Where are the Azkals?

As far as I can remember, World Cup Qualifiers start on June 11, 2015. That’s barely more than a month away. If today was still January, I could understand the seeming absence of the azkals from the limelight. But no, with 34 days left before the supposedly most-anticipated tournament for our National Team, preparations have been nil. Nada. Zero. What’s happening? Where are the friendlies? Or the training camps? Are we that confident that one training camp done 3 months before the competition (which ended with a 2-1 loss to Bahrain, which is the team we will go against on June 11) is enough? I thought I read before that we are going to prepare for this more than we have prepared for the Suzuki Cup of last year? It seems to me that things just got worse.

Plans of having friendlies against neighbors Vietnam and Malaysia seems to be falling apart. And as I browse every night and day for news regarding the azkals, I often leave with disappointment. This was not what I thought would transpire. There are a lot of things that needs to be done, especially mastering the new formation Coach Dooley implemented during the last friendly against Bahrain. Players from overseas were thought to have been called and convinced to play for us, but so far, the likes of Stephen Palla, Iain Ramsay, Luke Woodland and the rest seem to have floated away.

The question now is, what do we want to happen?

Is this a case of local-football-first scenario where PFF now encourages UFL clubs to let their players play for their club and put national duties aside? Or is this a case of negligence on the part of the federation to prepare for such an important tournament?

I have respect for those in the PFF and the management staff of the National Team, but what is being shown now is plainly unacceptable. While other countries are preparing, we seem to be sitting ducks. Even Brazil, with their excellence in football, does not let themselves unprepared. Looking at where the Philippines currently stand in the Football World, I see no explanation to this drought of games (and preparations).

Bottomline is this: If ever the PFF or the Azkals management is seeing this, I ask you to please give more attention to the National Team when it comes to preparing for the WORLD CUP. Yes, this is the WORLD CUP we are talking about. Not a 2nd-tier-competition and not a regional-competition. These are the kind of tournaments where every game, every point, and every cheer counts.

What does K-12 imply? (Philippines)

The government wanted to align the curriculum of the Philippines to other countries by adding senior high, but what it only does is:

1. Provide Vocational studies for students.
2. Provide Gen.Ed. subjects usually taken up in freshmen years in college.

what the heck?

may TESDA po tayo para sa Vocational Studies.
the aim to realign the curriculum with other countries is GOOD. but the method by which the government wants to do it is BAD.
Imagine these consequences:
1. College Instructors will be forced to teach in senior high since universities/colleges will cut them off due to the absence of freshmen enrollees (and assured decrease in college applicants after 3 years). If they opt not to teach, then they would probably go and find a job abroad. Thanks to you gov’t. You just made thousands of Instructors lose their jobs or share their knowledge abroad.

2. Students will not be encouraged to take a degree in college after graduating from senior high. Well this is the effect of having a vocational course in high school. Students would rather find a job suited to the ‘skills’ they learned in senior high than go and aim for a college degree. Ano pa sa tingin nyo ang epekto nito? Pag ang mga kabataan ay mas gugustuhin na lamang na magtrabaho. Aba syempre sino ba naman ang may gustong gumastos ng pagkamahal mahal kung pwede naman na magtrabaho? ‘Yan ang mentality ng marami eh! Hindi ba ito alam ng Gobyerno?

3. Lack of teachers capable of teaching students in senior high school. So ready na tayo na magturo ng hundreds of thousands of senior high students, ganun ba? May mga teachers na na magtuturo nitong mga vocational and Gen.Ed courses/subjects? How about other facilities like:

4. Lack of Classroom to handle the additional years of studying. Ngayon pa lang, kulang na ang classrooms, magdadagdag ka pa ng 2 taon ng high school, dagdag na taon kung saan mananatili ang estudyante sa eskwela na kulang naman sa silid-aralan. Kulang na nga sa guro, kulang pa sa mga silid. EDI WOW!

Marami pang consequences. Pero one thing is for certain. WE ARE NOT READY FOR THIS. Wala namang masama na magkaroon ng pagbabago kung para ito sa ikabubuti ng lahat. But in this particular situation, we simply aren’t ready. And the methods result to a lot of negative consequences. Surely there are a lot of competent minds in the DepEd to think this through. Wag naman sila magbulagbulagan na marami pang problema ang edukasyon sa bansa na mas kailangang pagtuunan ng pansin.

‪#‎SuspendKto12‬

Re: Does Global FC deserve the support of Filipinos?

All the talk that’s going on about Global FC on their AFC Cup run and Kaya supporters who are currently being bombarded with questions have gone to another level.

My previous post on why Global FC deserve the support of Filipinos was not intended to undermine SOMK, or even fans of other Filipino Clubs. The only seemingly negative thing I saw that was striking was the tifo that shows “global is not my country.” I do not condemn the support that SOMK shows towards Kaya. All I was saying is that it was very surprising to see such a thing, given the fact that Filipino club football (and football as a whole) has just passed the embryonic stages. Also, if the Ultras Kaya don’t want to support Global FC’s run, then so be it. And no one will hear a word from me against that. True as this blogpost (http://terraceboys.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-local-scene-needs-to-step-up.html?m=1) says, no one can (and probably should) sway them to support a different club. It just doesn’t make any sense, right? It would be like forcing someone to go out with a person he/she doesn’t like. But my only point is this: The success of Global FC may translate to the success of Philippine Football itself. That is why I said as my end note that “I meant no disrespect to anyone. I just believe the fact that the success of Global FC in the international stage reflects the stature of Philippine Football itself, and that is enough reason to support them in their AFC Cup games.” The ‘everyone’ that I was pointing out, who I was calling on, are other people who are actually willing to support Global FC, and only for the reason that its effects in Philippine Football may be larger than what others may see.

The thing is, even if I want to go to the terraces and shout my lungs out to support our NT or a UFL Club, I just can’t. Not yet anyway. Some said that I was an idealist, and yeah, I think I am. How can we go forward if we don’t think about the best things that can happen? I also saw them say how the local scene must also step up, and of course! They are all right. Supporting is not just through blogs such as this and commenting and posting in social media. I have watched how Ultras from different parts of the globe cheer and chant and use pyros and everything, and I would really like to be one of them. But not today. Not at this moment. Not yet.

I have tried to neutralize my previous blog while maintaining the point I want to make, and it hasn’t seem to have transpired as planned. To the Ultras Kaya and SOMK, I apologize if any of you were offended, but I do hope that all of you can see the point I’m trying to make. In fact, I am not a ‘fan’ of any UFL club. My UFL experience are limited to highlight videos I see in the internet. I am just currently concerned with the fact that club football has a large effect in the International scene.

So, as much as the debate goes about who should support who, my point will always only be to the fact that the success of Global FC has direct effects on how other nations see the Philippines in terms of football, and not on how supporters of other clubs must support their rival; that is just insane.

Does Global FC deserve the support of Filipinos?

Filipino football fans are surely aware that Global FC became the first Philippine-based football club to enter the AFC Cup, the second-tier club football tournament in the AFC, and their first game against South China AA, held in the Rizal Memorial Stadium last February 25 gave a sour start in their AFC Cup campaign. But while I was watching the game, it didn’t matter much to me whether Global will win or lose. I was watching because of the fact that this has never happened before. A Filipino club against club teams from football countries? This almost seemed to be an impossible dream 10 years ago. But here we are now. The 1-6 loss may have reflected several weaknesses and controversies, but I was nevertheless happy to see Global there.

The rise of our National Football Team, the Azkals, has provided a platform for the development of Football in our basketball-centered nation. The United Football League came into place, and teams like Loyola Meralco Sparks, Kaya FC, Team Socceroos, Stallions FC, Ceres, and many other teams sprouted. All of this happening in a span of 5 years. Any Filipino football fan should be able to appreciate this dramatic progress in football in our country. Hence, the answer to the question of supporting Global FC seems to be a clear and resounding ‘YES!’. But no, surprisingly as it seems, the answer to this question is not unanimous, and even more surprisingly, the answer of the majority may even be a loud ‘NO!’.

The picture below shocked me.

credits to KAYA FC official football page. https://www.facebook.com/ultraskaya/photos/a.175704242525835.38362.174611515968441/773016336127953/?type=1&theater
A tifo made by Ultras Kaya. credits to their official facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/ultraskaya/photos/a.175704242525835.38362.174611515968441/773016336127953/?type=1&theater

As if not supporting is not enough, Ultras Kaya decided to make a tifo displaying the sentence “Global is not my country”.

Truth be told. Global is in fact not our country. We may also consider the fact that the players of Global FC are not all Filipinos. So yeah, Ultras Kaya has a big point. But what bothers me is, Philippines is far from the caliber of Spain where Real Madrid fans can throw nasty words against Barca. We are even far from the caliber of the clubs from our fellow Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and especially Thailand. Given the state of club football in the Philippines, I find it hard to understand how supporters of the different football clubs have made a large barrier between their team and the others.

The thing is, the success of Global FC may reflect the status of Philippine Football, and that is something that Filipino football fans must understand. A country’s success in football is not merely measured by the progress of the national squad, it is also affected by how football clubs progress inside the country. That is why there are tournaments specifically designed for club football. If there is an Asian Cup for individual countries, there is an AFC Champions League for clubs (1st tier club football tournament in AFC, similar to that of the UEFA Champions League). A more concrete example is the fact that Buriram United, a Thai Club Football side, is an AFC Champions League team, whereas Global FC has just qualified for the AFC Cup. And that’s a huge indicator of the difference between Thailand and the Philippines when it comes to football in their own respective countries. How can other countries respect Philippine Football if a club team from our country will just be whipping boys in a 2nd tier football tournament. I even read a post where football fans from different Southeast Asian countries are saying how Global was ‘the shame of ASEAN”. Is that the image of Philippine Football that we want them to see? And then I looked at how Filipinos reacted. I was expecting support comments, but no, that is not the case.

Having said that, it is pretty clear for me that, YES, Global FC deserves our support. Not only that, they NEED our support. For fans of the different football clubs, go on and cheer for your respective teams in the UFL. I see nothing wrong with that. When your team face Global FC in a league match, go and chant for your team and against Global. But when it comes to AFC Cup games, yes, only for those games, I think we have to go out and cheer for the club carrying the image of Philippine Football. We have to support Global FC.

I meant no disrespect to anyone. I just believe the fact that the success of Global FC in the international stage reflects the stature of Philippine Football itself, and that is enough reason to support them in their AFC Cup games.

Road to Russia 2018 starts next week

Official Logo of the 2018 FIFA World Cup 2018

Despite being more than 3 years away, the qualification stage for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia will begin next week on March 12. 12 of the lowest-ranked teams in Asia (AFC) will start their campaign of qualifying for the world’s most prestigious single-sport event.
Fortunately enough, the Philippine Azkals were automatically drawn into the second round of the qualifiers being ranked in the top 34 teams in asia. (Rank 17).
Now, the term ‘lowest-ranked teams’ does not reflect the true nature of the upcoming fixtures. Let me enumerate the countries participating in the 1st Round of World Cup Qualifiers.

India vs Nepal

One thing is for sure in this match-up, no one is quite the heavy favorites. While India has been known as a football country for so long now, their steady decline in the past few years will have an impact against a Nepalese side which have improved quite well. Take for example the 2 Azkals friendlies against Nepal in the past year, yielding two 3-0 results in favor of the Azkals. The first result was a reflection of the weakness in defense and midfield of Nepal, but the second one was more of carelessness in the dying minutes. They have shown remarkable improvements in their offense as they use the flanks quite well, pushing the defense against the rope at times. This success may be able to pull Nepal up enough to defeat a mediocre Indian side.

Prediction: 2-1 (3/12/15), 1-0 (3/17/15) Agg. (2-2) Nepal advancing through away goals.

Yemen vs Pakistan

In a clash of David vs Goliath, Pakistan will surely feel the underdog status as they face Yemen, a much underestimated team in the middle east. The rankings may reflect otherwise, but Yemen has provided some respectable results, including draws with Asian Cup sides Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait. But considering political unrest in Yemen, making the home leg for Yemen to be done somewhere else, Pakistan may just have a touch of luck on their side for this one.

Predictions: 2-0 (3/12/15) 0-0 (3/17/15) Agg. (2-0) Yemen advances.

East Timor vs Mongolia

Timor Leste has shown Southeast Asia that they deserve some of the spotlight if their formidable showing in the AFF Suzuki Cup qualifiers are to be considered. Although failing to qualify to the main tourney, they have still shown a lot of promise. Against a Mongolian side which had little showings in the past years, Timor Leste may be on their way to the 2nd Round.

Prediction: 3-0 (3/12/15) 0-1 (3/17/15) Agg. (4-0) Timor Leste advances

Cambodia vs Macau

As a southeast asian, seeing Cambodia progress to the next round would be a good thing, and not an impossible thing, as they face a lowly ranked Macau side. But looking at previous results, this fixture may just prove to be one of the most unpredictable one. Cambodia, with the help of Laboravy, their ace striker, have what it takes to penetrate through the soft defense of Macau. The questions now is how the Cambodian defense will hold against the attacks of Macau. 2014 for Cambodia saw mediocre results during the AFF Suzuki Cup qualifiers, while Macau surprisingly drew with Singapore in a friendly. This says a lot with the capabilities of Macau, and the weakness of Cambodia. Only time will tell which team can go through.

Prediction: 3-2 (3/12/15) 2-2 (3/17/15) Agg. (5-4) Cambodia advances.

Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) vs. Brunei.

Fixture results have not been so friendly for Chinese Taipei, except from their surprising draw against DPR Korea last year. Aside from that, they have been defeated by Hong Kong, Guam and even Cambodia. Brunei on the other hand, has provided some spectacles during the Suzuki Cup Qualifiers, but not enough to win games. Their National team also just made their comeback after a fixture-less 2013. What must be taken as a positive from them is that they know how to score goals, only that they allow goals to go past their defense. This may just be the break Chinese Taipei has been waiting for.

Predictions: 3-0 (3/12/15) 0-2 (3/17/15) Agg. (5-0) Chinese Taipei advances.

Sri Lanka vs Bhutan

Both teams on this fixture have had their share of humiliating defeats in the recent past. While I am having a hard time pulling words out of my mouth to describe this fixture, I think it is noteworthy to say that Bhutan has not played any game for 2014, which brings a surprise when they opted to join the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup. The same can not be said for the Sri Lankan team which has played several games in the recent years, including a win over Seychelles and a draw against Bangladesh. I also think they have a national league of their own, but I currently have no other information on that matter. That being said, one can easily say that Sri Lanka has a football foundation in their country which sadly does not reflect as success in their National Team. But against a lowly-experienced Bhutan side, they may have been drawn their luck this year.

Predictions: 5-0 (3/12/15) 0-3 (3/17/15) Agg. (8-0) Sri Lanka advances.

As for Philippine Football fans, April just can’t come any faster, as we await the draw for the 2nd Round of Asian Qualifiers. The road to the World Cup has started, and so does the preparations for our very own Azkals.

Stay tuned for other Football related news.

MOVIE REVIEW|The Amazing Spiderman 2: Better than the previous … but that’s where it stops.

With lots of people craving to watch this sequel, it is inevitable to expect something great.
It wasn’t disappointing, and it is obviously MORE AMAZING than its predecessor, but other than that, it didn’t quite reach the stature of what a great movie is.

As the opening sequence starts, you can’t help but wonder what the roosevelt is for. It actually builds up the excitement somehow, and it felt good for someone who expects a lot. The movie goes and you’ll find an early action sequence that goes well with Gwen’s speech. The start looked promising indeed, yet somehow, it slowly created cracks in its own brilliance.

The short timed action sequences often give the viewers excitement; sadly it wasn’t the case in this one. There was just too much of this and the “is-that-it?” moment came too often. It was like drowning you with excitement until it was too much to take.

It is notable though that the moments when Gwen and Peter were put together in such a way that viewers won’t feel bored (for those who like the “kilig” moments as it it’s called in Tagalog). And the casting of the two actors(and actress) were actually perfect.

The bottom point is, the movie seemed like a very deep ocean, but the makers were not able to dive to the bottomm of it. The director may get the blame for this, while the movie could’ve been a LOT better. It was worth your P120 – P140 movie fee (P300+ for 3D viewers), or maybe a few pesos more, but that’s it.

For those who are fans of Spiderman, and would want to watch it, go! It’s not a waste of money. Maybe I just expected too much. But who wouldn’t be?

MOVIE RATE: 3.5 stars out of 5
**this is just a personal opinion and may not reflect the insights of other movie viewers or other movie critics.**

The CHOICE

I’ve been really thinking about the best topic to start with my blog.

This blogging thing just came popping out of my mind, until I decided to give it a try. After all, I have nothing to lose. I sure hope that those who would be able to read this will be able to appreciate my effort and criticize my work as well. I felt that this is a challenge for me. In the end, it was my choice to be here.

It was the choices that I made before that made me who I am today. And I’m pretty sure that it’s what made everyone who they are at this very moment. But… did we actually think about all the choices that we made?

Let’s stop for a moment and think about moments in time when we were along a crossroad, when there were several paths to where we may go. Think about how our life would’ve been if we chose a different path. Would it be better? Is there something that you would’ve lost or gained?

Sometimes (in my case, a lot of times), we tend to look back and tell to ourselves, “if only I _______________, I would’ve been a lot happier” or “my life would’ve been a lot better”. I’m quite sure all of us came to that point of time already. But who can you blame??? Who is at fault? Should we actually blame ourselves? or just accept that things happen for a reason?

It never hurts to think twice or thrice when coming up with a decision. They would sure make a difference. I advice to all of you to actually consider all the choices and paths in front of you, before choosing where to go. May it be about your personal life, studies, work, etc., all of it has an effect in our lives, however little. So, never underestimate the little things! They may cause you a lot! We may never know what is ahead of us, so we better give importance in every crossroads in our lives.

But when we realize that we made a “wrong choice”, need not to worry. My friends, I never regret the decisions and choices that I made. I learned how to accept them and faced the rough road ahead.  I always told myself that I may not have whatever good I have today if I chose a different path. I hope that all of us would do the same. Regrets will only pull us down. Our fear of facing what’s ahead will only grow, and we will grow weaker each moment that we hold that fear.

All of us must learn to accept everything that happens to us. We must always remember that everything happens for a reason, and it is up to us to find that reason by going through the path of life with courage, and letting go of our fear.

That’s all for now.

Heads up everyone!

Have a great life ahead!