Possible loss of pitch used by poor saddens ‘Angel of the Dump’
MANILA, Philippines—Jane Walker of the Philippine Christian Foundation (PCF), dubbed by local and international media as the “Angel of the Dump” because of her ground-breaking work transforming lives in the former Smokey Mountain, said she was saddened by reports that Nomad Sports Club was facing the threat of closure.
“PCF has extremely fond memories of our days spent at Nomads,” Walker, MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire), said.
Kids from Smokey Mountain, who are under the care of PCF participated in football tournaments held for their benefit at Nomad Sports Club.
“For many of our children, Nomads’ football pitch was the largest patch of grass that they had seen. The experience of our students, competing with those from international and Filipino schools helped our kids understand that we are all equal and that it is not wealth or status that defines a person but character and how we interact with one another,” she said.
Walker, a Southampton, England, native, gave up a high-paying job as a publishing executive 16 years ago and relocated to Manila with the single-minded purpose of helping improve the lives of Smokey Mountain residents.
She recalled how the kids reacted when they first swam in the Nomads pool. “For many of them, it was the first time they had swum in clean water. The sheer joy and delight on their faces will be with me forever.”
“Nomads had gone out of its way countless times to create happy memories and give some of the most disadvantaged children in Manila new experiences that they say had been the happiest times in their childhood,” Walker said.
Most of the club’s members are Filipinos. It opened its doors to marginalized children like the ones under the wings of the PCF.
PCF also received through Nomad Sports Club various donations such as school supplies, milk products, used clothes and football spikes provided by its members and corporations.
Walker expressed her admiration for Nomads, saying “their work for charity and commitment to share their facilities with the Filipino community is to be saluted.”
But things are not looking good for Nomads.
A new complaint has been filed recently with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Edward Du which call for the involuntary dissolution of the 98-year-old football club, arguing that its registration must be revoked “for serious misrepresentation as to what the corporation can do to the great prejudice or damage to the general public”.
Nomads has been plagued with lawsuits from Du and Kishore Hemlani through his company, Multisphere, which wants to acquire the land on which Nomad Sports Club stands.
Multisphere was supposed to buy the land had the club failed to purchase it from the previous owner, Nersan Corp. Nomad Sports Club, however, was able to purchase the land, a deed of sale was signed between Nersan and Nomads, and taxes were paid.
However, Parañaque Regional Trial Court Judge Fortunito Madrona ruled in favor of Multisphere in overturning a compromise agreement between Nersan and Nomad Sports Club. The judge also ordered that the land titles be reverted to Nersan although both Nersan and Nomads had complied with every aspect of the agreement.
The decision of Madrona has been appealed by the club’s lawyers.