As part of Korea’s continued support for the growth of football in the Philippines, 100 footballs and 1oo sports shirts were turned over last Feb. 21 to Emilio ‘Chieffy’ Caligdong of the Azkals – the Philippines national team. This was done by Director Seong Un-Hwang at the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines. The donation was made possible through the joint efforts of the Korea Council of Sports for All, the Korea Sports Promotion, and the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines.
The beneficiaries will be the young players participating in the 4th Mizuno Pascual Lab Football Festival to be held at Barotac, Nuevo Iloilo on Feb 25 and 26. This football festival was spearheaded by Chieffy as part of his advocacy to give back to Barotac, which is considered as the football capital of the Philippines – having produced national team stalwarts like Ian Araneta and Roel Gener.
It is truly inspiring to see an international football superpower like Korea helping a growing Asian football country like the Philippines. Football in the Philippines has always been there but has never been given attention or support – having to stay in the shadows of basketball. With all the media attention and international spotlight on the Philippine football team, I really hope to one day be able to watch a match between Korea and the Philippines in the World Cup. It may take a long time but with support and the efforts of everyone, I believe that this will be possible someday.
Thanks to the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines for the photo.