Sorry I know this is quite delayed, since we’ve been so preoccupied with all the holiday celebrations. Anyway after the first leg, we got a text that there was going to be a “pep rally” at 2:30 pm the afternoon of the game at the Sultan Hotel. This was perfect for us, because we wanted to convoy with the team or go with the other supporters so that we weren’t an island in a sea of red like the first game!
We arrived to a sea of blue (Navy blue was the color of the team’s kit for the 2nd leg) at the lobby of The Sultan Hotel, where both the Azkals and Merah Putihs were staying. It was heartwarming that despite not planning to attend the 2nd leg, many of the pinoys turned up to support the team. I talked to some of the people who weren’t watching live… they said it was mainly because of their negative experiences during the last game (i.e. being thrown water bottles, being booed or given the finger). But there were also many who wanted to watch but it was impossible to get tickets anyway. Sad indeed.
I only saw Aly Borromeo and Jason de Jong in the lobby, talking to the pinoys and posing with fans. I really should have taken more pics of the players, but I figured, I’d taken so many already, and there were so many others who wanted to meet the team so I just didn’t want to bug them some more.
When Jason saw me, he said he liked my shirt! =D I was surprised and I realized that’s right! The shirt I was wearing was an old Dutch National Team football shirt! (And Jason is half Filipino half Dutch!) I told him it was my husbands and that he’s had it for about 10 or 11 years. Crazy right?
More pics after the jump!
To be honest we were all confused as to what was happening. Since we got the text about the “pep rally” from another pinoy diplomat, we thought that the embassy was the one organizing it. However when we asked them they said they only passed on a text they got from the pinoy golfers association. Hmmmmm…. And then someone said that they got a text about a 1pm mass which was moved to 2:30 pm. But there was no priest in sight! It didn’t matter though everyone was willing to wait till the Azkals came down (they needed to rest till right before game time) and cheer for them as they headed to the game!
It was funny because there were also many Indonesians hanging about in the lobby, and when Coach McMenemy came down, it was the Indonesians who crowded around him, not the pinoys. And he was nice enough to oblige and take pics with everyone – seriously it was so nice of him. He basically got stuck in the lobby for a long time accommodating the Indonesian fans.
In the meantime we were approached by this Indonesian fan who wanted to take pics with us. He was really all out painted in red and white so it was quite a sight.
The flag/pants can also be worn as a cape (like above) and then also transforms into pants! How cool is that! I want one too!!!
Tita Betina said we could ride with them in the 2nd bus for the family and supporters so that it would be safer for us, and so that we could sit together with the rest of the team’s family and supporters. After all there is safety in numbers. It’s also more fun to cheer when you’re with fellow pinoys!
But the 2nd bus never arrived. According to the Indonesian liaison officer it was never confirmed. Here we were even discussing having some of the parents hitch in our car because they didn’t have transpo anymore. Problem was since there was no guaranteed parking, then we couldn’t bring the second car our friend brought. We were already going to be jam packed in our tiny car. =(
At about 4:30 pm the players finally came down…to clapping and cheers from the Filipino community in Jakarta (and some people who flew in for the day just to watch the 2nd leg). Though the players must have been psyched out for the game, they were still super nice enough to take pics with some supporters. Our Azkals are just so nice aren’t they? =)
Sorry I had to stop taking pictures because we had to hop on our car and convoy with the team’s bus. Where did the team’s families ride since the 2nd bus didn’t arrive? It was basically standing room inside the player’s bus. It was supposed to be a short 5 minute ride to Bung Karno Stadium anyway.
The ride to the stadium turned out to be an exciting (and a bit scary) 45 minutes! Will have to continue my story tomorrow since it’s bedtime for this DiploWife!
Check out Rick Olivares’ blog, Bleacher’s Brew to get updates on the Azkals and other sports.