The Philippine National Football Team, known as The Azkals, began its revival in the mid-2000’s which reached its zenith in the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup. A massive following began, then subsided, but one support group slowly came into existence and continued to thrive – the Ultras Filipinas.
There are several hear-says and “stories” circulating on how this culture of fanaticism for the Azkals began. This article [or this site] won’t even delve on creating [or recreating] that “history” as it just doesn’t seem right. Instead, this will point out on a written account tucked within the worldwide-web on how the Ultras movement in the Philippines began from the point of view of someone who has been within the scene way before most have began to get involved in.
Credit goes to blog site The Buddy with Glasses, Paollo Sebastian, who chronicled an overview on how this whole ultras way of support for the national team came to be as he points out two groups as the most prominent progenitors of it: The Philippine Air Force FC fans [being cited as the founders of Ultras Filipinas] and the Sons of Mighty Kaya of Kaya FC. The written account even goes to a much earlier phase with Don Bosco’s Futsal Team’s supporters the Futsaldiers also being mentioned as one of the groups that planted the seeds of this philosophy [from a local viewpoint] of showing unwavering passion for one’s club or team.
Without further delay, here is the link on the story of how the Ultras Filipinas came to existence:
Now, come 2019, with the impending launch of a new domestic league – The Philippine Premier League [PPL] – that will serve as a reboot of its doomed predecessor, the Philippines Football League [PFL], it has been known that The Philippine Air Force are coming back again in the fold to compete. If this comes into fruition, once the storied club that produced local “living Azkals legends” – the great Emelio “Chieffy” Caligdong and Ian Araneta in its ranks – set its foot on the pitch, there is a good probability that its equally legendary supporters will be back on the terraces once again.
A big player in the creation and growth of football fan-culture in the Philippines, the founders of Ultras Filipinas – The Philippine Air Force Ultras – might be return once again in club football in loud voices, and they could add to the slowly but surely growing football club fanbases in the country.
Photo credit: Ultras Kaya