By Ms. Flora May Figuracion, SSCC
Bantayan Island, Philippines - The rehabilitation and rebuilding assistance Don Bosco has extended to Bantayan Island (after Yolanda typhoon, 2013) include the Spiritual Ministering of the Madridejos Football Club (Madridejos FC), a Provincial Club composed of football enthusiasts based in Madridejos, Bantayan Island, Cebu locally known as Lawis, by providing soccer balls for the Elementary and High School players and out of school enthusiasts. Currently the game is picking up among many young boys and girls who play on the streets as a way of creating interest in the game. With the additional training materials received through the efforts of Father Randy Figuracion, the Futsal training for girls is now organized.
Organized in 1996 by Coach Cesar Cantancio upon the invitation by then Mayor Engr. Doroteo Salazar as part of his Sport Program for this fishing town of Northern Cebu, Madridejos FC slowly rose to become a football powerhouse in Cebu Island.
Being a football enthusiast himself, Coach Cesar has dedicated eighteen years of his life to build up the Madridejos FC whose players come from the Elementary and High School students. He learned to play the sport when he became a homeboy in Don Bosco Boys’ Home Banilad upon the invitation of Father Peter Zago. Eventually he became a varsity player in High School and was taken by the University of Cebu as a college football varsity player. As a player, he represented Cebu in Bacolod in the “Go for Goal” Competition organized by Coke. He also qualified as a player at the National Adidas Cup in Davao.
For several years now, the Madridejos FC has given honor to this small town as champions of the Provincial Meet. They have also qualified in the Regional Meet representing Region 7. Although Lawis had no football pedigree, Coach Cesar has slowly established a football legacy to this northernmost town of Cebu island. In fact, some of his former players had some accomplishments as football players.
Brothers, Elne Dorimon and Neil Dorimon are currently studying in San Beda College as football varsity scholars through Don Bosco Boys Home Liloan as endorsed by Bro. Mari Aberasturi. Neil is currently playing in the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore representing the Philippines Football Team U23 Azkals. Other members in school include Henry Palomar from Salazar Colleges-Science Institute of Technology (SC-SIT), Anthony Brian Tabuelog from Univeristy of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R), Mark Oftana from Univeristy of Cebu (UC). A unique experience of Elson Dorimon brought him playing football for the Homeless World Cup in Poland in September 2014.
It has become evident that the Madridejos Football Club has etched a mark not only in playing football but also in securing the future of many young players for chances of being able to study in College or play in the big league if given the chance.
Madridejos Football Club (Madridejos FC) aims (1) to provide grassroots with wholistic program and other related activities to football enthusiasts, (2) to give an avenue for the young to be involved in sports thereby helping them to be well rounded individuals while pursuing their studies, and, (3) to promote Football on the street as an opportunity for the youth to secure scholarships in prestigious schools and universities.
Through a partnership and support of Don Bosco Boys Home, playing football had helped these youngsters to be in school and pursue their studies at the same time imbued with the discipline and values of set by Don Bosco.