Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ultimate Frisbee spreads in the Philippines


Steadily gaining foothold in the Philippines, Ultimate Frisbee continuously attracts a number of fanatics and spurs tournament after tournament in the country. The only game in the world that does not have any referees, it demands a strong spirit of sportsmanship and respect from its players, or what the sport calls the “Spirit of the Game.” This is the very same factor that draws many players to the game.

Wendell Simbulan, a proponent of Ultimate Frisbee in the Philippines, said, “In this sport, you can be the most skilled or be the highest pointer, but it doesn’t automatically make you an Ultimate player,” he said. “An Ultimate player abides by the rules even if there are no referees or people in charge. There should be no cheating, no bad calls, no trash-talking — fair play rules the game.”

Coach Wendell Simbulan is considered as one of the pillars of Ultimate Frisbee 
in the Philippines

 Brought to the shores of Boracay by foreign tourists in 2002, Ultimate Frisbee in the country is governed by the Philippine Ultimate Association. Since 2002, the sport has spread throughout the Philippines and young athletes travel around the country to bond and have fun through that “Spirit of the Game” rule. The most popular beach Ultimate team in the Philippines, the Boracay Dragons, is even considered among the best beach Ultimate players in the world, having finished second place in the World Beach Ultimate Championships for two consecutive seasons, in Brazil (2007) and Italy (2011). International grass Ultimate tournaments contenders also have Philippine teams to deal with. The Philippines emerged as the Singapore Ultimate Open 2012 champions, and ranked 7th out of 15 countries in the 2012 World Ultimate and Guts Championship in Osaka earlier this year.

 Players from all over the world travel to play in two international tournaments in the Philippines: the Manila Spirits (grass) held every November, and the Boracay Ultimate Open (beach) during the summer months. Local players also consider the following to be the most visited grass Ultimate Frisbee tournaments in the country: the Ultimate Shindig in Dumaguete every August, the Daba-Dabaw Ultimate Frisbee Tournament in Davao, and the Ultimo Abril in Cebu every summer. A number of tournaments are also held in Subic, Pampanga, Laguna, Cebu, Iligan, Iloilo, Bacolod, Dipolog, Cagayan de Oro, and Bukidnon throughout the year.

Pictured here are the members of the Dumaguete Team Extreme,
on the strongest local team, after ranking 6th over-all in the 
international tournaments mixed divisions

 “Ultimate Frisbee in the Philippines is growing and evolving so fast to the point that players really travel to attend provincial tournaments. There are so many people who get hooked, so if you’re into Ultimate Frisbee, you’ll be spoilt for choice in the Philippines alone. Flying in teams from different parts of the country is easier with Cebu Pacific, because we can fly from one province to another, and even to international tournaments! We can follow the sport anywhere for a fraction of the cost,” declares Wendell.

He adds, “we want the Philippines to be the Ultimate Frisbee center in Asia. We already have the most number of tournaments and the number of athletes continues to increase. In Manila alone, there are more or less 100 clubs and counting,” said Wendell. For more information on Ultimate Frisbee in the Philippines, visit

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