My father, my friend (Papa ko, Pare Ko)

The Spanish call their daddy “papi” but in the Caribbean it is often used as a general term of affection for any man whether he is a relative, friend, or lover. Our father is our first hero, idol and mentor and he deserves the best on Father’s Day.

Get physical

Is Daddy getting rusty?

Get him back into sports and try a new one! Similar to tennis and ping pong, pickleball is an indoor or outdoor racket/paddle sport in which two or four players hit a perforated hollow plastic ball over a net using solid faced paddles. In the Philippines, it is often played indoors, doubles, in badminton courts. In the United States, it is the fastest growing sport with 36 million players. It is inexpensive and easy to learn. I tried playing it and noticed many dads enjoying the sport.

If your dad is fit enough, he ought to try the healthiest sport – squash! Perfect for your busy dad because it can get him fit at the shortest possible time. Forbes magazine has listed squash as the fittest sport based on cardio endurance, strength, muscle endurance, and flexibility. The good news is that there are more squash courts being built around the city.

Rizal Memorial Coliseum has opened its courts for the general public. For traditional venues, squash can also be played at the Manila Boat Club, the oldest existing sports club in Manila dating back to 1895. Its present location in Sta. Ana opened in 1932.

The squash courts, built in 1971, were the first outside the military camps. Playing in these grounds gives you an air of nostalgia of the 1930s. Interestingly, the main sport of this old club is rowing which is listed as the second fittest sport by Forbes magazine. So where else can you play the top two fittest sports but at the Manila Boat Club.

In another old haunt in Ermita, hidden behind the oldest existing Spanish restaurant, Casino Español, is a cancha where the Basque game of jai-alai is still being played by a small group of men wearing white long pants and helmets.

Catch them play on weekends and relive the glory days of the 1960s at the height of jai-alai’s popularity. The Manila Jai-Alai Building on Taft Avenue, considered the best Art Deco structure in Asia, was demolished in 2,000 upon orders of Mayor Atienza to make way for the Manila Hall of Justice which was never built. Jai-alai, which means “merry festival” in Basque, is one of the fastest sports in the world. For jai-alai lessons, ask the waiters at Casino Español.

Swimming lessons

Is Daddy slowing down a bit? You’ll never go wrong with swimming lessons. It is not only injury free but also a lifesaver. If you want to learn how to swim or simply improve your skills, give me a call at 09163597888. I specialize in teaching adult learners.

Moving forward,  your Daddy Cool can flashback to the Beach Boys era by trying surfing at beginner-friendly Bagasbas Beach in Daet.

Diving Instructor Gordz with son David

Easier is snorkeling; deeper is free diving while scuba diving takes longer to do. Scuba certification takes about two weeks. For the perfect dad-child bonding, SSI offers Explorers Programs designed for kids from six to 10 years old. This program provides children with the necessary skills and knowledge to participate in snorkeling, mermaid, free-diving, or scuba experiences in a pool or confined water environment.

With the Philippines hailed as the best dive destination in the world, every dad should at least try an introductory dive.

Heritage walks

For the super busy dad, there is no excuse for not walking. Ditch the car and walk to the park. Skip the lift and climb the stairs.

Better yet, join a heritage walking tour (Manilakad 09163597888) and learn more about our history and culture.

Try Manilakad’s best seller, Manila Night Walk, featuring Quiapo, Bonifacio Circle, Intramuros, and Jones Bridge. For the month of June, the Manila Clock Tower Museum (Monday to Friday, 10 am to 3 pm) is open for walk-ins in commemoration of Manila’s Foundation Day. If you’re in the area, barring political persuasions, you might as well check out the Malacañang museums featuring Bahay Ugnayan and Teus Mansion (Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am to 4 pm).

Both Clock Tower and Malacañang Museums are free of charge and allow walk-ins at least for June. Don’t forget the National Museum (Tuesdays to Sundays, 9 am to 6 pm).

Best Weekend Adventure

If these metro walks are not enough, why don’t you try the Best Weekend Adventure? This is a combination of hiking (Tagaytay Ridge), heritage walks (Taal town), and diving (San Luis), all in one weekend! For beach bums, head off to Cagbalete Island off Mauban for the whitest sand and clearest water east of Manila

The Roof at Joy Nostalg

Music-wise, treat your dad to a night out at My Brother’s Moustache Folk Bar at Sct. Tuason or Tago Jazz Bar at Main Avenue in Cubao. He surely longs to hear again the music of yesteryears.

For the best sunset view, have some Aperol Spritz at The Roof of Joy Nostalg Hotel at ADB Avenue in Ortigas Center. On Father’s Day, also at The Roof,  treat your dad to an unforgettable experience of mouthwatering local dishes and a refreshing bundle of craft beer from Carabao Brewing. At the comfort of your home, book a massage therapist to give your dad a full body massage. Or buy your dad a massage chair that he will relish for the rest of his life.

You can also keep it simple. Go to mass together, engage in a conversation or share some drinks.

After all, your dad is still your best friend forever (bff).

Contact details:

Apple Quezon Peralta

Pickleball coach


[email protected]

Gordz Gojunco

SSI Instructor Trainer


George Ordoña

Swimming Instructor


Manilakad Heritage Walks and Best Weekend Adventure


Jun Paganpan

Squash Instructor


Beer, Buffet & the Best Dad

Father’s Day Special at The Roof, Joy~Nostalg Hotel,

17 ADB Avenue,

Ortigas Center


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JP Ordoña (Manilakad) leads Manilakad Walks in Intramuros, Binondo, Quiapo and more. Let him guide you to several walking destinations in Manila. Manilakad (JP Ordoña) can be reached on Facebook Messenger or through text at 09163597888.

Banner image from Freepik