Aguilas Supporter’s Wednesday – Apo Bahani Top Lad (Manuel Ernico B. Dulay)

October 4, 2018

It’s an incredible journey for this passionate lad and nothing can stop the burning desire to deepen his admiration by climbing the highest mountain in the Philippines, Mount Apo in Davao. It’s a pilgrimage to simply seal the pact and declare his unwavering support, that itself is not only passion but the commitment to thrive as an Apo Bahani (Ultras of DABFC). We asked him and he replied enthusiastically.

1. Describe your journey and preparation before climbing Mount Apo.

I remember as child growing up, after playing football with neighbours, we would sit on the ground and watched at the sun sets behind the majestic Mount Apo. I have always wondered what it feels like being at the peak and just waved to everyone in Davao and jokingly they would waved back. Years passed and a new hobby opened its door to me, which is mountaineering. Luckily after few weeks’ notice, we got a slot saying we could climbed Mt. Apo. I only trained for a week and believe me or not, it’s major climb. My friends even joked that I will be featured on the news with a headline “Fat man climbs Mt. Apo After Jogging For A Week”. The climb was not easy, trust me. I’m always the last man in the group. We started our climb at 8 am and I arrived at the base camp around 3 pm. We started our ascend to the peak at 2 am. The night was very cold and wet, luckily I had my Davao Aguilas scarf to keep me warm. The terrain was even worse, I needed to jump from one boulder to another and the ground was very slippery cause of the loose gravel. By the time I got to the peak, it was already 11 am, 9 gruelling hours of non-stop climbing. Trust me, it was very exhausting but so worth it. I took a picture of course raising the Davao Aguilas scarf and the same time whispering in my mind renaming this mountain “Mt.Apo Bahani” and also waved to everyone in Davao if you ever wondered.

2. What can you say about the Ultras life?

The first experience I had was our match against Stallion Laguna FC. Our Capo was David and he led our chants like we were numbering to a thousand. That moment I knew being an Ultras was for me. I remember a few days before the Asian Cup qualifying match, Azkals against Tajikistan. Ultras Filipinas messaged us and asked if we could join them in the grandstand. We purchased the tickets so we can watch the historic event. In Rizal Memorial Stadium, I felt the real atmosphere of an Ultras. We started to chant before the match commenced singing to the beat of the drums and dancing at the light of flares. The experience in the grandstand was not like no other for 90 minutes of jumping and chanting for the national football team. It was a memorable moment for all of us in Apo Bahani.

The Aguilas nests bred a young and benevolent supporter like Erns Dulay and his imagination is far and beyond the zenith. His passion will be a reminder that Davao Aguilas Bellmare Football Club is no longer just about football match or stadium, it’s a home away from home, it’s the extended family that you did not have, a brotherhood like Apo Bahani. A place where you truly feel oneness with the beautiful game.

Contributor: Manuel Ernico B. Dulay