In today’s generation, kids are prisoner of gadgets such as cellphones, tablets and computers which they can play numbers of online games. They even spent money and time just to play their favorite mobile legends, sitting for longer hours focusing their eyes on the screen of their devices. They no longer know how to play outdoors. They don’t even know what they’ve missed. I am very proud I was a product of the generation without gadgets. In the world where being a child is not a waste rather a very worth one. Before internet and social media was born, our time as a child spent in getting sweat playing traditional outdoor games. Let me bring back the memories of some of my favorite Filipino 90’s games I used to enjoy.
- Sipa (Kick)
One of the popular games of the 90’s. A 5 cents or a flattened bottle cap holed in the middle and a candy wrapper are enough to create the thing to be kicked. Using the elbow or foot, don’t let the sipa fall on the ground or steal by other players. Don’t forget to count the number of your sipa, the more kick you made, the more chances of winning.
- Luksong Baka
The player who play as the “it” (taya) will bow his head and form a curve on his back like a cow as low as possible while the other player will jump over his back. The “it” rises gradually after each player jump over him. If one of the players does not jump successfully, he will become the next “it”. This was one of my favorite game because of my long legs, it’s easy for me to jump.
- Chinese Garter
This is a common game for grade schooler and we usually played this during our free time in the school in our elementary days. A long garter or rubber is the only thing needed. Two groups will compete and there are different levels of heights to jump on. Starting from the lowest, each player from the group will cross over the garter by jumping on it, until they reach the highest level of garter. If one player from the team failed to cross over the garter, the other team will get their turn to play.
This game needs a wide space, that’s why we usually played this on the vacant lot or street. Two teams are needed for this game. Vertical and horizontal lines are drawn on the ground where the “it” teams will position, while the other teams needed to cross all the lines without getting touched by the “it” team. The team who successfully cross all lines without getting touched will get the point.
- Taguan (Hide and seek)
This game is not only popular in the Philippines but also in other countries. In Filipino way, the “it” will sing a song and count 1 to 10 while covering his eyes infront of the base, it maybe a tree, a post or a wall. The rest of the player will try their best to hide. After counting, the “it” will start to look for the players, while the other will steal the opportunity to get to the base and tap it in order to be saved. The player who got caught without tapping the base will be the next “it”. It’s more fun when we played this game during full moon where the surrounding is very bright.
- Tumbang Preso
Another game I used to enjoy when I was a child is “tumbang preso”. This is played by hitting a tin can using a slipper in a specific distance. The “it” will guard the tin can and pick it up and arrange it on its original position whenever it was hit while the other players will hit the can by throwing their slipper on it. If the player failed to hit the can, he’ll be the next “it” that will guard the tin can. This game is more fun if there are many players.
- Agawan Base (Stealing Bases)
We used to play this game on the grassland as it requires a space for running. In this game, the two teams need to guard their own bases. The main goal is to tag the base of the other team without being caught by that team, otherwise, you’ll become prisoner if caught. The other team members may rescue you by tagging you from the enemy’s base. This game requires a lot of energy for running, the faster you run, the better.
It’s sad to know that these traditional Filipino games are slowly forgotten by the younger generations as most of children today prefer to stay indoor with their gadgets rather than sweat outside playing these kind of games. I will never exchange my childhood to any kinds of gadgets or devices because the joy and fun these games brought to me is much worthy than any online games. And I’m so lucky I was born in my generation.