|Kaya 'til the day they die. Ultras Kaya try to lift up their club even after Kaya falls into a two-goal hole.|
Kaya ‘til the day they die: Ultras Kaya
story & photos by rick olivares
There was a scrum in front of the Kaya goal. The Kaya defenders vainly tried to clear the ball away from the danger zone but Stallion forward Ruben Doctora was quicker to the ball. Doctora got a boot on the ball and it beat keeper Saba Garmaroudi for the opening goal of the match.
“Score some goals!” cries out Xerxes Garcia.
And the Ultras Kaya – all 14 present; two-thirds of the listed members present began to pogo and chant “Score some goal. Score some goals.”
It doesn’t look good for Kaya. Minutes later, Stallion doubles their lead when Bervic Italia's long range shot curves right in for a goal. Stallion’s supporters let out a loud cheer but not as loud as the Ultras Kaya who redoubled their efforts in spite of the deep hole their cherished club had fallen into.
|Ultras Kaya head Xerxes Garcia|
Welcome to Ultras Kaya, one of four organized booster groups of UFL club (the others being Air Force, Global, and Loyola). The group was organized in 2011 by club fans led by Garcia. The “Do-It-Yourself” spirit is prevalent among the club members. They receive no subsidy, food or material gifts from the club yet they produce their own shirts and scarves using their own money. “We’re hardcore,” smiles one group member who refused to be identified. “Hardcore.”
Garcia says not receiving anything from Kaya is fine. “No true ultras group asks for anything in return.” The acknowledgement of the players after matches is good enough for them. It’s love for the club and the game itself. Once in a while, the parents of some of the players bring over chocolates. If there’s left over bottled water or Gatorade from the match, Kaya team manager Dhen Alegre brings it over. “Of course, we’re grateful for what is given.”
Currently, there are 21 listed members of the group. During games there are always at least seven members present. Garcia and drummer Anton Pateña are the regulars. Tonight, leading them on a microphone is a young kid who looks like he should be in bed getting ready for school the following day instead of being at the Emperador Field in BGC. Ten-year old Shane Clemente by no means is a mascot. He holds his own and is deadly serious about cheering.
All ultras have 20 songs and chants to learn from. All 20 are cheered every game non-stop for the entire game (the only respite they have is during halftime). The songs and chants are mainly Eastern European based. They are posted in a private online site for the members for them to download and learn the words. “The songs and our inspiration is researched and studied. We take time to develop them to see if it works in a local setting. We have no rehearsals” says Garcia. “We expect everyone to know every word to every song and chant when they get to the stadium.”
Kaya midfielder OJ Porteria is felled just outside the box eliciting a free kick and a chance to pull back one goal. Porteria measures his shot but its high and wide. The ultras switch to their version of the Atlanta Braves’ famed “Tomahawk Chop” complete with the chopping hand gesture. It’s the closest chant they have to anything that resembles aggression. Stallion fans taunt the ultras but the Kaya booster group isn't biting. “We promote the peace and brotherhood that Kaya espouses,” clarifies Garcia. “We’re not about violence. We are about peace and love for football and Kaya. Until the day we die.”
|Ultras Kaya drummer Anton Pateña|