The Philippines gained international prominence when the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Efren "Bata" Reyes, and Paeng Nepomuceno rose to international stardom after achieving several international titles in their respective sports. They have wowed the world with their superb athletic skills and put the Philippines in the map of the sporting world.
Bringing honor to the country is also what a group of kids from Tondo, Manila hopes to achieve. They are members of the Sagip Baseball Team, organized by Gawad Kalinga as a way to prevent poor kids from engaging in illegal vices and cart them off the streets. Amidst the poverty that surrounds them and living just beneath the shadow of the infamous Smokey Mountain, these kids are training arduously to become the country's first ever baseball champions from the slums.
12-year old Bugoy dreams of visiting other places. By joining the Sagip Baseball Team, he believes he could make this dream come true. According to his friends, Bugoy used to be the community's bully, but he has since changed after being recruited to join the team.
Brothers Balog and Al-Al are the newest members of the baseball team. Both garbage collectors, Al-Al and Balog never miss a day of training despite their rigid work. Al-Al is currently the youngest and smallest member of the group. Because of his diminutive size, Al-Al could hardly hit the ball, but this does not discourage him. Al-al knows that proper training could make him better.
The team has been competing for some time now. In fact, during the 2009 Little League Philippine Series held in Luneta and Smokey Mountain, the Sagip Team was able to reach the semifinal round. Unfortunately, the better-trained and well-equipped players from private schools beat them to the championship.
Award-winning journalist Jay Taruc presents an inspiring documentary about the struggles and triumphs of the small but mighty "League of Hope," airing on I-Witness this Monday midnight over GMA-7.