Can sport unite Filipinos?

Why are Filipinos not even good at sport? It seems like our athletes had been waved a red flag one day and then simply gave up on trying to achieve world-class status on all types of sport — I know, I know, aside from boxing, of course.

A sport is commonly defined as an organized, competitive, and skillful physical activity requiring commitment and fair play. It is governed by a set of rules or customs. There are too many words in that definition that do not apply to Filipinos really: “organized”; “competitive”; “skillful”; “fair play”; “commitment” and not to mention “set of rules”. Whew! Those are big words indeed, all of which simply fly over the average Filipino’s head.

I have always doubted other people’s claim that sport can unite us as a people. The fact that we are not good at sport is a reflection of who we are as a people. We do not have the right amount of zeal and enthusiasm for it. Our lack of ability to excel in sport is just a reflection of our lack of passion for much of anything. Even as the world gets smaller because of globalization and international sport competition, we Filipinos fail to proudly join the leagues of other Asian nations in gaining some respect in this field. We often come home empty-handed from international competitions.

Manny Pacquiao put the Philippines on the map with his boxing skills. But not to belittle his achievements, it must be emphasized that boxing is actually an individual sport, and therefore his own individual achievement. It is not a team effort — like football, baseball or basketball — that requires team members to be organized and work in close collaboration with each other. And Manny is only one of a small few among 90 million people who excel — and he does so under the guidance of a foreign coach. Among the small few, we could count the Philippine Karatedo team among them. That team went home with three gold, two silver and one bronze medals on Sunday in the 6th Korea Open International Karatedo Championships 2010 held at the Gudeok Gymnasium in Busan, South Korea. But really, though they call themselves a “team”, that’s just another individual type of sport.

The Football International World Cup or FIFA World Cup is currently being held in South Africa. This is the first World Cup hosted by an African nation. It is not a small feat considering the number of countries who vied for the chance to host the event. The World Cup is the world’s most widely viewed sporting event in the world. There are 32 teams from all over the world competing for the title, the Philippines not included. This is actually a shame because the average Filipino’s physical build is just right for this kind of sport. Our agility (if we remain fit) could work for us should we take football seriously. We are not too tall hence; we can run around fast without looking goofy or awkward. Why can’t we excel in this sport though? Filipinos would much rather play basketball which requires that the player be taller than the average Filipino. Filipinos love playing it but we simply can’t excel in it.

Unfortunately, the Philippine national football team, despite being one of the oldest national teams in Asia, has never had any significant success on the international stage and has never qualified for the AFC Asian Cup or the FIFA World Cup. According to recent history courtesy of Wikepedia, in September 2006 the country fell to 195th on the FIFA World Rankings, its lowest ever. By the end of the year, the Philippines moved back up to 171st overall, after qualifying for the 2007 ASEAN Football Championship with a 4–1 win over Brunei. However, their failure to advance from the preliminaries dropped the country’s ranking to 179th. After a string of poor performances, the Philippines refused to register and enter the qualification stages for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In short, we just simply gave up.

It was said that sport helped the former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela sustain his spirits while in captivity for 27 years as a political prisoner. In 1995, as the president of South Africa, he handed the Rugby World Cup trophy to Francois Pienaar the captain of the victorious South African team . This single act united a nation divided and fractured by apartheid. I wish I could tell a similar story about the Philippines. For some reason, Manny Pacquaio’s win does not inspire the rest of Filipinos to strive for unity or even excellence.

Although I am not actually a sport fan, I believe that sport indeed has the power to uplift and inspire individuals. Sport is cheap and should not really cost much to get into. If you have a ball for example, you can play a game of football in your backyard or front yard. This is what we often did when we were kids and it was a lot of fun. It is really puzzling why a lot of the men in our country would rather while away their time guzzling alcohol than learn a skill and get physically fit at the same time.

One of the Philippines favorite sport is basketball. We are not good at it though and I heard that lately, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is steadily losing its fans for one reason or another. They say that the basketball team lack home grown talents hence, local fans are not really into the players. Some would say that there is a problem with the way the players play: they seem to have little passion for the game. There are also claims that some players are overweight and are not really fit to run around. The thing is, we are not really built for basketball, and the average Filipino is too short, so the association has to resort to drafting Fil-Am imports. I read somewhere that the PBA can be summarized as such: overrated players, mediocre performances and boring play. It is a sad situation that shows how our dysfunctional culture can also affect our fun and games.

Sport has a lot of enduring qualities. As former British Prime Minister Tony Blair once said, “It shows us how to participate in something that is bigger than ourselves, and teaches us how to demonstrate respect for teammates and opponents. It helps us to learn how to win with humility and lose with grace; how to set a goal and fulfill it. Sport brings people together; the self-worth and self-belief that it teaches are values that can last a lifetime.” As I reflect on how sport can influence the progress in our country, one thing is for sure: we will not win any sporting event if we cannot learn all of the above principles. Without a deep appreciation of these principles, not even sport can unite us.

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124 Responses to Can sport unite Filipinos?

  1. HalleluyahHymen says:

    Hi Ilda…

    We are not excelling in the right sports because :

    1. Sports that are promoted here do not fit the average body structure of the Pinoys:
    i. Basketball
    ii. Swimming
    iii. Volleyball

    2. We don’t have the right government policy to support those sports that we may excel into. We may have one but they are not properly implemented.
    a. Baseball
    b. Any form of martial arts from Arnis de Mano, Sepak Takraw, Wushu, Taekwondo, Boxing etc…
    c. Soccer

    3. “Equipment” sports such as biking, water skiing, car racing, etc… are marketed in the media but are not accessible to the common pinoy.

    4. We have few parks or no park at all in urban areas.

    Dahil “Amerikanize” ang mindset ng mga pinoy we have not even developed and promoted Arnis into something like that of Korea’s Taekwondo or Japan’s Karate. Imagine Arnis being an older form martial arts than Taekwondo.

    Eto ang isports na nag excel ang Pinoy…. GOLF… yung tatagay ng beer, lambanog, tuba o gin tapos GULP GULP GULP GULP… hehehehe

    • HalleluyahHymen says:

      **we may have some — from **we may have one

      -sorry nag Golf kagabi… hehehe

    • Lorenz says:

      Filipinos have a lot of potential in table tennis and any other sports our fellow Asians can excel in. What other Asians can do, we can do too if taking into consideration the height, weight, etc.

      Sadly, there are only a few Filipinos who are interested and passionate in Filipino culture, arts, and heritage. No support for arnis, eskrima, silat, lack of care for museums,etc. One thing lacking in our society is also patriotism.

      I would say patriotism would more likely unite the country than sports.

    • Anonylol says:

      Too bad about Arnis. When you see the few masters do exhibitions you realize that they could kill someone about twenty times before they hit the ground.

      I remember a show in Discovery Channel where these two guys who roam the world training in martial arts came to the Philippines to train in Arnis so I guess that says something.

      It’s still an individual “sport” though.

      • HalleluyahHymen says:

        1. Create policies for sports appreciation campaign. The first key to any sport is APPRECIATION… it is the lack of it due to either misinformation or lack of information.

        2. Instead of sex education in the primary… it should be sports promotion.

        3. Create more public parks and recreation areas where team sports can be played such as baseball and soccer. I remember playing SIMCITY… the principle of creating open spaces lessens crime.

    • ilda says:

      Hi HalleluyahHymen

      All your points are valid. It’s mind boggling what our priorities are. If you google the most popular sports in the country, it will include sipa! Unfortunately, we are not even champions at it considering it doesn’t cost much to buy the tanso!

      I’m all for more open fields and parks in the country especially in the city to encourage more outdoor activities (but not drinking alcohol!)

  2. Lorenz says:

    As i have said to you ilda, Filipinos lack passion. They do not follow their interests and dreams because they admit defeat to reality which screams pessimism all over the country. Parents will even force their sons/daughters to go to money-making courses/jobs. I’m pretty sure if a parent will hear his kid saying “I want to become a professional soccer player”, she will surely say “no, you’re crazy” or something like that.

    Passion and enthusiasm no longer exists in our society because of too much practicality and realism and non existent idealism. Remember that feelings are different from passion as i have posted in your other article. EDSA Revolution, the yellow army, etc. are all built around feelings not passion.

    • ilda says:

      Hi Lorenz

      Being a realist does not really equate to being a defeatist. As a woman, I was made to believe in a lot of fairy tales when I was a little girl. It took a life changing experience for me in my teenage years to finally adopt a more realistic approach to life and as soon as I did, the passion for everything around me and what I do was fully awakened. Unfortunately, a lot of Filipinos still believe in fairy tales and leave their fate to God or someone they are made to believe is a hero like Noynoy.

      I know what you are saying when circumstances force people to take up a course/profession they don’t like. However, Filipinos should still value the work that brings home the bacon and do what they can to at least produce a satisfactory job. Likewise, it should not be the end of the world because they can still pursue their dreams in their spare time. I’ve always wanted to become a writer. It should be obvious to everybody by now that I am passionate about writing and that’s exactly what I do in my spare time. Helping to enlighten other people is also one of my passions and that’s exactly what I do in my spare time.

      The minute people become realistic and acknowledge that they cannot rely on anybody but themselves for their own happiness, their dreams will become a reality.

    • benign0 says:

      Well, one thing Pinoys have a passion for is prayer. Unfortinately much of what passes off as “prayer” in our primitive society come across as nothing more than cop-outs from personal responsibility as I highlight in a few comments I lobbed onto this moronic “A Prayer for Noynoy” published on the Letters section of the Check it out here.

    • shadowbroker says:

      I disagree that passion doesn’t exist in pinoys. Its just being channeled the wrong way or not being exercised at the proper avenues. Of course realistically, pinoy dreams of being national sport stars are limited and sadly even sustainable success would mean going overseas and taking advantage of the resources of another country, just to be tapped again by pinoy nationals when Olympics comes along when asked to represent the country. I mean how does one even become a star ‘football player’ (only in America do they recognize it as soccer) when there is no aggressive talent evaluators or system to train youngsters the basics, then promote them along with better competition? Sure we have those Flip-Anglos but they aren’t much talented footballers than models at this point.

      Oh Benigno, I had a talk with friend of mine regarding the UAAP basketball one point. He told me that they had a championship game or something and both sides were praying before the tip off. We were like, wait so God has to choose which side is going to take the title home? Thats garbage. Athletics is decided by preparation and training, not divine intervention.

  3. J.B. says:

    Apart from the fact you mentioned we’re not built for basketball, there is one characteristics known among Filipino cagers that they’re quite hard-headed specially those with high income at stakes in the PBA and joining the Filipino team for Asian competitions. Maybe that partly explain we’re not good in team sports.

    Also, I find it quite discomforting the sight of Quinito Henson or other media personnel watching at the courtside of the NBA finals and feeding commentaries to Filipino NBA fans when our very own Philippines teams a tail ender in international competitions.

    How Soccer can be better for Filipinos than Basketball

    • ilda says:

      Hi J.B.

      What a coincidence! You wrote almost the same thing in your blog about how it will be better for Filipinos to devote their time in playing soccer instead of basketball! It is so obvious that we don’t have what it takes to be good at basketball because of our physical limitations and our big egos!

      • J.B. says:

        Thanks for the citation. The Filipino competitiveness factor has been floating around in many sports columns since ages ago (perhaps one of them was CDQ) which is obviously I agree 100%. Basketball is never meant for us. 🙂

        What I added is Soccer itself requires in-depth thinking to newbies plus the fact of life is much like making a goal in soccer. The thinking part is much so require from Filipinos who never once interested in thinking generally speaking.

  4. Hung Hang says:

    I hardly watch football but I’ve been an avid fan of the FIFA World Cup since 2006. Anyone watched the Portugal vs North Korea match the other day? That was a beauty with Portugal trouncing North Korea 7-0. Christino Ronaldo finally broke his scoring drought in that game.

    I can’t wait to watch Portugal vs Brazil this Friday for the Group G elimination round. Too bad Kaka can’t play in that match since he got his second yellow card in their previous match against Côte d’Ivoire.

    Football (soccer to some countries) is called The World Game, some call it ‘The Beautiful Game’, and the World Cup is the most watched sporting event, with more viewers around the world than the Olympics. The Philippines is the only 4 country in the world out of 207 FIFA member countries who did not even bother to register in the World Cup 2010 preliminary competition round along with Bhutan, Brunei, and Laos. How sad is that.

    I agree sports can unify a nation. Australia finally became a football nation in 2006 with its entry in the World Cup 2006, although it is not doing so well this time around due mainly to bad refereeing. New Zealand on the other hand is playing above everyone’s expectation, even tying with powerhouse Italy 1-1 in their latest match. They might just make it to the final 16.

    I think the Philippines can become good at football if it wants to since our lack of height is not a disadvantage in this sport unlike in basketball. We are also quick footed so I think we are a natural for this sport. The other Korea, South Korea is a primary example. They have now qualified into the last 16 countries in the World Cup 2010. I hope they do well in the quarterfinals.

    • killem says:

      yeah i think of it too… but come to think of it, basketball became ” the sport here in the phil” because its somewhat the most affordable game, many people can avail the said recreation…. all you need is a ball and a ring, thats it, unlike soccer wher you need a pretty big space….

      • Marcing Pin says:

        Not necessarily… you don’t need a big space to play soccer… just like basketball, you can play soccer for fun and hobby… you can play soccer in a field as big as a tennis court.. unless of course you’re playing in a competitive soccer tournament..

        Anyway, the first Filipino world class athlete was a soccer player, Paulino Alcantara, who played for F.C. Barcelona early in the 20th Century. he represented both Spain and the Philippines in the international football.. lead the Philippines to its greatest football victory, a 15-2 demolition of Japan in the Far Eastern Games (too bad, its the other way around these days).. unfortunately, not many Filipinos are aware or even care about his exploits..

    • ilda says:

      Hi Hung Hang

      I hardly watch football but I’ve been an avid fan of the FIFA World Cup since 2006. Anyone watched the Portugal vs North Korea match the other day? That was a beauty with Portugal trouncing North Korea 7-0. Christino Ronaldo finally broke his scoring drought in that game.

      I read somewhere that the last time North Korea competed in the World Cup was 1966 (I wasn’t even born yet!) and they gave their opponents a run for their money. Our Asian neighbours definitely put all their efforts into what they do including sport.

      Australia is not doing well. They only have one chance to go against Serbia and they are out. I know they are more into rugby league rather than soccer which is also a shame

      Definitely Filipinos can and should be good at soccer.

    • HalleluyahHymen says:

      Nice share hunghang.

      Soccer like basketball is a team sport. More than enhancement of skills and talents, it promotes team play, patience and importance of strategy. The lack of appreciation for that sport comes from the way media has been promoting basketball and other sports that does not fit the physique of the average Pinoy. The traditional media have even classified cockfighting or “sabong” as a sport. Instead of erecting parks and sports area, governors and mayors in the provinces puts into their local budget the construction of cockfighting arena (sabungan). Kundi ba naman tonto yang mga yan.

      Kaya ang sports sa Pilipinas, golf (gulping beer, lambanog and tuba), derby at hueteng.

  5. ulong pare says:

    … daaaang

    … flips are united in sports…

    … picture this: beijing olympics and asian games

    … flipland delegation comprised of 10 turdrate athletes with ‘sang tambaks na coaches, assistant coaches, assistant to the assistant coaches, waterboys, towelboys, asungots, etchastera, etc…

    … majority of the turdrate athletes are/were flipflams aka’merkan rejects (who did not make the cut for the ‘merkan squad)

    … kailangan kasi, imported ang flipland’s premier (pambato) athletes… the local-left-behind flips do not have padrino in the flipland athletic federation….

    … ay sus ginoo, flip, puro kayo gung gongs! :mrgreen:

    • J.B. says:

      Corruptions also did not spare the sports sectoral reps.

      The reason why we keep seeing perennial losers like Payla, Tanamor, Tipon, and rest of incompetent boxers is their being the fave of Mel Lopez.

      Palakasan. But most likely the share of proceeds that goes into sports salivates many not to mention the perks of going overseas.

  6. Aaron Vicencio says:

    Hi, I did not allow my photo to be used in this website. Please take it out.

    • ilda says:

      Apologies Aaron – as you wish.

      At least you made your first comment at AP 🙂


    • benign0 says:

      Jeez, lighten up dude. You don’t post your photos on the web and expect them not to be lifted every now and then. 😀

    • Jay says:


      As long as its in a private realm of yours, its quite fine. Otherwise if it was snagged with an errant comment you made in facebook, friendster, tumblr, multiply and among others, its pretty fair game. I’ll give a PROTIP: Ask nicely and they are more inclined to do as you say.

    • ilda says:


      Thanks for sharing the links to your blog. I finally found the time to read some of it 🙂

      I think what you are trying to drive at is that Filipino athletes want all the glory without doing the hard work. This pretty much applies to everything that Filipinos are involve in not just sport.


  7. killem says:

    we are not good in sport because corrupt official are the one who manages are sports system.. I see almost the same kind of pattern; like this

    1 sport is gaining achievement and with the achievement comes the money, and now those person responsible for such achievement were replaced by this corrupt officials and the rest is history….

    • ilda says:

      Hi Killem

      It still boils down to lack of passion though. The officials are corrupt because they are not passionate about what they are doing and don’t really believe in the capabilities of the athletes.

      I believe in the mantra “If you build it, they will come.” If our athletes were any good, sponsors will come in droves.

      Remember the film Cool Runnings? Well, it was based on a true story and those athletes who joined the bob sled competition did not even have snow in their home country.


      • killem says:

        is there a movie like Cool Runnings? we cannot have a good athletes if we dont have a good sports system…… good player(also smart) + bad system= will end up playing with other country for simple reason that bad system will burn out the energy of the good player without accomplishing any improvement….

  8. Anonylol says:

    As a consolation, we seem to be doing moderately well in the World Cybergames.

    • J.B. says:

      Really? I didn’t know that.

      But then again, that particular sport has very little or no social value to Filipinos in general in terms of their thinking of their being a Filipino.

    • ben says:

      Really? Which games?

      As far as I know:

      1. We suck at DotA (we have one of the largest player pools in the world btu we still can’t come up with a decent team)

      2. We are far behind in Starcraft Brood War, as well as Starcraft 2.

      3. We can’t come up with a decent Counter Strike team who can win us a place in the finals.

      4. I don’t remember when we last won any WCG events…

      • Anonylol says:

        Of course when I say moderately well I just mean that we don’t auto-lose to everyone and thoroughly embarass ourselves, just a little bit.

        It hasn’t come to the point where we’re no longer participating because we keep on losing just yet.

        That huge player pool for DotA is about 90% pants-on-head retarded. Something about it being a team game seems to escape most of them. Team play seems to be an alien concept in general for our lads.

      • maikimai says:

        Pinoys SUCK at Dota. Period… No teamwork and loves to pick the heroes that takes a LOOOONNNGGGG time to get strong then, blames the team for not letting him farm.

        Pinoys also suck at Starcraft, Warcraft, Red Alert etc. because they suck at micromanagement.

        Though from my experience, from playing at Garena. There is only one thing Pinoys excel and that is TRASHTALKING.

      • killem says:

        hey we dont sucks @ dota, we are at the very least moderate….considering there are absolutely no support from the govt whatsoever, unlike in other country, where they “e-athletes” are paid to play the game with a bunch of researcher pa….

    • Jon Abaca says:

      It doesn’t help that we only support the popular games here.

      Back in 2003, the WCG had a category for Unreal Tournament and Halo. There are Filipinos who are really good at handing people their asses, but they never got to showcase their skills because of lack of support.

      • Anonylol says:

        You know, all of this is pretty telling. How people play says a lot about their character.

        The reason why DotA players here prefer to use those heroes that take a long time to grow strong is because they become dominating later on and lets them get incredibly high scores. No one ever plays support becuase support players rarely get a high score.

        Everyone on the team wants to become the MVP and end up competing with each other. That’s why Filipinos in general are terrible at team games isn’t it?

        I’ve also encountered some people who stop playing because they can’t be the best. I think that’s a terrible way to look at things. They only participate because they want to let people know how good they are, not because they enjoy what they are doing.

        Sport is a type of play so even though we’re talking about video games it extends to that too.

      • Jon Abaca says:

        It happens in basketball too. I think the local term for that would be “bakaw.”

        I think that’s another reason why football has less popularity here. Football requires a lot of team coordination. Even great players need to pass by their team mates. Glory hounding will result in failure.

      • ilda says:


        I’ve also encountered some people who stop playing because they can’t be the best

        Gees…so even in video games Filipinos still let their egos do the walking. Pathetic.

      • maikimai says:

        I’ve been playing Dota around USA and Europe rooms and I feel there is a little grain of teamwork even if you have only played with them for the first time. They are not “bakaw”, they are reluctant to pick late game heroes and pick heroes that could benefit the team and doesn’t care if they aren’t the MVP of the game, they play and think far better than your Average Pinoy Dota player.

    • zero-one says:

      we seem to do pretty well at tekken though.

      but again.. individual ‘sport’ 😀

      • Anonylol says:

        >”we seem to do pretty well at tekken though.

        but again.. individual ‘sport’

        Dude, the local champion is a Korean immigrant.

        Also, Tekken is a really bad example for this discussion. Because, yeah, individual game. Among other things.

  9. BenK says:

    One of the things you didn’t mention is that in most countries where there is a developed sport culture, athletics (as well as general physical fitness) are a well-developed part of the educational system, as well as being organized within communities. A 22-year-old NFL rookie, for example, likely has 13 or 14 years’ playing experience, most if not all of it in school, before he makes it to the big league — and even then, he’s going to spend most of the next couple of years standing on the sidelines before he gets regular playing time.

    • ilda says:

      It’s good you mentioned that Benk. It does make sense to introduce it at a young age when you can still enforce good habits.

      I can tell you are a football fan 🙂

      • BenK says:

        Gee, does it show?

        Guys like me are a pain in the butt, because we think even at our age we could still suit up one more time and deal out some punishment.

    • J.B. says:

      That’s really taken into account.

      For example, both Hewitt and Rafter are by-product of a multi-million tennis facility plus training program.
      Another example is the Aussie Olympic swimming teams who get housed to a another multi-million swimming training camp as early as in their pre-teens.

      But that shouldn’t any poor country to become good in soccer where all you need to do is wide field, a ball and net. The only drawback is that competitive international coach for hire costs millions of dollars.

  10. Dee says:

    Lack of playing areas and lack of promotion. In America, there are parks everywhere. Every public school has fields for different kinds of sports. Students are encouraged to participate in sports at an early age. This is not the case in the Philippines. Public schools don’t have fields for sports, usually just basketball courts. Students aren’t encouraged to play sports like soccer simply because they don’t have fields at schools. So that’s one reason.

    You might need innovators such as celebrities to promote a sport. Since average Filipinos like to watch soap operas and chismis shows like The Buzz, the media has such a powerful influence that it can easily promote a sport such as soccer as “cool.” Instead of reporting love life and dramas among celebrities in showbiz talk shows, why not let Filipinos see worthwhile past times some celebrities do that can inspire Filipinos to copy. Uso naman sa Pinas ang gaya gaya. I’m sure many Filipinos would follow since many simply idolize these celebrities.

    • ilda says:

      Uso naman sa Pinas ang gaya gaya

      It’s funny you said that because a few years ago the “uso” was badminton. Almost everyone was into it. Now the “uso” is marathon or triathlon. The only problem is, pag-hinde na uso, nobody wants to take it up anymore.

      Wouldn’t it be great if the media made being disciplined “cool?”

  11. Dino says:

    This has always been on my mind. After reading the article and the comments here, it affirms my belief that being an effective team and an effective people at that – comes to environment, opportunities, and last but not the least, passion.

    Working closely with a social movement called Gawad Kalinga, I recently started coaching Association Football/Soccer to a group of kids aged 13 -19. These children came from a GK Village in Payatas, and needed something to spend their time on during their summer vacation.

    Hence, an opportunity was made to introduce to these youth an alternative sport to Basketball. But in hindsight, this arrangement would not have been made if it weren’t for the efforts of GK to transform the previous slum area into a decent community, and I thought that:

    They might not be able to train with me if they worry if their house is still standing or not; good thing they live in colorful bungalows now which they built themselves.
    They might not be able to train with me if they worry if their whole family is still scavenging on the dump site (or worse, tambay) not knowing when they will eat; good thing the parents found decent work from either social enterprises or their own efforts finding jobs.
    They might not be able to train with me if the community they live in (despite the physical and economic transformation) still follows the “iskwater” culture of living beyond their means due to vices, violence, jealousy, crab mentality, etc; good thing they’ve undergone values formation and were shown a counter-culture.

    Now, I’m not saying this village is a paradise in the midst of a dump. (Although I’d like to think so) Rather the merit of how these circumstances brought about an opportunity to learn Football, and an opportunity to instill a Sportman’s values in these children. In the long term, these good opportunities will cement and create a good environment that brings forth another wave of good opportunities until their passion really surfaces.

    Just like how the environment of the Internet’s anonymity and accessibilty gives an opportunity for us to engage in social discourse here at AP – which in turn creates an environment of critical thinking which in turn, (should) translate into opportunities for action and change. That’s why I can read the passion on social issues on each article at this site!

    So with the right, or should I say acceptable environment and opportunities, it is now my task to draw out whatever they can offer and attempt to curb it into a productive contribution. Some kids are less motivated than others; like, he just uses practice as an excuse to leave the house. But it’s all the more reason to test his mettle, challenge his resolve and come up with a better player.

    I said last practice, “Mas bilib ako sa taong hindi masyadong magaling, pero nasa field natin ang puso at isip niya bawat sabado, kesa sa taong magaling nga mag soccer, kalat-kalat naman. Bakit? Yung nakatututok sa training at sa laro, gagaling pa, yung mga N.R., eh hanggang doon na lang yung galing nila.”

    Mind you, these kids have more problems than I could ever imagine when I was their age due to their class. And I, as a coach better find a way to guide their young minds into enjoying their game, and have a real passion for it.

    • ilda says:

      Hi Dino

      Thanks for sharing what you have been doing in your spare time 🙂 It’s very inspiring. I hope the people who read your comment will be moved to help out in similar endeavors. You are obviously a very passionate person. The country needs more people like you.

      Indeed, engaging the children in sport will help uplift their emotional state from being uninterested in the opportunities surrounding them to being enthusiastic about their future.


      • Dino says:

        Oh, and in line with the discussion below this one, did you know that the all time leading Goal scorer in the elite Association Football FC Barcelona club is a Filipino? Born from Iloilo, Paulino Alcantara has the yet to be beaten record of 357 Goals in 357 Games. (After 70 years no one has beaten this record yet!) With the right environment and the right opportunities, he debuted at the age of 15 as the first Filipino and Asian that played for a European Football club in the year 1912 and played with the club until 1927.

        When he represented the Philippines in 1917 in the Far Eastern Championship Games, we beat Japan 15-2. That was the biggest win of the Philippines where International Football is concerned.

      • ChinoF says:

        Darn, I haven’t heard of him. This guy needs all the kudos he deserves from our countrymen.

        But then come the crab mentalizers who’ll insist, “why doesn’t he come home to be part of a Philippine team?” What asses.

    • J.B. says:

      What’s really lacking in preserving the kids passion is the lack of programs relevant to Soccer.

      But great effort nonetheless. The kids can cross other sports if their minds were well developed for team-mindsets.

  12. Hopefully this will throw a strike at a few Pinoys in Pinas. Baseball is an awesome sports to play. You don’t need a great stature to become a great player. Even the smallest guy can hit a home run.

    Hey there baseball fans. As a baseball addict, let me kindly introduce you to a wonderful player and a major league pitcher for the “Oakland A’s” and this guy was a great reliever at the mound. His name is, [Bobby Chouinard] was born on Monday, May 1, 1972, in Manila, Philippines. Chouinard was 24 years old when he broke into the big leagues on May 26, 1996, with the Oakland Athletics.

    As a San Francisco “Giants” fan, I have always like to watch these two teams battle each others out. During my younger days, I have seen this Filipino pitch, and one hell of an arm during his time.

    Bobby was averaging atleast over $250,000.00 per season, in the early 70’s. Ending with Coloradao “Rockies” at over $278,000.00 per seasons. 

    There are only 162 games per seasons. That’s easy money, just for throwing a baseball.  

    Filipinos at one time, had the greatest Baseball Team in all Asia. That is at one time. We can do it again, if we try.

    • ilda says:

      That’s an interesting trivia Mario. Who would have thought there was once a Filipino in the major league?! I hope his kamag-anaks did not fall in line for some balato 🙂 I don’t really get why we were once good at this and then became insignificant at it.

      When I read about baseball, I am reminded of Japan. The sport was introduced by the Americans and has become the most popular sport in the country. I heard that there are even Japanese players who now play for the American Major Leagues. Some societies really know how to appreciate stuff.

      • miriam quiamco says:

        I think we already have university soccer teams, I recall watching a game between a Philippine university soccer team against a Japanese university soccer team here once six years ago, and oh boy, wasn’t it such an unequal match. The Japanese team trounced the Philippine team 20-0, I couldn’t believe it! Certainly, a sport event that is celebrated on a national level could be a rallying point for unity in a country, it diverts everyone’s attention away from the ugly political scene as what happens in many poorer countries that have gone serious with professional soccer and baseball. I would attribute our failure to develop world-class athletes in key organized sports or even in Olympics to lack of commercial sponsorship.

        Think that a provincial businessman gave 20 million pesos to the campaign of N/A, why can’t business enterprises donate the same amount of money to nurture sports-inclined Filipinos? In schools, we already have inchoate teams that can be nurtured by those who have a vision of making the Philippines a part of world-class competitions. I agree with Gibo, government funds alone cannot make us achieve a high status in sport competitions abroad, government funds are scarce and there are more urgent programs that need funding. In Japan, it is Japanese companies who support the athletes, and in turn, they get the necessary exposure in advertisements and promotions. I suppose, the government should be proactive in getting our business sector to be more of a positive force in society, other than directly providing jobs, they could be supporting projects that Dino described above.

      • Jon Abaca says:

        Sadly, companies will mostly support basketball or boxing initiatives because those sports are more popular. A company has very little to gain in terms of advertisement viewership or corporate social responsibility brownie points by supporting a sport that is less popular than basketball or boxing.

        Here is more bad news. The funds FIFA donates to the Philippines amount to very little publicity for football and very little development for the National Football League. Is there even a national football league?

      • ilda says:


        I think we already have university soccer teams, I recall watching a game between a Philippine university soccer team against a Japanese university soccer team here once six years ago, and oh boy, wasn’t it such an unequal match. The Japanese team trounced the Philippine team 20-0, I couldn’t believe it!

        That’s the problem with Filipinos. We might have created a team or we might have been good at one sport or two sometime ago but there is no follow through (just like in everything else). I remember the time when our little league baseball team won in Canada and how proud we were of their achievement. Unfortunately, it turns out that the boys or the Philippine committee lied about their age so they can compete. In short, they got disqualified. Not sure anymore of the year it happened but it was such a disgrace. Maybe if there is a sport that involves cheating, we will be good at it.

    • benign0 says:

      Getting into A-level sport is not something that results from just swerte. I see many Pinoys use that word a lot. Swerte niya, mayaman siya or Swerte niya, magaling siya kumanta, etc. The idea that achievement is something that requires hard work and dedication seems to be lost on the average Pinoy mind. We also need to know how to find a niche. Basketball obviously is not niche Pinoys are cut out to fill.

      I did read somewhere, Mr Taporco, that along with football, baseball and softball are sports that where Pinoys could potentially excel in at world-class standards. So that’s an area that would be good to highlight as a development opportunity. As BenK said earlier, it needs to begin early and incorporated into the education system more tightly.

      • BenK says:

        I wonder how many kids play basketball just because it’s the only game available to them, and then give up on any sort of athletic activity out of frustration of not being that good at that one game. How many world-class swimmers, or soccer players, or baseball players, or track stars has the country missed through not having organized scholastic sports (which naturally spill over and give better direction to regular Physical Education programs)?

        I’m sort of an example. I was always a tall kid, and all I ever heard in my grade-school and middle-school years is, “You’re tall, you should play basketball.” Trouble is, I don’t even like basketball, and I’m not good at it all (I tried out for the team in 7th grade, and was cut). Since there was a good Phys Ed and sports curriculum in my school, however, I eventually discovered that I was a pretty good middle-distance runner and football player. Without that, I suppose I would have gotten overweight and sedentary about 30 years sooner than I have.

      • benign0,

        Absolutely. As you stated below, with such sports being introduce at the university level, you can bring in the attention to the sports. But with football (soccer), baseball and softball in their curriculum, the advent of becoming a major player(s) is there to achieve.

        The Americans are constantly promoting the woman’s professional softball league. This is another fun sports to watch at the universities level. Watching these girls playing fast-pitch softball games, ohhh! my…[…]

        “…that along with football, baseball and softball are sports that where Pinoys could potentially excel in at world-class standards. So that’s an area that would be good to highlight as a development opportunity.” per benign0

        As with BenK irradiated below,

        “it needs to begin early and incorporated into the education system more tightly.”

        Specially at the Universities level, as with the Philippines University basketball teams that are being played already today. You’d be surprise where these “American Talent Scouts” go to…, just to watch for an individuals potential to play the game.

        As much as I hate to say, Filipino university basketball teams does not even come close or compete with the universities here in the States. UCLA, Stanford and Berkeley are amongst great basketball “PAC-10” players in California. I know for a damn sure Pinoy in Pinas cannot play the same caliber as these guys…, but who knows.

    • BenK says:

      Hey, I remember Bobby Chouinard (I lived on the East side of the Bay, the A’s games were the only time it was safe to take my daughter to the Coliseum). I had no idea until just now he was a Filipino.

      • BenK,

        Are you still out in the Bay Area. San Francisco today, was overcast like crazy. Little bit chilly, but feels good. Not much of an Oakland A’s fan, more of a Giant’s fan. Surprise the hell out me, that his a Pinoy.

    • shadowbroker says:

      Mmmyeah, I agree on Mario’s sentiments. Though the fact Philippines was great in baseball at one time is nothing compared to how other asian countries just caught up with the system and created their own legends in time. Japan of course needs to ease up exporting their stars or they might lose their identity and competitive system, considering their league is more cut throat than the MLB. Taiwan has a solid system and has put out notably Chien Ming Wang. Korea is just as passionate for baseball as Japan. China’s finally getting into it and once they start improving their system, imagine picking the best out of their millions. Of course India is out of the question since they love Cricket instead.

      Which is kinda funny because for the longest time at one point, I was curious what ever happen to the little league champions from the Philippines back in the 90’s. Then I read up they cheated so here goes my fantasy of seeing a pinoy rocket hurler. Compared to Mario, I grew up in Boston so of course I got exposed to baseball culture there FAST. Currently the prototypical build for a good hurler (read: baseball pitcher) is usually around 6’2″ and above, usually being lanky and having long arms helps. But the best pitcher I saw upon my time was a dominican republic guy named Pedro Martinez who was at a tiny 5’11” (probably even smaller) but made throwing the ball into an art form.

      So it certainly can be a reality for pinoys to develop bionic arms, become ball slapping outfielders and cat like reflexes for short stops. Of course teaching them the skills and developing them is another story.

  13. Ryan Bosco says:

    Practically every street corner in the Philippines has a sari-sari store, a church and a basketball court. Basketball is a waste of time in the Philippines. But so is wowowee and kris aquino show, but people can’t live without them.

    Like I said earlier, Filipinos get so fanatical with the PBA or the NCAA that it gets ridiculous because the Filipino masses are cheering on mediocre players who really just play basketball TO POSE. Just because a Filipino is tall, can dribble and is half-breed, they are considered superstars. (Let’s just put it this way, the NBA has never really scouted the Philippines for players, SO GET A CLUE!)

    If I were a dictator, I would tear down every basketball court in the Philippines, starting with that one in Araneta Coliseum. It’s really pointless trying to build a rocket out of empty tin cans.

    Last, it’s all about economics. If the Philippine economy were in a better shape, Filipinos would certainly excel in most sports.

    If corruption were a sport, WE’D BRING HOME THE WORLD CUP EVERY YEAR!

    • J.B. says:

      Johnny Abarrientos was reportedly hinted to be scouted. But maybe because of his height was the reason it didn’t materialize.

    • ilda says:

      Last, it’s all about economics. If the Philippine economy were in a better shape, Filipinos would certainly excel in most sports.

      I don’t necessarily agree. As you said, the wrong sport is given more funds and attention like basketball. If we acknowledge our strengths and our weaknesses, we’ll be able to move on to something worth doing like soccer for example and stop wasting our time and money on something we are not good at. This statement applies to everything not just sport.

    • HalleluyahHymen says:

      IMHO, It’s about how academic and media institutions behave. Like I’ve said… first step in sports is appreciation. If on the aggregate, both social entities promote basketball… the citizens will appreciate and engage in that sport. In my case, team sport such as basketball has been promoted by the schools where I’ve studied… I’ve learned how to appreciate and play it. Had these schools promoted soccer, I should have been watching the world cup on cable every game… but I don’t… simply because I don’t know the sports, haven’t played it and haven’t learned to appreciate it. For individual sports… such as swimming and martial arts… I’ve learned the basics from an uncle who loves to watch the Bruce Lee movies and the swimming competition of Ral Rosario.

      Sports has something to do with motivation… from where this motivation comes from I can only think of these two social entities (media and academe).

    • shadowbroker says:

      actually there were rumors like the abbarientos one of guys like the Nets scouting Ren Ritualo but the thing is people don’t look at it in context. These are horrible, stupid franchises and they are just as desperate in signing a potential scrub, than pay to scout better players at the draft or in europe. Of course abarrientos at his prime may be an exception. The same kind of misunderstanding when people make a big deal of Eric Spoelstra, when any guy can win 50+ games with Dwayne Wade. Hell, some guy named Mike Brown won 60+ games because he has this dude named Lebron James playing for him.

      I agree with Harreluyah that for the other sports to thrive, they need to be exposed and appreciated at its finest first. Of course basketball has no problem but no one sees how Futbol (read: soccer) can be broken down into an art form to be fully appreciated. And if it doesn’t draw any form of interested, one would not be motivated enough to pursue it. Money just allows for increased benefits but hell even Japan’s football league isn’t perfect as I’ve read corruption abound the league years ago.

  14. ChinoF says:

    I’m not into sports at all. But let me recall P.E. from grade school. Whenever we went down for it, it was basketball, volleyball or soccer. I went for soccer. Of course, basketball was the more popular thing, so I tried to get into basketball… but I sucked at it. I suck at sports anyway. But trying to get into basketball is trying to be accepted. It’s like, if you’re not in, you don’t belong, you suck. There’s the bad part of the bandwagon culture that also has us choosing between Ginebra and other teams that time. So I tried playing basketball every now and then, but I thought, it’s not worth it. Everyone likes it, so where’s the value in it for my personal goal of “being different?” 😛 So I decided to suck it up and stopped trying to belong. I even stopped soccer. Biking ain’t much of a sport, but it’s practical and gets me somewhere while saving on fare. 😀

    • ilda says:


      All men are not created equal. Some like you would rather engage in intellectual pursuit. You did the right thing by not wasting your time in something you are not really into. If only some of our so called “professional” basketball players would do the same 🙂

  15. Hyden Toro says:

    It needs: dedication, commitment and a lot of hard work; to excell in sports. Team efforts is needed in group sports like: football, baseball, basketball, etc…Sports is never emphasized in the school curiculum. In other countries, scholarship and sports are emphasized. You can go to college on sports scholarship. As you graduate, you can go professional. That is why in the U.S. There are: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, etc… It was not emphasized during our colonization period also.

    Politics is our sport. The “ins” versus the “out”. After the electiuon, we are back in our sport:politics. We dream, talk, think and even kill each other; just for politics.

    • ulong pare says:

      … daaaang

      … HT, walang sinabi and ‘merka sa sa flipfland…

      … in flipland, basketbolistas are/were tongressmen y senatongs >>> dribbling flipland into a quagmire…

      … doc fcukyaw, flip-hero-boksingero, is a tonggressman… next step, da flip prez… :mrgreen:

      … in flipland, ejumakation not required…

      … ibalik si idolo-bigotilyo-iyutero-gung gong prez erappppp!!!! :mrgreen:

      … he’s good for forex… 😳

    • miriam quiamco says:

      Countries can get carried away by sports too, like two countries that went to war in Latin America over soccer!!!

      • J.B. says:

        That’s the extreme side but I don’t think it can easily happen again knowing the world community and accountability is much higher than those times.

        But then again, Soccer has tremendous impact to national identity.

  16. shadowbroker says:

    PBA has been crap in the last 2 decades. Its pretty much a correlation of how the NBA has been watered down as well. NBA’s golden age was the 80’s and most of the 90’s (sustained by Jordan). PBA’s golden age was the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s (and seems to have gone down by early 2000). You know how badly they have fallen when local players aren’t as fundamentally good anymore and the league relies on recruiting these Fil-Ams from Div2 schools not known for their basketball programs. Even the pinoy big men move like stiffs. And to give these people recognition, EVERYBODY gets a nickname!

    Now of course I may draw criticism but if you want the complete opposite, check out Europe. They may not have the athleticism that America has but they have a system (IMO much better than the USA) for recruiting young stars, building them and teaching them core fundamentals to reach their full potential as basketball players. While the Milo training program is teaching archaic fundamentals, those in Europe are exploiting how awesome terrific footwork can be with even grueling training.

    Sadly even Smart Gilas is way too late in getting a Euro coach to teach the young amateurs and fil-ams how to play Euro style. They should have tailored the college leagues to be more like the global competition if they wanted to prepare them better. And even if Philippines manages to get in somehow in 2012, expect them to look like the odd ones out when they get put in a bracket full of teams that actually know how to play team ball for the longest time. Even the likes of Puerto Rico.

    • ilda says:

      What an impressive wealth of knowledge on Philippine sports. You do know your stuff. I must admit writing about sport was a little bit challenging for me because I am neither a huge basketball fan nor a boxing fan, two of the most popular sports in the Philippines. But I do like other sports like soccer and tennis.

      That’s an interesting fact about the Europeans using another system in basketball. Of course there is science involved in every move and they did some research on it to improve the way they play the game. Unfortunately, Filipinos are obsessed in what the Americans are doing so we are always trying to emulate what’s “cool” there.

      I just had to write about sport because I wanted to bust other people’s myth that sport can unite Filipinos. Based on the comments on this thread, the reason for us not being good at sport is mixed. It’s like a chicken and egg thing. Some say it’s because we don’t have the passion, some say it’s all about the economy. One thing a lot of people agree on is that basketball is not for us. This is quite ironic because of the abundance of basketball courts in the country.

      The bottom line is, we don’t even have what it takes to admit that we are not good at something so we can move on to something else. In business they call it “cutting our losses.” The Filipino ego always gets in the way of a good game. 🙂

      • Jay says:

        It is true the American game of basketball is the standard but only because they have the monopoly on athleticism. The next best competition is Eurobasket considering they continued building on solid fundamentals, which shows on their ability to play more cohesively as a team in global competition. China has been a sleeping dragon (no pun intended) in the Asian basketball after the Philippines have ruled the hardcourt for so long due to absolutely no competition. But then again, it IS China after all.

        I do understand your sentiments. Its rather maddening since while football (read: soccer) is an easy to pick up sport with no size requirements but a high understanding how to really play the game, the country officials continues to promote (and with reason) the safe investment which is basketball. Sadly one which the people teaching the game now seem pretty lazy as well considering they couldn’t keep up with the rest of the world in developing national athletes. And as much as I want to agree with the build it right and they will come, unless there was awareness to direct their interest and appreciation for the sport, no one would care and it would all be a what is uso. Interestingly enough with those hockey rinks in Megamall and Mall of Asia, I’m not surprised why a daring few pull a MIGHTY DUCKS and develop a national hockey team, even if it is selecting talented youths.

  17. We have to change some of our favorite sports to those wherein we can surely excel. Basketball was never made for us; or volleyball for that matter.

    We need to focus our eyes on those that would not have height as a factor, i.e. Boxing, Baseball, Soccer, etc.

    To reach the elusive Olympic Gold, this step is what we exactly need.

  18. Basketball is not our thing; or volleyball for that matter.

    We should focus our energy on those sports that does not have height as a factor.

    Check out my blog at:

    I believe we can grab the elusive Olympic gold medal…. How?
    Other sports that can suit our Asian physiques most notably; boxing, or short-riffle shooting. We have already proven that.

    Five out of the nine Olympic medals that we garnered were those from boxing.
    What do you guys think?

    • ilda says:

      Hi JR

      I’m glad we share the same views. We have to face it: we don’t have what it takes to be good at some sports.

      Thanks for sharing your blog 🙂

      • Mad Man says:

        The only Filipino who ever won Olympic gold medals is unfortunately half-British and an American citizen. Her name’s Victoria Manalo Draves who won golds for platform and springboard diving FOR THE U.S. (sayang) in the 1948 London Olympics. She passed away only last April 2010.

  19. innagadda54 says:

    I read this when it came out 17 years ago. The Little League team from the R.P. that initially won. The rest you can read yourself.

    • ilda says:

      Oh, so it was 1992 when it happened. I’ve been wondering what year that fiasco was but couldn’t be bothered to look it up. Thanks for the link.

      The kids were taught to lie at such a young age by opportunists who wanted the glory without doing the hard work. Some people are so hungry for fame and fortune that they’ll pursue it no matter the cost.

      • innagadda54 says:

        “Some people are so hungry for fame and fortune that they’ll pursue it no matter the cost.”

        That mentality is so present in our countrymen, the need for attention.

        Anything that involves online/ text voting. It has nothing to do with merit. It’s all about answering the question “What country are you from”? . In this intrinsic insecurity this nation seems to have.


      • ilda,

        That was really bogus, and here I was jumping for joy during the course of their championship. Let me rephrase myself, totally bogus what on earth was the coach thinking. Hopefully they can make a come back, they were hella-good.

  20. innagadda54 says:

    “The Filipino ego always gets in the way of a good game.”

    I have my own hypothesis why the typical pinoy that loves Erap, Willie R etc can only appreciate basketball.


  21. ulong pare says:

    … daaang

    … flipland needs to stop “importing” athletes to play in the flip games or to represent flipland in international competition… flipland export slaves/ofws/sexy gurlz and import athletes… balanse, di ba???

    … not only it’s a kick in the local athletes’ ass, but also an insult to flip identity…

    … ooooopsie, sorry…. flipland has no identity… :mrgreen:

  22. ChinoF says:

    If there’s another thing that sports brings out, is the gambling side. Pustahan. That’s why off-track betting and other gambling centers are so popular and lucrative businesses. Then when a dispute happens, heads flare, fists fly, guns roar and women cry.

    So for me, nope, sports can’t unite the Filipinos.

    • ulong pare says:

      … daaaaang

      … not so fast, chin…

      … a ‘merkan blogger defamed doc fcukiao oooopsie pacquiao… flips around the globe were up in arms, ready to pinch his yagbols…

      … nobody, i say, nobody will dare defame flipland’s premier santo tongressman boksingero fcukiao… :mrgreen:

    • J.B. says:

      If we based our observation with boxing commonly equated to the exploits of the great Manny Pacquiao, we can tell it can unite the country albeit on few hours.

      There’s of course bettings and skirmishes but those were very minimal.

      Boxing or sports in general unites simply because it gives a nation a common external “enemy”.

      • innagadda54 says:

        “Boxing or sports in general unites simply because it gives a nation a common external “enemy”.”

        The Manny effect which transforms Manila to Holy Week level traffic I can attribute to one thing: KSP. It’s the perceived glory that people vicariously derive from a Manny fight. You want proof people should put Manny in perspective? Politicians love him. Manny himself is now a politician. And just like Noynoy, what has he DONE to deserve it? He does not even have discipline to finish high school even if he has the money. He rather endorse women’s hygiene products and make banal movies and make crappy music and chase skirts. He is no role model.

        Hate to break it to you but boxing has seen it’s day.

        One of many things I have written on the subject

        Here is a useful mp3 from a former boxing fan

      • J.B. says:

        I find the comment anachronistic. Pacquiao is now finishing his Business degree after passing a high school certification test.

        I spoke to a contractor somewhere in the south what his take on Manny Pacquiao being a politician.

        It’s actually quite good in the sense if he can deliver his promise: hospital, university and infrastructure for his poor constituents. As to his lawmaking, he seems focus on this town and sportsmen left out by gov’t support.

        I don’t think a trapo can match Packy in helping Saranggani at this point.

        Still I find KSP a too distant observation about history and sports.

        One missing element in Filipino is their collective identity where somehow they can muster in few hours when MP fights. KSP has nothing to do with it.

      • ChinoF says:

        If not KSP, maybe zombie effect can be one term to apply. LOL

      • J.B. says:


        Collective identity need not to be always rational as long as it is collectively directed outward.

        My apologies for not citing an expert study about Philippines and one crucial ingredient mentioned was the fact we lacked common enemy (usually a foreign invader) and it can be at least at the base level called sports.

        But even in few minutes when MP fights, the identity of Filipinos still obscured as evident by the contrast of chants.

        Mexican for example chanted “mexico, mexico!” in reference to their identity, whereas our own people chanted “manny! manny!” showing very little value of nationhood.

  23. mel says:

    Filipinos do not want to sweat and play under the sun. Passion without training cannot result in excellence.

    I live in the countryside where a good number of Europeans reside and interact with Filipinos. Some invested not only money but time to train children to learn and play soccer. In the beginning, the interest was huge because a “white man” is training the children but as they realized they have to train on a regular basis, the attendance become scarce. Parents do not want their children to sweat and to lose their “white skin”.

    Exactly the same attitude when it comes to cleaning the beach, or planting trees, or walking activities. Sweating is taboo!

    • innagadda54 says:

      “Filipinos do not want to sweat and play under the sun. Passion without training cannot result in excellence. ”

      In the US. The top football (NFL type), baseball and golf athletes disproportionately come from climates with a lot less snow. Florida, California and Texas. They can train year round. NFL football may be in the snow late in the season but their peak training comes in the oppressive heat. No one is forcing anyone to be good but no one should cry either that we have no one that excels of relevance.

      I like your post Mel.

    • ilda says:


      Of course! Thanks for reminding us. Most Filipinos would rather stay inside an airconditioned mall than to sweat it out playing any kind of sports outdoors. It’s the katamaran factor at play again because they can always take a shower afterwards but they can’t be bothered with it. Kaya ayan, most have sedentary lifestyles. And you are right, most parents don’t want their kids to get dark.

      • Mad Man says:

        Over a century ago, the Spaniards observed that the Filipino magsasakas would stop working during noontime because of the heat. They noted that the Filipinos must have left the rice fields in haste because the kalabaws were still there, left to die from heat exhaustion. Hmm, not only were Filipinos lazy back then but were also cruel to animals.

        About cruelty to animals, it was one of the many things that made me hate Pinoys. When I was a kid, I remembered hearing from the news about this group of dolphins who were stranded on a beach and then came rushing these primitive Pinoys like bats out of hell with their machetes and bolos who hacked to death the cute, adorable, and more-intelligent-than-Pinoy dolphins.

        Oops, ok let’s get back to sports….

      • ilda says:

        That’s just unbelievably brutal. You are right, they are more intelligent than some of their hackers.

        Speaking of being cruel to animals, have you ever lost a dog and found out later on that it became the “pulutan” for the day of the tambays sa kanto? They drink alcohol while eating dog meat. The poor thing.

      • J.B. says:

        I don’t easily buy the spanish account the carabao’s were left for dead under the heat of the sun. Filipino farmers were and are generally poor and the last thing they would ignore is their highly valuable water buffaloes.

      • ChinoF says:

        Hmmm, good example of how corruption is partly rooted in our culture. Talk about literal “cutthroat.”

      • mel says:

        J.B. is right. Coming from a magsasaka family, we leave the carabaos out in the field but near the mud where they can pack themselves to ease their tired muscles. This is still the same practice today. The farmers who need the animals for living were and not the ones who are cruel to the animals. They need the dogs to watch over their harvests and belongings, they need the cats to drive away the rats. They love the chickens, pigs, and the goats because stressed animals do not bring good meat.

        I believe that those people cruel to the animals are the ones who do not value and appreciate their part in our biological system.

      • ilda says:

        I know for a fact that carabaos like pigs, wallow in mud to cool their bodies. The mud also protects them from insect bites and from sunburn. 🙂

  24. ulong pare says:

    … daaaang

    … blame the parents… puro porma and kagaguhan ang itinuturo…

    … saan ba natuto ang mga anak…. allah eh, sa mga magulang…

    … kitams ang mga ladrones garapales, bloodline ‘yan, di ba?

  25. Garnet Alexa says:

    I think what our country lacks is government support for sports (well, among other fields like technology and other academic pursuits). And I agree with the other commenters saying that we need more parks. I really wish we had more parks in the Philippines. Not only will it give us a place to practice sports, it’ll also make our country prettier and lessen air pollution and floods with the added flora. Also, we should have more choices in the sprts that we learn during our PE. It’s always basketball, volleyball, and swimming. I think by the time we finish high school, we should be well-versed in them.

    Not only do we not have government support, the local media don’t seem to promote other sports as well. I have a friend in high school who won in a figure skating competition in Australia years ago but there was no mention of her in the papers. Plus, I found out that the Philippines has a three year streak win in the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU). How come we dont’t know about these? You’d think that since we’ve won three years in a row, we’d know about it by now.

    I do wish our country continued to promote Arnis. It’s such a fun martial arts to learn plus it’s ours! It’s so useful for self-defense because not only are you taught hand to hand combat, you’ll also learn to wield sticks (which you can easily substitute for an umbrella or whatever stick-ish object you have) and defend against knives. In our country, that’s very valuable. You’d be able to defend yourself from muggers and snatchers. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

    • Jay says:

      In terms of government support for sports, with the way the government is ran you cannot rely on them to help out the promotion of sports. This is certainly one thing which is an initiative for the people to spur interest. Because only through interest can bring the big sponsors who may be interested in promoting the sport. So for now the people have to be settled to expanding their small sport communities.

      Regards to Rugby, that is another interesting sport to get into. I’m a fan of physical, contact sports because it brings the right kind of competitiveness in many people. DIdn’t find the info of the Philippine team winning 3 times but looking at the competition, everyone is still in baby steps despite the fact the organization being aroun since the late 60’s. Then again, new zealand has been doing rugby well over a decade, the all blacks rich in their own sports culture.

      As someone said earlier, arnis is more of an individual sport. I tried it and one thing I liked about it (as someone who practiced other martial arts including boxing) is strengthening of wrists and forearms. But geez the general self defense notion is close in on someone against a gun-wielder and run away against a knife wielder. And the best defense against muggers and snatchers is self-awareness (you know what I’m talking about) and fast legs. I’ve always laughed at stories where the african americans literally run away from the law, like they were re-enacting Usain Bolt’s olympic winning dash and always found respect for track and field for its discrete daily application.

  26. sky says:

    According to what I heard, the Philippines and Brunei actually missed the deadline for entering teams in the World Cup. Bhutan got in at the last minute and lost.

    But yeah, it’s sad that Filipinos are just not passionate about soccer. 😦

    • Jett Rink says:

      Most Pinoy sport fans want instant gratification, so sports where scoring is generally hard to come by is uninteresting to most Pinoy fans, which is sad. A thrilling football (soccer) game that ends with a 3-2 score, or a well-played baseball match that ends in 5-4 is no match for a boring basketball game that ends in 95-75 to a Pinoy viewer.

      • ilda says:

        You are correct Jett Rink. They just want to win. They are not familiar with the adage “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game”

  27. Monk says:

    Sport will not help because several countries that are currently participating in the World Cup are doing badly economically, esp. the U.S., where prob. 32 states are already bankrupt. What they should do is to prepare for a world with higher and chronic unemployment, higher debt, a decrease in spending and production of goods (which means deflation), followed by increasing demand for necessities due to peak oil, and environmental disaster, from the gulf oil mess to the effects of global warming.

  28. Pingback: Philippine Progress: Shift in Sports, Shift in System | Anti-Pinoy : World Edition :)

  29. bokyo says:

    I’m watching on the sideline while Spain won the World Cup.

    On this eventful night, Spain won their first World Cup against Netherlands on its 2nd overtime match. While this event unfolds before me, I together with my friends in the office, are in a middle of a bull ring arena. All around me are, you guess it, the Spanish people. And we are flooded with the red and yellow colors of their flag as they cheer on for their team who represented their country in the World Cup. It was a tiring effort to stand in the middle of the arena but it was worth it. Netherlands put up a good fight, they are very aggressive with their attacks, they put up a hard defense, and they have skilled players. They’re skilled enough to crush Brazil (which is my initial team) who are also reputed for their history in soccer. But Spain got the lucky end.

    Questions ran to my mind as I walk home while the Spaniards celebrate their victory.

    1. When will the Philippines get its turn?
    2. Are we, the Filipinos, will be going to be contented with only Pacquiao running the show?
    3. When are we going to start producing A TEAM of champions?
    4. Brazil is the next host, when will Philippines get the opportunity?
    5. How would Philippines embrace soccer as much as basketball IF there’s a team participating in the competition?

    One thing I noticed here is the spirit of nationality that these people have during the competition. Even us, as now the foreigners of their land, are being sucked in to their spirit of the game. It almost changed my views of them as our 300 year old conquerers, who earlier I just sang and danced and shouted with during the match.

    If the Spanish people have been united under one flag, then Filipinos can too. They just have to find a solid vision for our spirit nationality to prosper. Too bad, our culture is inflicted with the “Ningas Kugon” mentality; we never get to finish what we started. Properly.

    One Pacquiao or Charice or A.P.L. wouldn’t be enough. We need to pick up ourselves first where we should start, then we can produce our champions.

    • Miriam Quiamco says:

      To a meaningful extent, I would like to see the Philippines become champion first in economic development, when the majority are able to find work and can live with independence and dignity, I don’t really care much if we excel in organized sports with worldwide competitions. Look at Thailand, economically, this country has got its act together, but it does not aspire to be part of soccer international competitions. Latin American countries have strong European influence in their culture, a great number of their population are Europeans, no wonder, soccer comes naturally to them. The Japanese are into it for acceptance internationally, this country has always been stuck with catching up with the West mentality, and the Koreans just want to match the Japanese in this sphere. I don’t know about China’s motivation to compete in soccer as it really doesn’t have to prove anything, it is already a great civilization, but I suspect it is nationalism, the desire to show the world, China can beat anyone anywhere. State resources are spent on China’s nationalistic pursuits abroad of course, thus, a lot of their athletes excel in the Olympics.

      However, there is sense in promoting sports everywhere in the country and it should not only be limited to basketball, Filipinos of various sizes can engage in different sports that suit their physique. We don’t have to aim to send teams to join these expensive international competitions, but we certainly need to engage the youth in some physical exercise. I notice how obesity and its attendant problems are visible everywhere. Pursuing sports or any physical regimen on a regular basis is healthy for the mind and body. The government should definitely promote this on barangay level. Public schools in barrios should organize sports fests, and there is no need for expensive sports facilities for this, makeshift arrangements could suffice. The point is that, Filipinos need to engage in some kind of sports and find fulfillment in doing so, this builds character, teamwork spirit, not to mention, it develops their sense of physical and psychological well-being. Time and energy need not be spent only on material survival, sports can take us away from all that pressing concern of putting food on the table. Every barangay should organize sports fests, the workers of course, can engage in it only on Sundays as they are already doing physical exertions as part of their work. I am talking about city folks, especially the youth, sports should be a part of their daily life. Iyong mga tambay at inom ng inom should get up their butts and get physical!

      • bokyo says:

        We need to pick up our supposed “nationality” somewhere instead of latching on to fantaseryes and too much basketball and politics.

      • ilda says:

        The point is that, Filipinos need to engage in some kind of sports and find fulfillment in doing so, this builds character, teamwork spirit, not to mention, it develops their sense of physical and psychological well-being.

        Yeah, instead of drinking Ginebra the whole day. One activity Filipinos are fond of is c ock-fighting. An activity which does not even involve the use of their brain and it’s even considered being cruel to animals. Unfortunately, there are too many gadgets nowadays that distracts the youth from engaging in physical activity and since it’s not a requirement at school, they do not take it up on their own. Not to mention of course, they don’t want to sweat and get dark as mentioned above.

    • ilda says:

      How exciting It must be for you to be in the midst of the celebration Bokyo! They are one proud people indeed and today they have reason to be because they defeated the best in the game. I’m afraid it’s going to take a while before we can experience that kind of moment because Filipinos prefer to play a different ball game literally and figuratively speaking.

      I even find some Filipinos quite funny because there’s this news item going around on facebook about this half-Pinoy soccer player named Paulino Alcantara who was born in 1896 and who played for Spain from 1912 to 1927. He was considered to be one of soccer’s legends, especially in Spain but man, talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel!!! He wasn’t even a Filipino citizen anymore at that time but we still latch on to his pass glory as if he was playing for the Phils. Yes, he was born in Iloilo to a Filipina mother but gees, he honed his skills in Spain not the Philippines! When are we ever going to stop trying to ride on to other people’s hard work who is not only long dead, but who we can’t even claim to be one of us?!?

      • bokyo says:

        Yeah. The Spanish people have something we have that we lost in history: Pride. Either we are too humble to the extentent of postrating ourselves to ground, or too proud to latch on victory of others, or of an individual merit just because he/she is a Pinoy.

  30. Pingback: The sad farce that is Philippine sport | The Official HQ of the Vulture Squadron

  31. nymphetamine says:

    The problem is we don’t have a good Physical Education subjects in our schools ( I mean ..I don’t know about private schools but from where I lived and studied, public schools don’t even have good ‘facilities’.) I think this is because the government don’t have ‘enough’ budget to cover for it.Shame..

    Also the mentality of our countrymen counts. Most girls ( and some boys)I know at school don’t want to get out there and learn sports because they complain about getting ‘burned’ and getting a tan. Geez! So they would rather go and bribe some doctors to write them an ‘excuse note’ refraining them to get into sports.Lazy bums…

    This is truly sad. I don’t know if this is also happening in other parts of the country.

    * Sigh* I’m starting to think that we can never be good at anything ( except boxing.. >___>’) 😥

  32. Maki_Alam says:

    When Manny Pacquiao has a fight, soldiers and rebels declare a ceasefire. The crime rate is almost zero. There are hardly any traffic problems. Why can’t Filipinos keep this up even after a PacMan fight is over? Having said that, would a team sport really make a difference? If ever our football team miraculously made it to the World Cup and won, we’d be united in jubilation, of course. But what’s to stop us from going back to our old ways once the game is over?

    Yes, I do believe sports can unite Filipinos, but I don’t think it’s enough to sustain our unity for the long run. We’ll need a cultural and psychological overhaul for that.

  33. Pingback: Nelson Mandela cannot be compared to Filipino ‘hero’ Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr « Get Real Post

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