Long before everyone seems to afford video game consoles, computers with internet connection, and high tech phones, kids busied themselves with street games. These games are physically challenging, exhilarating fun, and a hundred percent healthier than the games children play today.
In every kanto around Manila, children converge from morning till evening playing street games they learned somewhere. Most were passed through different generations of Pinoy kids who enjoy a moment of fun and excitement with friends. Commonly you’ll think about patintero, taguan, tumbang preso, and langit-lupa. But more than these famous street games, there are many other games that only a true laking kalye kid knows. See if you have tried playing these lesser known street games we miss playing.
No. This is not the game about a frog, an assignment and a session of suntukan. This game is a simpler and less competitive version of patintero. The taya is restricted to move along a huge circle with a line in the middle. The goal of the taya is to reach the players who are only allowed to stay inside the circle. Expect a lot of laughter and shouting while playing this game.
If a regulatory board (like MTRCB) for street games exists, this game is sure to get a rated R. Not because of what you are thinking, but because Bang-Sak is a role-playing game police and killers. The taya holds the gun (bang) while other players holds the knife (sak). Much like taguan, the players run to hide. The taya searches for the other players and shoots them one by one. Only the brave player who is capable enough to approach the killer without being noticed will end the game.
Agawan Base, or Sikyo, is a game of endurance, agility, and wit. You divide the group in two and protect each other’s base. Players device plan to capture enemies while making sure they are not captured first. The game tests the players’ sportsmanship as Agawan Base is a very physical game. They either end the game because they are too tired to run, or the players are already in a fight. A less tiring version of this game is 5, 10 Block 1,2,3.
This is a fusion of football and baseball. The players are divided into two teams. The game is played in a diamond, with four bases. A pitcher rolls the ball to the opposing team’s kicker, who will then ran to all four bases until the ball is thrown back to the pitcher. The rule is mostly based on baseball, the only element of football is the kicking of the ball. So, who decided that it’s more football than baseball? We don’t know.
Apparently games are named even after carbonated drinks, which kids are not supposed to drink. Pepsi 7-Up is a game often played in school during breaks. The taya face opposite the players. When he says Pepsi the players move as near to him as possible. When he says 7-Up the players stop moving. As a true Filipino game, agility is tested when a player reaches the taya and taps his shoulder. The players must run back to their base or they will be caught and be the next taya.
Tom Sawyer Game
Yes, you are read it right. The popular 90’s morning cartoon actually has a street game. The Tom Sawyer game was probably invented after watching the characters of the game play it. Players are divided into two teams. The first team forms a bridge by connecting the members’ head and back. The other team rides the bridge and attempts to destroy it. What is the point of the game? We don’t know either. It’s just fun to listen to the banter of “ang baho ng pwet mo” and “ang bigat mo” happens. Here is a video to demonstrate the game.
Lawin at Sisiw
Sometimes we get utterly surprised by the brutality of pinoy street games. Just imagine an eagle eating the chicks of a hen — the premise of the game Lawin at Sisiw have. A player acts as an eagle and tries to tag other players, who plays chicks. Another player, the hen, tries to protect the chicks from being caught. Despite the horrific story, it is an exciting game to play. It tests the player’s agility to avoid the taya, and strength to keep holding on to their members.
There are so many pinoy street games that made our childhood memorable. These games even have different versions, all over the country. Despite our parents’ warning not to play on the street, we just couldn’t help it. The games were our lives beyond school. It is where friendship is built, and sportsmanship is learned. We hope children today can play these games to shape their childhood the way it shaped ours.
Other pinoy street games worth mentioning:
- Agawang Panyo
- Batohang Bola
- Taguang Itlog
- Takip Silim
Are you a true laking kalye kid? What other pinoy street games do you miss playing?
(Photo Credit: Kambyero, Itsdeetanjutco.Wordpress, GLBrain)