Evolution of Attitudes Toward Sports and Physical Education in the Philippine Setting

Abstract Pre-Colonial Period The early Filipinos engaged in certain forms of physical activity incidental to their living, such as planting, fishing, hunting, tree climbing, making tools and weapons, and building shelter and boats. Skill in the use of weapon; agility in running, jumping and climbing; strength and endurance in throwing and carrying heavy burdens were the physical attributes necessary for survival. Music, associated with dance of primitive pantomime occupied the life of the ancient Filipinos.

They sang while planting and rowing, and they sang and danced during the sacrifice offered to their gods, in their festivities, and in their funerals. Colonial Period and War Years Spanish Period. The church greatly influenced the life of the Filipinos. The early schools started by the friars did not include physical education. The religious holidays offered opportunities for recreation. Games and contests often took place at the fiestas or religious festivals. There were also folk dances, songs and religious processions. Girls were taught to be modest and not to participate in various strenuous physical activities.

Women were confined to become efficient housewives or for a religious life. Some of the extracurricular activities of students were debates, dramatic performance, and programs in honor of high dignitaries. Some of the children were the members of the church choirs or orchestras which furnished the music for religious ceremonies. Cockfighting, card games and other ethnic games were popular among the people. American Period. The American period became known as the “Golden Age” of sports in the Philippines. Public schools made education possible for more students, girls as well as boys.

Physical activities were included in the school programs. Filipino games as well as games from abroad were introduced such as basketball and softball. Sports facilities and equipment were provided. Outstanding programs later won honors for themselves and their country in international competitions. Japanese Occupation. During this period, Japanese military administration popularized the regimented exercise on the air called “Radio Taiso” (daily calisthenics on the air). This regimented exercise was made obligatory in public schools.

Filipinos did not participate in sports activities because it was not allowed by the military government. The Filipinos then were busy fighting the war. The Period of the Philippine Republic During this period, physical education occupied a prominent place in school curriculum. There was a definite increased interest and positive attitudes toward physical training with greater number of students participating in various activities. This was the period when the Philippine dancers won awards abroad. Filipino athletes participated in international competitions.

It was during this time that the Philippine Amateur Athletic Association was granted a charter and enjoyed tremendous popularity. In the later part of this period, sports in the Philippines suffered a setback when it was plagued with conflicts among the sports leaders in addition to the existing problems of inadequate facilities and lack of financial support. Despite these problems, the attitude of the Filipino towards sports was still favorable. Period Under Martial Law During this period, sports in the Philippines suffered from the intrusion of too much politics.

The central governing sports body was abolished and replaced by a government controlled sports body. Philippine sports suffered several setbacks in international competitions despite massive financial support given to few elite athletes by the dictatorial government. Despite these gamut of problems, students still have a strong positive and favorable attitudes toward physical education and sports. The Post-EDSA People Power Revolution After the people regained freedom through non-violence, some sports leaders seem to backslide to the old society.

Personality conflicts and squabbling increased to the point that some leaders uncontrollable proportions to the point that some leaders proposed to congress to create a Philippine Sports Commission which shall be the sole governing sports body of the country. The same sports leaders believed that with the creation of the Philippine Sports Commission everything will be put to order. On the contrary, the faculty of the Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation of the University of the Philippines strongly opposed it and submitted a position paper to the Philippine Congress.

Despite all these troubles, several studies show that students still maintain a favorable attitude towards physical education and sports. Finally, as advocated by the Faculty of the Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation, “Programs and Organizational Structures are only as adult directly responsible for them. The success or failure of organizations and programs depends on the leadership. In the final analysis, it is the person in charge that makes the difference. ” EVOLUTION OF ATTITUDES TOWARD SPORTS AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION IN THE PHILIPPINE SETTING by:Roberto M. Ramas and Ronualdo U. Dizer

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