Monday, May 26, 2008

The Fil-foreigners

I’ve long wanted to write about the “Fil-foreigners” rather on the use of the term ever since I heard Chad Gould’s father’s remarks during Mari Martinez’s visit in the CebuFA elections.

(Please check Jack Biantan, my former boss', column at Pinoysoccer.com for reference.
To sum it up, the term Fil-foreigners, according to the senior Gould, is an insult, since these folks are 100 percent Filipinos.

They got it wrong.

The Fil-foreigner tag isn’t supposed to denote a Pinoy’s lineage, it simply serves to identify where that certain Pinoy learned the sport. Note that the “Fil-foreigner” is a term unique to Philippine football—owing perhaps to football’s global reach.

In the PBA, they are identified as Fil-Ams, or Fil-Tsongan, or as others would have it, as Fil-Shams.

These Pinoys learning of the sport--and training—is what makes them different. It’s not about lineage, or ancestry. Hence, the Fil-foreigner tag. By being named or tagged as a Fil-foreigner, they are supposed to save or to deliver…lineage notwithstanding (unless you include the purists)…Philippine football from the doldrums.

Why then do we have reports that say, the Philippine team, bannered by Fil-foreigners…or the Philippines will pin its hope on basketball gold on Fil-Ams…It is never--and was NEVER-- about lineage, it is always about skills.

Take the case of billiards for crying out loud. If football has Pele, or basketball has Jordan, we have Efren Reyes. Do we have FIl-foreigners in billiards? We don't! Instead, we have players who are identified as "Filipinos who are now based in Indonesia, Malysia or Dubai."

No Fil-foreigners!

To the Goulds, Younghusbands, Greatwitches, Del Rosarios, don’t you ever think that being branded a Fil-foreigner is an insult. It isn’t. It should be an honor, and a privilege, something you must prove that you deserve, hence you have local players asking, what does this dude have against me that I don't and have not experienced..except for the place where he learned the sport?

As to the change of attitude or rather the attitude that the team should adopt and learn from these Fil-foreigners (and yes, I shall continue to use that term).

In previous tournaments, the Philippines played not to lose, and not only that, they played not to lose by 10 goals or more.

When these guys showed up, they showed that not only do we have to play to win, but we CAN play to WIN!

And that, is what a Fil-foreigner is all about!

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