Azkals kick off Peace Month with football clinic
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine national football team showed their support for National Peace Consciousness Month with a football clinic, called “1 Goal for Peace,” last Sunday at the PhilSports Complex.
Over 100 under-priviledged children attended the clinic, which served as the kick-off ceremony for Peace Month.
“We are actually dedicating all our games this September for peace,” Philippine Azkals team manager Dan Palami said in a statement Sunday.
Palami believes that observing Peace Month will help “raise awareness of the situation of the peace problem here in the Philippines,” and said the team was happy to be part of the celebration.
“The team hopes we can finally see an end to the conflicts that we have in the Philippines,” Palami added.
Meanwhile, Azkals team captain Aly Borromeo pointed out that football is a great avenue to promote peace.
“Just like in playing football, if you want to promote peace you need to work together, you need to put aside the differences,” Borromeo said.
“We are a mix of different cultures and from different social classes,” added Jason Sabio. “But we have shown that if we work together, we can achieve something and this is what we want to promote.”
Sabio noted that playing for a football team, with its concepts of teamwork and unity, has its similarities to the peace process.
“In the peace process, no one’s the same. But it’s really about finding a way to explore everyone’s uniqueness to increase the welfare of every body,” Sabio said. “With football, being part of the team, we need to add on the strengths of each other to maximize the welfare.
“Just like what we are trying , to promote peace or resolve conflict, we have to do the same,” he added.
“1 Goal for Peace” is the first event in the month-long celebration of peace to be spearheaded by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.
“I am, and I’m sure the country is thankful to the Azkals and to the Philippine Football Federation for their support to achieve peace in the country,” said Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles.
“Peace-building is the job and concern of everyone in the country, and anyone can show their support through their own means,” Deles added.
Aside from the football clinic, other activities in line for the Peace Month include the launch of an “I Am for Peace” campaign involving several celebreties on September 14; KaPEACEtahan, which will be the month’s main event on September 21; and simultaneous “I Want Peace” concerts on September 28 in key cities in the country.