Local Filipino Sports You Should Know About

Gelyka Dumaraos

Filipinos are known to be lovers of sports and many have carved their names in the international sports scene. Think of Manny Pacquio, one of the world’s greatest boxer, and chess grandmaster Wesley So. But aside from boxing, basketball, chess, swimming, and others, Filipinos are also fond of their homegrown sports. Here’s our list of Filipino sports you really should know.

Arnis (Eskrima)

The Philippine version of martial arts is Arnis. Dubbed the country’s national sport, arnis is a weapon-based form of combat used for fighting since 1610. Due to the country’s diverse local dialects, is it also know as Eskrima among other names.


This martial arts sport, which has been around since the 16th century in Rizal, Philippines, uses feet rather than the hands. One distinct technique in sikaran is the “Biakid kick” move which aims to hit the back of the opponent’s head.


Sipa, or “to kick” is a native sport which is closely related to Sepak Takraw of Indonesia. The game is undertaken with two teams opposing each other, with a net in the middle of a court. The goal is to kick a rattan ball back and forth until it land on the floor of the opponent’s side.


Silat is an indigenous martial art which involves players striking their opponents through fixed hand positions. It is also practiced in Brunei, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia. This sport has been included in the Southeast Asian Games.



Traditional wrestling in the Philippines is called dumog. Combining Filipino martial arts techniques, the aim in dumog is to pin an opponent to the ground. Strategies include pulling, grabbing, pushing and pinning the opponent down through targeting their the body parts they use for control.


During festivities especially in the provinces, palo-sebo is a common sport played by locals. It features greasy poles, usually made up of bamboo, with a bag of prizes pinned on top of it. The aim is to climb the greasy pole and whoever gets the prize in the quickest time is the winner of the game.


Sungka is a game for two, played using a wooden block with 16 holes that can hold pieces of either pebbles, marbles, or seeds. Two of the holes (called ‘heads’) remain empty, each player protects their own ‘head’. The goal is to gather as many pebbles etc in their ‘head’ as the player can in order to win the game. The game is also played in other Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Myanmar.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article