Sunday, July 27, 2014

Kids learn more than football at BOHFA free clinics

Scene: Eighty exhibitors from Central Visayas and Mindanao are expected to participate in this year’s Sandugo Trade Expo on July 23-27 at the ICM Food Court (for food products) and The Block (for non-food items which are usually home furnishings, fashion accessories, travel and tourism services, etc).  It’s a "tradition" of the Sandugo which started with the showcasing of the best products of Bohol, then has reached out to the neighboring provinces of Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor and then in the recent years has attracted the exhibitors of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao provinces.  Anchoring the theme, “Gearing up for Asean 2015,”this year’s trade expo will serve as a platform for earthquake-affected small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to showcase their products to potential buyers, especially in the tourism industry.

“Never hold your breathe” is the #boholselfie entry of Neiman Flint Gatal. “My girlfriend came back home from Australia and she really misses the beaches here in Bohol so I took her scuba diving in the wonderful reefs of Balicasag island,” says Neiman. “We both love the beach and the sea, I for one have been diving for 13 years and all I can say is that Bohol is one of the most majestic places to dive.” Join the #boholselfie photo contest and win cash prizes!
Scene: Tell us your favorite thing about Bohol thru #BoholSelfie photo contest. July is Bohol Sandugo Festival. Here at #BoholSelfie, we'd like to celebrate by making a list of your favorite things about Bohol. To participate, join the #BoholSelfie photo contest that showcases how creative we are in capturing Bohol's magnificent sceneries by taking selfies of our own.  Tell us your favorite thing about Bohol. Is it a beautiful province? The best beaches? The highest waterfalls? A particularly delectable dish? A relatively unknown custom? Tell us what it is and why it's important to you. The contest is on July 1-26. Winners will receive cash prizes. Visit

Scene: Join the Pitik Tres: Tipik sa Usa ka Dugong Bol-anon streetdancing photo contest. The contest is open for both amateur and professional photographers. Participants shall pre-register at the contest information booth located in front of Fuji Films at BQ Mall on July 23-27. Big cash prizes await the winners. Text or call Pitik Group Coordinator Nilo Sapong at 0926-778-2282/0918 355 5551.

Millions of German football fans reacted with unbridled joy when Mario Goetze struck late in extra-time for Germany to win the World Cup 2014 with a 1-0 victory over Argentina.

Soccer used to be their game -- the South Americans, the Europeans, and the Africans. Today, it is our game, too. It is now woven inextricably into the fabric of Filipino life that we’re glued on TV to watch the action, embrace its athleticism and share the excitement.

Bohol learns to love soccer. Youngsters wait for a kick during training organized by BOHFA.
Like other provinces, we do not have football culture yet. There were a handful of football teams before but it lacked the support from the local government units. Despite of this lack of appreciation of the football game, football teams are now sprouting like mushrooms in towns. It is a manifestation that a changing Bohol has become younger and more diverse, and the kids simply love soccer more than their parents. Thanks to the Azkals! Thanks, thanks to Bohol Football Association (BOHFA) headed by Edmar Thaddeus Simpao.

Although BOHFA has no financial support from the provincial government, it is still conducting free clinics to teach young people about athleticism and discipline. But lately the BOHFA has been going the extra mile. This month, their clinics have been emphasizing responsible citizenship, self-respect, education, and good behavior as valuable assets on and off the field.

The excitement grew bigger when Elmer Lacknet Bedia visited Bohol and personally mentored the 150 participants in the free football clinic recently organized by BOHFA. Bedia gave an extra lesson on football along with the keys to the game.

I brought my nine-year old nephew Kotik during the free clinic. It was important for Kotik to learn how to be with other kids and to learn team spirit, football could teach that. Football has given him a lot of confidence.

"If you can teach these kids at a young age to be active on football, it really does go a long way," said Bedia.

Football is all about sportsmanship and responsible citizenship, according to (l-r) Edmar Thaddeus Simpao, Elmer Lacknet Bedia, Kelvin Dinsay, Karl Paumig and Mr. Racho.

Most of the participants have had no shoes and uniforms. They might be poor, but the smiles on their faces when they took to the field were as wide as the Bohol grandstand. They played every game with great enthusiasm, unbridled joy, knocking the ball around, dribbling, taking pride in the way they showed off their repertoire.

Bedia is Philippines’ Mr. Football.  At 13, he was playing football using coconut drupe which was wrapped with cloth in his hometown in Barotac Nuevo, IloIlo, and the rest is history.

At 24, he was recruited by an Australian professional team, the Brisbane Olympic United Football Club. From 1986 until now he remains in Brisbane with his wife Maria Theresa Salazar Bedia and their six children.
In personal development sessions, Bedia and BOHFA officers gave the participants plenty of advice on technique, tricks, shooting, dribbling and spontaneity.
By reaching the kids who will one day play professionally, BOHFA hopes to produce great players.

“Gusto ko may magiging member ng Azkals from Bohol,” said Bedia.

Bedia also brought and handed football equipments, shoes, socks and balls to the poor football playing kids of Bohol.

He also supports the anti-bullying campaign (also for Mexico’s anti-bullying campaign, El Bullying No Es Un Juego or Bullying is not a game). He and other people in the world within the entertainment and sport communities have raised their voice against school violence.

“Never do bullying,” said Bedia. “I emphasized to be a good player, show respect and not to bully with other player.”

Many students are bullied in schools and in the internet. Not only to students because bullying can happen anywhere and to anyone.

“Hopefully this message gonna be around the world to keep the sport as the number one sports,” shared Bedia.

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