FIFA Futbol Mundial is a football-related magazine show produced by IMG Sports Media in conjunction with FIFA. Seen around the world, it has been on the air every week since 1994, when its first show premiered.
Guy Pakeman, who works for the TV show, arrived in the Philippines on the evening of February 17, 2013. I have to admit that I have only seen one episode of the show, but judging by the name alone, you can already tell that it features the latest on everything football worldwide.
According to IMG, the weekly magazine show “travels the globe to bring you the stars of today, the talents of tomorrow and the heroes of the past.” It is truly an honor to be featured and to represent the country
in this particular area. Plus anything with the acronym FIFA attached to it sounds cool. This will hopefully open a window of opportunity for the country to be recognized as a growing football nation. Any interested groups or individuals might be inspired to provide us with help that could improve the state and quality of football here. The show wants to uncover stories from around the world to highlight football as a global game. They definitely arrived at the right shores and were quite timely, if you ask me.
Aside from Global, the FFM crew also featured and interviewed OJ Porteria, Chieffy Caligdong, the Younghusband brothers, Cedelf Tupas, and Payatas FC. I hope I didn’t miss anyone, but I’m sure I did. Anyway, I worked with them for three days and imagined myself as an FFM intern. My first day as an “intern” was on February 19 when they filmed the Global versus Archers game where we won, 5–1. It was also the time when I met the FFM cameraman Ricardo Sanchez. Ricardo has shot documentaries for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, National Geographic, and many more. In other words, my dream job!
We met again on February 23 when Global played with the kids of Payatas (i.e., drills and an exhibition match) and celebrated the second anniversary of the Fairplay for All Foundation. Such an inspiring day! Seeing the kids of Payatas reminded me of how lucky and blessed I am in life. And seeing British Roy Moore—talking in Tagalog, by the way—handle all those kids made me realize that he is such a noble man, teaching those kids and leading a foundation for them. I can only admire him from afar.
The Global players who went were Paolo Pascual, David Basa, Niño Ochoterena, Lexter Maravilla, and Maverick Madayag. Each of them introduced themselves before the program started. When defender Lexter Maravilla introduced himself, the claps grew even louder.
Ricardo asked me if Lexter is famous, and it turns out he used to teach these kids football back when he was still part of the Homeless World Cup Team. An unexpected reunion brought back some smiles and memories to the kids and to Lexter himself, who obviously has a soft spot for them.
We only spent a few hours in Payatas, but these few hours spent with the children will last for a lifetime in their hearts—a priceless moment. Football can touch lives, and I saw it with my own eyes. All of this was captured by Ricardo’s camera.
Fast-forward to February 25, my last day of “internship” at FFM.
Ricardo filmed some snippets of our team training session and Guy interviewed Carlie Martínez de Murga, Valentine Kama, and Dan Palami afterward.
Ricardo translated Guy’s questions so that Carlie could answer perfectly in Spanish. I don’t recall Carlie’s answers, but I know it was a good interview, even though I heard the words bocadillo and Nutella at one point. Well, I don’t see anything wrong with mentioning a Nutella sandwich when the topic is football.
Afterward, we had lunch, talked about the Oscars (and why Argo didn’t appeal to me), and I said my final goodbye to Guy and Ricardo. No waterworks as far as I can remember.
I don’t know if my blog entry captures my real sentiments about the FFM experience, but it really was amazing and unforgettable. Sometimes you meet new people that you’ll never see again, and the next thing you know, they show you how football can reflect the society we live in. I think they just changed my life.
UPDATE: Our feature is finally out!