Back in the old days, due to lack of exposure to professional sports, the games commonly played by children of the Philippines are very simple. Patintero, Luksung Baka, Chinese Garter, and the most popular game was Langit-Lupa. In Philippines, these are called “Larong Kalye” or street games. In here, the children had found a recreation to train them physically and mentally to be equipped in professional sports.
Over time, basketball was able to captivate every Filipino’s heart. It is the most played and the most popular sport for the Filipinos. The Philippine Basketball Association was a league founded in April 1975. The national team, Gilas Pilipinas, competes internationally for the country. James Yap is “the” athlete of today next and next only to Robert Jaworski who is considered to be a “living legend” when it comes to abilities. Yap plays for the San Mig Coffee Mixers as a shooting guard but can also play as a forward, for these, he is considered to be the most complete player today in PBA.
Another popular sport in the country is boxing which has produced 38 major world champions in various weight categories. The sport also popularized after the achievements of Manny Pacquiao in the profession. The Philippines also produced hall of famers locally and worldwide, like Pancho Villa, Flash Elorde, and Cefering Garcia.
UAAP and NCAA competitions are much awaited by the Filipinos especially the younger generation. These events are a competition between the big universities and colleges of the Phillippines. UAAP was established in 1938 while NCAA was established in 1924.
Below are details of sports, sporting events and sports people related to Philippines. Is there something missing? If you know of something that should be listed here, please let us know.
Popular sports of the Philippines
- Football (Soccer), basketball, boxing
Traditional or Regional Sports of the Philippines
- Arnis (martial art) — a martial art of Philippines which emphasizes weapon based fighting.
- Sikaran — a form of kick boxing from the Philippines, which utilizes only the feet, the hands are only used for blocking.
- Dumog — a Filipino style of wrestling while standing upright.
- Sipa — the aim is to kick the ball to the other side of the net on to the opponent’s side without it touching the ground.
Philippines Sporting Success
- The Philippines finished fifth in basketball at the 1936 Summer Olympic Games and captured a bronze medal in the 1954 FIBA World Championships.
Great athletes from Philippines
- Manny Pacquiao (boxing)
- Robert Jaworski (basketball)
- Hidilyn Diaz (weight lifting)
Philippines Sports trivia
- One of the greatest Filipino tennis players of all time, Felicisimo Ampon, was only 4 foot 11 inches. He is considered to be the shortest ever male competitor at Wimbledon.
- The Philippines is the first South East Asian nation to take part and win a medal at the Olympics.
- Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz was the first athlete from the Philippines to win gold at the Olympics (in 2021).
Philippines at major events
- Philippines at the Summer Olympics
- Philippines at the Winter Olympics
- Philippines at the Women's FIFA World Cup
Past sporting events hosted in Philippines
- 2019 SEA Games