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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Philippines Sports and Recreation

Club Intramuros
Located at:
Bonifacio Drive
Intramuros, Manila
Tel: +632 527 6612
Fax: +632 527 6614

Lamboanga Golf Course & Beach Resort
Located at:
Upper Calarian
Zamboanga City, Zamboanga
Tel: MAKATI +632 810 3655/ 812-1984
Fax: MAKATI (632) 812-1164

Cockfighting is deeply ingrained in Filipino culture. It existed before Spanish times and persisted throughout the centuries despite all attempts to ban it. Sabong, as it is known in Tagalog, is a national pastime that knows no social distinctions. Not a sport for the faint-hearted, it pits two roosters of comparable weight that fight each other until one is killed or turns tail and flees.

The bout is usually brief and bloody. Razor-sharp spurs are attached to the birds' legs. With neck feathers ruffled, the birds dance around each other, testing each other's strength. There's a swish of blades and swirl of feathers, roars rise from the gallery, and in a few minutes it's all over. If both birds are still alive after ten minutes of skirmishing, the bout is declared a draw. Sometimes special matches called carambolas are also held, where five or more birds are placed in the arena at the same time to fight it out until only one remains.

Special fights called derbies, have purses ranging from US$10,000 to $170,000. Tourists who wish to see a cockfight can go to the Araneta Coliseum. It costs around US$10 for front row seats. It is advisable to go with a guide or someone knowledgeable about the game who can explain the intricacies of betting. Bets are indicated by a series of hand signals such as the wiggling of a thumb or the wagging of a hand. The man who calls the bets, without the use of a computer or written slips, is the kristo, so called because his posture of extended arms resembles Christ nailed to the cross. You can either bet on the cock that is favored to win (llamado) or the less popular one (dejado).

Mountain Biking
The Mountain Bike is an ideal way to explore the natural beauty of the Philippines. Riders can be guaranteed a remarkable trip through stunning and diverse scenery. An almost endless number of trails await those ready to venture off the beaten track, and opportunities for everything from gentle day-trips to gruelling week-long mountain tours exist for all tastes and levels of fitness. The sport is expanding fast in the Philippines as equipment becomes more readily available. Around the major cities, small clubs of dedicated mountain bikers are beginning to flourish, and friendly local competitions and bike-outs take place regularly. The locals are usually delighted to meet fellow enthusiasts and welcome the opportunity to share information about their favorite trails.

Hiking and trekking The spectacular geography of the Philippines challenges everyone with the slightest sense of adventure to explore this fascinating country on foot. The natural landscape constantly exhilarates and surprises. Volcanic peaks and ridges tower above densely forested slopes, providing striking contrasts of scenery and terrain. It's only when you begin to discover the extraordinary richness of the flora and diversity and cultural complexity of the native inhabitants: to hike in the mountains is to go to the roots of an ancient culture. In addition, the hiker is rewarded with stunning panoramas, vigorous exercise and the satisfaction of conquering some daunting peaks.


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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