Tag Archive: Typhoon Haiyan

That’s how the article was headlined. Packing the Estadio Bernabéu for the Champions for Life Charity Match to raise funds for UNICEF’s Program to help children affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The charity match played between the big football stars of Spain from the Western and Eastern Regions was scheduled last December 30, 2013 and raised 550,000 Euros! That’s about P30 Million.




The 80,000 seater Estadio Bernabéu in Madrid.


The December 30, 2013 Charity Match raised 550,000€ or about 30 million pesos.



I don’t know anything from Adam when it comes to football. Talks of Sergio Ramos, Álvaro Morata, Iniesta, Quini,  Beñat, Iñigo Martinez, Gabi, Raul Garcia, Iraola, Jesus Fernandez and other football greats didn’t ring a bell for me. But here I am, watching a 7pm match in the stadium that Real Madrid Football club calls home. My only clues that the players are big stars come from this boy behind me who’d invariably call out their names and ask for a “camiseta”. I assumed that’s the equivalent of a fan asking for the player’s jersey.




Saved! Just as UNICEF aims to save the children affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines. Muchas Gracias, UNICEF, España, the Football Stars.


It was a friendly match, but players are players and everyone wants to see a good game played.



The Estadio Santiago Bernabéu can seat over 80,000 spectators. The stadium is about half full with families watching from grandpa to grandkids in strollers. Seated in front, you are about 3 meters away from the nearest security officer from a security team who have the “ill luck” of watching the crowd rather than the game. They only stand up, presumably to watch the crowd better, everytime a team scores. GOOL! those 4-letter words flash every time a player scores a goal. But not GOAL. Here in España, it’s GOOL.




That’s Alvaro Morato wearing the white “camiseta”. He scored an impressive “bicycle” goal to the crowd’s delight.


This is Sergio Ramos, also from the Real Madrid Team.



It was a chilly night. The man beside me had a small bottle of wine that he sucks from time to time. He also littered our common space with watermelon seeds. Pepitas, to the locals.  But despite the cold, everyone was in good spirits. For a good 5 minutes, the crowd stood to “wave” around the stadium.  Thought it would never stop! 




Sergio Ramos counts many fans among the Spanish football aficionados.






The mood was very festive. At the start of the game, they even played Christmas carols.   Though a friendly match, there were daring runs, impressive saves and goals. Quini and Morata got the loudest cheers for their memorable goals that night. What a thrill! And that’s coming from someone who watched a football game for the very first time!  






Not this time. It’s a GOOL!


Three meters away, maybe even less. Hard to watch the game knowing the security officers are missing the thrilling game 😉

In my search for belenes or belens on display here in Madrid, one such nativity tableau or crèche touched me more than the others. Not because it is the grandest or fanciest, but because the belen was a gift from the Philippine Island of Cebu to the Messengers of Peace Foundation. The Madrid-based NGO headed by Father Angel received the gift for its charity work related to Typhoon Haiyan victims in the Philippines.


BELEN DE FILIPINAS. A loving gift from the people of Cebu to Father angel’s Mensajeros de la Paz for the help extended to typhoon H aiyan (Yolanda) victims.


The BELEN DE FILIPINAS is on display in the tiny NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LA SOLEDAD CHAPEL in Calle Fuencarral 44 corner Calle Augusto Figueroa in Madrid. Just 3 or so blocks from Gran Via.



In Madrid, Christmas is all about the Belen. Santa Claus and Christmas Trees are not as fashionable as elsewhere.


The Foundation continues to accept donations through a vending machine that shows images of the food that will be donated corresponding to each monetary donation.



The tiny chapel is right at the corner of Calle Fuencarral and Calle Augusto Figueroa. Just 3 blocks or so from Gran Via.


May God bless Father Angel and all

the Mensajeros De La Paz!