Kwento Kwentuhan

Larong Pinoy

Liza of “A Maui Blog”

Back in the days when we were growing up, there were no iPhones, iPads and video games. Children went out to the street to play. Today it’s different. Most kids are stuck on their electronics and rarely go outside to enjoy the nature and play in person with other kids. Sure, there are some “games” but it’s organized sports supervised by adults and not the usual pick-up games kids play among themselves.

It’s time to share some of our indigenous creative fun games to our kids, nieces, nephews and even to the neighbors’ kids who play with your kids. Let’s talk about a few games we used to play when we were younger. This Kwento-Kwentuhan will give us warm memories and a feeling of nostalgia.

1. Sipa

Sipa literally means to kick. This game can be fun and addicting, and keep a skilled player occupied for hours and hours.

Sipa literally means kick. In this article, sipa pertains to the traditional Pinoy game and the object used to play the game. The game involves the use of an object made usually with a washer, colorful threads and strings. When I used to play sipa in the summertime at the province, we also used a bunch of gumamela (hibiscus) leaves tied with rubber bands. That was my favorite kind of sipa because I could hold it up in the air for a long time.

Here is how the game goes: the sipa is thrown in the air and kept in the air usually by kicking it. The goal is to not let the sipa hit the ground by kicking it before it falls. The player needs to keep count how many times he or she has hit the sipa before it hits the ground. The player with the highest count wins the game.

2. Luksong Baka and Luksong Tinik

Luksong Tinik (above) or jumping over the thorns, is a variation of Luksong Baka or jumping over the cow. The goal is not to touch the “thorns.”

Lukso means jump, so these two games are basically jumping games.

Luksong baka translated as jumping over a cow is a traditional Pinoy game that involves players jumping over one player called baka or cow. The objective is for all players to jump over the cow without touching him or her or falling over. Anyone who touches or falls over becomes the new cow. There are various positions of the cow, from low (easy to jump over) to high (more challenging but you can hand touch the back of the cow—only the back, as you jump).

Luksong tinik is a variation of luksong baka. It is translated as jump over the thorns. The game is played by having two players serve as the base of the thorns by putting their feet and hands together. The other players jump over the thorns and the goal is not to touch or fall on them. The height of the thorns is increased every round.

3. Tumbang Preso

This simple game involves the use of a small empty can (an empty 12 oz soup can will do) and slippers. This should be a fun game to teach here on Maui as the kids often wear slippers anyway. Also, we used to play this on the road with less vehicular traffic; this would be a good game to play on the sandy area of the beach.

One of the players (the “it”) guards the can from getting hit and toppled over by any of the other players’ slippers. The other players stay behind a line a few meters away and the it cannot tag players who are within that area. The main goal of the other players is to knock down the can. When the can is toppled over, the it puts the can back in a guard base which is a few meters from the area where the other players are staying. A player who gets tagged while retrieving his or her slippers becomes the new it.

4. Piko

Piko is a game where the players draw a big image on the floor filled mostly of box-like shapes, which they will hop on and around using only a single foot. As you can tell, this is a variation of the game we know here in the States as Hopscotch.

There are different rules on how to play the game but the most common is to have a pamato. Pamato is usually a flat piece of stone but you can use other materials that is placed on one of the boxes and the owner cannot step on the box where his or her pamato is placed. My favorite pamato then was a piece of banana peel because it sticks. When finished hopping around, he or she moves the pamato on the next box until it reaches the topmost box. The first to finish wins the game.

There are many more like Siato, Patintero, Agawa, Taguan but you get the idea. These Filipino street games are so much fun and provide good exercise as well. Do you have fun memories of playing in the street with one of these Filipino games? Share about it with us!

Liza Pierce of A Maui Blog is an Interactive Media Strategist in Hawai‘i. She started blogging in 2006 and she loves talking story online and spreading aloha around the world. She’s been living on Maui since 1994 and considers Maui her home. A wife, a mother, a friend…and so much more. She loves Jesus; Maui Sunsets Catcher; Crazy About Rainbow; End Alzheimer’s Advocate. Her life is full and exciting here on the island of Maui. Liza is currently the Interactive Media Strategist with Wailea Realty Corp.