pretty obvious that this frequent flyer’s in it for more than just the media miles.
’Course, playing footie for Flips won’t take up too much of his time, what with the sport’s underdeveloped form in this Coca-colonized nation of relatively, er, short people who insist on playing a height-biased sport. “We enjoy helping it grow, but football’s not going to become the biggest game overnight,” he reflects. In the meantime, showbiz is a natural alternative for Phil, the self-proclaimed extrovert of the two, who “[likes] to be in front of the camera, and [enjoys] all the attention as well.”
Or perhaps the younger Younghusband brother is looking to expand his world beyond the field. “I’ve always been about football, so growing up I had to make personal sacrifices. Like in high school I didn’t go to house parties, because of training or a game the next morning,” recounts Phil, before kicking away any possible impressions of a sad, deprived child enslaved to the game. “I’ve learned leadership and discipline — and that’s going to help me throughout my life.”
The guy may not have any regrets about a life of football — but that doesn’t mean he can’t live it up a little on the side. “I’m 21. I’m experimenting,” he declares. “I still want to see and experience different things, and meet new people. I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as I can.” Whether he can hold a tune or should just stick to scoring goals remains to be seen, but cheers to that.
And with his earnest dreams of “releasing an album, going to Hollywood, and becoming an international superstar” — nurtured by the ever-present minus-one entertainment of his mum’s Pinoy dinner parties — and his taste for local favorites like pansit and adobo, it just goes to show that you can take the Filipino out of the Philippines, but you can’t take the karaoke machine away from the Filipino.
:: Has a dream of 'releasing an album, going to Hollywood, and becoming an international superstar'
:: What I miss the most about the Philippines when I’m in England is the friendliness of the people. I sing “You Are so Beautiful” when I’m in the shower.
:: I absolutely cannot stand rudeness.
:: My all-time favourite movie is “The Goonies.”
:: I have the biggest crush on myself.
:: I have the worst habit of not being able sit still.
:: My secret talent is I can sing (not really).
:: I’m a hot tub/cold shower kind of guy.
:: I absolutely suck at nothing.
:: When I’m not on the field, I like to eat.
:: If I weren’t a football player, I would be a Hollywood star.
:: I find (mammary glands — no) a girl’s smile sexy.
:: If I could meet one person in the world or in history, it would be Mark Wahlberg.
:: What I miss the most about England when I’m in the Philippines are my family and friends.
:: Most people don’t know this about me but I am very sensitive.
:: Life is about enjoying yourself.
:: My favorite place in the Philippines is El Nido.
:: If I was stuck on a desert island and I could only bring three things, it would be an airplane, a boat, and a car.
:: My favorite food is roast pork, roast chicken, roast lamb. So yeah, meat.
:: I wish I’d never thought that I didn’t need to learn Tagalog.
:: On hot days I like to cool off with a cold shower.
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