16th May 2017: How to Catch Street Dogs

As you know, my grandson is proud of his Filipino heritage, and is an enthusiastic footballer, so we agreed to buy him an Azkals shirt on our current visit. Azkals (Asong Kalye, Street Dogs) are the Philippines national soccer team. He has reached the age of 6 and has conducted his own research so he knows exactly what he wants. 
To be precise, he is one quarter Filipino, but he inherited that through his Mother, and she through hers, so it is the strongest quarter. Filipinism to my mind passes down the female line, like Judaism. There is a whole lot more genetic material in an X chromosome than a Y, and you were a part of your Mum before you asserted your individual identity. 

The lad once told me “I’m happiest when I’m being Filipino”.

Anyway, I started my search for suppliers of shirts on the Internet. Don’t attempt this. Search engines are now merely sources of confusion. You can never locate the site for which you are searching. You get fed a never ending list of sites that are irrelevant, confusing, or parasitically interposing themselves between you and your goal in order to accumulate revenue generating clicks. You will also find a plethora of antiquated sites that have never been updated or deleted and contain obsolete information. This is the internet’s overflowing waste bin, and in the anarchic cyber-world nobody takes responsibility for emptying it. There it sits like a digital landfill pit, oozing pollution. Stuff it: off into the analogue world, the world of things, not impulses. Physical, locatable, visible, palpable, big, chunky, smelly and REAL.

Thus we found ourselves in Bonifacio Global City, 8,000 miles from our unhelpful iPad and its misinformation. An Oracle at the Philippine Football Federation, contacted by text following the serendipitous discovery of a newspaper article on the newly launched Philippine Football League, predicted that The Golden Fleece (or shirts) could be found at a store in the aforementioned BGC. 

Foolishly we again consulted the Internet to discover that the store was possibly located on any of 2nd, 7th or 9th Avenues at their intersections with one of several streets. We trecked around almost forever, like the Israelites in search of the Land of Milk and Honey, to no avail. Several helpful guards, concierges and willing citizens enthusiastically misdirected us. 

When in desperation I retexted the Oracle “nobody knows where this place is”, the immediate reply was a precise 3 word address, sadly omitted from their first text. It was a 5 minute walk from where we had started our odyssey an hour previously, and not at any of the places suggested by the malign search engine. We secured the treasure that we sought in moments and will soon return to our home port of Gatwick triumphant, with all flags flying, our quest accomplished.


  • Do not ask people for directions. They want to help, an urge that is all too often misplaced.
  • The Internet is like Ibiza or Boracay: once a great adventure, now a bit of a mess.


Tom Pinoy