See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Filipinos Find Ingenious Ways to Build Their Own Basketball Hoops

Photo by Richard Daniels, used with permission

Photo by Richard Daniels, used with permission

Curious to learn about the popularity of basketball in the Philippines, Richard Daniels has spent the past five years taking photographs of basketball hoops in the country’s rural areas.

Basketball is the most popular sports in the Philippines. Despite the lack of sports facilities in the country, Filipinos have found ingenious ways to build basketball hoops in various odd spaces such as abandoned properties and streets.

Asked what inspired him to start this documentation project, Daniels told Global Voices that he was intrigued by the popularity of basketball in the Philippines, especially in rural areas:

As an Englishman and a football (soccer) fan I was always slightly confused as to why basketball was so popular here as opposed to football, which is massive throughout the rest of the world. My photo essay started off as a way to find out more about Filipino’s love of basketball through literally shooting hoops. I was also more interested in the aesthetic and the culture behind the grassroots courts and hoops of the poorer villages rather than the generic gymnasium courts in the more suburban areas.

Photo by Richard Daniels, used with permission

Photo by Richard Daniels, used with permission

Daniels said he was amazed to see how basketball is played by almost everybody in rural communities:

I hope that anyone who sees my project will be able to understand just how passionate the country is about basketball and how deeply entrenched the sport is in the local culture. I've seen a lot of hoops over the course of the project but it still amazes me to see these makeshift courts everywhere and anywhere and people of all ages playing – sometimes in only flip flops.

Daniels’ favorite photo was taken while some farmers were clearing out a land for planting:

My favorite image is the basketball court that resembles something out of the Mad Max Movies. The structure looks like it’s made from bones! Also when I took the shot the fields were on fire as the farmers where clearing the land. I think it's called slash and burn farming. That was a pretty epic shot.

Photo by Richard Daniels, used with permission

Photo by Richard Daniels, used with permission

Daniels hopes to find more interesting photos of basketball hoops in other parts of the country. Meanwhile, below are some of the photos by Daniels that reflect the tenacity and creativity of Filipinos who eagerly want to play basketball.

Photo by Richard Daniels, used with permission

Photo by Richard Daniels, used with permission

Photo by Richard Daniels, used with permission

Photo by Richard Daniels, used with permission

Photo by Richard Daniels, used with permission

Photo by Richard Daniels, used with permission

Photo by Richard Daniels, used with permission

Photo by Richard Daniels, used with permission

Photo by Richard Daniels, used with permission

Photo by Richard Daniels, used with permission

Photo by Richard Daniels, used with permission

Photo by Richard Daniels, used with permission

  • Richard Daniels

    thanks so much for the article and the support for my project!

  • nodomino

    The Filipino people are ingenious. I have been to villages on Mindanao and was surprised to see hoops and the enthusiastic boys, men and girls playing the game. It’s a joyful thing to see.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site