Press Release
April 19, 2018


Senator Sonny Angara is pushing for the inclusion of darts as a full-fledged sport in local and international arena, saying it is comparable to other games that require skills, discipline and precision.

The senator said he was throwing his full support to efforts to make darts a part of sports competition here and abroad, particularly in the upcoming ASEAN Games.

"May mga nagsasabi na ang darts raw ay larong pang-inuman lamang," said Angara, who has earned the monicker the "Sports Senator" for carrying the causes aimed at uplifting the sports community in the country.

"But I would argue that it's more than that," added the lawmaker, "because of the growing popularity of darts across the globe."

Angara was guest of honor today at the 1st Philippine Open 2018 - International Darts Tournament in Leyte. It has drawn competitors from 14 other countries.

Research would should that the TV viewership of the world championships organized by the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), the most popular association comprising of darters from all over, continues to grow. In the 2015-2016 PDC World Championship, the number of TV viewers hit 6.86 million, or an increase of about 20 percent from the previous year, and in Canada alone, TV viewership tripled during the same period.

Angara believes that darts is a sport wherein Filipinos can excel in, citing the international achievements in the past of local darters like Melvin Kent Pelona and Lovely Mae Orbeta who won the Selangor 2018 Dart Championship organized by the Malaysia Dart Association last February; Lourence Ilagan who clinched the top spot from compatriot Christian Perez during the World 2013 Soft Darts Championships in Hong Kong; and Filipino-Austrian Rowby John Rodriguez who won the Austrian National Championships in 2010.

"Darts demand skills, precision, discipline, and maybe enough athleticism to be considered a full-fledged sport. It's a game that anybody can play as long as they can throw an arrow. Lahat pwedeng makasama--matangkad man or maliit, kaliwete man o kanan," the vice chair of the Senate sports committee said.

At the same time, Angara expressed hope that the 1st Philippine Open-International Darts Tournament would set the stage for more international competitions for the country.

"Now is the time for the rest of the world to know that not only Filipinos know how to play a good game of darts. They also know how to run world-class tournaments."

He lauded former Rep. Bem Noel and his colleagues from the Darts Organization of Tacloban and the National Darts Federation of the Philippines for organizing the event, which has attracted participants from the US, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Croatia, Poland, Austria, England, France, Indonesia and Brunei.

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