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David Beckham in Manila!!

LA Galaxy's David Beckham and Landon Donovan express much love for the Philippine Football. Image shot at the Dream Match Press Conference, Conway's Makati Shangri-La

With the growing popularity of local football spurred on with the escalation of our Azkals National team and the efforts of the UFL Cup, David Beckham has arrived to show his support.

In very succinct words Mr. Beckham expressed the sentiment of many die hard local football fans, which is to "foster the children of the sport."

We are a nation that has the talent to someday build an Asian powerhouse, it all begins at the simplest level. In the humble fields of our local provinces to the best pitches of our top universities.  Mentor the children and build Pinoy football from the grassroots.

This is just a teaser, more coverage and more photos published shortly.  Stay tuned for the match coverage this December 3, 2011 at Rizal Memorial Complex and the Photo Essay feature for Mabuhay Magazine.

Image shot with Pentax K5, DA* 200 f2.8 handheld and being bumped by jockeying photographers

BJ Penn, The Prodigy in Manila

Jeff almost choked out by BJ Penn

The Prodigy blocks a kick from childhood friend and sparring partner Fermin Villalon from Team Penn

BJ grapples with his brother JD

Elvin Manuel, 30 of Muntinlupa Alabang was the recipient of BJ's shirt off his back during the product toss

Tem Penn: Jeff, JD, Casey, and Fermin

RVCA advocate, "The Prodigy" BJ Penn delighted thousands of MMA fans yesterday at Mall of Asia during an open sparring exhibition. 

The 2X UFC Champion and one of the UFC's finest athletes paid gratitude to the thousands in attendance with an awesome display in the ring and an equally more impressive "meet and greet" with the fans. BJ gave endearing words, stating that "It won't be long until there's a Filipino World Champion in the UFC" -making reference to the competitive spirit of the Filipino and the already domineering presence showcased by the legacies of Manny Pacquiao for the sport of boxing.

BJ Closed the exhibition by acknowledging the fans, "I wanna thank the fans for coming out and for the support and for loving the sport."

Special thanks to Studio 23, Balls Network, Mall of Asia and UFC Magazine.  The event would not have been possible without the dedication of the sponsors and the enthusiasm of the fans.

All Images shot with Pentax K5 ©2011 Mark Dimalanta

UFL CUP Philippines, Pachanga goes out like warriors while Global advances and signals the emergence of local football.

The UFL Cup is nearing a close this season and the underdog Pachanga FC was recently eliminated from competition by the defending champions, Global FC,  with the final score of 1-0. 

Congrats to the club from Global. A valiant effort from the boys who wear Pachanga, better luck next season.  

Our remainder of the season commences next weekend with the semifinals and the friendly exhibition match between David Beckham and the LA Galaxy vs. the Azkals FC (Philippine National Team).  

Stay tuned for more photos.  The game summary can be followed here.

Pentax K5 with DA* 300 f4

Pentax K5 with DA* 60-250 f4

Pentax K5 with FA* 600 f4

Guerridon celebrates and kisses his club team's logo after scoring the only goal that elevated Global FC past Pachanga FC to the semifinals.

Billabong Skater Jeff Gonzales deep inside Manila...

The following are a collection images used for a future editorial about the state of our Manila Skate Scene. Billabong team rider Jeff Gonzales hit the streets and I tagged along to document what he does best.  

I used the K5 for the action shots and the Pentax Q was used to document behind the scenes footage so that the viewer can see how and where we are positioned for each shot. 

Pentax K5 with Pentax DA 10-17 fisheye, 1/250 f7.1 iso400

Pentax Q + standard prime

Pentax K5 & Pentax DA* 16-50 1/100 f7.1 iso160

On foot to the next spot. Athletes always want a preview.

Pentax K5 & DA* 16-50, 1/320 f2.8 iso1000

Now taking the MRT train. Skating is illegal inside the terminal, so we shoot fast and spontaneous

In the queue for the local bus.  Nice thing about my gear is that it is small and lightweight, which makes photojournalism on the fly a pleasure. 

In skate image publishing the rider must successfully complete the trick with a proper landing.  If he doesn't land correctly,  the image isn't published. Hence, sequences are used to show the start to finish. Pentax K5 at 7fps, all images 1/1000 f5.6 iso200

Last find for the day... A 9 step drop located at the University of the Philippines Campus

Yes this is quite a drop with a short landing strip,  but the dramatic thing about fisheye lenses is that scenes are always more dramatic and more exaggerated. Hence, the popularity of Fisheye lenses for skate and surf photography.

 The following action images are shot with the pint sized Pentax Q...

Shot with the Pentax Q and standard prime (equiv. 47mm)  giving a more near normal or straight on view as opposed to the earluer "fisheye" views.

All images ©2011 Mark Dimalanta Photo