I’ve had the pleasure of watching the Philippines National Soccer team, The Azkals, play in Bacolod at Panaad Stadium against the Pakistan team. Yes, they kicked butt and won! Hip, hip hooray!! A number of expats have asked me, “Gary, what the hell is an azkal anyway?” Basically, an askal in the Philippines is a street dog. The Philippine National Soccer team was named the Azkals for several reasons. In 2005. In the beginning, the soccer team was unnoticed, under-sponsored and due to lack of funds, they had to stay in cheap hotels during their road games. One team member said, “We are like a bunch of ASKALS!” Street dogs! So, that was the new name of the Philippine National Soccer Team beginning in 2005. Go Azkals Go! I love the team!!
The Real Askals
An askal is not only a street dog but it is a mutt, a mongrel dog, never a purebred. We have 5 or 6 askals at our farm and what is simply amazing, they never attack or eat the chickens! Yep, we have about 100 free range, yard chickens, running around and the dogs never bother them! I had a dachshund in the USA. who lived to be age 16, and he would kill any other animal that came into his sight! Chickens, mice, rats, birds, cats and the whole 9 yards. However, he would not bother other dogs, so I guess he was in the Doghood! Like the Brotherhood! Andy was his name and he was the best dog I ever owned.
Askals also usually live long lives, so they are hardy dogs and will eat just about anything! My dad in law has an askal, Brownie, that is 21 years old! He is old, almost blind and has trouble getting around but he is not bad enough to be put down! He still humps the bitches and is playful with people he knows. Just let him go out peacefully! Ole Brownie! The only aggressive askal I ever saw was one that was rabid and he was immediately shot! Not by me but by the Tanod in the Barangay. Askals will bark and alert you about intruders and possible danger but they are not normally attack dogs unless properly trained. I like Askals, as well as the soccer team in the Philippines!