03 July 2011

How the Devil Did This Happen?

More than thirty years ago, I used to play at the Rizal Memorial Stadium for DLSU-Manila in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. First of all, whatever grass there was more often than not was golden from sheer lack of water; and there often appeared more gravel than grass.

In today’s World Cup qualifying match against Sri Lanka, the Rizal Memorial pitch was totally unrecognizable from what I remembered it to be. It looked – at least on television – good enough for an English Premiership match!

In those days, a large crowd would be something like 50 spectators; including the homeless who lived at the stadium. How did it ever come to this? I have seen the Rizal Memorial filled with spectators before: in the 1991 Southeast Asian Games in a match against Indonesia. But those who attended were there not for the football! Admission was free and those who had time just sort of hopped from one arena to the other.

Today, everyone was there for the football! Amazing! To think that less than a year ago, I was saying that something like this would not happen in my lifetime! I am at a loss for words; but I am ecstatic, nonetheless! There REALLY is a God!

To ask my question again, how the devil did these all happen? I apologize for the quality of the pictures as these were all captured from my television screen; and I am certain I am making copyright infringements. This time, for once, I really do not care! Those who failed to watch the match – and it was beamed worldwide, can you believe that – you have just gotta see these.

First, the photos:









Now, the videos.  By the way, coming from a military family as I do, Air Force player Chiefy Caligdong's military salute to the flag is very much appreciated.  Way to go soldier!  Here are the videos:




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