The good, the bad, and the ugly of the INC protests…

If this is what salvation is, then count me out. I’m having none of it. I’d rather burn in hell than be a mindless imbecile, following the orders of the higher ups. You cannot say no, you cannot opt yourself out. It’s as if the freedom of choice and the function to think was taken away from you. You just say “YES” and do it without even knowing why you are doing it or at the very least understand why you are asked to do it.

Yes, I was stuck in EDSA Shaw for 4 hours last Friday because members of Iglesia ni Cristo, driven by bravado and the need to showcase their power, decided to occupy EDSA starting from EDSA Shrine up to EDSA-Crossings area, harping on separation of Church and State and that the DOJ to leave them alone. I was tired from loads of work, hungry and in serious need of sleep but I had to endure since the jeepney I’m riding was literally inching its way going to Pasig coz INC protesters effectively clogged up that intersection in Shaw. This is not the first time I had a very, very unpleasant encounter with the INC. 2 years ago, back when I was still doing pro bono work for Philippine Rugby Football Union (PRFU) as Liaison officer assigned to assist teams visiting the country for IRB and ARFU official Rugby tournaments. I was assigned to liaise for United Arab Emirates (UAE) National Rugby Team at that time. Everything was arranged 2 weeks before the team arrives — hotel accommodations, food plans, transpo, training and game schedules. All games and training were held at the historic Rizal Memorial Stadium so needless to say, we have to file for permit to train and play to PSC months before the actual tournament will happen so we can “legally” and rightfully use RMS. PSC’s policy was “first come, first served” basis. We were granted the schedule for the venue 2 weeks before the UAE arrived. Imagine my surprise when me and the whole UAE team went to RMS Football field and we were denied entry to the pitch. I asked the guards why and showed them that we were booked for that specific day to train on the field. Still they refused us entry and one of the guards said, “Mam, nakareserba ho kasi ito para sa Sports Fest ng Iglesia Ni Cristo, hindi ho pwedeng gamitin.” I was shocked. Dumbfounded even coz as I said, we have it booked and PSC gave us the permission to use it. So why am I being denied entry and usage of the field? I was fuming and went straight to PSC’s office in RMS. I asked and demanded an explanation from the field custodian why we can’t use the field while we have it booked and reserved. The guy in the PSC office just said our reservation was cancelled out to give way for the INC Sports Fest. Unbelievable. I told him. Why are we being informed just now? Still fuming and almost at the point of whacking the field custodian’s face with a chair, I asked if we can use the adjacent baseball field instead. Thankfully he agreed. So we went and train on the baseball field, problematic with poor lights. The field was devoid of grass so injuries and bruises were not impossible to get. Left with no other choice (talaga pong nakakahiya sa national team ng UAE), my charges went on with their training. I chanced upon the baseball field custodian, Mang Gerry (I hope my memory served me well with the name). With a smile on his face, Mang Gerry calmly approached me (while fuming) and said “Mam, pasensya na ho sa abala ano. Alam ko ho eh na-hassle kayo at ang team nyo. Mangyari ho kasi ang amin hong boss ay miyembro ng INC. Natanggal ho yung reservation ninyo para mag-give way sa Sports Fest nila. Syempre ho sinusunod lang ho namin yung utos sa taas. Ako na po ang humihingi ng dispensa.” I don’t know what to feel really. The policy clearly says that whoever gets to book first, will get the venue. So ano ito, power tripping?!? Just coz you are the boss, you’ll prioritize you first at the expense of everyone else?!? O_O unbelievable. really. This is just the same with what is happening right now in EDSA-Shaw. A showcase of bravado and power. Just coz they have the numbers and they feel that they have all the rights to occupy a national highway and stage a protest, they’ll just do it without a care to everyone else. It is pretty much a reflection of their mentality of “Kami lang ang maliligtas, dahil kami lang ang kaanib ng Iglesia.” O sige, kayo lang kaya wala na kayong pakialam sa iba? Ganun? Ayan tayo eh, pagiisip na mali.

I’m all for equal rights, the right to practice whatever belief you may have, freedom of expression and all but, all these rights, it has an equivalent responsibility to it. You want to stage a protest, why not. This democratic constitution allows it. But to infringe and hamper other people’s right while exercising yours, that’s just the most selfish act any human being can commit. We execute and practice our rights but never to the expense of other people. Mabuti pa ang mga miyembro ng “Makabayan Bloc” our activists. The issues they are fighting for, it is precise, clear, and for the benefit of everyone including you guys in INC. That I can understand and can forgive. But your issues, separation of church and state, for DOJ to leave you alone and not meddle with your affairs, that we cannot understand. You ask for separation of church and state? How ironic coz you guys are the ones practicing block voting. Isn’t it that influencing the state by the church? You ask that the DOJ should leave you alone and why De Lima is paying a special attention to the cases filed against your higher ups? This I think is not the fault of DOJ. Blame your ministers who filed the case. It was them who opened that whole can of worms inside your church. It is under DOJ’s mandate to address each and every case filed by every resident of this state. It is quite clear in the constitution. Second, De Lima giving special attention the the cases filed against you? That or you are just scared that this whole investigation will bring every evil, nasty things inside your church to light? No one is above the law, no one is immune and no one is exempted, not even a religious sect like you.

I would admit that last Friday, I was in rage. But right now, all I feel for these INC people is pity. They are too brainwashed to see the truth. And because of that, I feel that they will not let up and vacate wherever place they are occupying for protest. Wala eh, they just don’t understand. Or they refuse to understand and see the bigger picture here. Pity.

I pity you to be honest. And I’ll pray that your eyes be opened and your hearts and mind be enlightened. Look around you, all the trash brought about your protests. All the people, left without a choice but to walk to get to their destinations, bus, taxi, and jeepney drivers who lost their days’ worth of income coz it’s way to traffic to ferry people to and from destinations. A day without income means a day of starving stomachs for their family. Students who missed school. patients who arrived DOA to hospitals just coz you are getting in their way. How long will you let this happen? Days? Weeks? Months? We are inter-related. Everything we do has or can have an effect to other people hence we cannot be selfish and do whatever we please because people around us will suffer the after-effect. Put your shoes to ours and let me know how you feel if you are forced to live with other people’s shit and selfishness? Does it feel good? Does it float your boat? Does it make you a good follower of your church? Are you really following the bible’s teaching when in fact it harps on being selfless, thinking of other people’s welfare as well. Think. This is the reason why God gave us brains, for us to think. Be not just a number used by someone for their own agenda. If you love your God and you follow his teachings by the book, ask yourself what exactly are you doing there, standing at the intersection of EDSA-Shaw and making other people’s lives miserable.

Again. Think.

And to all politicians, TRAPO, capitalizing on this event, let me remind you that you are now being judged by the public on whether you have the balls to stand by what is right, not giving in to potential number of votes you can get from INC. It always has to be for the good of the many over the few. It will do you good to remember that.

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”  – Plato

Yours in faith,

The Writer


Roadtrip to Bicol: Discovering my Bicolana roots…

Why I would always say I understand how our Fil-Foreigners feel towards living here and trying to discover their Pinoy roots? Coz I too is a mix of race. Mum is “Chinoy” – Filipino Chinese. Her dad (my grand dad) hails from mainland China, from a family of Chinese traders who migrated to the Philippines in the 18th century to do business of course. While the other half of my mum is Filipino, from the land of spices, Bicol. My grandmum hails from Legazpi, the city capital of Bicol in Region 5 of the Philippines. From my Dad’s side, it’s just Pinoy which I am very fond and proud of. 🙂

I’ve already had my fill of family history on my Chinese decent. Since a small kid, the sister of my grand dad regaled me with stories of how our Chinese ancestors migrated here and all, met most of my Chinoy relatives too, but I’ve known little about the other half of me, the one that hails from Bicol. Sure, growing up there were throngs of relatives from Bicol vacationing in our quaint little house but I haven’t been there. I haven’t met and seen everyone.

So I was uberly excited when mum told me we’re going to Bicol. A grueling 11 hours of land travel but it only takes 45 minutes in a plane. Mum opted that we do land travel though, said I’ll be enjoying the sights going there.

What I discovered while in Bicol…

1) I love all the food that has coconut milk & spices in it. Sobrang sarap! :)) And if you happen to like good spicy stuff with coconut milk, you’ve gotta try “pinangat” for Php45 per order in a local food place in Camalig called “Let’s Pinangat!” From Legazpi City (centro), ride a jeep going to Guinobatan, stop at Camalig, Fare is Php25. The quaint little restaurant along the highway is very popular so just ask the manong jeepney driver to drop you there. Another amazing thing, you can bring home Pinangat to Manila coz they have frozen versions of it. Just pop it in the microwave when you get home! Awesome, noh?! 🙂

the best Pinangat in town! a must try.
the best Pinangat in town! a must try.
they got awesome Bicol Express too! Delish! :)
they got awesome Bicol Express too! Delish! 🙂

2) Mayon Volcano, although very active and highly dangerous, is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in my life. For the best view of Mayon, you can hike through Lignon Hill. It’s a 30-minute steep hike but the view is just majestic at the top of it. Do it early in the morning (around 5 to 6am) so you can fully see the volcano, no clouds covering the tip of the mountain. Lignon Hill is near the city center. From Centro, you can ride the jeepney or tricycle (special ride for Php50), going there.


top of Lignon hill. sigh. so many clouds to see Mayon in full. :(
top of Lignon hill. sigh. so many clouds to see Mayon in full. 😦
canteen at the top of Lignon Hill! food, refreshments, and souvenirs are available there.
canteen at the top of Lignon Hill! food, refreshments, and souvenirs are available there.

3) If Tiwi, Albay is famous for its hotsprings, in Guinobatan (my Lola’s place) there are a lot of cold springs in the area. Water is good enough to drink, that’s how clean and cold it is.


one of the hidden cold springs near my lola's home.
one of the hidden cold springs near my lola’s home.
people bathing in the cold water.
people bathing in the cold water.

Locals call it “Sagurong” but I call it manna from heaven! :)) an ample solution to cool down on a very hot summer afternoon. The water is just freezing cold and fresh. This is where the locals bathe, do the laundry and occasionally drink water.

4) It’s fun to travel via commute, just riding public utility vehicles, asking around for directions. It’s pretty cheap too!

5) Bicolanos are the most trust-worthy, quirky, and highly-accommodating bunch of people.

6) It’s also better if you just DIY your trip in Legazpi. I don’t recommend hiring tour coordinators coz their tour prices are ridiculously high for a fairly easy travel. Just do your research and plan your trips. It’s easy. 😉

7) Philippines truly is the basketball capital of the world. why? I saw 1 makeshift Basketball court at the foot of Mt. Mayon. Seriously.

Basketball at the foot of active Mayon Volcano, anyone?! :))
mayon at the backdrop.
mayon at the backdrop.

I’m pretty sure if those  NBA stars will see this, they’d be elated! :)) awesome. just awesome. I think we are a bunch of awesome island people with a swagger love for sports, especially basketball! 😀

8) You can find the most delish rice porridge in Guinobatan! Just 2 house away from my Lola’s home is a makeshift restaurant cooking the most awesome lugaw in the whole of the country! For a very affordable price of just Php12! it comes with tender beef strips too. 🙂

Lugaw! :)
The best Lugaw ever! 🙂

9) Legazpi and Hawaii has a common thing about them. They both have awesome black sand beaches! Those popular black sand beaches in Maui and Honolulu, yes we have it here in the Philippines too!


Fine black sand from Mayon Volcano, check.



our view from our cabana. since summer is almost at its end, most of the tourists have gone home. we just owned the resort, not one soul was there during our stay! :))


one of the black sand beaches we visited in Sto. Domingo, Albay. More can be found in Tiwi and Bacacay. Words and pictures just couldn’t do justice on how beautiful and serene the place is. Don’t mind my cousin modelling there. :))))

10) A must see: Embarcadero de Legazpi and Legazpi boulevard. Too bad I ran out of batteries while were in the boulevard so I got no pictures at all. 😦 more dining choices, a bit of nightlife, ATM stations, grocery and department stores, you can visit Embarcadero. Its an open-air mall, pretty muck like how SM Baguio is. There’s a duty free there too so if you wanna shop, just don’t forget to bring your passports so the guards will let you in. Shop or you can just chill and feel the breeze along the boulevard or watch the sunset.

Welcome to Emarcadero de Legazpi!
Welcome to Emarcadero de Legazpi!

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stalls to shop! yep its right in Embarcadero! my cousin said: “Civilization, finally!” :)) guess we’re stuck for so many days in the barrio that we are just too happy to see some shops! i am too happy to see ATMs coz I was running low in cash at that time! :))


if we have Jollibee in Manila, they have Bigg’s diner. Its everywhere! 🙂


Duty-free shopping at Embarcadero. Don’t forget your passports like I did! XD


the view along the Embarcadero harbor till the Legazpi Boulevard. plain blue sea meeting mayon.

11) Old Baroque churches are also a sight to see in when you’re in Legazpi. We visited 2, the famous Daraga church with a view of Mayon at the sides and Sto. Domingo church in well, Sto. Domingo, Albay.


the old church made of limestone. This is Daraga Church.


the side view of the church. I think this church will be perfect for pre-nuptial shoots. 🙂


Sto. Domingo Church. I just love its old world charm. 🙂

12) There’s just Pili nuts everywhere! Delish but a bit pricey. Good thing we have loads of Pili trees in our backyard! :))


eating Pili nuts require hard work. but in the end its all worth it. :))

after all the hard work! pili nuts minus the shell.
after all the hard work! pili nuts minus the shell.

13) Cagsawa Ruins reminds you that a beauty such as Mayon Volcano can also bring destruction as worst as what happened in Cagsawa.

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my Aunt told me that there were a few expeditions before, to exhume and restore Cagsawa Ruins to its formal glory, but something’s always happening to those who manages the project, unexplained deaths, mysterious stuff and all. so the local government decided not to exhume it anymore and leave it as it is.

14) You just can’t help but fall in love with Legazpi. Simplicity of life, easy and laid back. Easy smiles of everyone around you. What’s not to love, really? 🙂


Centro. The bustling city of Guinobatan.

my Lolo Berting and his version of tricycle back rides! :))) gwapo noh? 🙂

and of course, its pretty awesome to meet everyone in your family, finally saw where your Grand mother came from. Discovering that you have same quirks like your Lolos and Lolas, that your cousins and aunts & uncles are just as awesome as you. Among all the trips I made in my life, this has been the most fulfilling and gratifying one, finally completing that other half of me that I haven’t had any privilege of meeting and exploring before.

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. ~George Moore

Its a rare chance that I travel, I get lost then I find my way back.. More to it, I was able to find myself in the process. This is why I am in love with traveling. So until the next great adventure of traveling and discovering stuff! keep on moving your feet! 🙂

Asian 5 Nations 2014: Philippine Volcanoes vs Japan Brave Blossoms and when the scoreboard doesn’t even matter at all

Hot and humid. It was 34 degrees and the sun was just relentless. Heat & exhaustion can easily nauseate you if you’re not used to this kind of weather in the Philippines. And despite all of this, there in the middle of the Southern Plains Football Field, you’ll find the Philippine Volcanoes, our national Rugby Union squad, lined up & ready to face Asia’s top team, the Brave Blossoms of Japan.

A few minutes into the game, we looked into the score board, 7-3 in favor for the visitors. Yes Japan was leading but the meager Filipino crowd still cheered on after team captain Oliver Saunders slotted home a gorgeous penalty around 40 meters out. It was like manna from heaven. Yes we scored!!!

6th minute into the game, Oli’s brother, Matty Saunders saw an opportunity, picked off an awkward pass from the Japanese and just made a run for it and scored again, 8-7, Philippines now up by a point versus Japan. Conversion from Matt’s try was successful and we got 10-7. For a while there, we were on top of mighty Japan and I just couldn’t explain the feeling. I was just so happy shouting and & cheering on for the team. Well done, just well done.

I think right before the game, nobody expected the team to score against Asia’s best after the jittery opener versus Hong Kong where the Hong Kong lads blanked us out, 108-Nil. We didn’t expect the score but I for one, didn’t doubt the team. I always know they have it in them. I know they can, they just have to find out how to. 🙂


We lost to Japan, 99-10 but who cares? Who cares we lost to them & who cares the lead didn’t last? All those Volcanoes supporters, Expats & Filipinos alike, doesn’t seem to care. They don’t seem to be bothered by the scoreline. I think what really matters is that we got into the scoreboard and for a while there, the team shone & gave us a glimpse of what could have been if both 15s and 7s were given equal opportunity in funding, preparation, camp, training, and everything else by the Union. And that reminded us why we need not to waver and get tired of supporting this team. When all else fails, the team can only count on us, the 16th man, to get behind them and cheer them on.

I’m on the verge of ranting again, really. But no… Don’t you go barging the dark side again. I’m pretty sure I share that same level of frustration with some friends in the Rugby community. I take comfort in that and in the hopes that somehow, in the near future, everything will change for the better and for the benefit of the team. So, let’s just leave the ranting to another post and just relive the fun moments last saturday! 😀

This trip and game watching almost didn’t materialized after we found out that all games will be held in Southern Plains in Laguna and not in University of Makati as originally planned by the Union. But thanks to my good friend Nikki, former Liaison Officer for Chinese Taipei (Under 20s) and Sri Lanka, who came all the way from Singapore, we were able to rent a van to take us to Laguna. She is the coolest really! And we really miss her, more than a year away from the Philippines, she spent 2013 in Singapore.

Nikki in the middle wearing light blue blouse & skirt with the girls!
Nikki in the middle wearing light blue blouse & skirt with the girls!


Then a few weeks before the game versus Japan, Junnel, former PRFU Administrative Officer and a good friend of mine informed me that a certain “Volcanoe” is in distress upon knowing that the games will not be held in University of Makati but in the far-flung Southern Plains. “They need a ride..” Junnel said. So I said yes (just cause, I couldn’t say no to any Volcanoe who needs my help)! :)))

lucky Josh he got himself some fan-girls!
lucky Josh he got himself some fan-girls!

Meet Joshua Tolentino, Rugby player who is currently based in Vancouver, Canada. He tried out for the team year 2012 and stayed for the camp but unlucky he wasn’t able to make the cut. Though he never got capped for the Philippines, he remained close to the team and has been keeping tabs on the team’s progress. So needless to say, I’m glad I was able to reunite Josh with his Volcanoes family. I can see & feel he misses the team and really wants to get back to play again. Perhaps in the near future, he’s only 26, still young and can still try out. Hell we have Lolo Austin Dacanay in the team who’s 37 so really, nobody’s too old for any sport!

But right now, Josh is enjoying the moment with his wife. They’re newly weds! Just a week old in marriage and they found themselves in the Philippines watching games and about to go on vacationing La Boracay style! :))) Congratulations to this lovely couple! Cheers to more years of wedded bliss! 🙂

Of course I wouldn’t pass up the chance of taking pictures of the game. It became rare these days when I get to enjoy and indulge my love for photography so whenever there are games, I go for it. (Apologies for the lack of practice in taking shots) Here are some of the photos I got last Saturday:


Taken right after the game. Ze lads gamely posed for the picture taking. :)))) It became pretty hard to take pictures when all the fans (mostly girls) came running to the field right after the game! XD



Really been a while since I last capture photos like this. 🙂



Lolo Austin… uhhhmmm… I just couldn’t figure it out what he was doing? Be like “hey guys, give us the ball and you be spared!” -LOL :)))))))


Scrum. Contesting the ball.
Scrum. Contesting the ball.

The Philippine Power Forwards! All those  eaten cupcakes paid off! (Yes, Lolo Austin, you..) hahahaha!

Stay up high, Japan.
Stay up high, Japan.

This picture, I got it by accident. I was holding my DSLR and accidentally pressed it while holding it up and viola! 🙂



And here’s the team Physio for as long as I can remember, Rico!!! 🙂 He’s the go-to guy for all injury-related stuff. You can see him busy running around and tending on the team’s various injuries. There’s just no “petiks” time for this guy! And to me, he’s one of those unsung heroes behind the team who never gets mentioned and never gets any citation for doing a job well done every single tournament the team is in. He’s the hardest working Physio I know and for that Sir, I am forever grateful for all the things you’ve done for the team! Maraming maraming salamat po for taking care of them! 🙂

Also happy that I was able to take my cousin with me last Saturday (2nd girl from the left). She had a blast and enjoyed the day! It was Jae’s first time to watch Rugby 15s live and I am totally happy to have shared that experience with her. 🙂


and lastly… t’was odd… I find this awesome! :)) awesome that a guy as big as him (#1) made it into the National Team! Buff and chiseled bodies be damned but he can bulldoze opponents in a heart beat! :))) i am so proud! guess you need not to be “model size” to get to play Rugby! and we both play the same position! Prop! :))))) –> can somebody get me the name of this player?! :))

It was a fun day indeed. And really happy to be reunited with the team! Despite what happened before the Japan game (between me and the PRFU Admin and it’ll be reserved to another post), I will never get tired of supporting the Philippine Volcanoes who’ve become a second family to me through the years of doing volunteer work for the Union. They are family, period. And I can always look beyond the score board. Guess you can say, my love for the team and the sport is greater than those numbers & those stats. And like the famous saying in Hawaii –> Family is Ohana.. and Ohana means nobody gets left behind! Walang iwanan, I promise! 🙂

**Please guys if you have time, we still have one home game on May 24th in Southern Plains, Laguna versus South Korea. Please be there and get behind the Philippine Volcanoes! Game kicks off 3:30pm.**

So until the next great Rugby Adventure! 🙂

Respect. Discipline. Proudly Pinoy.




RUGBY: Time for Asian 5 Nations 2014! :)

It’s that time of the year again! yes folks it is! And the Philippines got all the reason to be giddy and excited… Rugby Asian 5 Nations 2014 is just around the corner! woot-woot! 🙂 Since 2012, the Philippines have been playing in the top tier of the prestigious Rugby union tournament along with Japan (the only qualifying Asian team in the Rugby world cup), Hong Kong, Korea, and the recently promoted Sri Lanka.

2013 Asian 5 Nations Finals game vs UAE
2012 Division I Championships. Right after we beat Sri Lanka
Volcanoes in training at Nomads Club. 2012.

For this year, we are facing tough match ups once again. But I’ll be honest, that 2 games vs Korea & Sri Lanka can be “winnable” like what Coach Jared Hodges said but then again, operative word here is “can” and this win situation can easily turn into a loss. Last year, we were not able to snag a win against tough Korea and as for the newly promoted Sri Lanka, I’m expecting some vengeance and  a “payback whip” from them since it was their loss vs Philippines last 2012 that ended their run for Top flight Division and us getting promoted & playing with the big guns. I’ve seen the Sri Lanka team and this is a “new breed” team, players I have yet to see play since their last tour here in the Philippines and a new coach I hear coz the last one, Coach Phil Greening, was sacked after they failed to get the spot in Top 5.

But I’ve got my faith in our team (always do). We are hard workers, we persevere despite challenges, and we play all heart out for the country. 🙂

Again, to all our fellow Filipinos, we invite you to watch the games live this Apr-May 2014. We have 2 home games (same as last year’s only with different opponents this time for home games). May 3rd vs top guns Japan & May 24th vs South Korea. ALL GAMES WILL HAPPEN AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MAKATI FOOTBALL FIELD. Ticket & game times will be announced later, perhaps by early April.

For the meantime, here’s the schedule of Philippine Volcanoes game in Asian 5 Nations 2014:

April 26, 2014 – Philippines vs. Hong Kong (away game at Hong Kong Football Club, Hong Kong)

May 3, 2014 – Philippines vs. Japan (home game at University of Makati Football Field, Makati, Philippines)

May 17, 2014 – Philippines vs. Sri Lanka (away game at Colombo Racecourse, Colombo)

May 24, 2014 – Philippines vs. South Korea (home game at University of Makati Football Field, Makati, Philippines)

This will be a tough climb and the team needs all the support they can get especially during the home games. Let’s make use of the home field advantage! head to UMAK field, support, cheer, and get behind the Philippine Volcanoes! 🙂 Hope to see you all there! 🙂

P.S.: It never fails, A5N always makes me feel like I’m finally seeing my family again. hehehehe… seeing all my brothers & sisters from another mother & father comin’ in for the event! really can’t wait… stoked! 🙂

Respect. Discipline. Proudly Pinoy!

For my other RUGBY related posts, click on the links below:

Random thoughts: Of being a proud Pinoy and of the Philippine Volcanoes

Have you ever felt so frustrated that any moment you feel like you can burst like a bubble? Yeah, its always like that for me when I see empty seats in the stadium. It is also kinda depressing. Why are people not coming in if we’ve been doing so well after 5 years? Why are people not coming if the team have been phenomenal?

Do you know what its like when you’ve played your heart out, almost losing a limb in the process and yet nobody seems to know? Nobody’s watching? Yeah, tell me all about it. That’s the most painful that after you’ve given everything you’ve got, nobody cares. I should know coz I’ve been playing football for 3 years (not an athlete just to be clear) and the teams I’m with still struggle, begging for people’s attention. But its quite understandable coz we are not a National Team.

But for a National Team like the Philippine Rugby Team Volcanoes, who’s been existing, playing and doing really, really well for the last 5 years, not getting the people’s attention sucks big time.

For the past 2 years that I have been volunteering and helping out in organizing the tournaments & handling International teams for the Union, this always get my attention — empty stadium seats.


We’ve been struggling (pretty damn hard to be honest) to fill the stadium with audience who can cheer & vie for the team. With a capacity of just 13,000, Rizal Memorial Stadium (RMS) is considered one of the smaller venues for football here in Asia. Best we can do is an almost (but not quite) full grandstand during the final game with still empty bleachers (the green & blue area).


yep, that green area –> bleachers of RMS. Still empty seats.

So you ask yourself, what seems to be the problem? The team have been doing really, really well, on top of their game since the team formed & played year 2008. And to prove just how good, no, how PHENOMENAL the Philippine Volcanoes are, the International Rugby Board (IRB) applauds the team citing its remarkable climb to the top of the rankings. IRB says & I quote; “Of these seven nations, the Philippines are the ones to have left their mark, ending the year 15 places higher than they entered the rankings after winning the HSBC Asian 5 Nations Division 1 title on home soil in April to earn their place alongside the continent’s elite in 2013.” And its not only the 15s team who’s cited with remarkable performance, the 7s team as well as they have qualified for the 2013 Rugby 7s World Cup in Russia for the first time in record history.

Read IRB’s full article here:

Well perhaps the sport Rugby is too foreign to Filipinos. We’ve been known for ages as Basketball and Boxing country and these two can be quite hard to contest with. Rugby is totally foreign to us that we’ve got no historical ties with it. And we also cannot deny the fact that its hard to endear yourself to a team looking too foreign, sounding so foreign too, speaking any language but not Tagalog and know nothing about the Philippines, not until they made it into the team.

But I dare not to lose hope. I started out as a soccer player but I fell head over heels in love with Rugby. The discipline, fitness and the confidence it gives you, something that I never found in Soccer. Its really not hard to love and embrace the sport, if you just give it a chance.

And what’s not to love about the team? Well for girls, you can see the very “obvious” reason why they hound I mean support the players as most of them are good-looking sons of a gun and can give David Beckham a run for his money!!! But kidding aside, they may look & sound too foreign having no knowledge about the mother land and cannot sing the national anthem in whole, believe me, they’re Pinoys through and through and here is why:

1) Like most of us Pinoys, they too love to take their pictures of new places, stuff, and what have you. Look at Ollie Saunders here with his new furniture & that other photo taken when he first got on board NTT Shining Arcs RFC of Japan! :)) I must say, that is just so Pinoy, Ollie! and that peace sign.. Pilipino ka nga! :))



2) Ask Matt Bellenie “What about you is Filipino?” His answer? “My rice consumption & dashing good looks!” ahahaha! read full article here: But I think, the way you sleep is the most Pinoy in you! :)) photo courtesy of Ollie! :))


3) One of the most favorite food of Darran Seeto is Chicken Inasal! Whether it’s from Bacolod or Iloilo, it doesn’t matter, as long as it is Inasal!


4) Ask Lolo Austin Dacanay of how proud he is of his Filipino heritage & of being a Philippine Volcanoe, here’s what he said:

We represent 92 Million people every time we put on that National Team jersey. And although the brotherhood is very loose & fun, from the most senior players to the rookies, we all understand that it’s an honor and privilege to represent the Philippines. Our words, actions and performance is just a result of that understanding. Being a Volcano finally validates all of the years of sports where I fought with the White, Black and Hispanic kids that I never fit in with, but tried so hard to. It has given me an identity that I am forever proud of, and that honestly, I’m ashamed not to have known much about until 2007. It’s something that I will pass on to the players that follow me, to my children, and every Filipino that I meet anywhere in the world until I’m gone. I’m proudly Pinoy, and that’s what it means to be a Volcano.”

Lolo is definitely one proud Pinoy! Fact: Austin Dacanay is one of the few team members who’s pure Filipino, both parents are Pinoy. read full article here:

Just give ’em a chance, will ya? They all have a different way of thinking & speaking but they are doing their best to adjust and reach out to fellow Pinoys. They need room to work at trying to live and be a Filipino without other fellow Pinoys judging them or making fun of them. They are all working hard to get to know a place that they didn’t have the privilege of growing up in. We should also recognize and accept the fact that they are bi-cultural, that the other half of them belongs to another place, another home.

Now think of it this way… These players CHOOSE TO PLAY FOR THIS COUNTRY, FOR THE PHILIPPINES. They can opt to play to wherever but they choose here, they chose us. Its more than a testament that they acknowledged and embraced the Filipino in them.  Who is a Filipino? Sino nga ba ang Pilipino? How can one say I am a Filipino? Is it the color of your skin? Your looks perhaps? Is it the language you know & speak of? Somebody born, raised, and living here in the Philippines? Somebody born from 2 legit Filipinos? Here’s what I think — You don’t have to be born, raised, and living here in the Philippines for you to be called and considered a Filipino.  Being a Filipino is not just by blood, by your skin color, or your looks — it is but most importantly by heart.

One of my favorite sports commentator and analyst, Sir Bob Guerrero capped all of this in one of his interview: “At the end of the day, if your momma knows how to cook a mean adobo, then you have to be considered Pinoy. Even if you are raised abroad and have never been to the Philippines. The reality is there is a huge Filipino diaspora living abroad and their children have every right to represent the Philippines in sports.”

and its just mean and unfair of us to deny these lads of our support. We should remember to love our own, no matter what package they are presented in. : ) So the next time you think about you being a Filipino and how proud you are of it, remember these lads and how they fight just to bring glory and pride to the mother land.


I am inviting everyone to get behind the Philippine Volcanoes and support them in their home games on May 4th & 18th, 7pm at Rizal Memorial Stadium. Tickets are available in all Ticket World outlets nationwide and via Ticket World online: PLEASE do watch the games live! It will make a world of difference seeing your home crowd cheering for you to win, it’ll definitely give the team a boost after the loss vs Japan and I’m pretty sure the boys will appreciate it seeing each and everyone of you at the stadium. : )

So why am I doing this? What do I get from this? I frequently ask myself that. To be honest, this is not a paid article. I get nothing doing this… I don’t even know if the players even know that I am doing this or if they even remember me… But, I’ve seen them since day 1 and the amount of dedication, passion, and hard work they put in to just wear that jersey and represent this country, it just moves me. Their eagerness to share and teach what they know about the sport to every Pinoy, that makes me happy. Their “never give up” attitude, Pinoy na Pinoy yan and something that I look up to. And their love for fellow Pinoys, always trying to pay it forward in anyway they can, all of these, It makes me extra proud that I am Filipino. The Philippine Volcanoes is one of the many reasons why I flaunt and will always be proud that I am PINOY! : )

Be in the know and catch up with the team & the Union thru:

For inquiries and sponsorship, you may contact the union via:



Best of luck to the team in their next games! and everyone, hoping to see you all in Rizal this May! : )

Respect. Discipline. Proudly Pinoy.

HSBC A5N: Philippine Volcanoes vs powerhouse Japan


(Photos c/o Philippine Rugby Football Union)

Coz they choose to play for this country that’s why I am so proud of ’em! Japan remains to be unbeaten since the inception of this tournament and they’ve been a permanent participant in the Rugby World Cup.

But the team got my full confidence. I trust that they can get the job done but even if they don’t, I’ll be just the same, proud of ’em always. If anything, Pinoys are resilient and can get through any adversity (no matter what) with a smile on our face. We don’t wait for the storm to stop, we learn to deal with it and dance in the rain. They’ll be flying out today, heading off to Japan. To the boys, We all know it will be a tough climb but rest assured that we’re all behind your back, supporting you all the way and no matter the result. Win or loose, as long as you know you gave it your all, keep your heads up and walk with pride. DAHIL TAYO ANG LAHING DI PADADAIG AT HINDI PATATALO. LABAN LANG HANGGANG SA HULI.

Till the last whistle is blown, till the last minute.

Catch the Philippine Rugby Team VOLCANOES tomorrow as they play top notch team Japan, 1pm (Manila Time) live on Star Sports & Solar Sports (local cable channel)!

Throw your support behind the Philippine Volcanoes! : )

Respect. Discipline. Proudly Pinoy!

Pasig United FC joins Kasibulan Project 2012 of Philippine Football Federation

This was the article I made for my club’s Facebook Fanpage so not to worry if it sounds so different from my other posts.. It talks about the Kasibulan Project 2012 experience of Pasig United FC. It was unfortunate that I wasn’t able to attend the event but happy to get an insider look from my Coach/mentor, Kuya Alan Triñanes.  so here it goes.. 🙂

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Nothing sweeter than to see the kids of Pasig City actively engaging themselves in football. It was a dream come true for Pasig United Football Club’s Coaches and staff as we have been actively promoting the sport in the past year and will be doing so in the years to come.

Part of the PUFC’s initiative to promote football in Pasig is to take part in all activities of Philippine Football Federation (PFF) and National Capital Region Football Association (NCRFA), the governing bodies for football here in the Philippines. And it has been agreed that coaches & players will be devoting their time for PFF’s Kasibulan Project 2012.

KASIBULAN Project was actually a long-time project of PFF that was re-launched last February 2012. It’s the Grassroots Development Program that aims to discover and develop potential Filipino Football talents from grassroots level and breed new Azkals in the process. Part of the program also includes modules and lectures for people who aims to be a legitimate football coach.

After a few meetings with PFF, the date of Kasibulan Project to be held in Pasig was determined and Pasig United FC heed the call to send in representatives to participate in the momentous event. PUFC Coaches (and players as well for the seniors pool) Coach Alan Triñanes & Sir Rogie Romero was there along with two players from PUFC Men’s Team, Ramcis Allen Chan and Laurence Lao. Undergoing 3-day seminar/classes at Rizal Highschool Football Field, these four gentlemen completed and successfully passed all the modules of Kasibulan Project therefore earning them their coaching certificates from PFF.

Coach Alan with his cert from PFF! 🙂

Teammate and now Coach Ramcis! 🙂

And lastly, Coach L! 🙂

Present in the event is seminar facilitator Michael Jayson Agbayani, development officer of PFF. Present since day 1, Mr. Agbayani has been the guide of participants and kiddie footy players during lectures and practicals on the field. Also present are Vincent Caluag, sports consultant for Pasig City, Atty. Roland Tulay, secretary general for PFF and president of NRCFA and Regional GDO, Mr. Aries Bocalan. The event were also graced by the “Teen Azkals”, who happily mingled with the kids in the program. There were over 250 kids participated which includes our own baby booters from PUFC and kids from public and private schools. We’re also happy to see the parents of the kids present and actively supporting their children’s sport. Among the supportive parents, we saw Congressman Teddy Casiño.

With the U-14 National team fondly known as “Teen Azkals”. They happily mingled with the Kasibulan kids! 🙂

Catching up with a short online interview with PUFC Coach Alan Triñanes, here’s what he has to say about his Kasibulan Project 2012 experience:

“It is very seldom that you get this kind of opportunity. It was a great experience working with PFF for the Kasibulan Project in Pasig and it’s a great opportunity for me to give back my years of playing football. I really can’t help it but smile while seeing those kids play and learn football. After 17 years of not putting on my soccer shoes, or cleats as what they call it nowadays, I got another opportunity to play and to coach. Now, I found my place in the football world, again.”

Well, to these four gentlemen who dedicated their time & effort for the Kasibulan Project and stood representatives of Pasig United FC, we’re proud of you! We admire your efforts to continually learn football and your willingness to share & teach the know-hows to the future generation. Let’s continue learning and dreaming for ourselves, the club, and for Pasig City. Sipa, Sige!