Manila '10 - How To Play Funky Bowling, Bowling For Team-Building

Bowling had always been a timeless sport in Manila. There was a time when our family went bowling in malls for consecutive weekends as a bonding activity. It was a fun sport that my mother played with her sisters when they were young and it was an activity that my uncle played with his friends during their time. They say some daughters and sons inherited their parent's "skill" even if we were all newbies. It was a chance for every parent to teach their own style of bowling to their kids even without the help of professionals. Every spare and every strike was met with an applause and cheers among temporary teammates. This was the time when I hypothesized that I had to have a heavier ball to hit more pins. This theory was developed along with my billiards playing secret (billiards was in season too because you could find it at the same location). It was "Lakas Tira, Lakas Chamba" if played for fun.


From regular bowling, the fad turned to duckpin bowling where the ball was way lighter and the game was more kiddie-friendly but duckpin bowling sites were all tucked away mostly in family vacation resorts. While all those were happening, competition bowling also had a share of the spotlight. Of course, there was the warning that playing bowling professionally, regularly or seriously could ruin your good racket sport arm for badminton or table tennis or tennis. Over the years, the passion for leisure bowling (we still have bowling tournaments) died down as good bowling lanes became harder to find (I heard bowling lane wood and machines are a big investment). I highly attributed my frequent gutter-strikes to the lumps formed due to years of alley overuse. Some bowling centers did have a no-gutter option that produced a synthetic and superficial sense of accomplishment.

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Photo Courtesy of Anton

There's another form of bowling that is making its way to the market today and it is as revolutionary as its name. Do you fancy a game of FUNKY BOWLING? The mechanics might just bring back the fun bowling nights of yesteryears. Funky bowling gives us forever newbies a valid but happy excuse for more gutter-strikes! Bowling may just be your kind of thing. Go ahead, release your stress and have fun doing a unique revival of a classic bonding activity. Only in Manila and Cebu.

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Enlarge and Print This Stunt Coupon I Made Before You Go Funky Bowling!

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Where To Go Funky Bowling in Manila

It is getting normal to play funky bowling (at normal bowling rates per game per person) and roll your way to good times at mall hours (10 a.m. to 9 p.m. usually) in SM Mall of Asia, SM City North Edsa, SM City Fairview and SM City Cebu. (Note: You can also do Bowl-In-The-Dark in SM at certain times although they might take it out soon. The floor has some neon lights and if you wear something white, you'll glow!) I can't vouch that you won't be stopped from doing funky bowling at other bowling centers not listed here.


Things to Bring / Do Not Forget

1. Do not forget to bring socks. It might just cost you an extra P30 to P60 in the bowling center or at the nearest department store. 
2. Do not forget to warm up for the games. I swear I twisted something, somewhere at the back of my legs, because I didn't expect funky bowling to be harder than regular bowling.
3. Do not forget to bring a low-light friendly camera or video camera. Nobody can stop you from capturing your peers' awkward moments.
4. Do not forget to dress comfortably. I was planning on wearing a middle-length dress to spice things up a bit and make it more challenging (as if funky bowling wasn't hard enough). Of course, the thoughts of slipping and injuring myself loomed over the grand idea.
4. Do not forget that there are shoe rental fees (P30 unlimited games for SM MOA) on top of bowling rates (around P110 to P140 per person per game).
5. Sometimes, there are tournaments or limited lanes (ideally 4 people per lane) so if you are willing to wait, you will normally be wait-listed by the cashier.
6. Know your right bowling ball weight. Do not ruin your hand eternally for a game. I hope/wish bowling centers could advocate and offer a free correct weighing and proper handling assistance for all of us. They do it for a professional wanna-be right? So that we don't end up with strained hands after 1 or 2 games and don't want to play anymore.
7. Bring a LOT of courageous and fun-loving people to encourage the shy and traditional ones in the group. 
8. Bring an extra big blindfold just in case this apparatus is available. It is actually a bowling aid for kids, the blind and the handicapped. Just ask the SM lane men for assistance =)

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9. Print out the stunt coupon in this post as a guide. Cut per stunt, roll them up and draw lots if you want. 
10. Eat out or eat while playing (Sunset Boulevard at SM MOA bowling has a good selection, especially the Pinoy pork barbeque.)

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How To Play Funky Bowling

Toss out your old bowling style and be open to experience more challenging and unconventional ways of playing bowling. Funky bowling brings back the idea of playing for fun and creativity in bowling. It would surely foster team-building among family members, friends and office mates. 

Photo Courtesy of Anton

The game could be individual at 10 frames (all 10 different bowling styles, highest score) or per team (draw lots for different bowling styles, highest score). You can do anything you want (safely and not disturbing other traditional bowlers) in funky bowling. 

You determine the rules of the game but make sure to tell everybody before the game. Just tell them this is how funky bowling is played to hear the end of it!

Go Funky Bowl!
Here are a few examples of the modernized and funky bowling styles.

Funky Bowling Style # 1
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Have someone stand with legs apart in front of the bowler. Have the bowler roll the ball under that someone's legs. For that someone standing with legs apart, you can see what's coming so be careful.

Funky Bowling Style # 2
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Blindfold the bowler and have someone assist him all the way (like dropping the ball and guiding him) to the bowling aid until he drops the ball.

Funky Bowling Style # 3
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Perfect Example Photo, Courtesy of FPJ

Have the bowler bowl backwards and throw the ball between his legs.

Funky Bowling Style # 4
Photo Courtesy of Abet

Have the bowler throw the ball while on his knees.

Funky Bowling Style # 5
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Perfect Practice Shot Photo Model, Courtesy of Iris, Now - Face The Other Way

Have the bowler throw the ball between his legs.

Funky Bowling Style # 6
Have the bowler spin in circles 5 times then throw the ball immediately. Sometimes, bowlers fall from disorientation after they throw.

Funky Bowling Style # 7
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Photo Courtesy of Iris

Have the bowler sit in Indian style then roll the ball.

Funky Bowling Style # 8
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Photo Courtesy of Iris

Have the bowler sit on the floor then push the ball forward with his feet. A slow ball like mine was not normal but it was fun.

Funky Bowling Style # 9
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Photo Courtesy of Anton

Have the bowler lie down facing the pins then push the ball forward with his hands.

Funky Bowling Style # 10
Have the bowler do a moonwalk in slow motion backwards (facing the audience) going to the lane then turn and throw the ball immediately.

I have taught you all I know about funky bowling. Play and have fun at your own risk. Feel free to omit the styles you don't like. This is my take when playing funky bowling for fun: Remember to always do funky bowling with multiple supervision. Assign spotters on opposite sides of the bowler just in case he falls or something. Always remind the bowler not to drop the ball anywhere else and shout if anything goes out of control. Perform funky bowling one person at a time. Finally, go to a place where funky bowling is acceptable or be discreet (choose the not-so-drastic ones).

Here are a few suggestions I came up with on how to play funky bowling:
1. I suggest playing Funky Bowling Style # 1 patintero-style (then throw within 5 seconds) if there is nobody around to stop you. 
2. Change the moonwalk in Funky Bowling Style # 10 to any dance move. 
3. Make your friends do the duck walk all the way to the lane then throw the ball at that position.
4. See who among you can throw the slowest moving ball without ruining the scores. I could win the slowest ball challenge but not the game at my rate.
5. Imitate some professional bowlers by lounging very close to the ground first then throw the ball at that position.
6. Imitate some professional bowlers by raising their other feet up first like a curtsy then throw the ball at that position.
7. Balance in one foot while throwing the ball.
8. Set a particular weight of a ball for all people.
9. Use the opposite hand to throw the ball and not the usual bowling hand.

Enjoy Funky Bowling in Manila!

Funky Bowling Team - Iris, Don, Me and Marnell!
Photo Courtesy of Anton

Here's our team score for those shared 10 frames. Hey, we had fun (and sharing is not allowed, supposedly, in funky bowling)!


For other team-building bowling tournament options, check out this pamphlet.