|Beckham bombs in Philippines, Tacloban residents puzzled by unknown visitor
Aging English footballer David Beckham visited Philippines today to give comfort to survivors of a typhoon, but embarrassingly, few recognized him.
Hundreds of survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan rushed out of their tent shelters to welcome him. He is nevertheless unfamiliar to many Filipinos, where basketball is king.
“He's so handsome. I heard he plays for the Azkals,'' gushed mother-of-four Darilyn Bascug, referring to the national football team.
The 38-year-old ex-England international, who ended his career last year, is on his second visit to Philippines in his role as a “goodwill ambassador'' for the UN Children's Fund.
He flew by private plane today to Tacloban, one of the areas worst-hit by Haiyan which left about 8,000 people dead or missing across central Philippines in November last year.
Casually dressed in a black UNICEF T-shirt, Beckham visited a tent city for several hundred families who lost their homes. He entered one tent for an extended chat with its occupants.
Bascug, a carpenter's wife who is among those waiting for a new home, admitted she did not really know Beckham that well. Neither had she heard of his wife Victoria, formerly of the Spice Girls.
Shortly after Beckham's arrival, another woman from the area approached an AFP reporter and asked timidly: “Is that man a celebrity?''