Sports are a significant aspect of the culture of the Philippines. Football, badminton, basketball, billiards, Ping-pong, volleyball and boxing are some of the most popular sports enjoyed by the nation. The country has a tropical climate, but ice skating is still one of the most enjoyed sports in the country. Other recreations include aerobics, athletics and weight lifting.
Swimming, sailing, cockfighting, bowling and baseball are some other activities which are similarly enjoyed in the country. Here is a brief account of some of the major sports of the country and about their popularity.
The sport of basketball has been successfully able to captivate the heart of every Filipino. This is one of the most played and certainly the most famous sport in the country. The Philippine Basketball Association was founded in the year 1975. Gilas Pilipinas is the national team which represents the country internationally. James Yap is one of the most known faces in Basketball and is often referred to as the ‘living legend’.
Boxing is known to be the most popular of individual sports in the nation. The country has produced some most famous boxers which include Ceferino Garcia, Manny Pacquiao, Francisco Guilledo and Nonito Donaire to mention just a few. The Association of Boxing Alliances is the powerful body of amateur boxing in the country. The goal of the association is to win the first Olympic Gold medal for the country. The objective of the association is to promote the image of the Philippines all over the world. At present the country has 3 bronze and 2 silvers from the Olympics.
This is currently a new sport played in the Philippines. A four team competition was usually held by ArenaBall Philippines but since the year 2013, another team has joined the league. American Football Federation of the Philippines is now strongly competing against the many Asian regents which include US Guam Confederate, Saipan, Hong Kong and many others. Some popular players who have played in the National Football League in the USA include Roman Gabriel, Chris Gocong, Aaron Francisco, Doug Baldwin to mention just a few.
Ping-pong or table tennis is an immensely popular indoor sporting activity played all over the country. The sport of ping-pong accompanies a lot less fanfare than the other games which are enjoyed in the country. However, the sport has helped Philippines won gold medals in several international competitions which include Asian Games, Southeast Asian Games and World Championships. Ping-pong has been played since ages in the country and is stilled enjoyed with equal enthusiasm and vigor.
Badminton is the sport which binds people together in the Philippines. It is played in the streets, in universities, in different local neighborhood teams and also in leagues. It is usually played in doubles and singles teams. Children play since a very young age and usually just outside their home. Professional tournaments are held all over the country. This is a game which is easy to play in good weather conditions.
Just like basketball, volleyball too is played by Filipinos in their schools, neighborhoods and streets. It is one of the most enjoyed and played sports in the country. It is also an integral part of the Physical Education classes in colleges and high schools. Youngsters love to play the sport and eagerly wait for the UAAP Volleyball tournaments which are held in different colleges and universities.
Golf is a well appreciated sport amongst the high society or the elite class. There are a umber of local golf clubs, where one can enjoy the sport. There are also several golf driving ranges. Players who wish to learn the sport or practice often spend hours in the place. Several large hotels and resorts have specialized golf courses where individuals can pay to enjoy the game. This is a sport for those who love the game and can actually afford to play it.
Regional Sports of Philippines
There are many traditional sports or best known as regional sports which are played with great enthusiasm across the country. These events are a true reflection of the culture and love for sports of the nation.
- Arnis – This is the most famous martial art of Philippines. It is all about weapon based fighting. The skills and the art of fighting are being passed down through ages.
- Sipa – Another popular sport which is about kicking the ball skillfully to the other side of net. The other side is the opponent’s side. The main criterion is that the ball shouldn’t be touching the ground in the process.
- Sikaran – This is a kind of kick boxing. The feet are only involved during play. The hands are used just for the purpose of blocking.
- Dumog – This is the famous wrestling game which is played while standing in an upright position.