Abstract Two new cases of association of adakites with ‘normal’ island arc lavas and transitional adakites are recognized in the islands of Batan and Negros in northern and central Philippines, respectively. The Batan lavas are related to the subduction of the middle Miocene portion of the South China Sea basin along the Manila trench; those of Negros come from the almost aseismic subduction of the middle Miocene Sulu Sea crust along the Negros trench. The occurrence of the Batan adakites is consistent with previous findings showing adakitic glass inclusions within minerals of mantle xenoliths associated with Batan arc lavas. The similarity of adakite ages (1.09 Ma) and that of the metasomatized xenoliths (1 Ma) suggests that both are linked to the same slab-melting and metasomatic event. Earlier Sr, Pb and Nd-isotopic studies, however, also reveal the presence of an important sediment contribution to the Batan lava geochemistry. Thus, the role played by slab melts, assumed to have mid-ocean ridge basalts-like (MORB) isotopic characteristics, in enriching the Batan subarc mantle is largely masked by the sediment input. The Negros adakites are present only in Mount Cuernos, the volcanic center nearest to the Negros trench. Batch partial melting calculations show that the Negros adakites could be derived from a garnet amphibolitic source with normal-MORB (N-MORB) geochemistry. This is supported by the MORB-like isotopic characteristics of the Mount Cuernos lavas. The volcanic rocks from the other volcanoes consist of normal arc and transitional adakitic lavas that have slightly higher Sr- and Pb-isotopic ratios, probably due to slight sediment input. Mixing of adakites and normal arc lavas to produce transitional adakites is only partly supported by trace element geochemistry and not by field evidence. The transitional adakites can be modeled as partial melts of an adakite-enriched mantle. Trace element enrichment of non-adakitic lavas could reflect the interaction of their mantle source with uprising slab melts, as metasomatic mantle minerals scavenge certain trace elements from the adakitic fluids. Therefore, in arcs beneath which thick (up to 2 km) continent-derived detrital sediments are involved in subduction, like in Batan, the sediment signature can overwhelm the slab melt input. In arcs like Negros where slow subduction could cause a more efficient scraping of thinner (approximately 1 km) detrital sediments, the contribution of slab melts is easier to detect.