HSBC Asian 5 Nations: 1st Gig of Ultras Filipinas

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3 years ago
Topics: Philippines, Blog, Blogging, Write, Sports, ...

With my tenure for 9 years in Ultras Filipinas, I remember that this was our official gig to support our country participating in a Rugby Football tournament as they go against Singapore, Chinese Taipei, and Sri Lanka. We were only a few, but we managed to make some noise with the crowd at Rizal Memorial Stadium.

It was called the HSBC Asian 5 Nations, and this happened on the evening of April 15, 18, and 21, 2012. All games were held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Vito Cruz, Manila, Philippines.

Why Rugby Football?

Another rule in Rugby Football called Scrum

For the group's formation, click/tap here to read more. First, I haven't watched a Rugby Football match personally, and I only knew a few personalities who previously played for the Philippine Volcanoes. Also, we have no idea how the game works. If I could remember, we did some research for the rules/calls before the game.

Rugby Football is much cooler than American Football, I kid you not. If American Football has protective gear with various plays from offense to defense, and can only tackle the ball carrier, in Rugby Football, it's way better. In Association Football, 11 players can play, while on Rugby Football up to 15 players.

Everyone can score so they need to carry the ball towards the end, it is called a try for 5 points, and a conversion similar to a penalty kick for 2 points. Whoever has the highest score wins the game.

My 1st Time Being a Capo and Drummer

We Support No Matter The Sport

When Ultras Kaya was starting, I was the Capo and Lead Drummer of the group. The capo, in Ultras terms, they're leading the section of the entire group as what they'll choreograph, or sing along with the chants. Think of a chorale but no one has an individual part, everyone has to sing their hearts out throughout the game.

I was freaking nervous on the first game since it was a different atmosphere, so all of our chants that we used in our local league changed it a bit just to show our love and pride for our beloved motherland. I remember when the 1st half-finished and was about to take a cigarette break. I was a hard smoker back then, so I stopped smoking when the pandemic came in.

I was about to go down in the stands to take my break when 2 of the organizers gave me a recommendation. So the 2 of them recommended once the Volcanoes go for conversion do not make much noise, I want you and the rest of your group to make much noise for the visiting team when they make a conversion. We all agreed to that, I took a few hits, and back to the ball game.

We had a banner that said "We Support No Matter The Sport" Ultras Filipinas' objective was to mainly support Football since their next game will be a few more months at that time. Just to warm up ourselves, this is the first game that we want to make some noise so everybody will know there's an Ultras group here in the Philippines.

The Aftermath

The crowd loved our efforts, others would say we're getting paid for it. No, our passion for supporting the team is not for sale. Until today, we were not chasing money in exchange for supporting our national teams, more importantly, we showed up, answered the call, be there in the stands singing out loud, and were at the top of the world.

We don't ask for anything in exchange, and a funny story here is after the game, some of the crowd gave us cans of beer as we drank it up inside the stadium, even the players approached us appreciating what we were doing that night. We attended all games and supported the Philippine Volcanoes until they won the tournament.

After supporting the Volcanoes, then we supported the Azkals. Next was we tried to make much noise during the FIBA Asian Championships in 2013 but we're being overpowered by the San Beda Drum Band. Not until we made much noise 3 years ago during the FIBA Asian Championships in 2018, things were changed when the San Beda Drum Band wants to collaborate with us.

Now with the current situation, all sporting events are postponed. If there would come to a time when Rugby Football is organized again here in the Philippines, I will never miss that match and gather once a small group 9 years ago, now a bigger group to answer the call of supporting our Philippine Volcanoes once again.

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Avatar for rapsantos
3 years ago
Topics: Philippines, Blog, Blogging, Write, Sports, ...