July 26, 2010

Messi and his Friends Team vs The World Team.

     A few days after the World Cup South Africa 2010, with the victory of Spain, on Wednesday, July 14, 2010 was a great joy for all Panamanians. Under the sponsorship of Samsung and organization of 141, was held in Panama City the friendly game of “Messi and his Friends vs The World”.
     The event was held at the newly renovated National Soccer Stadium “Rommel Fernandez”, with a full capacity of 26,000 spectators and the most modern in Central America.

Rommel Fernández Stadium

     In addition to the Panamanian fans, fans came from Central American countries and Colombia, through tour packages sold in those countries. Furthermore, these tourists took to shopping and visiting the Panama City.
     That night the stadium was filled to its full capacity. Nobody wanted to miss the World football star, the Argentinean, Lionel Andrés Messi, FC Barcelona player and winner of the title FIFA WOLRDPLAYER 2009.

The teams were composed of the following players:

Messi and his Friends Team
Lionel Messi, Martín Palermo, Sebastián Abreu, Franco Zuculini, Cafu, Gabriel Milito, Juan Arango, Lucio, Leandro Lázzaro, Ariel "Burrito" Ortega, Mario Yepes, Josué, Nicholas Otamendi, Juan, Ricardo Sá Pinto

The World Team
Marco Materazzi, Christian Vieri, Mariano Pernía, Fernando Couto, Iván Helguera, Fernando Morientes, Edgar Davids, Dwight Yorke, Kevin Kuranyi, José Francisco Cevallos, José Pinto, Jaime Penedo, Blas Pérez, Gabriel Gómez, Nelson Barahona.

Technical Directors: Hernán "Bolillo" Gómez and Cesar Farías.
Football Referee: Horacio Elizondo.

Press conference at Intercontinental Playa Bonita Resort and Spa

     Although it rained that night, this did not stop the game from being held. More than 25,000 people attending the stadium between Panamanians and foreigners, most of who were Central Americans and Colombians, were shouting the name of the Argentinean star: Messi, Messi! It was a magical moment for all present and TV viewers who watched live transmission of the friendly game. They could not believe seeing a soccer game with many Football World Stars in Panama. It was like being in a World Cup.
     In brief, the first goal was made by the Spanish Fernando Morientes, from the World team, to Ecuador goalkeeper José Cevallos in the 8th minute of the first half. Then in the 13th minute, Brazilian Lucio, who belonged to Messi and his Friends team, evened the score, beating Barcelona goalkeeper, José Pinto.
     Messi scored three goals in the 32nd, 45th and 87th minutes. The other two goals from Messi and his Friends team were scored by Leandro Lázzaro in the 53rd minute, and the other by Zuculini Franco in the 89th minute.
     Blas Pérez,, from the Panama’s National team striker and World team, scored three goals to minutes 72nd, 79th and 90th, the latter being the most precious, a "hat trick" (chilena), ending the game 6-4 in favor Messi and his Friends team.

Some moments of the game!!! 

Blas Pérez's "HAT TRICK" (Chilena)

Players' withdrawal at Rommel Fernández Stadium

July 23, 2010

Las Tablas Carnival 2010: “Culecos”.

     In the Interior towns of the Republic of Panama is where most Panamanians celebrate the carnival tradition, by four consecutive days before Ash Wednesday.
     The carnival is organized by the people, divided into two streets, "Calle Arriba" and "Calle Abajo" (Up Street and Down Street), although in some villages or towns there is a third street. During this carnival festivities, the two streets are rivals and they compete to see who is better in the town's central park, where both "tunas" face other. They compete on who is better: the most beautiful queen, floats, fancy dresses, "murga" and "tuna". Generally, both “tunas” are considered winners by themself in each presentation.
     In this post I want to define three words that are important in Panamanian carnival tradition.
     “Tuna”: group of people and musicians who accompany and support their queen, either Up Street or Down Street, during their performances.
     “Murga”: group of musicians who play the songs of the queen during carnival; usually, they go in a float behind the queen; the song lyrics are to ennoble their queen, or to make fun of the Queen's family and her “tuna”. But they don’t mention names, only assumptions facts. You have to investigate who they talking about. All people who sing are behind their Murga or queen.
     "Culecos" or "Mojaderas" are made on the morning of carnival from 9 in the morning in the town's central park. The "Culecos” are made with tanker trucks parked on the streets around the park and throw water through hoses to all who attend. Each "Tuna" (Calle Arriba and Calle Abajo) presents a single float with the company of their "murga".
     In the "Culecos" or "Mojaderas" each queen goes on a float inspired by a specific theme, like her dress, trimmed with rhinestones, sequins, and feathers of exotic birds. Definitely, the queens are the only ones that are not wet, obviously, because the water would damage the dress and they would lose their grace.
     The videos that I posted are from Las Tablas Carnival 2010. The background music is played by a "murga", but it is only to give it a carnival atmosphere. They are not the songs that were sung and performed in this carnival. In addition, I posted the pictures of the costumes or fancy dresses that were exhibited at the "Reina Torres de Araúz Antropology Museum" in Panama City, weeks after the carnival. In this way, you can see the details of the costumes.

Calle Abajo de Las Tablas Theme: Cards Games
Calle Arriba de Las Tablas Theme: Diwali: Lights Festival - Nepal

Calle Abajo de Las Tablas Theme:  Valentine
Calle Arriba de Las Tablas Theme: Aphrodite

Calle Abajo de Las Tablas Theme: Romany Lineage - Gipsy Lineage
Calle Arriba de Las Tablas Theme:  Marie Antoinette Josèphe Jeanne de Habsbourg-Lorraine: Forerunner of French fashion.

Calle Abajo de Las Tablas Theme: Cockfights
Calle Arriba de Las Tablas Theme: The Music of My Land

July 22, 2010

Amador's Causeway - Calzada de Amador.

     Amador’s Causeway or “Calzada de Amador” is located, exactly, in the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal. It’s a path that connects Panama City with Naos, Perico and Flamenco Islands. This road was built with material from the extraction of soil from Culebra Cut, when building the Panama Canal. During the Spanish conquest, the islands were a favorite anchorage of Spanish galleons arriving in Panama City and loaded with treasures snatched from the Inca Empire. In 1913, the islands became part of Fort Grant. This fort was used to defend the Panama Canal entrance against possible attacks from Germany or Japan during the First World War.

     The Amador Causeway is now a tourist spot and perfect for walking, jogging, skating, biking and enjoying beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean: the ships awaiting permission for transit through the Panama Canal and the fabled Bridge of the Americas; whereas at the other side, you can see the smashing horizon and modern Panama City and its skyscrapers, as well as the Old Town of Panama City (Casco Antiguo).
     Throughout the entire roadway will find fast food restaurants, American franchising, Italian, Mexican, Cuban, Greek, International restaurants and, of course, Panamanian restaurants. There are also seafood restaurants, as well known in Panama for their freshness, quality and taste.
     Both the beginning and end of the road, you can find bars, nightclubs, discos, some with dance floors and music for all likes.
     Another attraction is the Smithsonian’s Marine Exhibition Center, a place to learn about the flora, fauna and see some exotic species of marine life both the Caribbean and the Pacific of Panama.
     Small shopping centers, marinas for yachts, hotels and a convention center, could not miss in this wonderful place of the country.
     In 2011, will be inaugurated the Museum of Biodiversity, designed by Frank Gehry, which will be one of the biggest attractions of the place. You can see more information on Categories-Megaprojects-Panama: Bridge of Life – Museum of Biodiversity.
     I made a video with my photos. I hope you enjoy it.