We sent stellalehua and brewhuh23 to cover the Clear football game yesterday. Here’s brewhuh’s attempt at serious sports reportage, with photos by Angela Lauchengco.
Stellalehua and I waded through the rains and weekend traffic to watch the Clear Dream Match football friendlies at the University of Makati football stadium yesterday. Clear shampoo pitted all-star teams led by local football superstar siblings Phil and James Younghusband for the benefit of Tuloy Foundation.
Before the kickoff, prizes were given away to lucky audience members. By the time we got there almost every seat had been filled, fans were getting ready with their banners and cheers, and the players were warming up on the sidelines.
As both teams ran onto the field I couldn’t help but wonder if commemorative calendars of the players would be available and where I should line up for them. Phil and James selected their lineups from the players who received the most votes on Clear’s facebook page. The rosters included Azkals, members of local football clubs, athletes from other sports, and showbiz personalities.
It had rained an hour before the match so the pitch was wet and muddy. This prompted some of the fans to comment that the next sponsors for the football friendlies should be a detergent powder. In the first few minutes of the first half we saw Phil Younghusband slip/dive onto the glop, much to the delight of his female fans. The larger percentage of the female population at UMak were rooting for Phil’s team, and it almost cost us our eardrums.
The Younghusbands were not the only siblings battling it out on the pitch. The handsome Del Rosario men, Armand and Anton, were also up against each other (Anton was with Team James, Armand with Team Phil). What is it with female fans and dirty laundry? Hey Surf, I think you have a market here!
Watching the match last night was kind of like watching a silent movie about football. The only time there was screaming and yelling was when the players were ten feet away from their goals. I remember asking Stella what had happened on a particular play and why they stopped. Sorry Stella, I think I ruined your first live football match for you. It became so eerily quiet that the organizers decided to ask the Jamaican drummers to play all through out the second half. It’s true what they say: If you want energy, watch a football match live. If you want to understand it better, watch it on TV.
Team Phil dominated the first half with the score 3-nil. Their badass goal keeper Saba Garmaroudi foiled most of James’s efforts at scoring, which frustrated some Team James fans. There were Korean players on the teams and every time anyone screamed for Park Min Ho or cheered for Byung Jung Yul, I had to stop and check if I was in a football match or a Super Junior concert.
Among the players were Nate Burkey, Yannick Tuason, TV host Paolo Bediones, radio DJs Tony Toni and Slick Rick, models turned actors Fabio Ide and Daniel Matsunaga, and rugby players Andrew Wolff and Eric Tai. Rico Blanco played some of his hits at halftime to prep the crowd. The game ended 5-1 in favor of Phil’s team. I think Team James would want a rematch hehe. Can’t wait to watch the next friendlies.
And now, the shallow thoughts of stellalehua.
Phil Younghusband is so boyish and fair-skinned. At the start of the game, Brewhuh and I were talking about how the two Younghusband brothers have their own individual appeal. James, being the taller one, comes across as the rough-and-tumble type; Phil is shorter and quite boyish. This is much more evident in person, especially after seeing Phil walking off the sludgy field—when he made his way back to the bench, I felt like preparing hot milk and a plate full of cookies for him. Really sweet, too—he still posed for pictures despite the muddy state, and even had an awww moment with a little boy who pointed to him and said, “Daddy, this is Phil.” Looks like we have a new sports icon.
(Incidentally, I found that the rest of Team Phil—with the exception of the African and Arab players—seem much fairer in person, which makes me wonder if the video cameras and lighting we use in the Philippines have a tendency to make people’s skin tones look darker. No wonder ad agencies for whitening products tend to get Eurasians as endorsers: it’s a built-in cheat!)
James Younghusband is a tall dude. I didn’t get to see much of James (or the rest of his team) off the field, and even then I kept mistaking Nate Burkey for him because of the hair, but he does know how to put those long legs to good use when he’s on the pitch. Swift and elegant at the same time. If I were to compare the Del Rosario boys, I would say that Anton is a lanky giraffe and Armand would be the koala who only looks cuddly until it goes on attack mode.
Nico Bolzico has nice hair. Didn’t get to see much of his face, but the hair is so gorgeous that it’s almost touchable, even if he was playing without a headband.
Rico Blanco is amazing. By the time we started singing along to Liwanag sa Dilim at the end of his halftime set, I found a whole new respect for him as a musician and entertainer.
Daniel Matsunaga is…skinny. Which did not stop me from taking pictures with my personal camera. You know, in case my dorm-mates would be interested. Ahem.
So that’s what Paolo Bediones looks like when he’s wearing goggles. Not to take away from his soccer-playing skills (Brew pointed out that he used to play for Ateneo) but I seriously did not recognize him in those protective glasses. He looked… dorky. Same goes for Rafael Rosell and his black bandana.
I think Fabio Ide said hi to us. Or me. All I know is that he turned around and smiled, and I smiled back with a friendly nod. He might have been saying hi to everyone in our section for all I care, but that was a cool, freakout-free moment right there. Though I did find myself re-applying my lipstick without a mirror after that.