Sunday, December 19, 2010

azkals revisited

the philippine azkals, they took to the field again. this surprising band of men. they are now in the semifinals of the suzuki cup. a feat never before achieved by any philippine national team for football. they are nursing a 1-0 loss to the indonesian team which is as talented as they are. the azkals are playing the indonesian team for the second game of their semifinal match. they are in the indonesian turf and the indonesian people are very supportive of their national team. i could not believe the number of people who watched the first game and the deafening roar when that lone goal was scored. given the unpopularity of this sport here in the philippines, i doubt if we can muster the same number of people if the games were held here.  incidentally, i read a news report that our country does not even have a single football field that meets the requirements of a standard  playing field. so there, that's another reason why the azkals feat is considered a magical run.

they played their hearts out again during the second game. but, it was repeated. the indonesians scored the lone goal again. much as they tried, the azkals were never able to score. so it had ended. the magical run. they will never reach the finals. the indonesians will. and their  people's collective roar inside the stadium was even more deafening than during the first game.

life is actually like this, what had happened to the azkals. i have personally experienced this as i am sure a lot of people did. one finds one's self in generally a good run, bucking life's tests and trials,  evading pitfalls and traps, having a "magical run", and anticipating a good finish, confidence level at the utmost peak. and then, from out of the blue, comes this great kick, and one finds one's self crashing in defeat. ego bruised. confidence deflated. the question is if one has the ability to bounce back. if he has, then good for him. he will have another shot at life's success cup. if he cannot bounce back from defeat and lets the bruised ego trap him in self pity then bad for him. this is the reason why old Sages say one's greatest foe is one's self.

the azkals will go home now. will the news organizations still cover them? will their impressive feat in this tournament  awaken the sleeping gods of philippine sports and turn their benevolent eyes to help the sad plight of philippine football?

i just hope that even if they were not able to advance to the finals, the azkals will still be given the honor and accolade they so richly deserved.

as i write this, there is this nagging fear in my heart, because in the philippines, asong kalye or street dogs are caught, and sold, and more sadly, butchered and cooked into adobo, the popular national dish, to be consumed during drinking jousts where intoxicated, opinionated men take turns recalling their delight in watching the azkals win their games and confidently predict who manny "pacman" pacquiao's fists will hammer into submission next.

old Sages say one's greatest foe is one's self ...

No comments: