Alas Pilipinas coach Jorge Souza De Brito during the AVC Challenge Cup 2024

Alas Pilipinas coach Jorge Souza De Brito during the AVC Challenge Cup 2024. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — Jorge Souza De Brito may have made a name for himself as a seasoned volleyball coach currently calling the shots for Alas Pilipinas but he will always be a girl dad.

The Brazilian tactician, who has been handling the Philippine women’s volleyball program since 2021 through the FIVB development project platform, has traveled the world to coach for different squads in a couple of countries like Japan, Turkey, and South Korea before finding his second home in Manila.

And it wasn’t easy, especially when he was away from his family as De Brito had to fulfill his duties as volleyball mentor.

READ: De Brito happy to deliver Alas Pilipinas medal at home

“There’s a prayer I always do when there are some flights or I’ll be away. That if something happens, let God take care of them. Because it’s hard. And the worst part is always there with the mom. So the mom has to—it’s the mom and dad. And I just ask for God to protect me to be back or protect them to be safe,” De Brito told reporters.

The 57-year-old De Brito, who recently got his contract extended until the Southeast Asian Games next year after a historic bronze medal in the AVC Challenge Cup, is grateful to receive a second chance to stay in Manila, which is also considered the second home of his wife Raquele Lenartowicz and daughters Julia, Anna Muiza, and Helena.

His family felt at home, especially his daughters, who have been studying in the country.

For De Brito, being a father is the best part of life as it also makes him a better coach and man.

“For me, it’s like having your heart outside your chest. It’s amazing because, you know—when you’re not a father, you don’t know exactly what it means. You can imagine, but you don’t know. It’s a part of you just walking around, growing. It’s amazing because they want your protection and care,” said De Brito, who was emotional during an intimate interview with reporters. 

READ: De Brito relishes PH coaching stint despite ‘a lot of challenges’

“But suddenly, they start to grow, they start to make their own steps. You start to be so proud of it, but also you’d be afraid because the world is not perfect, and it’s always dangerous. But it’s an amazing journey being a dad. It’s something that will make us alive every single day.”

“Of course, you never sleep, a hundred percent, because, you’ll always have to [think]: ‘What happened? What are they going to do in the future? What are they thinking about? What can I do to make things comfortable, not too much for them not to fight, but enough to not be afraid of all the things they have to face in the future. It’s the best part of life,” added De Brito also the father of Marina from his previous marriage.

All De Brito wants for his daughters is to become genuine and loving people.

“No matter where I’ll be or if I leave, I hope that they can be good, they can be honest, they can find a way, and try to be kind and find happiness in everything they do. They’ll make me happy if they just keep on doing this. Spreading love.”

The former Brazilian Olympic medalist as a player has brought his father figure in coaching, which also helped the Alas players to be closer.

This Father’s Day, De Brito wishes all dads a good and happy life.

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“I’m a father, too. I know how hard it is. I know there’s a part that we always do, and that’s work a lot to provide them everything they need. But I want to share with you guys that all they need is our love,” De Brito said. “I wish you happiness and a lot of love and use all the moments that you have to spend with them. Because more than everything you can give them, all they need is our time. I wish you have a long time with them and enjoy this special moment with the kids. So, it’s so good because even if they grow, they’ll still be our kids. Happy Father’s Day.”

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