Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Press Release for Jan. 7, 2012 Sendong Charity Match : Azkals vs Inter de Madrid

"Dili kamo nag-iisa"

Sendong left the nation shocked and grieving, grief like this demands a response and responsibility. As a nation we have a chance to stand as one with the victims and let them know they are not alone, as such a football match is being organized to raise funds for the victims and let them know we care. The match will be between the Azkals and friends v Internacional de Madrid a Spanish league side on Jan. 7th at the Rizal Memorial Stadium and will be called "Dili kamo nag-iisa" a blend of Bisayan and Tagalog showing the strength of unity and purpose that if one of us suffers we stand together and care together and are stronger for it.

The havoc that Typhoon Sendong inflicted has left many Filipinos grieving or knowing others whose lives have been tragically impacted, the Philippine football community spans the nation and as it emerged how horrendous the situation was the Philippine Football Federation received word that they also had also suffered casualties, Juni Caaway a referee from Iligan lost his life and Norman Lozano another referee lost four children. Thoughts and prayers are with them and the other victims.

Ticket details will be released soon and tickets will be made available for a minimum donation set low enough to encourage all levels of society to attend but high enough that the donation will be meaningful. The organizers are also asking for donations of goods to be taken to the match where LBC will have trucks and staff on site to help sort the donations.

Why not get involved, encourage your friends to watch the game with you, organize a viewing party with a suggested minimum donation, ask a local bar to host an event with a percentage of the evenings takings to be donated to the victims, sort through your things and donate what you do not use or need, if we all get involved and share the responsibility we can let those still suffering know that indeed dili kamo nag-iisa.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) have been chosen as the main beneficiary for the event and the LBC Foundation are working with the organizers to maximize collecting and distributing donations. Selected LBC offices worldwide are open to accept donations:


We are counting on your support to be able to provide food, non-food items (including kitchen ware, dinner sets, cleaning materials, latrines, medicine, livelihood programs and shelter projects) and our services to the most vulnerable Filipinos in the hardest hit cities and provinces.


Below Philippine Red Cross bank account details provided for all cash donations:

Banco de Oro Peso Account: 4530018647, swift code BNOR PH MM



All LBC branches both here and abroad are serving as drop-off centers for all donations. All these donations will then be turned-over to partner NGOs in the affected areas (Red Cross, Sagip Kapamilya, ABS-CBN to name a few).

These are the countries outside the Philippines where LBC has a presence:

KSA & Kuwait

Please be aware of restrictions abroad though. LBC cannot accept bottled water and medicines for shipping to the Philippines. There is also a law against importing of used clothing being imported into the Philippines .

Please check www.lbcexpress.com  for the branch closest to you or call the LBC Hotline on 8585-99


Courtesy of Mr. Craig Burrows.

Dili kamo nag-iisa. Sendong Charity Game Poster and CGreatwich's statement

Listen, guys.

This is a perfect opportunity for football fans to give back. Too often, we have always thought, what can I do to help? The football players and the powers that be have done their share by organizing this game, it is now up to the footballing community to rise up to the challenge and help out.

Here is Azkals' Chris Greatwich's statement regarding the game. (courtesy of http://azkalsfootballteam.com/news.php?id=13).

A Special Message from Chris Greatwich

Like millions of people around their television sets, I watched in horror as typhoon Sendong hit Mindanao and caused devastation throughout Southern Philippines. In the past with other natural disasters, I have sat there, watched, thought about how sad it must be and then carried on with my day. I remember a few years ago when the Tsunami hit Thailand and Indonesia around Christmas time and the loss of life and destruction it caused, and yet I felt helpless to do anything to contribute in a way that would have genuine impact.

In the past year, the Azkals have gone from relative unknowns to well-known celebrities. Even 'players' with minimal involvement with the Azkals have seemed to have enticed corporations and sponsors to scramble to be associated with the National Team players. While it is great that some of our players can make a career out of playing football in the Philippines (a concept which was impossible a few years ago) we now have a responsibility socially to contribute in a positive way.

In the aftermath of Sendong it was time for action. As people were left without clothes, homeless and even without loved ones (the death toll is now set to rise to above 3000) I knew that as a football community, we needed to do something to help. It began by tweeting Dan Palami and Craig Burrows—two men who have been heavily involved in developing football in the Philippines and have experience in putting on and promoting big events. The concept was simple—organize a charity game for people to come and the money raised will go straight to the victims of the flood. Within an hour a meeting had been arranged, with LBC CEO Santi Araneta and Global FC Coach Graeme Mackinnon getting heavily involved to push this through. The outcome: a game vs CF Madrid on January 7th, which will be televised on a major TV network, LBC will be providing boxes for people to donate clothes, blankets and groceries and an auction of Azkals memorabilia to help raise additional funds for the cause.  

Football has the ability to transcend barriers like no other vehicle. I have been involved with the Azkals for the past 7 years and the profile of the team has never been higher and it has been a meteoric rise to fame based on the foundations of hard work, togetherness and a 'never-say-die' attitude. My hope is that the National Team realize that we can now use football as a vehicle to transcend these barriers, to help to build relationships with local communities, to aid the impoverished and to generally assist those most in the need.

My hope is that the upcoming Sendong Charity Game will be the catalyst for other such initiatives to help the Filipino's who are most in need. Football is the beautiful game and has the power to help those less fortunate than ourselves. This Christmas—spare a thought for those people in Mindanao without a Christmas—and come out and support our game on January 7th.


Monday, December 5, 2011

More Videos from the Post-Match Press Conference : LA Galaxy vs Azkals

This will include appearances from Coach Bruce Arena, Landon Donovan and David Beckham, along with Azkals Captain Chieffy Caligdong and Phil Younghusband.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

LA Galaxy - Azkals Post Match Press Conference - Emotional Blue Haired Fanatic and Landon Donovan

There was one very touching sidelight to the post-match press conference at the conclusion of the LA Galaxy vs Philippines game last December 3, 2011.

An emotional Ebong Joson, aka The Blue Haired Fanatic gave his symbolic wristband to US National Men's Team and LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan, representing a gift from all the fans of the Philippines.

Landon Donovan has publicly said that he has fallen in love with our country and Ebong said that it was the least he could do to show his appreciation and gratitude to Landon, in behalf of the Filipino fans.

Landon Donovan 
Quickly falling in love with the Philippines.
Please see the video below.
Well done, Ebong! 
As for Captain America, we hope that he will make good his promise to come back to the Philippines soon. On a personal note, how we all would've wished he will wear that shirt next March in the AFC Challenge Cup!

LA Galaxy - Azkals Post Match Press Conference -- Coach Weiss

After the LA Galaxy thrashed the Azkals 6-1, here is what Coach Michael Weiss had to say.

He minced no words. Click to find out what he said.

This post match press conference was held in the media room of the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, initially moderated by Rick Olivares.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My Team for the Euro 2012 : Germany

And not just because I've been following the Bundesliga with more passion than La Liga or the EPL. Germany have always managed to do well in international tournaments with such regularity, it surely must serve as a role model in the way it continuously churns out young talent.

More on Germany as we near the Euros, but here is the awesome video from adidas, featuring Die Mannschaft's new kit. 

You might want to check out the same video, in reverse :

Gotta love this team. Had a chance to see them play live, and what an experience! A cameo appearance here on this vid by Jogi Low, but look at the talent at his disposal!

Andre Schurrle, Thomas Muller, Philip Lahm, Manuel Neuer, Lukas Podolski, Mario Gotze, Mario Gomez, Miro Klose, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos and more.

Sorry Spain fans, it's Germany's time in 2012.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Azkals vs Brunei (2008) Locker Room vid c/o Chieffy

As I was doing my prep work for AKTV for the commentary for the U23 Azkals vs Brunei, I found this gem of a video from our midfield maestro, Chieffy Caligdong. This Youtube video was dated August 8, 2008, light years ago from the superstar status these men are enjoying as of the moment. 

From the title of the video, it seems that this was taken in the locker room before the Azkals game against Brunei.

After you see this video, please answer this : How many Azkals can you recognize and who are they? Answers are more than welcome in the comments section below!

PS. Gotta dig that background pre-game music!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Patrice Evra : My Hero.

I think this is one of those posts that does not need any explanation. But please, can someone help the poor boy? He was shot in the knee, and I think pretty badly.

And oh, you gotta keep your ears open for the chants from the crowd.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Shameless Diving -- From the referee!

I am sure fans all over the world are so fed up seeing our favorite footballers continuously dive at the slightest touch from an opponent. 

This time, the tables are turned as the referee gives the players a dose of their own medicine. Must watch!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Video Highlights of the 2nd Leg of the Smart Club Championships (via Bob Guerrero)

For those who were not able to catch the game last night (August 22, 2011) at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium between Smart San Beda FC and Global Teknika FC, here are some of the highlights courtesy Bob Guerrero. Thanks bud!

Global Teknika FC lost the second leg 0-2, but went on to lift the trophy thanks to a sterling 3-0 victory in the first leg thanks to a hat-trick by Sudanese striker Izzo El-Habbib. In the end, a 3-0 deficit was a mountain too high to climb for Smart San Beda FC, even with the return from suspension of James and Phil Younghusband, Anto Gonzales and Paul Concepcion.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Random Thoughts on a Football Saturday (Smart Club Championships and the EPL)

August 20, 2011 was an overload for the football senses. At 6pm I was at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium for the first leg of the Smart Club Championships between TEKNIKA Global FC and Smart San Beda FC. A good sized crowd came to watch the game in the grandstands.

After the game, I hopped on over to Heckle and Jeckle Bar and Restaurant in time to catch the second half between English Premier League sides Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC. Here are some of my random thoughts :

1.) The Rizal Memorial Football Stadium pitch looks as good as  new. Even after the Azkals' games, the pitch has obviously still been properly maintained and not even rain before the match did not cause any problems for the players.

One note though. It is probably a good time to replace the batteries on the analog clock at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. Unless we are commemorating that happened at 12:24, perhaps anyone from the maintenance department should have the clock working again. As it is, 12:24 is remembered as the time the batteries run out in the clock at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

2.) Play from both teams drew passionate cheering and jeering from the crowd. From where I was seated (in San Beda territory), one particular Beda fan in an Arsenal shirt shouted himself hoarse with his very colourful language. Good to see such ardent supporters voicing out their opinions in public. One particular comment drew a "huy, may bata dito!" response, so you can just imagine what he said.

3.) Clearly, respect for the officials have to be observed for any league to prosper in the Philippines. Truth be told, disrespect for the referees is not a just local problem, meaning these same problems abound in England, for instance. Crowding and intimidating the referee, and to a certain extent, shoving him, should never be tolerated.

4.) That said, the level of officiating should really step up. Blatant diving and simulation by players should not go unpunished. On numerous instances, 'fouls' like these led to numerous free kicks in dangerous areas, which could have resulted in goals which could decide the tie. Granted that referees are not perfect, and cannot be expected to get everything right, but some acts of trickery by the players are simply too obvious and simply put the beautiful game in disrepute.

I personally understand the necessity for the occasional gamesmanship (time wasting by the goalkeeper, substitutions), but falling theatrically on the slightest touch, or grabbing the knee when he was clearly hit only on the shoulder is ridiculous and should never be tolerated.

5.) With regards to the LFC - Arsenal game, it was heartwarming for the Filipino football fan in me to see the local chapters of Arsenal Fans Club and Liverpool Fan Club being represented at the bar. The President of the Arsenal Fans Club of the Philippines, complete with his Arsenal shirt, was present alongside foreign expats who were watching the game. Hopefully, it won't be long before local clubs will have the same following.

6.) Andy Carroll looks like a gigolo with his build and his hair, but he sure cuts an imposing figure up front for the Reds. With the Azkals relying on finesse and skill rather than aggression up front, would perhaps a similar menacing striker can do wonders for our offense?

Andy Carroll / Wikipedia

7.) For the life of me, I cannot foresee how Arsenal can win anything with a lineup composed of, among others, Carl Jenkinson, Ignasi Miguel, Henri Lansbury, and Emmanuel Frimpong. Certainly no disrespect to the Professor, Arsene Wenger, but it would be high time to re-invest some money into signing quality veteran players to guide the youngsters.

Frimpong had a decent game, making some fine tackles before his sending off, but IMHO he and the other youngsters are not yet ready for the Premier League.

Emmanuel Frimpong / Getty Images

I have gone on record in saying that any owner of any company would gladly hire Wenger as their CEO, given Arsene's track record for making profits. But, this is football and sometimes it is not enough just to balance the books. It is also important for the fans and players to have trophies to show for their efforts.
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 20:  Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks dejected during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on August 20, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Arsene Wenger  / Michael Reagan GettyImages

8.) Lastly, going back to Rizal Memorial Football Stadium (told you this was a random thoughts post), I certainly hope the people in charge can do a better job on the scoreboard than this :

 * They did not even bother to put a '0' on the score for San Beda FC.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Another TV Commercial by Footballers

Azkals fans, you are not alone.

After enduring the Azkals' Silver Swan Soy Sauce Commercial, we should take comfort in the fact that it is not just of Men's National Team who had to take part in a TV commercial totally unrelated to football.

English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers holds the same distinction now. Venky's Limited is an Indian company specializing in chicken meat processing, and who also happens to own the Blackburn Rovers.

As any shrewd businessman will do, Venky's wanted to maximize their investment in Rovers, resulting in this commercial :

Gives new meaning to Blackburn Rovers FC, doesn't it?
(Blackburn Rovers Fried Chicken).

I wonder if Morten Gamst Pedersen will own the 'wings'?

One thing's for sure, David Dunn and Ryan Nelsen don't need the added pounds!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Azkals vs Kuwait Medical Committee Advisory on Safety During Matches


The local organizing committee is committed to ensure safety and proper conduct of the match to minimize untoward incidents, individual medical events and mass casualty. We have prepared a 45 man complement of doctors, nurses, paramedics, physiotherapists and other specialists to take care of the whole medical and organizational infastructure as well as the spectators.

These personnel have been trained according to FIFA Standards of Safety Regulations as well as Football and Emergency Medicine. In this regard, we would like to assure the general public that their safety is of our utmost concern. In that regard, certain aspects of safety would also involve the active participation of the viewing public with regards to spectator behavior and individual care to ensure the enjoyment of  the match from a medical standpoint.

The folllowing  regulations contain the safety measures that the PFF Local organizing Committee (LOC) provide to help prevent crowd disturbances and ensure a minimum of safety and order within the confines and vicinity of the stadium.The regulations also detail the structural, technical, organisational and operational measures that must be carried out when a football match is hosted in a stadium.


-Upon Entry to the stadium, Kindly be patient with the security checks. The entry security checks shall verify the following:
• Possession of a valid ticket to gain access to the stadium
• That the person is not in possession of weapons or any other dangerous objects that may not, for legal reasons, be taken into the stadium, including aggressive or inciting banners and lasers;
• That the person is not in possession of any alcoholic beverages;
• That the person is not under the influence of alcohol or  other intoxicating substances.

-Individual Personal Care During the Match:
·         Pls. be prepared for both Rain and Hot and humid conditions; caps, light raingear are adequate.
·         You may bring a very small personal safety kit which may contain: a small towel , moist wipes, hand sanitizers.
·         Pls. ensure adequate personal hydration (i.e. water, drinks) during the match.
·         Pls. take care of personal hygiene concerns prior to kick-off to minimize crowd foot traffic during the match.
·         There will be a complement of FIRST –AID RESPONDERS dressed in WHITE BIBS with a RED CROSS. There are 2 first-aiders per stadium section and exit. Should you need any personal medical care, these persons are equipped to render first aid (i.e. basic cuts, wounds, dehydration, fainting, hypoglycemia etc.). In the event of a serious medical event, they have been instructed to Radio Ground Medical staff to coordinate Ambulances and Resuscitative equipment located near the Ninoy Aquino and PATAFA exits. (Pls. see attached Medical layout)
·         There is a MEDICAL ROOM within the stadium. Kindly approach the first-aiders assigned to your stadium should you have any serious medical concerns.

-Individual Behaviour During Matches
·         provocative and aggressive actions are not encouraged
·         The match organisers guarantee in cooperation with the local security authorities that, in the stadium or its immediate vicinity,
that supporters do not act in a provocative or aggressive manner. This includes, for example, unacceptable levels of verbal provocation or aggression towards players, match officials or opposing fans, racist behaviour and banners and flags that bear provocative or aggressive slogans.


            Mass casualty events are untoward events stemming from structural (i.e. stadium), behavioral (i.e. crowd control) and medical events which involve a significant number of the general public. In the event that such an event takes place, the provisions mentioned in this article will help ensure  safety and proper crowd flow.
-                          Prior to match day, kindly take time to be familiar with stadium exit routes and crowd control flows (usually towards the Vito Cruz gate)
-                          There will be emergency access points to the field of play in the event of a mass casualty.
-                          Pls. be familiar with evacuation routes and a slow, controlled exit is highly encouraged.
-                          Pls. be wary of emergency vehicle/ aambulance passage lanes at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium exit and the Adriatico exit fronting PATAFA services.

-                          Pls. be very attentive to Stadium Announcements concerning Individual Safety, Crowd Behavior and Evacuation Routes as appropriate.

The game can be made more enjoyable and memorable if there are no medical events prior to, during and after the course of the match. You are ultimately responsible for your own individual personal health. If you are at any personal medical risk  (ie. Cardiac events, stroke, hypoglycemia) kindly inform the first-aider assigned at your station.

Pls. do take time to read the above safety provisions to ensure an adequate spectator experience. Thank you very much.


(sgd.) Edwin Mercado, MD, FPOA
          Randy M.Molo, MD, FPOA

Four Photos of the Pitch and the Pre-Match Presscon (Azkals vs Kuwait)

Even with the heavy downpour, the pitch looks perfect. This was taken July 27, 2011 at 1:30pm.

No puddles!

Pre Match Press Conference.
From L-R : Kuwait Media Officer Talal Al-Mehteb, Kuwait Coach Goran, Rick Olivares, Coach Weiss, Aly Borromeo.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 28 -- Azkals vs Kuwait Advisory

For all the fans watching the game between the Philippines and Kuwait on July 28, 2011 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, kindly be advised of the advisory issued by the PFF Organizing Committee: 



The Local Organizing Committee of the Home Match of the Second Leg between the Philippines and Kuwait for the Asian Qualifiers of the 2014 World Cup released the following advisory:

Traffic Advisory:

The side of Adriatico directly fronting Rizal Memorial Football Stadium and leading to both Quirino Avenue and Vito Cruz will be closed from 8am-10pm on the 27th and 28th of July.

List of prohibited items:

Food and drink; whistles; 
cigarettes and lighters; 
professional still and video cameras; 
laser pens and pointers; 
weapons and any sharp objects; 
fireworks or any type of pyrotechnics; 
glass bottles, PET bottles, cans, and hard plastic containers; 
posters, banners or signage with political slogans; 
advertising without the express written approval of FIFA and the LOC; 
large back packs and waist packs; 
alcoholic beverages; 
illegal drugs; 
large chains, bracelets, spike bracelets, wallet chains, and metal belt buckles; 
balloons, and chairs.
Pregnant women and parents of children below 12 years old should sign a Waiver Form before entry.


Distribution of media IDs:
July 27 --- 10am -2pm at Media Center of Ninoy Aquino Stadium

Press Conference:
July 27 ----  2pm-230pm Media Center Ninoy Aquino Stadium

Game Day events:
Rizal Memorial Football Stadium gates open at 3pm

Activities: Face painting and photo wall

Sponsors for the home match are the following:
McDonald’s,  Purefoods, San Miguel Beer, Petron, Smart, Collezione C2, Easy Pha Max, Football Philippines magazine, Molten, Summit, RFM Vit Water Power, Yellow Cab, Kia, Suzuki, Philippine Star, 3M, Diamond Hotel and PAGCOR.

Addendum :

Due to the rainy weather, all fans are advised to bring raincoats for the game. Let's go Azkals! We Believe.