I believe

IT was a frustrating journey wasn’t it?

To feel alone in your love for a sport that seem destined for the doldrums.

You questioned yourself after yet another failure.

“Is it worth it?” You asked, after yet another heartache.

That does it! You screamed, after yet another fuck up.

So you left.

You screamed for Man U. Went gaga for Barca. You danced the Samba with the Selecao, jeered at Les Bleus.

You cried with Iker as La Roja ended its World Cup curse.

But then, as you watched the Spaniards lift that trophy, there was that tiny moment when you imagined
yourself, screaming for the country in the sport’s biggest stage.

Preposterous you said. Just a hangover. You’d settle for them winning an international game.

You left but you never really left. So did, apparently, thousands of others.

You wondered if it was possible to cheer for the Azkals as one country.

It turned out, you were never alone.

One man. One coach. One team.One vision. That was all it took.

That man changed Philippine football, making everything possible.

That coach is trying to guide it to new heights. And he has to do it facing the same problem the team has, nobody takes him seriously. Until now.

That team has made believers out of a skeptical country by not giving up. They gave a new meaning to what it’s like to face the Philippines on the pitch. This team doesn't give up. This team gave us hope.

That man converted so many believers that many are willing to face off with that president. They’d fight for him. And oh are they willing to fight.

That coach won the country over, not just by his on-field actions but off it. Henry Calisto, they warned, don’t ever step into this country. The coach may have shrugged off the insult, but they felt it. And they didn’t like it.

That team? Well nothing more can be said of the team. It wasn’t a beautiful year since the bus incident but this team made it feel good to be Filipinos again.

That team made us believe.

That team, we believe.

THIS TEAM WE BELIEVE!!!

So tonight, it’s time to pay it back.

They’re in a different country in a stadium packed with 88,000 fans who are against them.

Let’s make them feel right at home. Let’s make them feel that 92-million strong Pinoys are behind them.

I believe. You believe. We believe.

Comments

Siouxsie said…
Couldn't have said it any better. This piece is enough to drive any BELIEVER to tears. Thank you for expressing our feelings so concisely. AZKALS FTW!!!
Cy said…
Great read. Thanks.
[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Cy Baltazar, Naomi . Naomi said: Oh my this one gave me goosebumps! -- I Believe by Mike Limpag http://bit.ly/f7y9GJ Go get em #AZKALS!! #AFFSuzukiCup [...]
sidrow_c said…
goodluck to the azkals.
rona ivane said…
daoga ninyo mga bai! \m/
MaRídoL said…
Well said, well said!
[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by lodíRaM, lodíRaM. lodíRaM said: It'll be for FILIPINO pride. Let us rally behind THIS team and be ONE with them. BELIEVE! http://bit.ly/hpCdju [...]
pat said…
God Bless the Azkals!
Kots Isko said…
good luck to Azkals! galing ng write-up! thumbs up! very well said! :)))
Mike Limpag said…
salamat po
Mike Limpag said…
thanks. Just two hours before the game
Mike Limpag said…
thank you, thank you
sidrow_c said…
my belief is right. with that commendable showing of azkals in front of hostile crowd in jakarta stadium losing to indonesia 1-nil is more for the indonesians to worry about.

im pretty sure that none of the azkals had played in such a crowd and maintaining their nerve and composure resulted in a narrow margin in favor of the host country. the semi final match is far from over.

had the azkal manage to score from any of their three decent chances it could have made all that 80 thousand indon fans sleepless tonight.

with that kind of showing in that stadium atmosphere akin to uefa champions league finals, im so angry thinking about the lost opportunity for the azkals to play at home. the home crowd is the 12th man of the team.

go azkal!

mari go go sho sho sho...
Alex E. said…
Massive performance even if we lost. Hopefully Indons would be nervous next game. I hope we score first. That will rattle them more. But to put things in perspective, Azkals have accomplished the impossible already. Football is back in our sports pages. Pinoys are talking footie. If I am in a dream don't wake me. C'MON AZKALS!!!!! - WE BELIEVE !
luckystrike said…
its not over yet, thats just the "first half" advantage of the Indons. lets hope and pray that we score and upset in the "second half" on Sunday.

even then, you can hold your head up high. that performance last night was nothing to be ashamed of. last nights game proved beyond doubt that our successes in the run-up to the semifinals was no fluke. definitely, this team is now in the same league as the ASEAN superpowers - Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. the mere fact that Indonesia played it very safe the last 10 minutes of the match was show of RESPECT for the Philippine team
spam said…
poetically said! thanks!

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