The world is watching. How do you say goal in Chinese?

First off, let me apologize for the lack of postings and failure to answer e-mails and comments. Three words: World Cup fatigue. I’ve also recently breached this blog’s monthly bandwidth allocation but Ploghost‘s Abe Olandres helped me keep this site up. If you ever need a Philippine web hosting company, Ploghost should be your first choice.

From PinoyPress comes this link to a New York Times article: “The World’s Watching – and, Perhaps, Cheering.” Journalist Carlos Conde was quoted in the article as saying: “If there’s anything that can be said of my country, it’s never crazy about football. Basketball, yes, as you know, but not football. There’s absolutely no buzz here.”

Football, sadly, isn’t as popular here in the Philippines as it is in the rest of the world but over the years, its popularity has grown in the island I now call home, Cebu. With live broadcast of matches restricted to pay-per-view channels, I’ve been catching some of the matches through Internet TV, using the TVUPlayer.

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The beautiful game, online

The World Cup opened last week and many football fans are losing sleep keeping up with the games. I know I am. Live matches aren’t available on my cable TV provider but another company is offering live World Cup matches for a one-time fee. What I watch at home are replays of the games broadcast the next day.

Online, the tools of dissent are helping football fans access the BBCs streaming video coverage of the games, erstwhile limited to UK residents. Public and anonymous proxies used to help dissidents in repressive countries access censored content allow you to view the coverage of the British broadcaster, which is also blogging the event. Here’s a great tip from GHacks.net. In another post, GHacks suggests using TUVPlayer and connecting to ESPN2. I might try it out later tonight.

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Go Azkals!! RP football team notches first win in SEAG in…well in a long time

Whipping boys no more. The Philippine football team won over Cambodia, 4-2, yesterday. Pinoy football fans are rejoicing. As my brother said in his report from Bacolod “The word “win” is rarely used in a sentence together with the “Philippine national football team” – the country having been Asias whipping boys.”

azkal

Diehard football fans of the Philippine team have christened themselves Azkals or asong kalye. As I said in an earlier post: Whats your football pedigree?: Philippine football, like the askal, doesn’t have pedigree and is impoverished for lack of support. The askal, however, is a survivor – a trait RP football needs.

The Sun.Star blog on the Southeast Asian Games has photos of fans wearing the Azkal colors and shirts. I’m crossing my fingers the team would make it to the semifinals.

Pro Evolution Soccer 4 not as good as Fifa 2005

Here’s a review I wrote for Sun.Star Cebu’s Cybercafe page last year. I posted this in one of the previous versions of Leon Kilat: The Cybercafe Experiments.

THE first time I played Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) 4, I was a little bit disappointed.

I’ve been playing EA Sports’ Fifa franchise for months, starting with Fifa 2004 and then Fifa 2005 (which I’ll review for Cybercafe in the coming issues).

Unlike EA Sports, Konami failed to get licenses from many football leagues and national teams for their PES 4. As a result, the German national team has as goalkeeper a certain Kalm, which, at first glance, you might misread for (Oliver) Kahn.

If not for persistent reviews that PES 4’s game play is better, I wouldn’t have bothered installing the game. While checking on soccer gaming websites for Fifa 2005 add-ons and patches (which I haven’t dared installing yet for fear it could crash the game and wipe out my four-year career record), I keep on stumbling on reviews that trumpet PES 4’s superior game play and action realism.

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What’s your football pedigree?

I’m an Askal – an asong kalye. Philippine football fans, according to this Sun.Star Cebu report by my brother, want the national team named after the ubiquitous street dog.

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I think it’s a great idea and a great logo (rendered by sports writer Glenn Michelena based on a sketch by retired goalkeeper and Sun.Star Cebu copy chief Noel Villaflor).

Philippine football, like the askal, doesn’t have pedigree and is impoverished for lack of support. The askal, however, is a survivor – a trait RP football would do well to emulate. Based on its last Tiger Cup outing, RP football is improving. There is guarded hope it may be able to win a medal in the SEA games.

But what to call the fans? Some say RP football fans can be Irbogs for irong buang or rabid dogs. Now that’s a name that would do a football hooligan proud.