Baranggay: the Filipino Sports Fan

Topics: Sociology, Basketball, Cultural studies Pages: 8 (2531 words) Published: January 14, 2008
Baranggay: The Filipino Sports Fan

Basketball is a celebrated sport in the country; the American occupation forces imported the sport in the early part of the 20th century. The sport easily replaced a popular game at that time, football. Since then the country was easily recognized around the world in the new sport.[1] Until now, the sport continually to be the sport of the people, played, watched, and followed by a regular and increasing crowd.

The most famous team in the country's professional basketball league is the Baranggay Ginebra Kings, and their crowd is called the Baranggay. The baranggay is even the subject of the two songs from Gary Granada; Pag Nananalo ang Ginebra and Pag Natatalo ang Ginebra. Both songs speak of the life of the Baranggay as their team plays in the playing court of the PBA. The "Pag Nananalo…" speaks of the team and their baranggay in their winning status, in the ups of their life, and in their triumph over the hardships of life. While, the other song "Pag Natatalo…" speaks of defeat, the downs, and the connection of it in the socio-political picture of the Filipino's life.

The singer composer of the song, Gary Granada composed many songs that portray the life of common people of the land. Granada's songs talk about the OFW's (Overseas Filipino Workers), activists, lovers, children, laborer, basketball players, basketball fans, politicians, farmers, religious people, and many more. According to a short profile from his personal website, Gary is a public school tutor (University of the Philippines) of a masteral subject in Development Communications, chairs Kaalagad, an interfaith ecumenical community, worked as a photographer for the Department of Labor, got a KBP broadcaster's license and worked in FEBC, and moonlights as voice and on-cam talent for PCIJ.[2]

Baranggay is not just an ordinary crowd; it is the mammoth crowd of the most famous team that ever played in the hard court of the Philippine Basketball. A television sportcaster coined the term to call the fans of the popular team Ginebra. With that, the team honors its fans by including the Baranggay for its official name of the team, the "Baranggay Ginebra Kings. For it is believed that the crowd itself could create a baranggay. Baranggay is the smallest political unit of government in the country. It came from a Malay-Polynesian term balangay, meaning a boat (Constatino 29).


We normally picture a given event as it is, perhaps you will consider that the songs from Granada, are just songs pertaining to the followers of the team. Sports events, such as the professional basketball scene in the country are a rich area for cultural studies. Right now one of the issues are in the recruitment of players, many players right now are Filipino-Foreigners, those that have at least one of his parents a native of the land and the other parent are foreigners. And that issue is also a very rich topic for cultural studies.

With the professional basketball scene, the problem lies also with the baranggay; for they may not know their importance in the basketball scene. That what's popular is not just their team. Them as a crowd, is also popular. Imagine a team, with a crowd so big named after a unit of government, though the name baranggay is actually a diminished name for the mammoth crowd. For the crowd can even create a town, even a state if population is the criteria of creating one. What's popular here is not just the team; even the crowd is very popular. They are always regarded as the moving force behind any team, and with a crowd like that the most popular player ever played in the popular sport of basketball eve become one of the country's senator, Sen. Robert Jaworski. Imagine again a crowd, so moving it has its own songs. Though it is easy for the other smaller groups of fans of other team to create songs for themselves. But the baranggay, speaks of its presence everywhere. Its membership...
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