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AITOpinion, Jake Crisologo, The Philopino

The CLEAR Dream Match: More dream, less match

Jake Crisologo | The Philopino

At the perfect moment that I could have taken a picture with Daniel Matsunaga, I shied away from the opportunity. It’s not that I didn’t like the guy; in fact I am caught between envy, admiration, emasculation and disturbing fangirldom if my feelings were ever taken into account. But after a throng of legitimate fangirls, Phil Younghusband’s giggly little sister included, huddled as close as possible to the caramel man for a picture, I felt odd and creepy if I was all giggles and touchy too.

Courtesy of a friend in media, I got free VIP tickets to CLEAR Dream Match. The exact text was “Who wants to watch the CLEAR DREAM MATCH (Azkals, UFL, UAAP stars, Celebritry Hotties) later 6PM at the University of Makati?” I was sold at “Hotties”. (Ultraaaaa Gaaaay!) And yeah, I’m kinda curious about football too.

It was officially my first football game. And you know what? It didn’t really feel like a football game! The real game was the publicity/ public relations element of it and boy were we played. And we let it happen because we wanted it to happen. We were paparazzi and screaming fans – media lizards basking on their celebrity light. It was almost surreal.

I saw that guy from AIT too, Boy Boy as far as I remember. (Referring to Boi Boi Fernandez of the Philippine Football Team) But I didn’t see him long enough to say hi and be dorky about it, or awkwardly tell him “Hey! I’m from AIT too! Hyuck! Hyuck!” Even if he did play, I wouldn’t have recognized him anyway. Because of my weak eyesight the players and celebrities simply looked like moving faceless forms, kicking around a ball.

I don’t really know much about football, but it had the most substitutions I have ever seen in a game. I guess even names needed airtime. Phil Younghusband’s pre-game work-out was very camera and fan friendly, where he strutted his stuff on and off the field. Paolo Bediones had goggles and what I thought first as statement leggings was actually muscle tape that was maybe too liberally applied.

I’m not complaining; I knew I wasn’t really there for the game. In fact, we even doubted if there were even real sports analysts in the crowd. There was a loud woman behind who, until we were halfway-through with the first half of the game, was cheering for the “wrong” team. As to how that could happen? I don’t know. But she was hysterical about it for around two minutes. I drew on a Greenwich Pizza box to keep occupied.

Did I gain a new appreciation for football? I can honestly say yes. But I guess it might be for the wrong reasons (as if “guess” and “might” don’t sound pussy-footy enough). I enjoyed the game but I enjoyed the marketing aspect of it more. I’ve organized events in the past. I know how hard it is to plan and execute the plan. Logistics, marketing, crowd control – all the works. It was complicated yet orchestrated, and I’m not just talking about lights and sounds. Everything felt orchestrated, psychologically orchestrated even. It was marketing, after all.

I’m loving and appreciating how media gets into your head.

Insecurity made its way too sharply at the sight of the overly manly Andrew Wolff, but the Philippine Volcanoes guy seemed nice enough. Eric Tai was fun as ever, biceps only a few centimeters smaller than my thighs, then I remembered that he was a breakdancer too. The momentum in his spins would just be crazy scary.

I realize now, that another reason why I refused to take a picture with “Yo! Matsunaga!” (at which point when I yelled at the bleachers, he looked at me and smiled,<sigh>, HAHAHA) is because I wouldn’t want a permanent proof of my inferiority on film. Abs and a strange foreign accent? Achieveable, yes, but ultimately far off. My tummy would just seemed absurd right next to him.

Maybe one day, I could take my picture with Daniel and feel less like the Pilsbury Doughboy. But until then, curse you, hegemony of media! Curse you!

Oh yeah. Phil’s team won. Yay!


About aitsalimbay

The official newsletter of the UP Asian Institute of Tourism.


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