20th century is the age of technology. Most of the children I see today, owns a cellphone, a local mp3 player, a digicam, or loves sitting in front of the computer playing DOTA (or any MMORPG for that matter), or playing Farmville on Facebook.
It’s has been like three weeks since the children and kids here in our neighborhood had their summer vacation. And the cool and awesome thing is, they are spending most of the afternoon playing outside. I was talking to my girlfriend the other day that with the PC games, online gaming and gaming consoles being popular with kids, most of them don’t even go out to play games like patintero or maybe taguan, resulting with children being lazy & fat (don’t look at me, that’s just what I noticed!).
Most of these children have health risks, because of not getting any exercise, and wearing glasses because of spending a lot of time in front of a TV or Computer.
It’s sad because most of the children thinks it fun to be a techy, it actually is but they are missing all the fun that comes with playing these traditional games,
I guess I just want to reintroduce some of the Traditional Games in the Philippines. So here goes…
There are two teams with two bases. How many players on each team depends on the players. There are two bases which each team claims as their own. The goal is to tag the other team’s base without getting tagged. If you’re tagged, you’re transferred to the other team and must be rescued. There are several variations in which the rules are changed, in some, you can connect other items on the base so you can easily touch the base.
There are usually set points, such as first team to tag the other team 5 times wins. You can tag other people who has touched their base before you and are on the opposite team. If they’ve touched their base after you’ve touched your base, they can tag you, and you can’t tag them.
Agawang sulok – catch and own a corner – The it or tagger stands in the middle of the ground. The players in the corners will try to exchange places by running from one base to another. The it should try to secure a corner or base by rushing to any of those when it is vacant. This is called “agawan base” in some variants, and “bilaran” in others.
Araw-lilim – sun and shade – The it or tagger tries to tag or touch any of the players who is in direct contact with the light.
A role-playing game where children act as members of an imaginary family, sometimes to the extent that one of them becomes the family “pet.” They then act out various household situations such as dinner, going to mass, and the like.
A hand-clapping game generally involving 4 people. They are split into two pairs, a pair having 2 people facing each other, and all members from both pairs facing the center (the two pairs being perpendicular to each other). Each pair then does a hand clapping “routine” while singing the “bahay kubo.” At the middle of the song, each pair exchanges “routines” with the other.
This is a hitting and catching game. This game is played outdoors only by two or more players.
To play this game, 2 pieces of bamboo sticks (1 long, 1 short) are required. A player acts as a batter and stands opposite the others players at a distance. The batter holds the long bamboo stick with one hand and tosses the short one with the other hand. The batter then strikes the shorter stick with the longer stick. The other players will attempt to catch the flying shorter stick. Whoever catches the stick gets the turn to be the next batter. If nobody catches the stick, any player can pick it up. The batter then puts down the longer stick on the ground. The holder of the shorter stick will throw it with the attempt to hit the longer stick on the ground. If the longer stick is hit, the hitter becomes the next Batter. If the player with the shorter stick misses to hit the longer one, the same batter will continue.
Bulong-Pari – whisper it to the priest – It is composed of two teams and an it. The leader of team A goes to the priest and whispers one of the names of the players of team B. Then he returns to his place and the priest calls out, “Lapit!” (“Approach!”). One of the players of team B should approach the priest, and if it happens to be the one whom the leader of team A mentioned, the priest will say, “Boom” or “Bung!” The player then falls out of line and stays somewhere near the priest as a prisoner.
A rough circle is drawn on the ground and one person from the group is tagged. He is not allowed to enter the circle, but instead has to touch one of the people inside the circle without having entered it. If he succeeds, he can enter the circle, and the person touched becomes the next one tagged.
This is an outdoor game by two to ten players. Accurate targeting is the skill developed in this game because the objective of each player is to hit the anak (small stones or objects) with the use of the pamato (big, flat stone), trying to send it to the hole.
A small hole is dug in the ground, and a throwing line is drawn opposite the hole (approx 5 to 6 metres (16 to 20 ft) away from the hole). A longer line is drawn between the hole and the throweing line. Each player has a pamato and an anak. All the anak are placed on the throwing line, and players try to throw their pamato into the hole from the throwing line. The Player whose pamato is in the hole or nearest the hole will have the chance for the first throw. Using the pamato, the first thrower tries to hit the anak, attempting to send it to the hole. Players take turns in hitting their anak until one of them gets into the hole, with the players taking turns a complete round and so on. The game goes on until only one anak is left outside the hole. All players who get their anak inside the hole are declared winners, while the one with the anak left outside the hole is the alila (loser) or muchacho. Alila or Muchacho will be ‘punished’ by all the winner/s as follows:
Winners stand at the throwing line with their anak beyond line A-B (longer line between hole and throwing line). The winners hit their anak with their pamato. The muchacho picks up the pamato and returns it to the owner. The winners repeat throwing as the muchacho keeps on picking up and returning the pamato as punishment. Winners who fail to hit their respective anak will stop throwing. The objective is to tire the loser as punishment. When all are through, the game starts again.
Two people hold both ends of a stretched garter horizontally while the others attempt to cross over it. The goal is to cross without having tripped on the garter. With each round, the garter’s height is made higher than the previous round (the game starts with the garter at ankle-level, followed by knee-level, until the garter is positioned above the head). The higher rounds demand dexterity, and the players generally leap with their feet first in the air, so their feet cross over the garter, and they end up landing on the other side. Also, with the higher levels, doing cartwheels to “cross” the garter is allowed.
Declan ruki – I declare, do it! – Participants are told to do something by the winner of the previous games. It is similar to the American Simon Says.
This is the local game of marbles in the Philippines. It is also sometimes called “jolen.”
Iring-Iring – go round and round until the hanky drops – After the it is determined, he or she goes around the circle and drops a handkerchief behind one of the players in the circle. If this player notices the handkerchief, he or she has to pick up the handkerchief and go after the it around the circle. The it has to reach the vacant spot left by the player before the it is tagged; otherwise, the it has to take the handkerchief and repeat the process all over again.
Jack ‘en Poy
The local version of “rocks, papers, and scissors”.Though the spelling seems American in influence, the game is really Japanese in origin (with the lyrics in the Japanese version sounding very similar to the “gibberish” sung in the Philippines).
Juego de Anillo
A game notably Spanish in influence. The name literally translates to “game of rings.” It involves riding a horse while holding a dagger and “catching” rings hanging from a tree or some other structure using the dagger.
Juego de Prenda
Juego de prenda – game of looking for the missing bird – There is no limit to the number of players that can play. Players sit in a circle with the leader in the middle. Each player adopts a name of a tree or flower that is given by the leader. The leader recounts the story of a lost bird that was owned by a king. He or she says, The bird of the king was lost yesterday. Did you find it, Ylang-Ylang? The player who adopted the name of the Ylang-Ylang tree at once answers that he or she has not found it, so the leader continues to ask the other trees whether the bird has hidden in them. If a player cannot answer after the third count, he or she is made to deposit a thing he or she owns to the leader until the leader has been able to gather a lot of things from the members.
Kapitang bakod – touch the post, or you’re it! or hold on to the fence – When the it or tagger is chosen, the other players run from place to place and save themselves from being tagged by holding on to a fence, a post, or any object made of wood or bamboo.
Langit-lupa – heaven and earth – One “It” chases after players who are allowed to run on level ground (lupa) and clamber over objects (langit). The “It” may tag players who remain on the ground, but not those who are standing in the “langit” (heaven). The tagged player then becomes “It” and the game continues.
A game of Indian influence. Basically game of tag, except here, the divide into two teams,the “it” team members get to hold the ball, passing it between themselves, with the of the ball touching the head of the other (not “it”) team.
Lawin at Sisiw (“Hawk and Chicken”)
This game is played by 10 or more players. It can be played indoors or outdoors.
One player is chosen as the ‘hawk’ and another as the ‘hen’. The other players are the ‘chickens’. The chickens stand one behind the other, each holding the waist of the one in front. The hen stands in front of the file of chickens.
The hawk will ‘buy’ a chicken from the hen. The hawk will then take the chicken, asks him/her to hunt for food and goes to sleep. While the hawk is asleep, the chicken will return to the hen. The Hawk wakes up and tries to get back the chicken he bought while the hen and other chickens prevent the hawk from catching the chicken. If the hawk succeeds, the chicken is taken and punished. If the hawk fails to catch the chicken, the hawk will try to buy another chicken.
Luksong-tinik – jump over the thorns – Two players serve as the base of the tinik (thorn) by putting their right or left feet together (soles touching gradually building the tinik). A starting point is set by all the players, giving enough runway for the players to achieve a higher jump, so as not to hit the tinik. Players of the other team start jumping over the tinik, followed by the other team members.
Palo-sebo – greased bamboo pole climbing – This game involves a greased bamboo pole that players attempt to climb. This games is usually played during town fiestas, particularly in the provinces. The objective of the participants is to be the first person to reach the prize—a small bag—located at the top of the bamboo pole. The small bag usually contains money or toys.
Patintero or harangang taga – try to cross my line without letting me to touch or catch you – Each member of the group who is it stands on the water lines. The perpendicular line in the middle allows the it designated on that line to intersect the lines occupied by the it that the parallel line intersects, thus increasing the chances of the runners to be trapped.even only one(1) member of a group is tagged the whole group will be the “it”.
Piko – hopscotch – The players stand behind the edge of a box, and each should throw their cue ball. The first to play is determined depending on the players’ agreement (e.g. nearest to the moon, wings or chest). Whoever succeeds in throwing the cue ball nearest to the place that they have agreed upon will play first. The next nearest is second, and so on.
This game involves 2 players. One covers his eyes with a hand while the other flicks a finger (pitik) over the hand covering the eyes. The person with the covered eyes gives a number with his hand the same time the other does. If their numbers are the same, then they exchange roles in the game.
Sambunot is a Philippine game which may be played outdoors by ten or more players, but not to exceed twenty. The goal in the game is to get the coconut husk out of the circle.
A circle is drawn on the floor, big enough to accommodate the number of players. A coconut husk is placed at the center of the circle. The players position themselves inside the circle. At the signal ″GO,″ players will rush to the center to get the coconut husk. Players may steal the coconut husk from another player in an attempt to be the one to take the husk put of the circle. A player who is successful in getting out of the circle with the coconut husk wins, and the game starts again.
The name literally translates to “dip into vinegar.” The “it” has his palm open while the other players touch this with their index fingers, singing “sawsaw suka/ mahuli taya!” which translates to “dip into the vinegar/the last one (or the caught one) becomes “it”. And indeed, the “it” tries to catch any player’s finger at the end of the song.
Sipa – game of kick – The object being used to play the game is also called sipa. It is made of a washer with colorful threads, usually plastic straw, attached to it. The sipa is then thrown upwards for the player toss using his/her foot. The player must not allow the sipa to touch the ground by hitting it several times with his/her foot, and sometimes the part just above the knee. The player must count the number of times he/she was able to kick the sipa. The one with most number of kicks wins the game. Sipa is also the term used for the Filipino variant of Sepak Takraw.this game is called”pambansang laro”.
Taguan – hide and seek in America. What is unique in Tagu-Taguan compared to its counterpart, hide and seek, is that this game is usually played at sunset or at night as a challenge for the it to locate those who are hiding.
Takip-silim – twilight game, look out, cover yourself! or take-cover game! – Participants usually step on couches, hide under tables, or wrap themselves in curtains – much to the dismay of neat-freak parents.
A game involving 2 pairs, with one utilizing a stretched length of garter. One pair faces each other from a distance and has the garter stretched around them in such a way that a pair of parallel lengths of garter is between them. The members of the other pair, then begin doing a jumping “routine” over the garters while singing a song (“ten, twenty, thirty, and so on until one hundred). Each level begins with the garters at ankle-height and progresses to higher positions, with the players jumping nimbly on the garters while doing their routines.
A game variant of the tinikling dance, with the same goal – for the players to dance nimbly over the clapping bamboo “maw” without having their ankles caught.
Tsato – stick game, better be good at it – Two players, one flat stick (usually 3′) and one short flat piece of wood (4″ usually a piece cut from the flat stick).
Player A hitter and Player B as the catcher. Played outside on the ground where you dig a small square hole (slanted) where you put the small wood so it sticks out.
Player A hits the wood with the stick so it catches air enough to be hit by the stick.
The further the wood gets hit the more points you get (usually counted by the number of stick length
Player B on the other hand has to anticipate and catch the small piece of wood to nullify the points and become his turn OR looks forward to Player A to miss hitting the wood.
Tumbang Preso is a popular Filipino street game also known as Presohan.
The game requires 3 or more players. Each player is provided with a large throw-away object (could be slippers or a shoe) called “pamato”. A semi-flattened empty tin or plastic container (the size of an 8 or 12 oz. tins) is placed in upright position 6 or 8 meters from the throwing line. A player is drawn as the prisoner (usually through a system like Jack en Poy). The prisoner will guard the empty tin or container.
The other players stand at the throwing line. They take turns throwing their “pamato” at the empty tin, trying to knock it down. As soon as the can is knocked down, the prisoner must put back the tin in upright position before he can tag the any of the players attempting to recover their “pamato”. If the “pamato” becomes too close to the tin in an upright position, so that the prisoner can step on both with one foot, the owner of the “pamato” becomes the new “prisoner”. The prisoner can also tag the players while recovering their “pamato” outside the throwing line.
After each throw, a player must recover his “pamato”. Should he be tagged by the prisoner before he reaches the throwing line, he becomes the prisoner in the next game.
Ubusan lahi – game of conquer – One tries to conquer the members of a group (as in claiming the members of another’s clan). The tagged player from the main group automatically becomes an ally of the tagger. The more players, the better. The game will start with only one it and then try to find and tag other players. Once one player is tagged, he or she then will help the it to tag the other players until no other participant is left. Some people also know this a Bansai.
Teks or teks game cards – texted game cards – Filipino children collect these playing cards which contain comic strips and texts placed within speech balloons. They are played by tossing them to the air until they hit the ground. The cards are flipped upwards through the air using the thumb and the forefinger which creates a snapping sound as the nail of the thumb hits the surface of the card. The winner or gainer collect the other players’ card depending on how the cards are laid out upon hitting or landing on the ground.
Remember the times that you played some of these games, and the fun you had while playing it. We can still teach these games to the next generation. You can even tell your children, nieces or grand children that when rotating brownouts occur these games are always “saved”.