Yes, I jumped the Azkals bandwagon! I admit before I really don't care about football at all since it is not popular here in the Philippines although during the World Cup this year I felt left out when I found out that the Philippines is one of the two countries that did not really even join the qualifiers. I wondered, football captured the hearts of every nation in the world except the Philippines, why?
But well when the Philippine Azkals Football team beat reigning champion Vietnam in the AFF Suzuki Cup, things changed. For the first time football made the headlines. There was massive hype and they got the attention of the media. ABS CBN Sports immediately got the rights to air the next game of the Azkals against Myanmar on Studio 23 and I watched a football game for the first time. Watching the Philippines vs Myanmar match made me understood why the rest of the world finds the sport exciting. I guess it will really matter to you if you have a team to root for. It felt refreshing that a sport aside from basketball and boxing is making waves here in the country.
As I type this the Azkals are currently battling it out against Indonesia to advance to the finals. I don't want to be pessimistic but I think a win is really a long shot but nevertheless I'm still proud of the Philippine Football Team. Their achievement will forever be remembered by the country and hopefully this will be a start for a brighter future for Philippine football. I have a former colleague who told me that football is popular in the provinces so there is already a following in the country, we just need to make the football program in the country stronger and better exposure. Who knows maybe in three to five years the Philippines could be a force to reckon with in football.