Ball is Life

Did you know that basketball is the Philippines’ most popular sport? When colonized by the USA, basketball became popularized and remained so even after independence. Other popular sports are tennis, badminton, and volleyball… but there is something about the basketball courts and hoops of the Philippines that I find remarkable. Spending a few years of my childhood in Chicago when the Bulls were in their heyday with an older brother that was basketball obsessed, gave the sport a special place in my heart. And despite having not followed any team for years, there is this wonderful nostalgic feeling I get when I stumble upon a basketball court on a remote island in the Philippines. And they are EVERYWHERE. From big city, to small island, to crowded neighborhood, you are bound to walk into a basketball court or two or five in no time.

In the Philippines there are amateur leagues, professional leagues, kiddie leagues and street games. The ingenuity and craft that goes into creating some of the backboards and rims of these courts is astounding, while the well-built courts never cease to be colorful and eye-capturing. To celebrate this ‘love of the game’ I started a photo collection of basketball courts in the Philippines and here it is (scroll down because I saved the best for last):


Half court in Cebu City barangay that moments later turned into a cock-fighting arena


A half court on a street corner, against the walls of a prison-turned-museum in Cebu City


A very crooked half court just meters away from the mangroves in a small coastal town in Talibon, Bohol


A nice full court on the small island of Jao in my municipality


Colorful full court in Bataan, my training town in Luzon – as seen from the 2nd floor balcony of the Municipal Hall


How creative is this one? And the backboard is about 1/4 the normal size, so you know whoever plays here is a great shot!


An island court of cement and dirt and sand

ball1 (1)

Improvising on Jao Island


Tree hoop and sand court: ball = life



My favorite court as of yet: completely in sand, backboards and stand made of salvaged timber. AMAZING!