Of hardships, sacrifices, taking chances & friendships..

This maybe my last entry for this year and hopefully I’d be able to cover everything & sum it all up in this one blog..

what a ride it has been for my 2011. its one crazy but awesome ride! =) and I couldn’t ask for anything more. From getting into Photography up to surprisingly immersing myself into travelling and (the most suprising of all) Sports! Playing Rugby & soccer has got me to a lot of places already and led me to meeting the most wonderful bunch people on earth. t’was truly amazing how these sports transform lives, changes lives coz it did wonders changing mine. =)

i ended the year with quite a bang actually. i got myself involved into a National Rugby Event held in Rizal Memorial Football Stadium — the Asian Rugby Junior Championships 2011. what started as just a mere wishful thinking of being able to join & work with the Philippine Rugby Football Union became a reality when among the pool of applicants for PRFU Liason Officers, I was one of those lucky ones chosen by the board to be a volunteer.

to be honest, i had no idea what i’m getting into, i just went on with it and finished everything. there’s nothing much waiting for a volunteer well aside from ample supply of food when you’re in the hotel or the quarters. there’s no fee for effort and time, no nothing ergo you really have to mean it (being a volunteer) and you should love what you do otherwise all the crap thrown at you while doing the volunteer work can get into your head and there’s no telling what you’ll do next, you might go berserk.

The tournament started December 13 and lasted till December 17 but the tournament week officially ended last sunday, December 18, when all the participating countries Malaysia, Chinese Taipei, & Korea boarded their flights back to their home land. T’was hell week for everybody, the PRFU board, Admins, and staff and for us Liason Officers too! we’re 8 (but 9 originally. one backed out a few hours before our week started) and there were 4 participating countries including Philippines U-20 team. so the 8 of us were split into 4 groups, a pair of LOs for each team. to simply put it, our task is to make the teams’ lives easier all through out their stay here in the country. and i’d say, we did a great job doing just that! and at the end of the tournament, our charges, the teams we handle became our friends. it almost feels like a second family to me… =)

it was a tough competition with South Korea proving that they really are at the top of their game winning all their games and was hailed as the champions for this year. taking the 2nd spot was Chinese Taipei, losing just a game versus power house Korea and 3rd placers were my kids from Malaysia. And (heart-breaking to admit) 4th placers were our own Philippine Junior Volcanoes.

I saw them battling it out on the field. watched them almost cutting each other throats to just win but it totally amazed me when the tourney was over and awarding was done, we’re all back to our hotel, the teams, all of the players went out of their way to get to know other players from the other teams! its as if nothing happened. it seems like they were friends for the longest time. they exchanged jerseys, some even asked for a photo opt from other players. it was amazing to see them bonding after a do-or-die match. really cool as a matter of fact. that is what i really call ‘fair play’ =)

Malaysia & Chinese Taipei bonding with us! πŸ˜€

see the boy in the middle & the one standing at the back, both are from the Malaysian team & the rest are from Chinese Taipei team. They were like long lost friends seeing each other again after years of being apart. i really am in awe coz just the other day they were going head to head against each other on the field. really amazing these boys are! =)

my boys with the Chinese Taipei team... =)

My boys (Malaysia) with the Chinese Taipei team. Zakiy was even wearing the jersey of Chinese Taipei. Really amazing how one sport can forge ties and friendships despite the competition it presents. =)

another amazing thing that happened to me that week was I met people who became my friends! we couldn’t get enough of each others’ company as in literally. If i’ll describe this meeting it’ll be a ‘match made in heaven’, its a perfect fit. We jived and that’s it. on the picture is (left to right) Kenny, LO for Philippine Junior Volcanoes, Nikki, LO for Chinese Taipei, & JV my ever reliable partner and we’re both assigned to Team Malaysia. =)

on this picture is Ms. Mel, Admin Manager of PRFU, Kuya Ren & Mika. Both are volunteers too for this event. Truly is an honor working for this people.

and this is the big boss, Coach Matt! the commander in chief! hey boss! =)

and of course, we’ve got our own boss, Junnel (with JV and Nikki)! Junnel is the go-to girl of everybody. ask her and fo sho she’ll be able to answer you! πŸ˜€

and presenting! the rest of the LOs team! (left to right) Lady Volcanoe Manila Santos, Noel Villa, Kenny Gil & Jaime Leogardo. we’re the dream team! πŸ˜€

some of the pictures during the matches..

Philippine Junior Volcanoes versus Korea

Ned Stephenson getting tackled by 2 Koreans.

go Baby Volcanoes! get that ball! πŸ˜€

scrum! πŸ˜€

the Malaysian team! really proud of my boys! although I wish they’d all stop smoking.. take cigars out and I’d bet they’ll perform even better! =)

Teacher Nikki’s boys! Chinese Taipei! =)

game started! of course i’m rooting for my team Malaysia! πŸ˜€ Malaysia lost to Chinese Taipei in this game but just the same, I still am proud of them, t’was a close fight and they gave their best.

trying all their best to win!


made friends with the Malaysian team too! But it was Zakiy (the one holding the ball) was the closest to us LOs. He loves to hang out in our room, loves talking & telling stories, very talkative. He’s probably one of the nicest people i met during the event. We miss you Zakiy! and all your stories & funny antics! :>

in that 1 week of working and bonding with these people, i’ve learned a lot. grateful to have experienced everything. i’d say i came out a better person. i was able to know my strengths & weaknesses. proud of all my achievements and extremely happy that i did my job well. i really don’t mind working hard free of charge as long as i see all my effort turned into something great. something that i’d be proud of even if i live a hundred years or so..

i always say this coz this is important and every volunteer should remember this phrase:


and true enough, through this wonderful experience, I was able to build myself and I came out a whole lot a better person than I was before…

Hope you guys had a wonderful year too and may we all be blessed with a fruitful and meaningful years ahead. =)



Asian Rugby Junior Division 2 Championships in the Philippines!

Asian Rugby Junior Division 2 Championships next week! And Philippines is hosting the event! Be there and catch the Rugby action on Dec 14 and 17, 3pm at Rizal Memorial Stadium! ADMISSION IS FREE!

yes my friends, ITS TOTALLY, NO STRINGS ATTACHED FREE! no lines to go & beat so you can get tickets, no spending huge amount of money whatsoever. all you need to do is head down to Rizal Stadium on Dec 14 and 17 and join the fun! so go & spread the word guys! give our Junior Volcanoes love! oooohhhyeaah! πŸ˜€


Una KAYA: A day with my fave UFL team, KAYA Futbol Club

UFL season is almost over but was able to squeeze in one game! hehe.. good job! =)

been a supporter of the team for quite some time now and it has been a tradition for me to get to watch and see at least one KAYA FC game every season and was so elated that I was able to clear one saturday! πŸ˜€

November 26, 2011, another great day to play footy. Sun was up and shining the whole day and that makes you want to wear your boots and play. After the errands at home, i made it at University of Makati Football Field in time for the Kaya FC game versus Nomads Auction Manila. It was instantly obvious who’d won that day with Kaya FC dominating the whole game with 3 and nothing at all for Nomads! good job team! πŸ˜€

Una Kaya!

Prior to the Kaya FC game was Global FC, my 3rd fave team, Kaya taking the first spot followed by PHL Air Force Phoenix, and third Global FC. The players usually hang around the place so we’re able to get some pictures with them! πŸ˜€

my good friend & teammate Leslie with her baby Misagh Bahadoran, player for Dan Palami’s Global FC and PHL National team Azkals. Got no pictures naturally coz i’m the resident photographer (since day 1 i started watching & playing football) so there. You just got to content yourself with seeing, meeting, & talking to the players, no picture at all. i’m not complaining, elated to meet & talk to players really, makes me love football all the more! oh and after this photo opt, Leslie introduced me to Will Gueridonn, Fil-German footy player who played for Azkals before and now with Global FC, also he’s a close friend of Leslie’s. i totally forgot to have our picture taken coz the Kaya FC game was about to start and the two still ain’t stopping from their little chit-chat.. hehehe..

met some PUFC peeps in the Grandstand rooting for their teams too! =)

Ultras Kaya

meet Ultras Kaya, Kaya FC’s 12th man on the field — much like the Kaholeros for the Azkals. its actually a booster/cheering squad of Kaya FC (which i’m part of although i cheer for the team in my own special way, not the screaming type sorry). Little boy in the middle is Shane. He maybe a kid but he’s the group leader when it comes to cheering & chanting. the boy has a flair for composing songs for cheer and has a good command of the drums! so adorbs! and i later found out the reason why he cheers so loud and proud for Kaya, Nate Burkey, one of Kaya FC’s key players is Shane’s coach in football. so there! can’t blame the kid, he loves his coach so much! =)

so if Shane has his football hero, I too have a few. to name a few of my local football super heroes, I admire Manong Chieffy Caligdong and his uncle Yanti Barsales. Both pure Pinoy and both proved that Pinoys can excel in football and plays better over the Fil-foreigners. with the right mindset, proper attitude, training and support, Pinoys will fly higher than anybody else. but don’t hate me alright, i admire the Fil-foreigners too coz admittedly, they’ve been a big boost to the National squad. its a team sport after all, one can’t win alone, it has to be a collective effort of a group. one of the Fil-foreigners i really really admire the most is a Chinoy from Chinatown, New York City, Lexton Moy.

Papa Lex! πŸ˜€

He’s fairly new to the team but has proven already that he’s an asset. He plays both for Kaya FC and the National squad. He’s proud to represent the PHL and despite his busy training schedule, he still can find time to participate and immerse himself to various football causes that aims to change lives of his Kababayans. a totally selfless way to help a country almost foreign to him since he grew up abroad but still, recognizing his heritage, he’s willing to help his Kababayans in any way he can. he’s a great blogger too! its really rare to find a guy who’s good in writing and expressing his thoughts so that is one kick-ass talent i daresay. =)

more from Lexton Moy here:Β http://soccerpirrs.com/charity/hammering-out-the-old-drives-new-hope-ffas-new-home/

visit his blog and you’ll be amazed by this guy! =)

pondering on, i never thought i’d live and see the day of Renaissance football here in PHL. with the success of a local football league to seeing our National team play against football legend David Beckham is a dream come true for everybody, not just the team but the fans & spectators as well. i just hope we could do the same and show the same support with other sports as well. =)

till the next football adventure folks and keep on moving your feet! =)

Where will happiness strike next? The Coca-cola OFW project

i’ve watched the video a number of times already but still crying every single time! hard to keep dry eyes…

i don’t usually fall for viral campaigns as this one from Coca-cola and I’m not a fan of softdrinks either but the Ad sure did hit a spot right there.

i wanted to share this to you guys coz i know a lot can relate, lalo na sa atin mga Pinoy where almost all households have a family member who has gone abroad to seek for better opportunities. i myself came from a household just like that…

My dad was a mechanical engineer grad and already had a good paying job here in PHL after he went out of Β college. He’s the sole bread winner of his own family as he’s the only one who was able to go to college so he opted to apply for another job with a bigger pay outside the country. then he met my mom, got married and had me. that time, the only option was to keep working abroad coz now he has a kid to raise and a family of his own (aside from his parents & siblings) to support, me and my mom. despite the fact that he’ll be leaving his pregnant wife, my Dad went abroad and mom gave birth to me without my dad around for support. needless to say my dad missed all the ‘firsts’ — my first smile, my first word, the first time i learned to crawl and walk on my own, the first bath, my first solid food intake, everything, even my first days in Kindergarten. at that time i thought t’was just normal, i had no idea what a dad is but i kept seeing my classmates & friends with their dads but to me it just seem normal. i never felt unlove or anything. so when i finally realized that i should have a dad or that i have one, i was already 7 years old. it was our first meeting, in 1992. i can only imagine how my dad felt at that time. it was heart-breaking actually, imagine you seeing your child for the first time. of course you want to hug her, talk to her, play with her but you couldn’t coz she doesn’t want to go with you or to even look at you. she doesn’t know you at all..

it was hard growing up with an absentee dad. i couldn’t understand why he chose to be abroad rather than be with us. i kept grudges to be honest. but when i finally understood why, i let go of all the grudges, mend my relationship with dad and from then on, i always show him how grateful i am for everything. i think my life wouldn’t be as pampered as what it is right now if not for all the sacrifices my dad made during his stay abroad.

soΒ tonight when i get home, gonna hug Pops tight and say “Dad, i am proud & will forever be grateful that you are my daddy. this wouldn’t be our life if you hadn’t sacrificed years in Saudi, away from us..”

to all those who have family members working abroad, remember to always be thankful to them for everything. remember their sacrifices and show ’em some Pinoy love from PHL this Christmas! =)

have a wonderful weekend everyone! =)