THE NETHERLANDS – Filipinos did not mellow in their support for the Dutch national football team in all their three games at the UEFA Euro 2012, which were held in Ukraine and Poland.
With the rest of The Netherlands, the Pinoys stayed glued to their TV sets during the Oranje team’s games.
The Dutch lost to Denmark 0-1, Germany 1-2 and Portugal 1-2.
For the first time in the history of the European championship, the very strong Dutch team, which was one of the favorites to bag the Euro 2012, did not win any of its matches.
The Dutch did not really feel so bad after the team’s first loss to Denmark. It even gave them hope.
“Brings back memories of 1988. The Dutch lost first but ended as champions,” explained Michelle Koelemij.
But after Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo’s second goal on Sunday night, the country mourned early.
The Dutch, of course, were devastated.
“Terrible, defeated, no energy….” said Bas Van Dijk, an avid Dutch supporter who was lost for more words to describe how he felt.
But not everything is about losing in the Netherlands. The event was also an excuse for many Dutch and Pinoys to bond.
During every match, Pinoys held big gatherings. They also placed bets on the final scores, brought potluck food, drank and cheered for their team.
Dutch fans flocked in throngs in bars and cafes to watch the games on big screens and where the booze is almost bottomless and the cheers are deafening.
Together, the Dutch and Pinoys also shared in the misery and sadness each time their team lost.
Apart from Queen’s Day, when the whole country turns orange, the football season is also the time when orange mania is prevalent nationwide
The two biggest football seasons are the World Cup and Euro Championships held every four years.
It is in this field of sports where the country is united by the color orange, win or lose.
Football is so huge in the Netherlands that many splurge on head-to-toe orange outfits, accessories and decorations.
Some loyal football fans even have a football fund set aside in order to be able travel to the country where the matches are played.
Orange is drowning everything else during the football season but just about anyone is drawn in the patriotism and solidarity that are so dominant and could be felt throughout the country.
“Siyempre parang second home na natin 'to. Pagdating sa mga sports, whether bowling or football talagang we cheer for the national team kasi parang we're part of the nation na rin," Pinay Myrna Tomas said.
The Netherlands will have to wait for the next big tournament, the World Cup 2014.