Chieffy Caligdong – Get To Know Your Football Idol

Globe Football sa Bayan was held last February 22 to 24 in Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo with Globe sports ambassador Chieffy Caligdong at the helm. This year’s football festival’s beneficiary is the TEN MOVES campaign (The Entire Nation Moves!) which aims to raise enough resources to help build 10,000 classrooms in public schools all over the Philippines. For more information about Globe Football sa Bayan you can check  Jane’s blog.

He is not just man of the hour, but of 2012, at least in Philippine football.

Emelio “Chieffy” Caligdong has become a household name especially to sports aficionados both here and abroad. At 30, he is a certified football star, consistently scoring goals, winning matches, and driving victory for his team and beloved country. But like every expert, Chieffy started young and early in mastering the sport that catapulted his name to fame.

Chieffy Caligdong holds Globe “Football Para sa Bayan” 1

Chieffy Caligdong with Bong Esguerra, Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility and Rodellyn Manalac of Ten Moves (Ayala Foundation, Inc.)

Humble beginnings

Football came to Chieffy’s senses at the tender age of 7, where most of the kids his age are just starting to learn how to read and write. A native of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, Caligdong got his first international debut as a football player when he played at the 2004 Tiger Cup Qualifiers as member of the Union Manila Football Club scoring three goals, leading the first-ever victory of the Philippines in the ASEAN Football Championship against Timor-Leste.

Chieffy also played for the Philippines U-23 at the 2005 Southeast Asian Games and in the pre-SEA Games tournament where he scored against Myanmar and Timor-Leste as part of Philippine Air Force Football Club.

In the 2011 Long Teng Cup, Caligdong emerged as the top scorer in the tournament, earning him the Golden Boot trophy. A year later in the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup, Caligdong scored a goal that was named as one of his career’s best goals.

In September 2012, Chieffy scored a goal on the 34th minute in the last match of the 2012 Philippine Peace Cup versus Chinese Taipei which ended in a 3-1 score line. The Philippines got the championship title with a 3 win, no draw and no loss record. In November that same year, Chieffy scored an important goal for the Philippines in a 1-0 victory against Vietnam in the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup. The Philippines eventually finished second in the group stage and qualified for the semi-finals with a 2 win, 1 loss record.

The Iloilo Bloggers with Chieffy.

The Iloilo Bloggers with Chieffy.

Turning green

In January 2013, Chieffy welcomed another new beginning in his life as he officially became part of the Green Archers Globe Football Club in the United Football Club (UFC) as left winger. Formerly a player for the Air Force football team, he was an enlisted member of the Philippine Air Force.

Chieffy played his first official game with the Green Archers Globe FC last January 123, 2013 at the Jose Rizal Memorial College Stadium in Dapitan City in front of a 3,000-strong crowd. Green Archers Globe won 6-1 versus Romgarjal FC with Chieffy contributing 2 goals and 2 assists. During the quarterfinals, Chieffy once again led his team to a dramatic 1-0 victory over Pachanga Diliman FC, securing a place in the semifinals of the PFF National Club Championships.

With these back-to-back victories, Chieffy’s experience and expertise figured prominently among his teammates. The Green Archers Globe FC only looks forward to more action-packed games and victories, with Chieffy by their side.

Me with Chieffy.

Me with Chieffy.

The Ambassador Idol

Aside from his impressive resume as a successful sportsman, Chieffy was also chosen by leading telecommunications company Globe Telecom as its sports ambassador. His main role is to drive the company’s advocacy on sports development and advancement, specifically on the promotion of football as a national sport.

“We are very proud to have Chieffy as part of our roster of ambassadors. Chieffy plays a very significant role in driving our commitment in supporting Philippine sports teams from the grassroots and sporting events with meaningful social development goals,” said Ernest Cu, Globe President and CEO. “Chieffy is a living proof that a homegrown talent can figure prominently in the international sports arena, giving Filipinos the pride and honor of being represented by passionate sports icon like him.”

Aside from being a sports ambassador, Chieffy has also been appointed to champion the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts in the field of sports development, specifically in leading and conducting football clinics in the grassroots level. “With Chieffy’s influence and huge following, we engaged a bigger group of stakeholders to help raise awareness to generate more pledges for our The Entire Nation (TEN) MOVES campaign,” added Cu. TEN MOVES is a campaign to raise resources to build 10,000 classrooms in pubic schools all over the Philippines, with a main strategy of getting 2 million people to donate P10 per day for 10 months.

Outstanding feat

With a big mind full of determination and a big heart full of compassion to share with others, Chieffy was also recognized as one of The Outstanding Young Men of 2012 in the Philippines, joining six other awardees and receiving their trophies from President Benigno Aquino III who only had good words towards the football veteran.

The TOYM awards recognized Chieffy for the “excellence and luster he brought to Philippine football” after playing for the Azkals for almost a decade and also teaching football to children in the grassroots level. The TOYM award is given yearly to selected Filipinos to recognize their efforts in their respective fields of profession.

To say that Chieffy has come a long way is an understatement. With all his immense talent, passion, and dedication to his craft, he rose above the challenges and eventually became the chief master of his own fate.

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