A BRIEF HISTORY

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF COMPETITIVE ATHLETICS
IN THE PHILIPPINES

From historical accounts about the Philippines, one can readily that certain types of competitive athletics were enjoyed as early as the pre-Spanish period by the Filipinos. Games which were brought to the Philippines shores from Malaya, Indonesia, China, and India did not enjoy as much popularity as in their later period. When the Spaniards came to this country their primary objectiveswere to spread Christianity and to exploit its natural resources. It is evident that education and competitive athletics did not receive much attention from them.
However, historical facts seem to point out that more extensive and organized athletics were introduced by the Americans since they landed in Manila on December 10, 1896. While the United States armed forces were busy establishing the military government, the soldiers were playing games among themselves such as baseball, basketball, and track and field. At the same time, The Philippine public school system patterned after that of the United States was being established. American soldiers and some civilians took up teaching positions in as many public schools as the government could possibly put up. On August 23, 1901, there arrived in Manila a reinforcement of American teachers on board the United States transport “Thomas”. Without much delay, these teachers were distributed all over the country, establishing and teaching in more public schools. As a natural consequence, while the public school system was being set up, athletics and physical education were also being emphasized by the American tutors. In short time, regular programme of athletic contests in schools was developed. The Filipinos were found to be very eager to learn the American sports, and soon, they were playing these sports and games well. With almost all the American teachers fresh from their college athletics back home, it did not take long before interschool competitions began to flourish

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