Official Opening of Drop in Center and Payatas FC 1st Year Anniversary

This is the exciting update for the Fair Play for All Foundation. Just a couple months ago, the foundation celebrated their one year anniversary. The celebration included the long awaited official opening of the new drop in center located in the heart of Payatas and home to Payatas FC and the FFA.

I was honored to be given the opportunity to experience and be apart of the opening ceremony. Much like opening ceremonies in businesses and companies, the day represented the official start to a new beginning and a true first step forward. Though Roy and Naomi’s hard work, dedication and persistence had started long before the opening, this day was a special moment to everyone involved. It signified the birth date of their vision already in motion and their mission already making progress.

For me, it was a true privilege to experience the day that included an award ceremony for the players of Payatas FC for their performance and commitment to the sport and to their team. The feeling of camaraderie and teamwork that united an entire community truly filled every moment. It was also nice to play in a little friendly match between myself teamed up with Nate Burkey versus the Payatas FC kids. We even lost to little developing players, who displayed wonderful skills and fierce determination.

The ribbon cutting for me truly made me feel a sense of pride and appreciation for what Roy and Naomi have done. It made me realize their willingness to share such a significant day with others. They reminded me that such a momentous ceremony for the drop in center was just a small piece to the work they do. It showed us all that the center will remain only a physical structure that is incomparable to its meaning. To them both, the kids of Payatas, and the entire community the safety, the education and the care they provide will remain at the very core, and no ceremony can ever outshine their sweat and tears poured into their work.

Check out the Fair Play For All Foundations News Letter below and Stay connected with all that is going on with their organization.

At the moment Naomi Tomlinson has been nominated for the UK’s “Charity Women of the Year” Award for her work with Tripple E, the Fair Play For All Foundation and Payatas FC. Please stayed tuned for more on her amazing journey.

For the latest updates on Naomi and Roy please visit their blogs for upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and ways to support the FFA.

“Triking” to Payatas

For my very first trip out to visit the new location of the Drop in center for the Fair Play for All Foundation, I had quite the travel experience. Day started with a short cab ride to the Ayala MRT Station, followed by a crowed rush-hour ride to North Ave. Once I was off the train, I jumped into another cab to St. Peter’s Church on Commonwealth Ave, where I met up with FFA’s Co-Founder Naomi Tomlinson. We then hopped into a Jeepney that took us to another Jeepney before reaching our destination. For a new commuter, that single leg, one way journey might have been a bit overwhelming, but for a daily experienced commuter, that is not much at all. In fact my taxi rides could have easily been substituted with Jeepneys without a problem.

So, after a long day of cleaning and preparing the house for initial renovations and remodeling, it was time to wash up. We jumped on a fully loaded Trike and road to the next town over to shower up and head to lunch. By “Fully-Loaded” I meant the Trike was filled with Five passengers plus the driver. Barely hanging off the back of this trike with a large bag flying off to the side, I held on with a tight grip pressed up against the driver. Though I almost bounced off, it wasn’t until later that I understood why we were in the best seats on a trike.

After cleaning up, it was time to get back and have some food. Way into the afternoon now and hungry as ever, we began our trek back home, or should I say, “trike” back home. This time we had the awesome opportunity to sit in the side car. It wasn’t until that moment I realized how tiny the space actually was in there. We packed 3 adults in the little egg crate cart and proceeded on the bumpy ride. This was just one of the highlights of the day and it was quite the experience to have traveled out to Payatas to lend a helping hand to a very special organization, all the meanwhile, getting to really experience the city and the country’s culture.

Couldn’t ask for more from a wonderful day to Payatas. Yes, the return journey include: 1 trike, 2 jeepneys, 1 train, and 1 taxi. The only thing I didn’t get to try that day was a Boat and a Bus ride. Perhaps next time I will get those in as well. Until then, stay tuned for more travel stories.

Hammering Out the Old Drives New Hope: FFA’s New Home

Today I had the very special opportunity to not only take a look what will become the Fair Play for All Foundations new home, I had the chance to help with it’s initial construction. In actuality, it was really more like it’s “deconstruction.” When I was told that the foundation had finally found it’s first physical location after a grueling search for the right place and size, I was more than excited to see it. I was told it needed a lot of work, so I didn’t know what to expect. When I finally had the opening in my training schedule to see it, I set up the time to take a tour and help with it’s initial handy work.

The first time I met the founders of the FFA, Roy and Naomi, I knew they had started something quite special and when I first had the chance to meet the players they “coached,” I knew they were making real changes to the lives of the children in Payatas. From that point, I really wanted to make the effort to help and assist the foundation in any way I could. As I am still learning about what the organization does, what it stands for and who they help, I felt the need to see it for myself and try to absorb more of what the it does.

So my day began by simply having to get to Payatas, which was an adventure in itself. I woke up nice an early and jumped in a cab to the MRT, taking it to North Avenue. This was my very first time taking the train by the way, and the excitement of working commuters overwhelmed the morning travel. The train cars were packed. When I arrived, I jumped into another taxi to St.Peter’s Church to where I met Noami, and we took a Jeepney to the foundations new home.

Before getting to work, Naomi kindly took me on a tour of Payatas showing me the village and the dump site,  as she guided me through the daily happenings of the locals. When we arrived at there, we walked through the gated family-owned property and through the back entrance of the new home. The space opened into a large kitchen, and first floor of the Center to-be seemed quite spacious. We proceeded to the abandoned dimly-light second floor and started to calculate what was to be done for the day.  It was very apparent that there was plenty of work to do, as the space was unoccupied for years and signs of damage, wear, and neglect were evident.

To others, such a daunting task of cleaning up, renovating and rebuilding a home to this extent, might seem impossible and even worthless, but to Naomi and Roy, they saw it’s great potential in becoming a refuge and a relief for broken children in Payatas. For them nothing seemed too daunting or too difficult, in the light of rescuing children from their daily struggles and impoverished conditions. Thier passion, drive, and motivation becomes most powerful when they spoke about their plans for the new drop-in center and it really inspired me.

Today, we purchased a hammer and began the initial demolition and clean up of the second floor. Getting our hands dirty was quite the understatement and I was glad to be a part of every second of it.  I believe we accomplished enough for the future carpenters and cleaning crews to come in and make sound design decisions and take the second step of this process to another level. I am truly excited to help in the next stages and I can not wait to see it’s final product. From the hopes and vision of something special, it is now up to everyone’s efforts to make the dream become a reality.

Please stay tuned for updates on the progress of the New FFA Drop-In Center!

For the latest updates on Naomi and Roy please visit their blogs for upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and ways to support the FFA.

Please be sure to Follow Me on Twitter @LextonMoy to keep undated with all that is going on with the Philippine Azkals, Kaya FC, and my experiences living in Manila and Traveling Asia!

Streets that Guide an “Asong Kalye” To Be

I was born and raised in Chinatown, New York City to a Chinese Father and a Filipina Mother. Growing up in Chinatown with my older sister, we were brought up in a household that was for the most part traditionally Chinese, that included my parents and my grandmother and my late grandfather. Although my sister was born in the Philippines and spoke Tagalog at a young age, she and I attended Chinese School and spoke mostly Chinese and English at home.  When I was younger, it was not uncommon for me to go to temple with my grandmother and go to church with my mom.  I guess you would say, I was brought up in a very open minded home environment, not to mention the culturally diverse city I called my playground.  My mixed family dynamic, my one-of-a-kind Chinatown and my diversely, larger-than-life city really created quite a unique identity I call myself.  From as long as I can remember, I have been on an ongoing search to find, create, recreate and transform who I am.  And I guess we’re all looking for the same answer to the question: Who am I?

Over the years, I have been able to slowly piece together the puzzle of my identity by experiencing, learning, and living the life that has been presented to me and the life that I have created. What I realized in this journey is that the journey never ends. The puzzle will never be complete. It is always transforming and always changing. I realized that this transformation is what keeps us going and what makes life worth living, from the triumphs to the tragedies and from the happiness to the pain. The valuable lessons that we learn, the things we experience and life’s controllable and uncontrollable moments are all apart of our identity set forth for us to embrace, create and recreate.

At a young age I was exposed to a very special sport introduced to me by my greatest teacher, mentor, and adviser. This person I called Dad. Through the years my father taught me all about Soccer, but more importantly he showed me soccer through the eyes of life experiences.  He taught me that lessons in the game are no different than life lesson, and he instilled in me a notion that whatever we do whether is it soccer or anything else, that the lessons learned are most imperative to creating experiences that shape who we are and who we will become. Today, I am lucky to say that the sport I come to love has gratefully become a  means for me to not only find who I am, it has become a means of creating self identity.

In 2009, I was able to further explore my Chinese heritage by playing in the Hong Kong First Division. I move to Hong Kong and decided that football would be only a fraction of what I would take from my experience there. To the public, I was an American Born Chinese (ABC) from New York who wanted to play soccer in HK because he spoke Cantonese. For myself, I was was an Chinese-Filipino American from Chinatown NYC, who saw a chance to play at a professional level in a country that could reconnect him with a part of his culture and heritage, while learning it’s traditions, values and language.

Now, I have the same opportunity, to not only play the beautiful game in a beautiful country, I have the amazing chance to reconnect and learn more about my mother’s country.  Only this time, my exceptions for myself are much higher. Prior to coming hear I didn’t speak Tagalog and Filipino culture, value and traditions have been quite unfamiliar to me. I have momentarily traded the streets of Chinatown for the Streets of Manila and I, Lexton Dela Cruz Moy  have made a BIG commitment to learn, experience and embrace the Filipino language and tradition.

“I am a “Asong Kalye” from the streets of Chinatown… I am a Chinoy “Asong Kalye” from America… I am a Pinoy “Asong Kalye” living in Manila… And I will Become a Philippine Azkal that represents all “Asong Kalye” like me.”

Please be sure to Follow Me on Twitter @LextonMoy to keep undated with all that is going on with the Philippine Azkals, Kaya FC, and my experiences living in Manila and Traveling Asia!