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About Archery in Philippines

From being a means to combat enemies as well as hunt animals for game in the ancient times to being a competitive sport throughout the globe, archery has now evolved into a recreational activity than anyone can now be able to try.

Before, archery is an elite sport that can only be played by professional athletes and hardcore enthusiasts. It gained popularity when people started to watch blockbuster films like The Hunger Games and The Avengers, with bow-wielding characters such as Katniss Everdeen and Hawkeye, respectively. Soon, more and more archery ranges opened to accommodate the growing curiosity of aspiring arrow shooters. Since then, archery has become more than just a competitive sport. More and more archery ranges started offering this experience to everyone and it soon became an activity one does for leisure as well as an activity one can share with friends and family.

Archery 101

Archery is defined as the practice of shooting arrows using a bow. The goal is simple: One must try to hit the bullseye of the target every time. The idea may be straightforward; however, the execution can be a bit complicated, especially for first-timers. There's a lot that goes into one session of archery so it's important to be prepared and to know what to expect before you even set foot on the facility.

The first thing you need to do is to know which type of archery you want to try. The most popular is target archery. Held both indoors and outdoors, it trains every archer to shoot arrows through a flat bullseye target. This type is the one offered at archery ranges and are perfect for beginner skill levels. There's also field archery, 3D archery, traditional archery, and so on and so forth for those who want to level up their game by taking their bow shooting experience outdoors and practicing on 3D targets.

Choose your weapon

Next, you need to familiarize yourself with the equipment that you'll be using. First and foremost is the bow, which is your tool for shooting the arrows through the targets. There are many types of bows available out there.

First is the traditional bow, which is designed longer than other bow types. It’s applicable for outdoors archery activities, and sometimes even for hunting. Next, we have the crossbow. This mechanical type of bow is more powerful and shoots arrows at longer ranges than other types. Aside from hunting, they are also used in archery competitions as well. Then there's the compound bow. The compound bow is a unique type of bow that is designed with a pulley system that bends the limbs in order to launch the arrow. This type is usually used for competitions. Finally, there's also the recurve bow. This type is what archery ranges usually provide for its customers, so you will most likely be handling this equipment on your archery session, but they'll be in the form of barebow, with no additional features like sights and markings that high-tech bows have in order to teach you how to aim better. In addition to target archery, this is also the only type of bow that is used in the Olympics.

Eyes on the target

Since target archery is what you'll be experiencing at an archery range, a 2D stationary recurve shooting target is what you'll be working with. Most shooting targets are made of paper and feature a concentric circle design with 10 rings and 5 colors: yellow in the center (the bullseye), then progressing to red, then blue, then black, and finally the white outer lines. They're usually 122 centimeters in diameter, with the concentric rings sized 12.2 cm in diameter.

It employs a point system of one to ten, with ten counting as the bullseye. The farther you get from the center of the circle, the less points you achieve.

Aim and shoot

Aspiring archers, especially first-timers, will be taught and guided by instructors for their experience, and one of the basic things they teach is how to aim and shoot.

The first thing that one needs to work on is his stance. Stand straight before the target with your body facing sideways, except for your head which is turned towards the target. That will be the pose you will assume when you shoot.

Next, you will now grab your archery equipment and accessories. You must put on your accessories such as your finger guard, wrist sling, and quiver belt, where your arrows will be stored.

Now it's time to load your arrow onto the bow. Each arrow has a fin-shaped device called a fletching, which features three colors (one is different from the other two colors). When you stick your arrow to the bow, make sure that the odd color faces toward you. Next, you need to attach the nock of the arrow to the string of your bow until it clicks in.

Once everything is set, you can now proceed with pushing back the string of the bow and releasing the arrow to your target.

Archery ranges in the Philippines

Practicing archery in the Philippines is no different than experiencing it anywhere else. There are plenty of archery ranges all over the country so the sport is easily accessible for anyone who's interested in making it one of their hobbies.

Gandiva is one of the well-known archery brands in the country. With several branches in Metro Manila and one in Davao City as well, it aims to promote this underrated sport to the Philippines by bringing the experience closer and more accessible to everyone.

In Manila, one can enjoy an archery session at Gandiva Archery in Mandaluyong or at the branches of Arrowland by Gandiva located at SM Megamall and SM North EDSA. Meanwhile, Davaoenos can now put their archery skills to the test at Gandiva Archery located within Gaisano Mall of Davao.

Each Gandiva branch offers the complete package, including equipment rentals, beginner lessons, and assistance from the trained staff members. Meanwhile, pro archers will also find that you can buy archery equipment from Gandiva's branches. Everything from bows and arrows to accessories like finger guards are sold there.