10 Traditional Filipino Games You Can Teach Your Kids
You can learn more about Filipino culture when you know more about traditional games the children play in their neighborhood. Larong Pinoy are creative games that don’t need gadgets or other expensive things. They can be played by anyone of any economic status. These traditional Filipino games require only one thing—for you to have fun.
Most Played Traditional Filipino Games
There are so many traditional Filipino games that can be played indoors and outdoors. Here are some of the most common ones you might have heard about already.
See videos at the end
Every Filipino child knows this game. All you need to play tumbang preso is a slipper and a tin can. The person who is “it” guards the tin can, and each player takes turns trying to hit the can. Once a player hits the can, they must retrieve the slipper and the “it” will place the tin can back in position. If the player does not hit the can, he will become the next “it.”
Patintero is a game that involves many players. They are divided into two teams. This is one of those traditional Filipino games you can often see children play on the streets. Horizontal lines are drawn to signify the position of the players on Team A. A vertical line is drawn across the horizontal lines and one player is assigned to that line.
This is similar to the game of tag. The objective of the game is for members of Team B to cross all the lines and go back without being touched by any of the players assigned to the lines. The members of Team A can only move in the direction of their assigned line.
Luksong baka literally means “jump over a cow.” The player assigned to be the “it” plays the cow. He starts off crouching as low as he can while the players jump over him. Gradually, the “it” rises or moves up. If one of the players does not leapfrog over him successfully, that player will become the new “it.”
A variation of this came is called luksong tinik or jump over thorns. In that game, two players line up their feet and hands to make a tower while a third player tries to jump over.
Piko is the Pinoy version of hopscotch. They throw the pamato, which is usually a stone or small ball in one of the boxes drawn out in chalk. Whoever successfully throws and retrieves the stone wins the game.
Agawan base is popular among elementary school students. There are two teams who are each guarding their “base.” The objective of the game is to tag or touch the base of the opposite team without being caught by that team. If you are caught, you become their prisoner. Your own team members may rescue you by tagging you from the enemy’s base. The teams set an agreement of how many tags they can do before being declared winners
This game is not limited to the Filipino culture. Playing house can be seen in many children’s games across the globe. The Filipino version is called bahay-bahayan.
Chinese garter or Chinese jump rope is popular among grade school girls. All you need is a long garter. There are two teams in this game. This game starts off easy, with the garter very low to the floor, and everyone in the playing team has to cross from one side to the other by jumping over the garter. After each round is cleared, the garter progressively moves higher and higher. If one of the playing team members does not successfully jump over the garter, the other team gets their turn to play.
Langit means heaven and lupa means earth. The “it” has to stay on the earth while the other players try to stay in heaven. The “it” has to try tagging the players so that they stay on earth and become the next “it.”
In sawsaw suka, one of the players places his index finger in the palm of the other player’s hand and he sings a chant. Once the chant ends, the player with the open palm has to try to catch the index finger.
Teks is a card game. It is played using standard size cards that are printed with cartoon characters. Each player places a betting card on the floor, then the other players hits the card with another card. If the betting card and the hitting card face the same way, the player gets to keep all of them.
Many kids now prefer to stay indoors playing on their gadgets or computers. These traditional Filipino games need to be kept alive before they are forgotten by the younger generation. The government has pushed for these traditional games to be taught to kids because they are such an important part of our culture. In fact, some universities in the country offer Philippine Games as a PE subject as part of their way to preserve Pinoy culture.