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Filipinos' Love For Bowling

Updated on March 19, 2011

The Love For Bs

This is the Fifth in the Series titled Filipinos Love For Bs (see the links for each article at the end).

So if you have been following this, by now you would have known that Basketball is huge in the Philippines. You would also know that Boxing is almost as huge if not bigger now. And we also found out that Billiards is pretty much on the same plane as those two sports and disciplines.

Now we come to what could be the fourth biggest sport in the Philippines, the sport of Bowling.

And again it starts with a B.

We also know that the Balisong Knife is also huge in many  parts of the islands, well of course that is where the modern day Butterfly (Batangas) knife originated.


Batangas, Philippines

soccer (football)
soccer (football)


Now kids in the U.S.A, in some Hispanic countries, in Japan, in Korea and in many parts of the world grew up playing baseball.

We also know that kids in most of South America, in Africa, In Europe play football (soccer).

But in the Philippines, kids grow up playing either basketball, billiards, backyard boxing and yes, bowling--duck-pin, ten-pin, put up your own pins, mismatched pins, any number of pins bowling.

My mom played it. My sisters play it. As a family, we still play it from time to time.

My childhood friends and I play it. My classmates in college played it. I tried once to apply for a job at our neighborhood mall’s bowling lanes (which I didn’t get).

I participated in bowling tournaments at work. We play it in Wii. We just play it. Yes Filipinos do.

And what has the Philippine have to show for it?

Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno
Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno

One word: Paeng Nepomuceno.

Okay that was two words but just that name alone have carried the entire Filipino nation to World Bowling consciousness and a rightful place in world bowling history.

And why do you ask?

Okay if you have to ask that, then I can say that you probably have not played or watched that many games of bowling in your life.

But if you must know, then Paeng is basically the Living Legend of Bowling.

  • International Bowling Hall of Fame
  • Six Time World Bowling Champion
  • Four Time World Cup Bowling Champion
  • World Invitational Tournament Champ
  • World Tenpin Masters Champ
  • Owns Three Guinness Book of World Records for the Sport of Bowling
  • The only Bowling Athlete to have been awarded World Titles in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa
  • The only Bowling Athlete to have won the World Cup in three different decades (1970s, 1980s and twice in 1990s)
  • The Greatest Philippine Athlete of All Time
  • International Olympic Committee (IOC) President’s Trophy
  • International Bowling Athlete of the Millennium
  • Greatest International Bowler of All Time

We can go on and on and still there are many more accolades to list.

He currently own 120 Bowling Titles and he is still competing. Yes, and he was born in 1957.

May 1978 Game 5 Showdown in Manila Between 1976 World Champion Paeng Nepomuceno (Philippines) and 1977 World Champion Arne Stroem (Norway)

Is that all then, just one man?

Okay, we also have women bowlers. 

Olivia "Bong" Garcia-Coo
Olivia "Bong" Garcia-Coo

Bong Coo

  • International Bowling Hall of Fame
  • Four Time World Champion
  • Twice FIQ Zone Masters Champion
  • Twice FIQ Zone Singles Champion
  • Most gold medals won in a single FIQ Zone Championships
  • Five Time Asian Games Gold Medals
  • A Guinness Book of World Record
  • International Olympic Committee (IOC) Achievement Diploma
  • World Bowler of the Year
  • Top 24 International Bowlers of All-Time
  • First bowler to win in two different world tournaments in a single year

And like Paeng, we can go on and on and on.

She has won a staggering total of 135 Championship Titles. And she has done the near impossible by winning at least one Masters Title for 28 consecutive years. Now hows that for a Guinness Book of World Record?

Bong still competes in the Seniors where she won the 2008 and the 2010 Philippine International Open Senior Masters Championship Titles.

Lita Del Rosario

  • World Cup Champion
  • FIQ Masters Title
  • First lady bowler to hold both world titles at the same time
  • One of only two women to have won the Bowling World Cup and the FIQ Masters in successive years

Arianne Cerdena

  • Olympic Gold Medalist (Demonstration Sport of Bowling)

All in all the Philippines is in the Top Ten in the total Men’s Medal Count of the World Ten Pin Bowling Championships and is in the Top Three for the total Women’s Medal Count, going back to the 1950s.

Today, you will still see a lot of casual bowlers as well as serious pros playing the game in the numerous bowling lanes throughout the Philippines. Although there aren’t that many Filipino world caliber bowlers competing now, there are still many international titles being won and definitely many more bright prospects .

And who can tell, the next Paeng and the next Bong might just be awaiting their turn to be in the world bowling spotlight.

Philippine Bowling Today? 10 second video clip

Okay, maybe not yet.

But still you would see Filipinos bowling anywhere, anytime, anyhow and still they will be having the time of their lives. And that is what counts.

"To bowl or not to bowl" is not the question but rather, "When and where do you want to bowl next?"

Paeng's Eastwood Bowl and Billiards Room, Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City

Playdium Bowling and Billiards, Araneta Avenue, Quezon City

Green Valley Country Club Bowling Center, Green Valley Country Club, E. Rodriguez Ave, Pasig City

Santa Lucia Bowling Center (and Billiards Hall), Santa Lucia East Grand Mall, Marcos Highway, Cainta, Rizal

SM Bowling Center SM North Edsa, North Edsa, Quezon City

SM Bowling Center SM Megamall, Edsa, Mandaluyong City

SM Bowling Center SM City Fairview, Fairview, Quezon City

SM Bowling Center SM Mall of Asia, Bay City, Pasay

Where ever it might be, see you there!


Old School or Unfortunately Closed down Bowling Lanes:

Coronado Lanes, Anson’s Arcade, Arnaiz Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas, Makati City

Greenlanes, Greenhills Shopping Center, Ortigas Avenue, San Juan City

Puyat Bowling and Billiard Center, Farmers Plaza, Quezon City

Astrobowl, South Superhighway, Magallanes Village Makati,

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  • jill of alltrades profile image

    jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines

    Hey J@ps,

    Thanks for writing about my favorite sport. Actually, it's the only sport I play. Paeng Nepomuceno is of course my idol in bowling.

    I just wish to update you about your list of bowling lanes - Greenlanes and Coronado lanes are no longer existent. However, there are some new ones (well, not really so new) but we also play there. There is the Santa Lucia East Bowling Lanes in Cainta, then Eastwood bowling lanes in Eastwood City, the Green Valley Lanes in Pasig and the Playdium lanes along Araneta ave.

    Let's bowl!

  • J@ps profile image

    J@ps 6 years ago from Southern California

    You are most welcome.

    But really, thanks Jill, I actually added the list at the last minute without really putting any thought into it, thanks for the heads up, I will update it asap.

    Regarding the Santa Lucia Lanes, yes I forgot about that, and I just remembered, last year when we went there I got to see it. But we actually went to the one at Megamall to play. Thanks again, the last three you mentioned are all new to me.


  • gbd profile image

    gbd 6 years ago

    I love basketball, billiards and bowling too. One more B I love is Balut! Hey I should be Filipino :)

  • J@ps profile image

    J@ps 6 years ago from Southern California

    Hi gbd.

    Don't worry we can make you an honorary Pinoy.

    Appreciate the comment, thanks!

  • jeanie.stecher profile image

    jeanie.stecher 6 years ago from Seattle

    I also love to play bowling, I should say that through this kind of sport I gain a lot of friends, and thanks to a friend for introducing and convincing me to try and play this game. How I wish we can play it again next time, it's been a year already.

  • J@ps profile image

    J@ps 6 years ago from Southern California

    Good for you jeanie.

    Call your friend and you do the inviting (to play) next time. Also introduce the game to somebody else.

    And don't forget to have fun!

Paeng's Eastwood Bowl and Billiards Room
Paeng's Eastwood Bowl and Billiards Room
Playdium Bowling Lanes
Playdium Bowling Lanes
SM Mall of Asia Bowling Lanes
SM Mall of Asia Bowling Lanes
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