In this technology-driven world where almost everyone – including children – practically lives a virtual lifestyle, only a handful of those who are aware of indigenous street games remain. After school or during weekends, children retreat to their own little world — watching TV shows for hours on end, or playing computer games at home, at internet shops or malls.
Traditional Filipino Games or “street games” in the Philippines are games commonly played by children, usually using native materials or instruments. Due to limited resources of toys of Filipino children, they usually come up on inventing games without the need of anything but the players themselves. With the flexibility of a real human to think and act makes the game more interesting and challenging.
Here are some of the known Filipino traditional or street games that seems forgotten by most of us: Patintero or harangang daga, Tumbang preso, Luksong-Baka , Luksong-tinik , Piko , Sekqu Base, Agawang sulok , Araw-lilim , Bahay-Bahayan, Bahay-Kubo, Bati Cobra, Bulong-Pari, Buwan-Buwan, Chinese Garter, Holen, Jack ‘en Poy, Juego de prenda, Kapitang bakod, Langit-lupa, Lawin-Lawin (Hawk and Chicks, Pacpa Can, Banog Banog), Palo-sebo Pitik Bulag, Sawsaw-Suka, Sipa , Taguan, Takip-silim, Ten-twenty, Siato, Ubusan lahi and Teks or teks game cards.
These games are mostly played before, during and after school as well as during PE class. Some of them are played during fiestas or and when there’s wake for the dead.
Studies shows that street games promote total fitness — from the physical with the locomotor (moving from one place to another) and non-locomotor (moving on-the-spot without going anywhere) movements incorporated into the mental fitness. It was also promoting national culture and Filipino pride among the new generation of youth.
It is also commonly known that games play an important part in the learning process of the child. This educational influence of games on the physical, mental, and moral vitality of a child, by playing street games, children has learned to cooperate with people. They also gained a lot of friends and became physically fit.
Many have always thought that native street games have only been dead in the upper class of society but it still exists in other part of the country, especially on the rural areas. A few decades ago, kids used to gather in the streets or in their neighborhood playground to play their favorite Larong Pinoy games like piko, patintero, taguan, tumbang preso, siato, luksong tinik, etc. These has been their regular and popular pastimes, as well as the favorite games of their parents and grandparents until new and modern forms of entertainment has taken over the interests of young kids.
Moreover, the advent of information technology has ushered high-tech gadgets and computer games that has fascinated children and even adults. Computers and game gadgets are mostly played indoor, with less outdoor physical activity and bonding for children among neighborhood friends.
Amidst by the age of computer and video games, the re-introduction of the traditional Filipino games can be a good vehicle to promote active outdoor play and attachment in things that are Filipino. Our childhood memories won’t be completed if we do not try at least one of those street games that, we, Filipinos have.