Photo courtesy Martyn Willes
The Manila Boat Club (the Philippine rowing club) opens it doors to all in January and offers indulgence in a fascinating piece of history on the banks of the largely misunderstood Pasig River.
The Manila Boat Club is the oldest sports club in the Philippines. Originally an integral part of the Manila Club, the Manila Boat Club was formed in 1895 when the Manila Club relocated inland from their former Manila Bay-front location and left the rowing section high-and-dry. The Manila Boat Club finally found a permanent home in the Santa Ana District of Manila City, on the Pasig River, in 1932.
Famous throughout the first three quarters of the 20th century, the Manila Boat Club was a playground for rowing enthusiasts and squash players from around the World. Half the membership was expatriate until the middle of the Marcos era, when martial law moved into Metro Manila and so many businesses moved out. The remaining, mostly Filipino membership, enthusiastic about squash but not so much about rowing, moved to other, newer sports clubs and the Manila Boat Club suffered a decline in membership until the dawn of the 21st century.
Newly revitalised with an influx of young Filipino and expatriate rowing enthusiasts, the Manila Boat Club is growing again.
You could not ask for a more attractive venue than the grounds of the Manila Boat Club — on the Pasig River, with river boats and river birds frequently calling as they pass by, at all hours of the day and night. The Manila Boat Club occupies prime-view real estate, with manicured lawns and a rustic clubhouse complete with upstairs restaurant & bar, three squash courts, boat storage and possibly the most attractive veranda (overlooking the Pasig River) anywhere in the metropolis. And the Manila Boat Club is just a few minutes from Makati City Central Business District and a handful of minutes from Manila City.
Every year members of the Royal Selangor Club (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and the Grasshoppers Rowing Club (Zurich, Switzerland) visit the Manila Boat Club and participate in a growing number of club activities.
The Manila Boat Club’s gardens and clubhouse facilities are available for bookings for parties, seminars and meetings, and any other legal event that would benefit from either, the romance of the Pasig River as a backdrop or, rowing as a focused team building activity.
On 31st January at 9.00am, the Manila Boat Club will open its doors to the public. For a small fee you can sample the delights of the Manila Boat Club including rowing on the Pasig River. If you are interested to become a member of the Manila Boat Club then the joining fee is Php5,000 and annual dues are Php12,000.
If you want to become a member of the oldest sports club in the Philippines or, if you want to learn to perfect your rowing skills, then the Manila Boat Club is your goal. Join today na!
If you are not sure if you want to be a member then come to Santa Ana on the 31st January 2010 when the Manila Boat Club (Rowing) opens its doors for you to check out the venue, the people and the action on the water.
Manila Boat Club Rowing Open Day event details
Manila Boat Club website
Makati City webcam
Manila Bay South webcam