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What sports are popular in the Philippines?

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If you are a big fan of sports, you are probably wondering what kinds of sports can you enjoy in the Philippines.

There are a number of sports on TV here, but if you have a favorite sport that is not too popular here, the amount of time it will be on might be limited.  Let’s look at a variety of sports that you might be wondering about:

  • Football (American Football):  There is American football on TV here, but nowhere near the number of games that you might be wanting to see.  Over the course of a week, during football season, you should expect to see maybe 3 or 4 games in all on TV.  Most of these will be seen on ESPN Asia.  These will be Pro (NFL) games – College football is rarely seen here.  And, don’t expect to see them on Sunday.  For one thing, Sunday in the States is Monday here anyway.  But, the games will be televised here after they have already been played, and on different days throughout the week.  A few games will be on live, but those will be early in the morning and may not be convenient for you to watch.
  • Baseball:  You will say a couple of Major League Baseball games on every week during baseball season.  Don’t expect too much more.
  • Soccer (what everybody calls Football, except us Americans):  There is a quite a bit of Soccer on TV, so “Football” Fans will probably be pretty happy with the coverage.
  • Golf:  Most major PGA tournaments are televised.
  • NASCAR/F1/other racing:  Expect goo TV coverage.
  • Basketball:  Ding Ding Ding!  You have hit the Jackpot.  Basketball is hugely popular in the Philippines, and you can watch basketball on TV at virtually any time you choose.  On Cable there is even an entire channel that is devoted to only basketball!  You can see current games, great games of history, college, NBA, PBA and other Philippine leagues, and just about any other basketball that you can imagine.

Besides Basketball, I would say that the other super-popular sport in the Philippines is Cockfighting.  Every town has at least one cockpit where regular matches are held.  Betting is rampant too.  To date, though, I have never seen a cockfight on TV.  If you want to experience cockfighting, you will need to take an afternoon and go watch in person!

Posted in

Bob Martin

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur. Bob is an American who lived in Mindanao from 2000 until 2019. Bob has now relocated back to the USA.

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AllenO
AllenO
14 years ago

Hi Bob,

No regular football, especially college football (I'm a UCLA and USC alum.) would drive me crazy. I remember a few years back while in Davao, I was watching the Rose Bowl at 2 am and the only one awake in my mom's house. My mom wants me to visit this Christmas, but thats College Bowl month. Hey I may have roots in Davao but to give up football ? Thats asking too much. Maybe I'll try that box that allows me to watch my US tv from any internet connection in the world.

Bob
Bob
14 years ago

Hi Allen – Well… I used to be a big football fan, but I've gotten used to not having it. The item you are referring to is a slingbox. I am not sure how good it would work here. I use bit torrent to download some US tv shows that I can't get here. It works great.

Bob
Bob
14 years ago

Hi Macky – Yep, and I was kind of rooting for the Saints to make their first Super Bowl appearance too. I used to live in Louisiana for about 10 years. Never liked the Saints then, but with the big hurricane down there and all the bad luck, it would have just been a good thing for the people of Louisiana!

macky
14 years ago

hoops. yep, you got that right. the local basketball tv here is doing wonders for my fantasy team. i'd have to pay extra for that in the states.
you're right, there are baseball and football games but its hard to guess which games will be shown. but its so much easier to keep up with things with the net nowadays.
oh, and go eagles…ehem, i mean pats…yikes, i mean colts.

Bob
Bob
14 years ago

Hello aRmi – I have seen Nascar on TV here, as you said, but I don't know what channel it is on. Maybe it's not on any longer, I am not certain. I will watch for it, and if I find it again, I'll post it here.

aRmi
aRmi
14 years ago

hi bob,
im a huge fan of nascar.. and i couldn't find what channel is it now.. im going gaga already, i missed daytona 500 last sunday, do you know what channel nascar is now? i used to watched it in solar sports but seem like they changed programming.. pls help!! thanks! i'll surely appreciate it.

Jen
Jen
14 years ago

I hear that pool/billiards is also a big thing there in the Philippines (for recreation/entertainment). I know on the professional level there are quite a few champion Filipino players such as Efren Reyes and Alex Pagulayan, to name a few.

Bob
Bob
14 years ago

Absolutely Correct, Jen! I forgot to list billiards, and it is one of THE premier sports in the Philippines!

Aussie Bob
Aussie Bob
13 years ago

Hi Bob, I am into recreational aviation and was wondering if I would be shot down for sport if I went whizzing around the skies at low level (2000 – 3000 thousand feet) in something resembling a hang glider near Gensan?
Also would you know if international pilots licenses are recognized in the RP?

Bob
Bob
13 years ago

Hi Aussie Bob – I don't think you would run into any problems at all if you fly an ultra lite plane around GSC. As a matter of fact, there is even a small airport there for private aviation, Buayan Airport. Have fun!

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