Showing posts with label vice ganda. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vice ganda. Show all posts

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Simon Greatwich of Azkals is proud Bol-anon


Scene: Catch Vice Ganda in a Valentine concert on Feb. 11, 2012 at the Verdant Pavilion of Panglao Island Nature Resort (PINR), with Jon Avila as special guest together with MC & Lassy. Show starts at 8 p.m. Call (038)-412-3964/411-2599 for inquiries.

Scene: From Vida May Tirol-De Juan: We are going to hold the Balut Beer ug Balak III on February 11, 2012, 7 p.m. at the Plaza Rizal in Tagbilaran City. Please get your poems and balak ready. You can read your own poem or somebody else's work. Please invite your friends, too!

Seen: The University of Bohol (UB) continues to reinforce its status as one of the country’s finest institutions in architecture and engineering education as one of its graduates takes the 8th spot in the 2012 Architecture Licensure Examination administered by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) held last week. Prime Daryl Calamba Deliman garnered the eight place with a rating of 83.60. UB graduates are known to perform well in architecture as well as engineering board exams. In 2006, Jess Cyril Chatto Siton placed second in architecture exam. This year, Deliman bested 822 other examinees from different colleges and universities nationwide.


Perhaps not many people knew that an Azkals member is a Bol-anon. It was Vera Velocido-Gesite a.k.a. Pinay Adiong, a Wikipedia editor and now Albur’s PR, who informed yours truly of the Azkals visit to Bohol and the interesting trivia that the Azkals member is kaliwat ni Dagohoy.
Simon Clive Barbon Greatwich: ‘I’m single!’

It’s 7 o’clock Monday morning and Simon Clive Barbon Greatwich, the midfielder of the Philippine Football Team, who arrived from Talisay City, Cebu for a football clinic (he distributed the 70 t-shirts donated by Teleformance to kids who are participating in the 8-a-side Mayor Eric Saratan Weekend Football League), was early for his “activities” in Alburquerque town for that day.

Contrary to what my friend Edward Guyano a.k.a. Inday Charity and I feared, Simon isn’t hard to interview. He is easy and breezy, very friendly, and is surprisingly more handsome than he looks on screen. Edward admits that “Simon is drop-dead gorgeous, sexy and impish that he makes you feel that he is vulnerable.” Edward adds, “He has dangerous puerile charm!

Simon Clive is the youngest of the Greatwich brothers. His elder siblings Christopher Robert, 28 and Philip Carlo, 25, are also football players.

Football is really famous in England, the perfect ground for breeding professional football players. It is a popular sport much like basketball in the Philippines.
With his drop-dead looks, Fil-Briton Azkals member 
Simon started playing football at a young age.

Growing up in Brighton, England, Simon was already learning the basics of football with the help of his father who was his first mentor. He used to watch the Premier League happening almost whole year round, and David Beckham is living just 74 kilometers or one hour and 31 minutes by car.

Simon’s mother, Carol, hails from Tagbuane, Alburquerque, Bohol but grew up in Davao, Cebu and Manila because of the nature of business of her father Camilo Dumagan Barbon. She flew to London and worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital where she met her husband Clive.

Simon, 23 (born on September 30 and a Dragon in the Chinese horoscope), along with other Azkal members like Phil and James Younghusbands, Aly Borromeo, Anton Del Rosario and Neil Etheridge, is getting a new lease on the limelight with the ascendance of soccer/football as the Filipinos’ new favorite spectator sport.
The Azkals have actually been on the field for quite a time now but it was only after they beat Vietnam in the 2008 AFF Suzuki Cup qualification, they became Crushes ng Bayan. It was their early fans who named the group Azkals because like the asong kalye (stray dogs) they were not getting financial support. The same thing happened to our footballers in Bohol. Years ago, I met erstwhile Garcia-Hernandez councilor Alvin Mangubat who organized football games in Bohol. Alvin devoted his time and money helping the players. In one instance, the footballers who had a game in Mindanao were stocked because the group had no money to buy tickets going back to Bohol. To save them, Alvin pawned his cellphone and jewelry. Unluckily, Alvin didn’t win in 2007 elections. Where is he now? Nobody knew.
The Greatwich family: (l-r) Dad Clive, Mom Carol, Simon,
Chris and Phil…

Wearing a Pacman shirt, Simon had “meet and greet” last Monday the teachers and pupils of Alburquerque Central Elementary School and LGU Alburquerque officials and employees headed by Mayor Efren Tungol.

"I am very proud to be Bol-anon. I love visiting my family and during my visits people have always been very accommodating. The reception I received from the supporters during my recent visit was overwhelming! Maraming, maraming salamat po,” said Simon.

Of course, it helps that the Azkals are drop-dead gorgeous. The Fil-Briton was got mobbed by screaming teachers and students at San Roque National High School and Holy Name University (HNU). He also met the members of the HNU football team.  

“You’re so cute and handsome. You’re my idol. Thanks you so much... and thanks for the autograph. OMG I have a lot of things to say... looking forward to see you again and had a picture with you,” said one kilig student.

Good news, girls and pa-girls, Simon is not “taken.” As in, “I am single!”
…and the Greatwich brothers’ jerseys

Fans had the opportunity to ask Simon about his family affairs and lovelife. And he was “game” to answer them like:

Student: Can you say “I love you’ in Visayan? (Students were screaming!)
Simon: Okay, you teach me.
Student: Gihigugma ka nako..
Simon: Gimumu na aaako.. it's too much for me.
Student: No, it's not.
Simon: How about Mahal Kita?! (Students were screaming!)
Student: Same to you!

Edward and I accompanied Simon and his family visiting schools and offices. Thanks also to Clyde Ebojo for the sumptuous lunch at the Heritage Crab House Seafood Restaurant (along Mansasa Seaside, Tagbilaran City).
Simon visited the Holy Name University high school department.


Aside from football, what other sports do you like?  Well, football is my main passion. Growing up, I used to play basketball when I was 8 or 9 years old.  My mom was our coach for the basketball team. (Edward said that “you can almost smell his passion for football.”)

What is the feeling when you first joined football for Azkals?  It was great to be part of Azkal team. That was in 2008, when they invited me to join; I had to pay for my flight to come to the Philippines. When I arrived, if I’d joined the team, they would get me back my money. It is something I want to do... the coach invited me to a tournament in Cambodia. It was great for me. When I received my t-shirt with my name was on the back with a national flag, it was a privileged for me. It was three years ago, hopefully to play more games for the national team.
His visit to the HNU Football team ignites the interest of football in Bohol. 

What are the qualifications to become a member of the Azkals team? The only qualification is you have a Filipino blood, and then perhaps the talents and ability to play for the team. Some people say you have to be good-looking to play for the Azkals that is not the reason to play. We want to play so that guys would like to play the football.

Simon paid a courtesy visit to Albur Mayor Efren Tungol (extreme left) 
with mom Carol, dad Clive and a cousin.
Did you play for the Azkals versus LA Galaxy exhibition game? I didn't play. My brother managed to play with LA Galaxy. I was there in America and it was held in Philippines.  It was an opportunity to play the game but unfortunately, I missed the game.

What are your secrets of becoming a good athlete? I think it is important that I start at a small age, the basic of football, playing every day. It is more challenging for me, staying in good condition. And don't get disruptive from women and partying.

Who is your best friend in the Azkals? There are lots of players in the team, but for me, Phil Younghusband and Captain Aly (Borromeo) are one of my best friends. (The Younghusbands also began playing football early in life.)

What are your likes and dislikes? My dislike is the Filipino time. When you say we meet 8:30, and it is one hour late. Do you know that one? What I like here, it's the people and the food. The food is great.
Simon and Pacman

What is your secret of being pogi?  I think my mother she wants to take credit for that reason... but they claim my father is the one who is more guwapo.

Do you have showbiz crush? (Smiling) I don't have showbiz girlfriends yet.

Do you have a girlfriend? For now, I travel around the world so much. And I enjoy a single life.

Is there a chance to fall in love with a Boholana? This is my second visit in Bohol. The first was in 2008 and so far I haven't meet a lady here in Bohol. But one day maybe.

Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter or email at Facebook.