I’m not an Azkal fan but I do support their team. Everytime na nanunuod ako ng news, I don’t hate watching them pero lagi na lang kasi sila ang laman ng sports balita. Yeah I know, kasi sila ang hottest commodity kaya naman yung ibang national team and athletes eh natatabunan. Kadalasan pa mga half-Filipino ang focus of attention, paano naman yung pure-blood Noypis? Anyway, that’s just the way it is siguro.
Nung napabalitang may qualifying game dito ang Azkals laban sa Al-Azraq ng Kuwait, I was not excited but I felt proud. A week before the said game, almost all were inquiring about the tickets. Prices went from 1 Kuwait Dinars (KD), 2 KD and 3 KD to 2 KD, 3 KD and 5 KD. A big question for some kasi naman the football game here is always open for public viewing. Siguro selling tickets in behalf of the Philippine Embassy would generate funds for all of the OFWs who took refuge in our embassy. In a way, it would be fine to spend if this is the case.
Nagkaruon pa ng ugong-ugong na sold out na ang ticket three days before the game. Nakakatuwang isipin kung gaano ka-excited ang karamiham to watch our football team to compete against Kuwait, the current champion in Asia. Selling t-shirts also boomed. Prices ranged from 1.500 KD to 5 KD (1 Kuwait Dinar is +/- 155 Philippine Peso). Pero ako at yung mga kasama ko sa work didn’t order from anyone instead went to a shop para magpa-print ng sarili naming shirts, at least we wear something with our names on it – mine was a little bit personalized kasi I had my website badge on the right sleeve of the shirt.
A day before, I went to Qadsiya Sports Club to buy 6 tickets of 5 KD each. Me and my friends agreed to sit in the lower grandstand. Arriving in location, I actually got lost since the cab driver dropped me at the back of the club. I saw one kababayan and ask him the location of the ticketing booth. Sabi niya sarado pa and it will open around 5 PM, but it was already 5:15 in the afternoon. Luckily, I saw another Filipino guy talking to a Kuwaiti citizen. Nakiusap na lang ako sa guy kung pwedeng sumabay sa paglalakad papunta dun sa ticketing office. We had a little chit-chat, until I realized we were on a dead end kaya naman pumasok kami dun sa football field kaso the fences were all padlocked. Good for us kasi, I saw one gate na may lock pero naka-sukbit lang naman yung padlock.
I was about to buy the tickets ng tinawagan ako ng friend ko, he said he already have the 6 tickets. So I decided to go home. I had to walk under a 48′C weather papuntang bus station, di na ako nag-taxi. Sa bahay, tinawagan ulit ako ng friend ko confirming about the tickets pero ang hawak pala niya ay yung 2 KD tickets. We had no other choice but to sit in the bleacher.
On the day of the game, you couldn’t imagine the crowd. Pinoy pride. Some had their faces painted on and some were waving the Phillipine flag. Sobrang haba ng pila. Seven na ng gabi marami pa rin ang nasa labas ng gate, kasama na kami dun. We had to run from one gate to another. Nagkakatulakan, nagkakagulo. Pero tawa lang ako ng tawa. Some were arguing with the police officers and most are so frustrated. Hanggang kami naman ay nagtatakbo papunta sa last gate. Well, marami ring tao dun. The gate is closed, kaso pinilit na buksan ng mga kabayan kaya hayun nagsisitalunan sila sa bakod. Well, siksiikan na kung siksikan. Hinila ko na lang yung friend ko at kinapitan ko siyang mabuti para di kami magkahiwalay. The funny thing is, dun pa rin kami sa lower grandstand nakaupo. Kung tutuusin di na nasunod yung value ng ticket kung saan ba dapat umupo, some say they didn’t even had to buy. Naaawa lang ako sa iba na hindi na talaga nakapasok.
The entire game di ko na babanggitin. For sure if you didn’t watch the live telecast you’ve heard or had seen the news. Two times nga palang tumilapon sa amin yung bola, dun mismo sa kinauupuan namin. Nakakalungkot lang kasi after ng second goal ng Kuwait, marami ng kabayan ang nagsitayuan at umuwi. Nag-chant tuloy ang mga Kuwaiti ng “Go Home! Go Home!” Ang kinabadtripan ko ay yung mga Shabab (kabataang Kuwaiti) na nambabato ng bote ng mineral water. Hindi naman kami ang binato pero yung mga members ng Azkal. Sad pero wala rin naman kaming magawa.
Habang pauwi, karamihan ng mga Shabab eh nang-aasar. If the Azkals won, it could have given a sense of shame sa mga bastos na Kuwaiti. I was expecting them to lose though, pero hindi naman sana bokya. Still, I am proud of them. Sayang lang medyo malabo yung ibang shots ko so I won’t be posting them here. Kung makopya ko yung photos and videos sa mga kasama ko, I’ll upload those. Go Azkals Go!