I remember When Ondoy hit Manila it wasn’t the strength of the wind or the mighty downpour of water that caused the city to sink. It consistently poured for days flooding the likes of Marikina making it a giant river of surfboards and inflatable boats saving people left and right. A brown pool of flooding memories.
It was at the same time the Futkaleros and I came back from a futkal project tired and exhausted. I remember clearly advising Mo and the others to rest for abit and let the rain pass (also because for sure the traffic would be bad). The boys affirmed and so we called a day only to find out hours later that we have been conquered by the rain.
When we woke-up and checked the news we saw the disaster
ter it has caused the homes the victims and the survivors pleading for help. It was also at that moment where it hit me again, this is not the first time I have experienced such divine guidance. Safe at home while nature pours some tough love to its creatures.
Watching all these happen made me feel helpless wanting to help but didn’t know how. Although it was also inspiring to see how the spirit of the Filipinos are at best when in times of help. Relief operations, donations, volunteer programs, and so on. Thats when suddenly my conscience spoke to me and said, Futkal would be great for these survivors to experience. From then I made a silent pact that one day it will happen.
The day has finally arrived by the name of SENDONG. The worst typhoon that hit the PH making residents in CDO like black ants being washed away down the drainage. That was Dec 16 2012 the worst case of natural calamity to hit my motherland. Without hesitation as Michael Jackson would say THIS IS IT. This would be a good chance to plant the Futkal seed to the kids that survived such experience.
Right away I contact my friends, people at CDO, organizations which I can tap that will help me fly from here to there with my team. Instinctively wanting to be part of the relief program, only to find out that you have to wait for the process and make sure to wait for the trauma to subside and calmly relocated.
Feb 28, 2012 two months after the disaster the Futkaleros have turned this thought into reality. With the help of PAL foundation, Elmer Francisco Foundation, Xavier University, Starbucks and all those who helped make this possible.
This is our first development project dealing with this kind of situation, a crisis that has turned into an opportunity. Sharing what we love doing and helping shed light to dark areas that be psychologically damaging. We hope that we can give these kids a taste of the Futkal fever that hopefully creates an outbreak of Futbol enthusiasts. We hope to share inspiration for a better outlook, a paradigm shift to a more positive joyous one. We hope that we can show our country the power Futbol brings not just as a sport but a tool for reaching out…a tool for social change. In FutKal there is always HOPE.