I have often wondered why, in a country where the average adult male height is just under five and a half feet, the national sport is basketball. (I can hear my son muttering indignantly, “No, it’s sepak takraw!”) But that’s just in the books, sweetie, we all know that where there’s at least 10ft square of space there will be a basketball goal.
Football is not a dream in the Philippines. It’s a reality. A sad reality but nevertheless real and can be made better. However, it should not be made better by bringing in big foreign players to play in Philippine teams, just like they way basketball in this country has gone.
It can be done by scouring the schools and universities in the Visayas and Mindanao. Why Visayas and Mindanao? Because in these places the school campuses are still big enough to have an actual football field. These are places where football is and has always been part of the Intramurals. These are places where athletes play with the ball on the ground. These are places where our own Lionel Messi’s and Ronaldinho’s are waiting to be honed and made ready for the big football world that is all over Asia, Europe and South America.
We can still learn. We can.
Impossible is nothing.