We’re certainly on a high with Rafe Bartholomew’s Pacific Rims and how the New York based-writer chose Pinoy basketball as his newfound passion.[firstpara]
A successful venture indeed, with the book garnering praises from readers here and abroad. The Pacific Rim’s wonderful reception even brought white boy Bartholomew back in Manila to help launch his new book.
Today another budding Pinoy sport is in dire need of acknowledgment: street football. Let’s call it barefoot football, to be precise.
Generally heeded on the streets as Futkal (Futbol sa Kalye), the sport is frequently played by little futkaleros on the slums of Tondo and beyond.
How the game works is as simple as it looks: a dirty old ball, two rocks serving as goals, and a group of barefoot kids who know how to kick the ball and run. Futkal tournaments are already being held by several charity institutions such as Gawad Kalinga.
The strange sport is currently being documented in the indie film Happyland, about the story of poor kids picked up from the streets of Tondo, eventually taught the sport of Futkal.
(Click here to watch the film's teaser trailer.)
The people behind Happyland however are currently on a mission to raise funds – roughly around P3 million – to be able to finish the often-hampered, financially-constrained movie.
A website called www.savehappyland.com has been launched to garner social advocates and help the filmmakers with Happyland’s funding.
The website states: “We need 80 people, groups, businesses, organization that would help chip in 39,000 each. Nevertheless we are hopeful we can finish it with 3 million pesos.”
The success of this project could spell a break for them 12-year old futkaleros; underprivileged kids the filmmakers want to pursue the sport and one day become the core group of a real Tondo Football Club.
The title Happyland is based on a Visayan word “hapilan” which means garbage dump. Appropriately so, since this undiscovered sport was born on a dumpsite.
Those who may want to lend financial support, donate or invest in this social entrepreneurial project can drop by the film’s website written above. You can also visit their Facebook account here.
WORDS BY MIKEY AGULTO