Classic Filipino Toys That Will Make You Super Nostalgic – Part 2
Kids in the ’90s surely enjoyed their childhood with all the classic Filipino toys they could play with before. The first article of this two-part series already served the memoirs of older age justice. But we can’t help but pick up a few more. Below is another eight classic Filipino toys our ancestors spent their younger years with—and loved.
8 Classic Filipino Toys That Gave Life to the ’90s
All hooked on video games, today’s kids will never know what it feels like to play under the scorching sun. What they do as a pastime probably only involves playing Clash of Clans and Mobile Legends or listening to the “Baby Shark” song on YouTube on loop. These may be fun, but none of these can give as much fun as the ones your parents or even grandparents played with decades ago. And if you are a certified batang ’90s, these classic Filipino toys will surely make you feel nostalgic.
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Slingshot’s a classic toy, not just in the Philippines but all over the world. But Filipinos are probably the world’s most avid fan of this toy, which we call tirador, since we use this a lot to hunt for birds and get high-hanging fruits off their neighbor’s tree. And as always, Filipinos always bring their ingenuity into everything, so instead of buying it from a toy store, kids make one themselves by carving a Y-shaped piece of wood. They then look for spare tires and use a piece of it as the rubber strips of the sling with the pocket attached to it.
Although it isn’t an authentic native creation, the sarangola, or kite, surely was one of the most loved classic Filipino toys. Before, children made the most aesthetically pleasing sarangola using barbecue or broom sticks, plastic bags, and a yarn. Then they would go to the fields on a windy afternoon to fly them as high as their toy could. Whoever flew it the highest would go home with bragging rights under their belt.
Even before beyblades were introduced, the Philippines already has its counterpart—the trumpo. Because of the toy’s popularity among kids, ready-made trumpos were made for sale back in the time. But for those who couldn’t afford one, a homemade top that was made of hardwood and completed with an iron-nail pivot was more than enough.
To play it, the trumpo is wrapped with nylon strings attached to a stopper held between the fingers, then thrown on a flat surface to let it spin. The kid whose trumpo spins the longest wins the game.
4. Old Tire/Tyre
Little things mattered so much before—like old tires. You’d be lying if you’ve never seen these back in the days as old tires were one of the famous classic Filipino toys. Kids used to race to the finish line by rolling the tire with their hands or with a stick. Whoever gets to the end first is declared the winner.
5. Holen or Jolen
A small spherical toy often made from glass, clay, or agate, marbles are popular among Filipino kids in the ’90s. Locally called holen, these toys can be played indoors or outdoors and will have sitting on not-so-clean surfaces. But it’s so fun, you couldn’t care less about going home with dirty pants and shorts.
There are different variations of this game. One way is to flick a marble and hit a group of marbles inside a ring. Those that moved outside the ring automatically get added to the player’s marble collection.
As to its origin, it isn’t clear whether Pogs came from Maui or Japan. Nevertheless, it’s one of the most popular classic Filipino toys two decades ago. Some kids even had a massive collection of them after playing countless times with friends.
Similar to teks (but circular version), they are played by tossing the caps to the air until they hit the ground. Then the owners of the pogs that land face up take and divide the caps evenly among them. If only one cap faces up, in this case, its owner takes them all!
The object played in the game is called sipa; takyan in other parts of the country. It is made of metal washer with colorful plastic straws, or candy wraps, serving as the tail of the sipa. Then it’s tossed mid-air and the players kick it with their foot. The players must not allow the shuttlecock-like toy to touch the ground, or else their turn is over. Also, the players will count the number of times they were able to kick the toy. Whoever has the most number of kicks wins the game.
8. Rubber Band
Back in the days, wearing the most number of rubber bands around the wrist signifies two things: you came from a well-off family who can buy you a set or you’ve beaten a lot of kids in the game called dampa. However you acquired those rubber bands doesn’t matter. For the ’90s kids, the more rubber bands you obtain, the better.
The nonexistence of video games during the nineties was more of a blessing than a curse for Filipinos. It allowed them to think outside the box by using the available materials around them. Although cheap- and indecent-looking, these little toys proved every young Pinoy the purest kind of happiness.
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