fills the place in the Filipino psyche that bullfighting
occupied in the identity of its onetime Spanish rulers. Understandably,
its appeal to outsiders can be limited, as with jai alai,
the Philippine version of pelota, imported from Spain.
The most popular modern international sport is basketball.
The Philippine Basketball
Association (telephone: (02) 638 1815/6/7. Fax: (02) 634 8574;
league centres on the Cuneta Astrodome, Roxas Avenue, Pasay
City (telephone: (02) 833 7333), ticket prices range from P20, for
restricted view, up to P220. The Alaska Aces, San Miguel Beermen
and Coca-Cola Tigers are the three main basketball teams based
in Manila. Affiliations tend to be by sponsor rather than region.
Keeping fit is popular in Manila with many of the best equipped,
exclusive gyms and fitness centres found in the major hotels and
shopping malls. The Ayala Centre in Makati City has both the Clark
Hatch Fitness Centre (telephone: (02) 815 9711) and Gold’s
Gym (telephone: (02) 752 8081). Slimmer’s World (telephone:
(02) 887 1333) is a popular chain of gyms with branches across the
Intramuros is on Bonifacio Drive, Intramuros (telephone: (02)
527 6613 or 9594), and owned and operated by the Philippine Tourism
Authority. It has a city location with an 18-hole par-60 course,
good for night golf. Green fees are P1,000 for non-members.
The Wack Wack Golf and Country Club on Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong
City (telephone: (02) 723 0665) has two championship courses and
a fee of P7,200 per guest.
Fort Bonifacio Golf Club,
in Makati (telephone: (02) 887 3732), is run by the Philippines
Army. Green fees P1,000 during the weekdays and P1,500 at weekends.
One of the country's most exclusive clubs is the Manila Golf
and Country Club on Harvard Road, Forbes Park, Makati City (telephone:
(02) 817 4948 or 815 2641; fax: (02) 816 0162). Green fees P1,000
on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; P1,500 on Wednesday and
Sunday; and P2,000 on Saturday.
Manila Golf Tours,
Unit 406, 3520 Agapita II Building, Mola Street, Pasong Tamo, Makati
City (telephone: (02) 890 2790), can arrange circuits for golfing
Horse racing is a big part of Manila society, with millions of pesos
bet every week. San Lazaro Hippodrome on Felix Huertas Street,
Santa Cruz, has racing events on Wednesday, Thursday and weekends.
Admission is from P5.
Rizal Memorial Sports Complex on Vito Cruz Street, Malate.
Courts are available for P32.50 per player per hour (rising to P45
at weekends). Visitors may prefer the courts at the Philippine
Columbian Association, Plaza Dilao, Paco (telephone: (02) 521
1506), access to their facilities requires sponsorship or
a Guest Card from a member. Many of the better hotels have tennis
The Manila Yacht Club on Roxas Boulevard (telephone: (02)
521 4457), is a social and sporting mecca. Visitors can only be
admitted with members.