Entertainment & Nightlife

Popular Sports in the Philippines

Written by Patrick
Travel Insurance

Sport is an important part of the lives of people in the Philippines.  Apart from keeping them physically fit and active, sports are a favorite bonding activity among family and friends.  You’d see them heading to the sports arena in groups or watching a live telecast in the living room.  It is a common topic in conversations during get-togethers and among group chats.  Sports activities are just something Filipinos are so passionate about.

There are a variety of sports played in the country but some are more popular than others for different reasons but mostly for accessibility and availability of facilities.  Here are the five most popular sports in the Philippines:


Basketball in the Philippines

Caption:  Basketball in the Philippines

Basketball is undoubtedly the most popular sport in the country.  Everyone knows the game, from toddlers to adults and the elderly.  Their passion for the sport borders on obsession.  It is not unusual to see a makeshift basketball court, a half court, or simply a hoop in vacant lots and even on street corners until the government mandated that those on the street be removed for safety purposes.  The country’s PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) is the first professional basketball league in Asia and the second oldest in the world next to the NBA.  So yeah, the obsession runs deep.


An Amateur Boxing Competition

Caption:  An Amateur Boxing Competition

If there’s one sport that could clear road traffic in the Philippines, it is boxing, more so if it’s a match Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is on.  Everyone is glued to their screens or radios to watch or listen to the live telecast of the game.  The most popular individual sport in the country, the Philippines has produced some of the world’s boxing champions such as Flash Elorde, Ceferino Garcia and Nonito Donaire in addition to Pacman and Pancho Villa, the first Asian world champion.


Football at the Boracay Beach

Caption:  Football at the Boracay Beach

It may not be as popular as basketball but football has been played in the Philippines prior to World War II.  It experienced a decline after the war but garnered attention again in 2010 when the Philippine team qualified for the semi-finals for the first time in AFF (ASEAN Football Federation).  Its popularity took off and is now one of the most popular team sports in the country. 


Beach Volleyball

Caption:  Beach Volleyball

Like basketball, volleyball is a popular sport that is often played in backyards, vacant lots, and in beaches, too, especially during summer.  Makeshift courts made of a volleyball net attached to bamboo poles with the bottom part of the bamboo buried on the ground is a common sight.  While it is played everywhere by all genders, professional volleyball is a female-dominated team sport in the Philippines. 



Caption:  Billiards

Billiard houses are available everywhere in the country, be it with complete amenities in the city or a makeshift one in a small neighborhood in town.  It’s accessibility, therefore, makes it a popular sport in the country like basketball and volleyball.

In addition to five sports mentioned above, other sports played in the Philippines are badminton, tennis, baseball, and table tennis..  They may not be as popular as the others but it is not unusual to see these sports being played in some parts of the country. 

READ MORE:  Philippine Entertainment & Nightlife

About the Author


Patrick is an entrepreneur, digital nomad, explorer, and photographer. Patrick is always in search of fun and adventure. He is well travelled throughout the world, and although location independent, his home base is Phoenix, Arizona in the USA. Patrick loves island lifestyle which is no wonder why he is so interested in spending time in the Philippines with it’s over 7,000 islands. Patrick created this site to share his knowledge of and experiences in the Philippines with Filipinos as well as other foreigners.

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