Filipino Archery?

Discussion in 'Marksmanship Arts' started by arnisador, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I know that, like the atlatl, the bow is a non-trivial weapon that essentially every culture has eventually developed. We still have people who practice Western archery, Japanese archery (kyudo), and so on; but I've never heard of a continuing tradition of Filipino archery. I also can't picture a painting of Filipino martial activities that includes the bow--mostly just swords and sticks.

    Does anyone still practice a form of Filipino archery? I'm sure (Olympic-style or Japanese) archery is practiced there, but is there a native tradition that is still found?
  2. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    On another note, I saw an ad in the Santa Fe (NM) paper for free boomerang lessons in the park. Surely this weapon made the jump from Australia to the Philippines at some point? Everyone had hunting sticks they threw ("kylies") but boomerangs, that retunr, are different.
  3. ryangruhn

    ryangruhn New Member

    Projectiles =)
  4. Black Grass

    Black Grass Junior Member

    The bow was not a weapon of combat of the ancient Malay Filipinos but had limited use as a hunting tool. Their archery and bow making skills was not particular developed as the spanish observed upon there arrival. The weapon held is highest regards above all else was the spear.

    However, Ata/Negrito/pygmy were/are know for there great skill with the bow and arrow.

    Black Grass
  5. bart

    bart New Member

    My uncle had a talc mine in the mountains near Mount Pinatubo in Zambales. I went up there in the late 80's to see it and I wound up staying there for about 2 weeks. The Aeta who lived in that area occasionally used bows and arrows to hunt wild birds, chickens to be exact. They were masterful with them. The birds rarely flew but ran really fast, too fast to catch. The Aeta had a technique where they would draw the bowstring back and shoot almost straight up into the air. The arrow would then drop from a great height and hit the bird as it was running. It was amazing to see how they could track and hit moving targets like that.The bows were really tough to draw and although I could pull the string back, I had no luck in aiming much less angling the bow so that it would point up.

    I went back to the area years later, two years or so after the eruption of the volcano. The Aeta people had been resettled down from the mountains. The volcano obliterated their way of life and the environment had forced them to live in temporary resettlement camps. The area where they used to live now looks like a chaparral or a moor rather than a tropical forest like before. I didn't see any bows at all, and I was looking for them.

    Other than the Aetas I haven't heard anything about Filipino archery. There was a large following of western archery though. When it came to projectile weaponry interest was more toward firearms rather than blowguns, darts, or bows and arrows.
  6. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Thanks for sharing that story! What a pity to see a way of life disappear like that.
  7. eskrimador

    eskrimador New Member

    Filipino archery

    On my research and study in Philippine History, bow and arrow were used in warring tribes in Pre Hispanic time.As we know, the first kind of weapon that penetrated on leg of Ferdinand Magellan was an arrow when the attack the Mactan Island. And even in the 1896 Revolution, bow and arrow aside from bamboo spear, bolo and some rifles were used in its first phase of uprising against Spanish. But because of practicality attitude of most Filipinos with regard to weaponry, the used of bow and arrow, phased out from the scene. But not totally, even in the common gangster fight in the cities ,the used of home made arrow is important.
  8. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Home made arrows? Even today it's used, then!
  9. eskrimador

    eskrimador New Member

    Most of the street fights between gangster in the cities, they usually armed with home made guns and home made arrow. This kind of home made arrow are combination of sling shot type bow and flattened/ sharpened nail to become an arrow.

    And, I`ve observed, punches and kicks are secondary option for many guys who engage in street fight. Usually they prefer to use home made weapons, knife, stick or real guns. This is clear manifestation how arnis evolved and developed in the Philippines, that most Filipino prefer to fight with stick, sword or knife instead of the unarmed way.
  10. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    I'm beginning to see why sling shots are illegal where I live. It is a simple weapon, yet quite devastating.
  11. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    We keep talking about trying archery as a family, but the time never seems right.
  12. fisherman

    fisherman New Member


    You should do it, my kids and wife love when I take them archery shooting. I shoot traditional type archery and have a 65lb draw longbow, but for the kids and wife you can pick up some cheap starter bows and some foam targets. Then just go to the park and find a empty corner preferably with a hill as a backstop and have at it. The kids will love it, and instinctive shooting (meaning no sights or gizmos) is good for coordination.

  13. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI New Member


    I played with "Filipino Archery" as a kid growing up in Davao. Fun stuff. I'm working on recreating our "bow & arrow" so people here know the kind of, err, "games", we played.
  14. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Sounds neat! We need some vid clips.
  15. BayaniWarrior

    BayaniWarrior New Member

  16. bentit

    bentit New Member

    Filipino's where using bows and arrows pre-Hispanic era. As i remember, next to the aeta's(igorot) head hunting axes are their bow and arrows. When the spaniards colonized the Philippines, they outlawed any form of weapons. That is why today we practice knife and stick fighting, since Filipinos only had knives and sticks to train with and occasionally to kill with. The full length bow just got smaller. I remember my neighbors using a thing called "pana" or "indian pana" in some areas. It is basically a short stick wraped with ruber to fire projectiles.
  17. Ron Kosakowski

    Ron Kosakowski New Member

    This is something intersting to me. I have often ponered on itbut not many in the Philippines know about it. I have been researching Igorot weapons, i noticed they use it. I have to look further there my next trip to the PI. On my Coat of Arms shield, it shows it as what is called the Pana. I would love to know more about it. I used to be a champion archer back in the 60's into the 70's. Once in a while i still pick one up and shoot with my kids.

    By the way, is there a video out on this? The one above does not lead to anything on the subject.
  18. bentit

    bentit New Member

    here's what the indian pana looks like
  19. Kailat


    Well although i don't practice any form of martial art archery so to speak, I've been an avid archer for many years. I bow hunt and use modern archery often. In fact I try to go to the rnge as often aspossible w/ my buddy and we target practice as mhch as we can. I usually spend the winter months bow hunting! i wouldn't mind learning or getting into a more traditiona form of archery, although after being a more modern archer I don't know if I could just do it as an "art form"... hmm interesting
  20. Ron Kosakowski

    Ron Kosakowski New Member

    Is this a Filipino weapon from India? Or is this and Indian weapon? I never saw this before.

    On the coat of arms, the archry set is called the Pana. Maybe another dialect?

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