Manila activities and sports

Basketball is very popular in the Philippines

Basketball is very popular in the Philippines

Staying active in Manila is easy, as there are many sports and wellness centres around the metro area. Sports fans will have no trouble finding a gym or health centre to indulge their passion while there are clubs and associations for all manner of different pursuits.

Boxing in Manila

Those who want to lose weight or simply tone up should consider boxing lessons in Manila. Boxing has become an extremely popular sport in the country because of the consecutive victories of Philippines’ boxing champ Manny Pacquiao. If you want a few lessons on how to throw a punch, try the Boxing Fitness Gym(Adidas Sports Camp, Pylo Sports Unit, Libertad St., Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, tel: +63 2 616 8140)

Yoga in Manila

If you’re looking for something low-impact, try doing yoga in Manila. There are several good yoga centers in the city, including Bikram Yoga Manila and Iyengar Yoga Center Manila.

Bikram Yoga has studios in Makati and Quezon City and holds classes from Monday to Sunday. It specializes in teaching Bikram – the type of yoga that focuses on stretching, balancing and creating pressure in the blood. Monthly memberships cost around Php5,000 (US$100+), but discounts are sometimes available for groups.

This yoga center also offers flexible class schedules for people with hectic schedule. (Open: 08:30-22:00 (Monday–Friday), 08:30-17:00 (Saturday-Sunday); 15/F, 88 Corporate Center, 141 Valero Street corner Sedeño Streets, Salcedo Village, Makati City, Metro Manila, 1227, tel: +63 2 889 0126, +63 576 8391, emai: info@bikramyogamanila.com, makati@bikramyogamanila.com, website: www.bikramyogamanila.com

A more affordable alterative is Iyengar Yoga, where walk-in classes usually cost only around Php500 (around US$12) and a monthly session costs just Php2,500 (US$61). All instructors at the Iyengar Yoga Center have received their certification to teach Iyengar Yoga from Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India. (Open: 10:00–12:00, 14:00-17:00 (Monday-Friday); 4/F LKG Tower, Ayala Ave., Makati City, Metro Manila, tel: +63 2 798 0070, mobile: +63 917 535 9711, emai: info@iyengaryogamanila.com, website: www.iyengaryogamanila.com

Golf in Manila

Intramuros Golf Course is next to the walled city

Intramuros Golf Course is next to the walled city

It is great fun to play golf in Manila since there are many contrasting courses around the city, including Intramuros Golf CourseFort Bonifacio Golf Club in Taguig, Manila Golf and Country Club, Wack Wack Golf & Country Club and Alabang Country Club. These are all 18-hole golf courses. The private and more expensive ones are in Alabang, Wack-Wack and Manila Golf Club while Fort Bonifacio Golf Club is perhaps the cheapest. If you want lessons, try the Joe Cantada Golf Learning Center(2nd Avenue, Bagumbayan, Taguig (near Fort Bonifacio), tel: +63 2 838 6543)

Running in Manila

There are road races and marathons in Manila almost monthly. Most of the participants are locals, but almost all events are open to foreigners.

Visit any sporting store (such as Nike or Adidas outlets) to find out when the next marathon is and to register your participation. If you want to train before the big run, then try the University of the Philippines Oval (free; oval open to runners on Sundays (University of the Philippines, Off Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, tel: +63 2 524 0534, email: registrar@mail.upm.edu.ph, website: www.upm.edu.ph), or pay Php30 (less than US$1) to practise in the Ultra Stadium (also known as the PhilSports Arena) in Pasay (Ultra Stadium, Philsports Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City, tel: +63 2 525 2240).

Tennis in Manila

Some Manila tennis clubs require membership while others are happy to accommodate guests who fancy a game. One of the good walk-in tennis courts in the Metro is Ascott Makati, where you pay a small amount for a day pass. (Glorietta 4, Ayala Centre, Makati City, Metro Manila 1224, tel: +63 2 729 8888, fax: +63 2 755 8188, emai: enquiry.manila@the-ascott.com, website: www.the-ascott.com)

Football in Manila

Football is not big in the Philippines, but there are a few institutions offering fields you can rent for games and also soccer lessons. Most participants are expats, but there are also a few Filipinos. Try Manila Soccer Academy (17 Mckinley Rd., Forbes Park, Makati City, tel: +63 2 828 8674, mobile: +63 917 841 5530, emai: manilasocceracademy@gmail.com, website: www.manilasocceracademy.com)

Gyms in Manila

Filipinos are quickly becoming more health conscious, and this is evident from the fact that gyms seem to have mushroomed everywhere especially in the cities. One of the biggest chains is Fitness First, which has several locations in the country. Some are even incorporated into malls. Robinson's Metro East, Manila City, Metro Manila, tel: +63 2 646 0000 to find out which Fitness First Gym is nearest you. Gold’s Gym is also a big chain, with locations in Makati, Ortigas, and Alabang, to name a few. It’s open from 06:00 to midnight during weekdays, and until 21:00 during weekends.

Garden clubs in Manila

If you’d rather spend your weekends doing growing flowers, then join the Makati Garden Club, which offers flower arrangement and gardening classes. There are also supplies and plants on sale. (Recolletos St., (corner Ayala Ave., and EDSA), Makati City, Metro Manila, Luzon, tel: +63 2 817 2738, fax: +63 2 818 2670)

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