street games

even if i am a computer person, somehow i’m still one of those who do not agree that children should just spend their time playing computer and video games instead of the real street games that develop not only self-discipline but also the character and agility of the person. my younger sister, aged 9, is just one good example of modern kids who would rather spend her time in front of the computer exploring some stuff and ignoring the fun, exciting noises outside made by the other kids in the neighborhood. i feel like she’s losing her social life at a very early age. not only that, i’m worried that she would grow up skipping that childhood stage and would regret it later on when she wouldn’t have time to play because of studying more and/or going to work. so now, my mom and i are introducing her to some popular street games that we used to play and we’re glad that she’s having fun mingling with other kids. there’s a big difference between her laughter whenever she’s all by herself and whenever she’s with friends. we know that she’s having the time of her life.

i would like to quote this short article written by Cely Cunada about PHILIPPINE STREET GAMES / FILIPINO NATIVE GAMES. this brings back memories of my childhood and makes me miss my siblings and other playmates.


Children in the Philippines are proud of their native games because these are the games they (and their forefathers) developed. They invited games that make use of what are around them. Such as: ‘bato’ (throwing piece) for “piko”; coconut for “bao” game; pebbles for “sintak”; bamboo for “tayakad”, “tingga” (lead) for “sipa”; etc.

There are no written rules to execute these games. There are just guidelines passed on by the older brother or sister or classmate. Rules are changed or made up, sometimes deliberated through a heated debate.Because parks are hard to find, the games they play adopt to where they are at a particular time. Universal to elementary-school-age children is theclick the image to view the filipino native games use of school fields as their playground. Games played are usually those that test ones endurance. Like “kingking” – a one-foot-hopping relay game. Player hops toward the flag pole and around it. Whichever team finishes first wins. The players agreed at how many number of rounds to make.

Another game is “luksong-tinik” – with the teacher’s long stick or with the school’s loose fence, two ‘tayas’ (its) hold on to the two ends of the stick, bringing the stick higher and higher while a third person try to leap over the stick without touching it. Whoever leaps the highest wins.

They also have their own versions of ball games. One is an imitation of softball, called “play ball”. Instead of using baseball bat, the hitter uses his/her palm to hit the ball. Another is called “touch ball”. There are two teams of players. One team (‘taya’) is divided into two groups, lined-up facing each other, the space in between them is fixed. The other team (‘panggitna’ or middle) stays at the space-in-between, facing the ‘taya’ group who has the ball. The objective of the game is for the ‘taya’ to hit the ‘panggitna’ with the ball one at a time. The ‘panggitna’ (each one thinking he/she is the target) tries to evade the hit without going out of the designated space perimeter. Every player who gets hit, steps out of the game. When all the ‘panggitnas’ are out, it is time for teams to change roles.

On week-ends, holidays or after school, the ‘silong’ (crawling space under the house) and the narrow streets become the designated ‘parks’. “Babuybabuyan” or “kurokutok” is an example of ‘silong’ game. The children play with the insects that wallos in the soil and a strand of hair. The object is to catch as many insects as one can with the hair. “Tumbang-preso” is a street-game – a revised vesion of “hide-and-seek”. This game makes use of an empty milk can which a player kicks as far as he/she can. The ‘taya’ tries to find it while the rest of the players hide. The taya’s aim is to leave the can in an upright position on a designated area (called the ‘base’) and try to find the hiding players. Players compete for the first one to reach the base – ‘taya’ to touch the can while still in upright position which signals his replacement by the player he found; the hiding player/s to kick the can so they can hide again.
Filipino children are definitely creative! But some (or more?) still long for Barbie dolls and Transformers.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , ,

4 Responses to “street games”

  1. Mike Lanza says:

    I love this post, especially the quote of Phillippine native games!!! I run a family of online communities devoted to encouraging parents to get their kids outside playing in their neighborhoods called Playborhood. You should check it out. We have a main site and Local sites, run by parents in local communities, to make things happen locally.

    Also, for pure reminiscing of street games in the US, see Streetplay.

  2. aiMz says:

    hi! thanks for dropping by. i went to playborhood and i must say that your site is very informational. congratulations! that inspires me to look for a community like that here in my country. thanks a lot! by the way, i subscribed to your blog to keep myself updated :)

  3. Eileen says:

    I know playing outside is so important. My kids and I take bike rides often, as well as playing outside (tag, hide and seek). Allthough the weather does not always co-operate with us. My kids do play on the computer often, although I make sure the games are using their brain! check out for 5-10 year olds its great and you can watch their progress.

  4. Jason Demko says:

    Filipino games are just really down to earth, I mean, knowing some of them are really more fun knowing their cultures as well and street games are just really wacky…

    .-= Jason Demko┬┤s last blog ..NFL Weekly =-.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge