Friday, May 27, 2016

Under Armour unveils brand house in Cebu

Press Release

Performance footwear, sports gear and apparel innovator Under Armour (UA) continues to expand its reach in the Philippines with the opening of a brand house in Cebu City on May 22.

The first in southern Philippines the 164 square-meter UA brand house is conveniently located on the ground level of Ayala Center Cebu. This ups the number of exclusive UA outlets in the Philippines to four, further underscoring the importance of the country as a growth area for the Baltimore-headquartered firm. Customers can browse and purchase a range of innovative, quality merchandise the company has been famous for since its inception 20 years ago. 

“We are extremely grateful for, and humbled by, the incredibly warm reception from our Filipino customers. We believe that UA’s success is a direct offshoot of the worldwide trend towards an active lifestyle, and how the brand values reflected in our products have successfully promoted such,” said Triple Pte. Ltd. CEO Michael Binger. The company holds the exclusive distribution rights for UA across Southeast Asia. “During his visit to the Philippines, UA founder, chairman, CEO Kevin Plank had described Asia Pacific as one of the linchpins for truly defining UA as a global brand. Indeed, our upward business trajectory here exemplifies that, and increasing our presence should further enable it,” he added.

Highlighting the opening of UA’s new brand house is the Armour Challenge – open to male and female participants 18 years old and above on a first-come-first-served basis. The competition, to be held at the Ayala Center Cebu’s Activity Center, consists of three physical challenges: mountain climbers, squats, and burpees. The fastest to complete the exercises will win a UA tank or sleeveless top and a discount coupon. All other participants automatically receive discount coupons as well. Famous husband-and-wife fitness coaches and UA brand ambassadors Jim and Toni Saret will be on hand to give valuable fitness and and training advice to participants and the general public. A former national athlete, Jim was educated here and in the US on sports science and is the founder and training director of APEX (Athletic Performance Enhancement) Sports Training, Inc. Like Toni, he was one of the trainers in the Biggest Loser Philippines television program. The two presently host MetaBEATS, a fitness show on the Lifestyle Channel.

Interested participants can send their full name and mobile number to Slots are limited. More details will be e-mailed to registrants.

Under Armour’s other brand houses are located at BGC, Megamall and UP Town Center. Also available in multi-branded sports houses, such as Tobys, OV, Planet Sports, Rustan’s and major stores in key cities. Visit for more information.

Saturday, May 21, 2016


Here is a contribution article from my friends from

We are going to show you some important things you can do to become a great BMX rider. From beginners’ advices up to more advanced tips to keep you going.

Start small and aim for the big

You can find all BMX tricks tutorials on You will be able to analyze every trick through the best videos available on the net. From the easier tricks up to the hardest ones.

You shouldn’t be skeptical when it comes to starting with small steps. You need to develop your skills as much as you can. And, learning the basics tricks is going do just that! If you are able to learn as many easy tricks and use it as a foundation, then you’re on your way to the big leagues. Say no! to shortcuts and avoid trying things that are way out of your abilities at the current time. If you really want BMX riding to be as natural as possible for you, then you should never skip any steps. The goal is mastering as much easy and basic tricks as you can.

Then you can work your way up adding some grade of difficulty to your tricks. You will see improvement effortlessly. You should know that avoiding crazy shortcuts and instead working your way up, is for your own good, and that having a strong foundation of tricks and abilities, will get you anywhere you want on this sport. Don’t be impatient! Aim to master all the basics, working your way up until you have enough proficiency riding.

How to select your bike?

The first thing you need to know is, that choosing your bike is a great deal, but is actually not that problematic by any means. Just choose the bike that is proportional to your needs. If you’re a big guy, you can choose bigger and heavier bikes than those that are smaller in size. Although you may feel like you have to follow some trends or certain bike brands, is best that you stick to logic here. For instance, your size, weight, style and current financial capabilities are going to play an important role while choosing.

All bikes are designed for a specific style, and for that reason, they might work for some things but not for others. It’s not recommended to go and attempt high airs on a racing bike. So, stick to the one that is according to your chosen style.

Another thing is to try a lot of models, brands and sizes. Ultimately you’re going to be the sole owner and the only one that should be comfortable on it. If it feels natural to you and it’s affordable, then you’ve most likely chosen correctly.

Find a great mentor

It is undoubtable an amazing strategy to find somebody to teach you every insight there is, all the trick tips, someone that forces you to step up your game. Because the reality of the situation is that, if you only find yourself riding with beginners, your learning curve won’t be as good or beneficial as needed in order to be a great rider.

Finding a great mentor can be in so many ways an asset for your learning process. But don’t stop there. We recommend that once you’re getting the hang of it, return the favor to others having the same problems and struggles you had at the beginning. This will well help your ways of analyzing the details of how to make a trick and avoid certain mistakes. Ultimately you will be on your way to be an awesome BMX rider.

When you’re reaching out to someone about starting to ride with them, it’s a good idea to consider as a possible mentor a person whose skills are just breathtakingly awesome and has a great future in the sport.

Safety first

Contrary to many people’s opinion, the best and smarter way to ride is by having respect of the sport, the bike and most importantly yourself.  You can strongly reduce the risk involved when practicing BMX by simply being aware to take optimal care of yourself, and we’re going to give you just three simple tips on how to successfully do it the best possible way.

1.     The first tip is to prevent cramps, muscle and ligament tearing by just creating an easy, quick and effortless stretching routine. Before you hop into your bike, just stretch those legs, arms, body and calves. This advice is way more important than you may think, and people very often take stretching for granted.

2.     The second tip is to embrace the safety gear. In order to stay on optimal riding capabilities, you need to use your helmet and body protective pads. It doesn’t really matter if you believe they look “lame”, they are heavy (which is simply not true) or that they can cause you to have a heat stroke. Those arguments couldn’t be farther from the truth. Besides, the reward of staying unharmed beats by many ways any comfortability you might be sacrificing.

3.     The third and last tip for optimal safety while riding BMX is, to stay being a rider and not putting into your head any ideas that you know more than the doctor. Yes, we know everybody gets impatient when they get hurt. But if you by any chances do get injured, we recommend to follow step by step all the recommendations they gave you at the hospital. And let time do its job, which is healing your body properly. For example, if you happen to sprain your ankle, please do yourself a favor and leave the cast on, don’t ride before recommended time and go to every therapy session. We can’t stretch this enough! There are always going to be those people that have an aching somewhere on their body, and now you know the reason.

Chubby vs lean

This point’s title pretty much explains to perfection what we’re trying to communicate. Arguably one of the best things you can do to ride BMX better every day, is to maintain on the lean side, as opposed to being overweight. This is not an easy sport and it definitely involves danger at certain points. You can get really hurt if your body is not in the best possible condition, and honestly, when you have those extra pounds on you, chances are not on your side.

Truth to be told, if you lose weight all of your senses will improve. You’re going to increase your balance, ability to jump more effortlessly, will make faster and more natural movements (In other words, won’t be physically restricted) and you will ride generally better.

If you are indeed one of those guys that gain weight easily, then, it might be on your best interest to stop eating unhealthy things and watch carefully what you put into your mouth. You will definitely feel the difference!

Never stop progression

Progress even in little bits but steadily. This is a must in order to become a great BMX rider. There’s no good enough excuse that justifies lingering on the same places with the same tricks for years. You should show some sort of advancement on your abilities and capabilities as a rider. You can achieve progression by just simply put in practice these three advices.

·         Write down your trick goals: That’s right! A lot of people actually do this, and we certainly recommend it. Grab a pen and a paper and start writing down all those tricks you’re aiming to do on the near future. Now, we know you might be excited of the idea of landing your first backflip when you’re a newbie on the sport. But, just write simple and manageable tricks that you haven’t been able to land yet. When you do, move on to the next one and repeat the process. It can be a simple trick or a combination.

·         Always look for a variety of places to ride: You should never take this for granted. There are too many people who find themselves comfortable enough landing a bunch of tricks on the same park. They might be actually killing it there, but when you take them to another place, they can’t manage to ride well enough. This is because their minds are too used to do the same things and place, that they didn’t care enough to get out of the comfort zone. The best thing you can do for constant progression is to go ride on all the local parks and street spots you can think of.

·         Try to go viral: This can be achieved by many ways nowadays. Get out there and it will eventually happen way easily than if you were stuck riding on your little comfy park! In other words, get off your bottom and expose yourself! Go out there and ride on several BMX competitions, even though you don’t end up winning anything. Another way to get some recognition is to record and edit a high quality video part, and of course, uploading it online. Also, one of the most important things to do is, to practice where all the best are riding. By doing this, you’ll boost other people’s awareness of you. Trying to achieve this will make you go practice every day and push you to go the extra mile, and be nothing but the very the best, achieving a whole new level of skills.

Friday, May 20, 2016

PLDT HOME Ultera ambassador Alyssa Valdez launches her first-ever volleyball Skills Camp

Press Release

PLDT HOME Ultera ambassador and volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez (2nd from right) with Volley Friends

(L-R): John Vic De Guzman, Angge Tabaquero and Shaya Adorador. 

MANILA – Fresh off her smashing UAAP Women’s Volleyball Season 78 which concluded less than a week ago, three-time MVP Alyssa Valdez is back with an exciting new venture: the Alyssa Valdez Skills Camp dedicated to young athletes from around the nation.

Together with volleyball organization Crosscourt PH, Valdez organized this initiative for young talents who are looking to improve their skills and dedication to the sport. This summer volleyball workshop will run from May 5 to 22, 2016 in selected areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Valdez shared what participants can look forward to during the Skills Camp. “This workshop will give young players the same experience that full-time volleyball athletes undergo,” she said. “More than having intensive clinics and exhibition games, it will teach them how to become stronger individuals and work well in a team. It will be challenging, but also a lot of fun.”

PLDT HOME Ultera ambassador and three-time UAAP Season MVP Alyssa Valdez

“We fully support Alyssa’s commitment to bring her volleyball expertise to budding athletes around the country,” PLDT VP and HOME Marketing Director Gary Dujali said. “Her relentless talent and dedication have helped grow the volleyball community by leaps and bounds. With her stellar performance in UAAP, she is the ideal person to inspire more athletes to bring even more pride to Philippine volleyball. She shares the same values as PLDT HOME Ultera, both in promoting sports excellence and also maintaining strong connections with her family, which she is able to perfectly balance with her volleyball career.”

The Alyssa Valdez Skills Camp will be supported by PLDT HOME Ultera as part of its ongoing mission to promote volleyball to young athletes at the grassroots level. Ultera also presented the recently concluded UAAP Women’s Volleyball Season 78, which served as the emotional last year of Valdez and her co-brand ambassadors and graduating players Mika Reyes and Ara Galang. Valdez will also be joining PLDT HOME Ultera Install Patrol, a nationwide tour which makes volleyball more accessible to the youth, similar to the goal of her Skills Camp. Install Patrol will also bring ultra-fast LTE connection to more homes around the country with its new Plan 699, the most affordable broadband plan for the home.

PLDT VP and HOME Marketing Director Gary Dujali (right) with Ultera ambassadors
(L-R): Jaja and Dindin Santiago, Alyssa Valdez and Peter Torres. 

The forthcoming legs of the Alyssa Valdez Skills Camp will be held in Laguna, Cubao, Batangas, Cainta and Dasmariñas, where participants will be mentored by Amy Ahomiro, Coach Kung Fu Reyes, Gretchel Soltones and Valdez herself. Selected legs will also be graced by guest coaches and Valdez’s fellow Volley Friends John Vic De Guzman, Angge Tabaquero, Mylene Paat, Shaya Adorador, EJ Laure and Bernadeth Pons. For more information, follow @pldthome on Instagram.

PLDT HOME Ultera offers PLDT HOME’s most affordable LTE broadband with the all-new Plan 699! Log on to for more ultra-fun offers.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

The epic ADMU-DLSU finale

Press Release
PLDT HOME Ultera ambassadors bid farewell to UAAP with their final rivalry

The DLSU Lady Archers take home the UAAP Women’s Volleyball
Season 78 championship title.

MANILA, May 2, 2016 – UAAP Women’s Volleyball Season 78, presented by PLDT HOME Ultera, drew to a close as the DLSU Lady Archers scored the winning point against the Ateneo Lady Eagles in game three of the emotional finals series, snapping the latter’s winning streak and regaining the coveted championship title.

With a score card of 19-25, 25-21, 25-16 and 25-16, the final match kept the audience at the edge of their seats up to the last second, engaging them in the intensity of the situation. Not only was this the biggest ADMU-DLSU matchup of the season, but it was also the last UAAP Championship game of Ultera ambassadors Alyssa Valdez of ADMU and Mika Reyes and Ara Galang of DLSU, who will soon be graduating from their respective universities.

“It’s overwhelming how many people supported us and made the volleyball community stronger,” Reyes said. “To my family, friends, team and all the Volley Friends out there, thank you for the unforgettable UAAP experience.”

“Thank you everyone for your all-out support! What a way to end the season,” Galang added. “I’m sad to be leaving UAAP but looking forward to what’s ahead.”

“I am so grateful to everyone who rooted for the Ateneo Lady Eagles throughout this entire UAAP journey,” Valdez said. “With their all-out love and support for their favorite athletes, it’s really the fans which made volleyball what it is today.”

“On behalf of PLDT HOME, I’d like to commend both ADMU and DLSU teams for such a dynamic season, full of excitement and surprises grounded by a consistent display of teamwork and dedication to the sport,” PLDT VP and HOME Marketing Director Gary Dujali said. “What a way for our ambassadors Aly, Mika and Ara to end their UAAP journey. They are such talented young athletes who have brought so much pride to the Philippine volleyball community. We look forward to seeing them thrive in their careers post-graduation.”

Bagging this season’s Most Valuable Player award for the third consecutive year, Valdez has reeled in bar-raising titles for herself and her teammates. Champion Middle Hitter or Blocker Reyes, on the other hand, was one of the key players who brought the DLSU team to victory in UAAP Seasons 74 and 75, while the powerful Open Hitter Galang was a two-time team captain and Season 75’s MVP.

Throughout their unforgettable UAAP journeys, these athletes have garnered steadfast support and encouragement from their families, friends, fans and teammates. Through blissful victories and painful defeats, one thing remained constant: the veterans’ ability to inspire young athletes with their contributions to collegiate, as well as national, volleyball. These well-loved headliners will be missed and will continue to be honored as they leave a legacy of true sportsmanship and dedication in UAAP.

UAAP Women’s Volleyball Season 78 is among the projects highly supported by PLDT HOME Ultera as part of its sports advocacy to promote volleyball to young athletes at the grassroots level. Together with brand ambassadors Alyssa Valdez, Mika Reyes and Ara Galang, PLDT HOME Ultera extends gratitude to all the fans which made not only the season, but also Philippine volleyball, a great success.

PLDT HOME Ultera offers PLDT HOME’s most affordable LTE broadband with the all-new Plan 699! Log on to for more ultra-fun offers.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Post Event: A Saturday Afternoon in the McCormick Flavor Nation Festival #mccormickflavornation

Last April 30, we visited BGC High Street Amphitheater to experience the McCormick Flavor Nation Festival, an event that was meant to launch their newest products, the Noodle Flavors.

At the McCormick Flavor Nation Festival

They had a pretty nice set-up and our first stop was the registration booth where the organizers gave us a passport which serves as our ticket to free noodles and other treats. In addition, we get a McCormick loot bag when we complete at least 3 out of 5 stamps.


Free Noodle Bar

Despite the immense summer heat, chefs for each of the 5 new noodle flavors was ready to serve in the noodle bars. The New McCormick Noodle Flavors included the following: Birthday Noodles, Chap Chae, Laksa, Pad Thai and (our very own flavor) Palabok.

 Birthday Noodles

There were a lot of people lined up so we picked 3 flavors to try. Our first stop was the birthday noodles. The servers included additional toppings like carrots, quail eggs and some kind of fish cake in addition to the new flavor mix by McCormick. This can be done when you actually create your dinner with McCormick’s Birthday Noodle Flavor.


Our next stop was the Laksa bar coz we just love laksa. When we got our noodle box, it was just what we expected, spicy and creamy. It was a nice jolt of spice, doubled with the summer heat (hot, hot, hot!). They added mushrooms and shrimps which you can also do when you prepare your own serving with McCormick’s Laksa Noodle Flavor.


Lastly, we lined up in the Palabok bar. It was nicely done with chicharon, onion leaves and egg toppings. Our favorite noodle sample was Laksa. I’ll definitely try my own mix using the new Laksa Noodle Flavor.


Indie Artists serenading the audience

We stayed for almost an hour at the venue while enjoying the free noodle samples and we were entertained by a couple of indie artist that generally makes up a great Saturday afternoon.

Other treats

Aside from the noodle bars, there are also food booths headlined by different chefs. The clear best seller was Master Churrero Jordi Barraca of Churreria La Lola’s Churros con Chocolate. A must try dessert can be topped by Cinnamon or get a Chocolate sauce combo.

McCormick Avenue

Sabrina’s Kitchen also provided a special dish, Laing with other McCormick flavors and green mango. It was a fusion of multiple tastes. There was also juice bar, with different choices of fruit teas and juices.

Special Dish from Sabrina's Kitchen

And a unique photo booth of a different kind of background.

Photobooth by Kameramanph

It was a fun afternoon spent with McCormick’s newest Noodle Flavors of Birthday Noodles, Laksa, Pad Thai, Chap chae and Palabok.

6 Reasons To Join Color Manila’s Blacklight Run

Press Release

Have the time of your life during Color Manila Blacklight Run – exercise and party at the same time, while enjoying the sight of neon colors glowing in the dark.

You see the same sights, follow a steady pace, and apart from the music blaring in your earphones, you don’t really get a lot of variety—so what’s fun about a run?
How about joining Color Manila’s Blacklight Run to see for yourself?
Color Manila is encouraging everyone to sign up for a one of a kind running experience—one that combines fitness with new and exciting sights, opportunities to bond with family and friends, while still getting all the benefits of exercise.
Here are some of the reasons why you should seriously consider lacing up those running shoes—


Running can be boring—and once in a while, it helps to add a bit of variety into the mix. For Color Manila, as the name implies, it’s all about the hues. Whether you opt for the 10K, 5K or 3K, you can be sure to enjoy a unique running event amid filled with neon colors.

Join the awesome people who have already registered for the Blacklight Run. Log on to and get ready to have the perfect night out.

It’s At Night

Not a morning person? No problem. Since the Blacklight Run is happening at night, you don’t need to worry about waking up early or running under the heat of the sun. Color Manila makes this night run even more spectacular through the colors they’d be using – the colors would glow in the dark, thanks to the blacklight that would illuminate the entire race route.

Go At Your Own Pace

The focus here is fun. It doesn’t matter if you’re a running pro who can easily complete 10K in a blink, or a newbie just dipping your toe in the world of running, it’s the perfect event to get started. Piece of advice – just enjoy the race route.

Get Social

For those who are always on the look out for something new and exciting things to do in the city, the Blacklight Run creates a perfect venue to get into shape, bond with family and friends, and of course, meet new people.

Through a simple color festival, Color Manila let the media experience a sneak peek of what’s going to happen on the Blacklight Run. A much bigger and better festival with more vibrant neon colors is to be anticipated during the race itself.

For Fitness

While undeniably fun, you’re still bound to reap the benefits of exercise. Challenge yourself and see if you can beat your time and distance, or choose to take in the colorful sights at a pace you’re comfortable with—either way, you’ll feel better about having joined and finished it.

Color Manila Foundation Primer

It’s For A Cause

More than organizing the coolest fun runs in the country, Color Manila sees to it to give back to the community through the Color Manila Foundation (CMF). Inspired by the hues of the rainbow, CMF commits to support the following causes: Medical Missions, Arts and Creativity, Health and Fitness, Mother Nature, Education, Innovation, and Disaster Response. Clearly, Color Manila is an organization with a huge heart.

Amped up for the race yet? Be sure to visit to sign up and get your race kits before May 28, 2016. 

Monday, May 02, 2016

PLDT HOME Ultera ambassadors gear up for last UAAP Championship run

Press Release

Volleyball superstars Alyssa and Mika take center stage in ADMU vs. DLSU Game One

DLSU Lady Spikers triumph in Finals Game One.

MANILA – The ultra-fierce hard-hitters of the Ateneo Lady Eagles and DLSU Lady Spikers went head-to-head in the first game of the much-awaited UAAP Season 78 finals, presented by PLDT HOME Ultera.

The Lady Spikers won game one with a 25-22, 25-22 and 25-21 sweep, resulting in its second triumph against the Lady Eagles this season. More than another exciting volleyball matchup, this finals series signifies the last UAAP Championship run of Ultera ambassadors Alyssa Valdez of ADMU and Mika Reyes of DLSU. Bagging this season’s Most Valuable Player award for the third consecutive year, Valdez has reeled in bar-raising performances for herself, her ADMU team and even teammates from around the country. Champion Middle Hitter or Blocker Reyes, on the other hand, was one of the key players who brought the DLSU team to victory in UAAP Seasons 74 and 75. Throughout their unforgettable UAAP journeys, both athletes have garnered steadfast support and encouragement from their families, friends, fans and teammates or family barkadas. Through blissful victories and painful defeats, one thing remained constant: the veterans’ ability to inspire young athletes with their contributions to collegiate, as well as national, volleyball. These well-loved headliners will be missed and will continue to be honored as they leave a legacy of true sportsmanship and dedication in UAAP.

“It’s hard to believe that this will be my last week playing in UAAP volleyball,” Valdez said. “UAAP played a major role in my college life and helped me grow not only as an athlete, but also as a person. I will give my all in the upcoming game and really make it count.”

“We’re only one game away from bringing home the title. While I feel sad that it will soon be over, I am also so excited and motivated to bring back the championship to DLSU,” Reyes shared. “The next game will be one to remember.”

Two of the season’s strongest teams represent a long-running rivalry in women’s volleyball. Only time will tell if the Lady Eagles will hold on to their title this year or if the Lady Spikers will charge on and snap their winning streak. For real-time updates on UAAP Women’s Volleyball Season 78, follow @pldthome on Instagram. For access to behind-the-scenes moments among the volleyball superstars, follow Volley Friends on Viber Public Chat (

PLDT HOME Ultera offers PLDT HOME’s most affordable LTE broadband with the all-new Plan 699! Log on to for more ultra-fun offers.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

One Meralco Foundation, Philippine Marines hold ‘Football for Peace’ clinic

Press Release

Loyola Meralco Sparks Football Club (LMSFC) Midfielder & Team Captain James Younghusband samples off a heading drill to children participating in the Football for Peace 2016 Football Clinic held at the University of Makati Track & Oval Field last April 26.

MAKATI CITY -- More than 200 children mostly from conflict areas in Mindanao participated in a football clinic held Tuesday, April 26, at the University of Makati Football Stadium.

The “Football for Peace” clinic is an initiative of One Meralco Foundation (OMF), the social development arm of Meralco, in partnership with the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC), and is part of the annual “Football for Peace Festival” which runs from April 23 to May 1 this year.

Meralco’s UFL football team, the Loyola Meralco Sparks football club, facilitated the half-day training alongside volunteers from the Meralco Football Club composed of Meralco employees.

Each year, the festival brings hundreds of children from various provinces in the ARMM and other areas where the Philippine Marines and Philippine Army are stationed to Metro Manila to learn football and compete with various football clubs here.

Started in Sulu by the Philippine Marines in 2011, the Football for Peace advocacy utilizes football as a tool to instill peace-loving values of sportsmanship, camaraderie, teamwork and discipline in the minds of young athletes, especially those who have been exposed to the armed conflict in Mindanao.

This year’s participants come from Sulu, Basilan, Sultan Kudarat, Misamis Oriental, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga City and Palawan. Apart from football, the kids will embark on an educational tour which includes a visit to science museums, manufacturing plants, educational institutions, historical landmarks, media outlets, among others.

Phil and James Younghusband of the Loyola Meralco Sparks FC look on as a participant of the Football for Peace 2016 Football Clinic applies the techniques he learned from his mentors.

On the last day of the festival, the kids will be grouped into teams and will compete with various football clubs from Metro Manila and other provinces in Luzon. The exhibition games will take place at the football field of the Philippine Marine Corps general headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
 “It is a great honor for us to be chosen by the Philippine Marine Corps as their partner in this inspiring initiative. We have been supporting ‘Football for Peace’ since 2012 and we are committed to sustaining this valuable cause. Our shared belief of building the skills of our young people to become responsible, productive and peace-loving citizens will hopefully lead us to a better country.  OMF's participation in the Football for Peace program is a concrete expression of our commitment to youth development through sports,” said One Meralco President Jeffrey O. Tarayao.

The Story of “Football for Peace”
“Football for Peace” began one afternoon in 2011. Lt Col Stephen L Cabanlet and his fellow members of the Philippine Marine Corps stationed in Sulu decided to play football in a field just outside of their detachment. Intrigued by the “new sport,” the local children gathered around them to observe.

After a while, the soldiers took a break and intentionally left the ball on the field. But when they returned, they saw the children playing with the ball, imitating the way they played the game. The children were so ecstatic that the soldiers couldn’t retrieve their ball. And then an idea popped out from the mind of Lt Col Cabanlet.

If a simple round ball could capture the interest of these young people, then maybe the same could lead them away from the armed conflict and instead, aspire for a better life. “Football for Peace” was born.

Lt Col Cabanlet and his comrades began teaching football to their eager “students” almost every day since, but they made sure to set certain conditions before the children are allowed to play.

“This is our way to somehow instill values in them,” explained Lt Col Cabanlet. “Once you give them the ball, they will just play and not care about the rules. But if you use the ball to get them to obey certain rules, you are imparting in them one of the biggest lessons a person can learn– discipline.”

Beginning with one small team, the soldiers managed to expand the training and organized inter-barangay tournaments. Then other marine detachments from nearby provinces joined in with their own teams which competed with those in Sulu. To formally launch “Football for Peace,” a one-day peace cup was held in Luuk, Sulu in December 2011.

Children participants of the Football for Peace 2016 Football Clinic share lighter moments with children from other regions and some Loyola Meralco Sparks team members.

Inspired by the advocacy of Lt Col Cabanlet and his peers, the Foundation began supporting “Football for Peace” starting with the donation of 500 balls in 2012. In the following years, the Philippine Marines brought the festival to Manila to give the participants a different kind of experience and show them how peace can pave the way for progress. The Foundation, for its part, sponsored a football clinic lead by the Loyola Meralco Sparks Football Club and the Meralco Football Club.

Last year, One Meralco Foundation brought the “Football for Peace” clinic to Tawi-Tawi to engage more aspiring athletes from the region, especially those who have not participated in the previous festivals. It was the first time for the clinic to be held in Mindanao.\

Children participants of the Football for Peace 2016 Football Clinic get to practice the moves they learned from the Loyola Meralco Sparks team members.

Coach Simon McMenemy and the Sparks team flew to the province to train not only the kids but also their civilian and military ‘coaches.’ Most of the local coaches did not have formal training in the sport and so, giving them a crash course proved to be beneficial especially to their students. OMF also donated much needed training equipment to the coaches.

PMC, OMF and the Sparks are laying out plans for another football clinic outside of Metro Manila this year.

Jollibee and Delimondo, team sponsors of the Loyola Meralco Sparks, supported the advocacy by providing food and refreshments to the participants and trainers.

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