Traditional sports include stick fighting, Arnis, Escrima, Kal Sports in the Philippines and Traditional Games.
Sabong Cockfighting and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation PAGCOR provide insights into other types of entertainment that are not consistently considered sport.
Basketball and baseball are just as popular in the country as soccer is in Europe. In both of these sports, Filipinos are capable of great things. But their natural size prevents them – at least in basketball – from getting a grip on medals. Much to the chagrin of the admirers of this sport, who would like to see that there are different weight or size classes – as in boxing. Here’s a very special tip: Whoever feels called by you to do good and at the same time remain indelibly anchored in the memories of lively village children, get up and donate a basketball hoop including a ball! There remains a consolation for the time being: At the last World Cup in Spain the Filipino basketball team managed to jump from 34th to 31st place in the international FIBA ranking.
Speaking of boxes. There is no doubt Manny Pacquiao, called “Pac-Man”, a living boxing icon in his homeland. Wolfgang Bethge provides a brief portrait of him. The international boxing experts agree that “Pac-Man” or “Pacman” is a gifted boxer. Never before in the history of boxing “sports” was one and the same person able to win ten world championship titles in a total of eight weight classes!
“Pac-Man” has mutated into a multi-tasking messiah in his home country: folk hero, benefactor, show and film star, deeply devout and regular churchgoer, (karaoke) singer, TV presenter, politician and (richest) Congressman. “Pac-Man” is also the great leveler; Big and small, rich and poor, crooks and godly – they are all the same and deeply united when Manny has (had) another glamorous appearance in Las Vegas. In moments like this, peace, harmony, philanthropy and obedience to the law return everywhere. In order not to miss anything, criminals would never dream of climbing over prison walls. Judges, public prosecutors, traditional politicians and hard-nosed commissaries who commit wrongful judgments, mistakes or military actions against the people for the protection and benefit of corrupt elites – they all stop as long as the “Pac-Man” fists fly, pause and judge at least during this Don’t do any further damage.
However, the “Pac-Man” got bitterly angry at his fight on the evening of December 8, 2012 – also in Las Vegas – against his Mexican challenger Juan Manuel Marquez. A carelessness in the sixth lap cost Pacquiao, who had been ahead on points up until then, the victory. The Mexican won a knockout victory and thus greatly clouded the pre-Christmas mood on both sides of the Pacific. But just at the height of the greatest disaster that ever struck the Philippines in the form of the super typhoon “Haiyan” (local name “Yolanda”), the lively “Pac-Man” made a furious comeback – a veritable comfort of soul for his countrymen in tormented ones Times! In the sprawling Venetian amusement and hotel complex in Macau, he defeated Welterweight title. And exactly one year later, on November 23, 2014, “Pac-Man” secured this title again at the same location by confidently defeating the American Chris Algieri.
According to topb2bwebsites, the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger (edition of May 2/3, 2015, p. 18) was the title of its story about the long-awaited showdown between “Pac-Man” and the American Floyd Mayweather by experts as “Money man against do-gooder”. “In 2014, according to Forbes, Mayweather was the highest-paid athlete in the world with an annual income of $ 105 million”, according to the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, “he is not only extremely rich, he also stages his wealth on the Internet (…) But Mayweather is too a damn good boxer. An excellent defensive strategist, unbeaten in 47 fights and the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world across all weight classes. ” On the night of May 2nd and 3rd, 2015 Mayweather emerged victorious from the fight in Las Vegas. “Pac-Man” clearly lost on points and, to the annoyance of many fans, had to admit after the fight that they weren’t quite fit and had shoulder problems. In any case, the fight in Las Vegas washed the proud record income of 300 million dollars into the coffers of the organizers.
A revenge against Mayweather won’t (probably?!) after “Pac-Man” resigned immediately after his last and victorious fight against US challenger Timothy Bradley on the night of April 9th to 10th, 2016 Boxing announced. From now on he will dedicate himself to the fight against poverty in his home country and is therefore aiming for a senatorial position. And who would have seriously doubted such a victory: In the general election one month later, on May 9, 2016, Pacquiao was easily elected one of the nation’s 24 senators. But a euphoric victory celebration was not announced; many would have liked to see the outstanding athlete in the boxing ring instead of having to prove himself on the political-diplomatic stage.
And since the bustling “Pac-Man” did not want to completely shed his boxing gloves, he often leaves the Senate floor in favor of the boxing ring. Pacquiao lost his fight on the night of July 1st, 2017 against the Australian Jeff Horn in the so-called “Battle of Brisbane “ on points. But this time too, boxing aficionados spoke of “shifting” and saw “Pac-Man” as the real winner. A fight for revenge has already been announced. Which will keep admirers and skeptics of the little boxer with the big punch in suspense for the time being. But just one year later, the “Pac-Man” triumphs impressively over his Argentinian challenger Lucas Matthysse in Malaysia’s metropolis Kuala Lumpur.
And then? A turn of the year 2018/19 made to measure! On December 17th, 2018, 40 years old, the “Pac-Man” treated himself a somewhat belated birthday present of a special kind. On the night of January 19th to 20th, 2019, he brilliantly defended his WBA welterweight title in Las Vegas against the American Adrien Broner, who was eleven years his junior. In the arena of the MGM Grand Hotel, Broner was lucky to have managed the full distance over twelve laps. The unanimous winner Pacquiao said shortly after the fight: “I really don’t think my career is over. I already proved that in my last fight against Lucas Matthysse. And today I showed it again – at the age of 40. ”
What is what remains The ardent wish to lure the undefeated (but now resigned) superstar Floyd Mayweather off the defensive and challenge him to a fight for revenge. Mayweather, who was in Las Vegas for promotional purposes and watched PacMan’s fight against Broner as a spectator, visited his former opponent in the cabin. “He greeted me and wished me luck,” said Pacquiao. Was that really the last word?
In the wake of the soccer world championships in South Africa in 2010 and Brazil in 2014, people in the distant Philippines also discovered joy and lust for this ball sport. The Philippine national soccer team – called “Azkals”, which means “street dog” – led a shadowy existence in the FIFA world rankings for a long time and until 2006 had to be satisfied with the not exactly flattering 195th place. All of that changed step by step when the German coach Hans Michael Weiß took over the reins at the beginning of 2011. The team – according to the newspaper “Neues Deutschland”, the most international national team in the world – at least made the leap forward; In the summer of 2012, the “Azkals” were already ranked 149th on the FIFA world rankings – ahead of the neighboring countries Indonesia (151st) and Malaysia (154th). Since February 2014 the new coach of the “Azkals”, Thomas Dooley, has been working on advancing the team and at the same time rejuvenating it. At the beginning of September 2014, however, the team lost in the Peace Cup final in front of a home crowd against the kickers from Myanmar. The sociologist, internationally known globalization critic and alternative Nobel Prize winner, Walden Bello, won completely different, unexpected aspects at last year’s soccer World Cup in Brazil due to the team spirit that is particularly required in this sport.
Last but not least, something “exotic” – is it because of climate change ?! At the Winter Olympics in February 2014 in Sochi, Russia, a Southeast Asian athlete actually competed in the men’s figure skater discipline – the only 17-year-old Michael Christian Martinez. Even tough sports aficionados stayed up in the tropics until late at night to admire his artistic leaps. To the surprise of his astonished compatriots, the young talent landed in 19th place out of 24 professionals. It will be interesting to see the – possibly miraculous – career of this man, who should easily contest three major international events of this kind!
Christian Martinez also took part in the Olympic Games in 2018 – this time in PyeongChang.