Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reminders Before You Become an Azkal for a Day

Azkal fans awoke this morning to news that we now have a chance to join them in their dugout and watch the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Sri Lanka on July 3, 2011 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Dubbed 'the closest you can get to becoming an Azkal', it is just one of the many items you can bid for in UNICEF's Auction for Action charity bidding.

You not only get to rub elbows with the Azkals in their locker rooms, you also get to watch the game in the Azkals' dugout! How cool is that?

An Azkals kit signed by the whole team will also be given to the winning bidders.

Personally, I would like to add some personal reminders for those who are bidding for the vouchers. First off, please take the bidding process seriously. As an ebay seller myself, nothing ticks me off as much as 'winning' bidders failing to take responsibility for their 'winning' bids. A plethora of excuses usually follow why he/she can't get the bidded item, none of which is acceptable.

Since this is for a very worthy charity, UNICEF, and this would surely involve a lot of money, (php 8.050 per voucher as of writing), this writer humbly suggests winning bidders take responsibility in their actions.

Secondly, it is my fervent wish that whoever wins this auction, he/she will act appropriately whilst in the dugout before and after the game. The winning bidders will definitely fork out a huge sum of money for the privilege to be with the Azkals. The key word(s) in the previous sentence is 'privilege' and not 'a huge sum of money'.

It would be a privilege to be privy and be amongst the Azkals. It would not be a right. Granted that one paid a princely sum for that privilege does not make it a right. The Azkals will have a game to play, and it is no ordinary friendly game. It is the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, where we hope to beat Sri Lanka in order to qualify for the second round.

There are also many items up for grabs in this charity auction. You can view the items here. Link for the Azkals Experience here.

This opportunity ends on June 4, 2011 at 1600 hours Manila time. Still a lot of time to bid, and to raise the money for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

See you on July 3! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Jeepney Magazine

Many have asked why I am involved in the Homeless World Cup project. I was drawn to it because of the very noble aim of being able to help a marginalized sector of our society through something that I love, which is football. 
In the process, I was introduced to an even nobler project, started by Bill and Debbie Shaw. Here are some YouTube videos to further explain how The Jeepney is more than just daily transportation to some people. 

As said in the video, the concept of a street paper is not new. There are 112 street papers in 40 countries in six continents around the world. A Jeepney Magazine costs php 100,  php 50 of which goes to the vendor.

Maldwyn de Pano of Design Plus puts it very well : ' We're not selling the magazine, we're selling a new life (pagbabagong buhay). It's a very noble idea, you give dignity to the person who has no home, no job. '

How can we help?

We can subscribe to the Jeepney Magazine and purchase back issues from the vendors.
Details are here in their website :

Or for more info, you can get in touch with Ms. Cecill Artates via or via her cellphone number : 0999-6908156.
For subscription, kindly please email

Let's all hop on The Jeepney!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Your Homeless World Cup 2011 Team Philippines

Not even a late change of venue can dampen the finalists' spirits.

Eleven young men from all over the Phlippines showed their wares in a converted street football court in the JCCV (Jesus Christ Church in the Valley) in Cainta, Rizal on April 30, 2011. In front of a sparse but passionate crowd, they went through drill after drill, scrimmage under scrimmage, trying to prove their worth in front of the panelists who were keenly watching their every move.

Under the supervision of Coach Rudy del Rosario and Assistant Coach Mark Maravilla of the 2010 Team Philippines, eight men were finally chosen to represent the country. This means that there were to be three broken hearts that day. A bit of good news for the three men who failed to make the cut, though : Two members of this year's selection, Bert Sienes and Jeffrey Guelas from Manila, similarly failed to make the cut in last year's try-outs, but were selected to Team 2011.

HWC Team with FIFA Committee Member Cristy Ramos

The eleven finalists with the panelists, coaches and The Jeepney

Thanks to the renewed football interest in the country, mainstream and social media flocked to cover the event. Mark Zambrano and a crew from Mel and Joey from GMA 7 were present. Spotted amongst the crowd were Soccer Central Phlippines' Icko de Guzman and's Arielle Cruz, Craig Burrows and Roy Moore.

With some very handsome people from
Bus Driver Mark Zambrano. Specialty : Parking.

Congratulations to the eight young men who will represent the country this August in Paris, France. 'Life-changing' may not even be enough to describe how this experience will change them. Some of them broke down in tears of joy after the announcement, knowing their lives would never be the same again. Others rubbed their eyes over and over, seemingly unable to fully comprehend that they have been selected to the team, still unable to fully grasp the extent of their achievements.

Such was the pressure and desire in them, that this was the only time I saw most of them smile the whole day. And when the smile came, what a smile that was.

Here is your Homeless World Cup 2011 Team Philippines :
From left to right : 

Jeffrey Guelas -Leveriza, Manila. 
Jeffrey de Castro - Cainta, Rizal.
Bert Anthony Sienes - Manila Boystown.
Janrick Soriano - Talisay City, Negros Occidental. 
Michael Rojo - Talisay City.
Aljhonn Loui Matulac - Estancia, Iloilo. 
John Celiz - Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo.
Christopher Mullon, Cebu City.

Jeffrey de Castro's name was the last one called by Coach Rudy. After his name was called you could sense a palpable wave of relief in his face. 

Bert Sienes impressed in goal, and another goalkeeper Michael Rojo caught the eye by scoring a hat-trick when he was playing outfield during scrimmage. Truly a versatile player who could be very useful up front as well. For sure, we will hear much more from them in the buildup to the World Cup in August.

The team also has an added advantage now of having a dedicated fitness trainer who will help enhance their fitness levels in time for the tournament. Coach Rudy himself admits, "Fitness levels was one of  the weaknesses of the 2010 Philippine Team. We hope to address this issue this time around."

For the selection committee, the work has ended. For the team and the coaching staff, the work has just only begun. 

For more info on the team, and ways to help them, please visit these sites : 

Homeless World Cup Official Site.
The Jeepney Magazine
Homeless World Cup Team Philippines Facebook Page

More Pictures from the Tryouts here.

The team needs all the help they can get. Let's support them all the way!