Filipino Culture: Children’s Games

Filipino Culture: Children’s Games

Traditional Filipino Games for Kids

If you want to find out more about the Filipino culture, you should check out our traditional games.  Larong Pinoy, as we call them usually, are very creative games that require very simple things to play. Because of the current developing status of the country, parents do not usually invest in expensive toys for their kids. Instead, we play some Pinoy games that usually require only people to have fun!

There are hundreds of traditional Filipino games you can play, both indoors and outdoors. Here are the most common ones you might hear. You might be interested in trying them out for yourself too!

1. Tumbang Preso

Tumbang preso is like the national game of the Philippines. There’s literally no kid who does not know what this game is (even if he hasn’t played it before). In this game, you will need a small tin can and your slippers. An “it” guards the tin can. Players can take turns striking the can. Once the can is struck, the player must immediately retrieve the slipper before the “it” puts the tin can back in position. If he is not successful, he will become the next “it.”

2. Patintero

Patintero is another popular Larong Pinoy. It usually involves a lot of players. They will be divided into two equal teams. The game is usually played in a wide street. Horizontal lines would be made to signify the position of each player from Team A. One vertical line in the middle of the horizontal lines and one player would be assigned to that line. This game is similar to tag. The objective of Team B is to cross all the lines and back without being touched by any of the players in the line. Team A players can only move according to the direction of their assigned line.

3. Luksong-Baka

Luksong-Baka literally translates to jumping over a cow. An “it” is assigned to play the cow. He crouches as low as possible while the remaining players try to jump over him. He will gradually move up. If a player cannot jump or does not jump successfully, he becomes the new “it.” A similar version of this is called Luksong-Tinik (jump over thorns) where two players line up their feet and hands to make a tower while the third player has to jump over

4. Piko

Piko is a Larong Pinoy that is believed to be a version of the hopscotch. The players decide which part of the box they have to throw the pamato  (usually a stone or a small ball) to. Whoever successfully throws and retrieves it wins the game.

5. Agawan Base

Agawan Base is a popular game among elementary school students. It is a game that requires a lot of stamina. Two teams assign a place as their “base”. The objective of the game is to tag the base of the other team without being touched. In case you are tagged yourself, you will become their “prisoner”. Team members may rescue you by tagging you from the enemy’s base. Teams usually set agreements on how they could win (first three or five tags), but most of time, they just end the game when they are tired from all the running. A clan-based version, Ubusan Lahi, has the same mechanics, but once the player is tagged, he automatically becomes your ally.

6. Bahay-bahayan

Bahay-bahayan is a popular Larong Pinoy to very young children. In this game, they could get to play roles of mother, father and children. They can go to work or take care of the

7. Chinese garter

Chinese garter is a game popular among girls. The game makes use of a garter. Two teams play. In this game, the garter starts at the very bottom of the floor and the playing team has to cross from one side to another successfully. After clearing a round, the garter will be made higher than it was previously. It becomes more difficult as it goes higher and if one member cannot successfully make the jump or is caught in the garter, the other team gets their turn.

8. Langit-lupa

Langit is heaven and  lupa is earth. In this game, the “it” stays on the earth while other players try to find a higher ground. The “it” then goes around tagging people staying on earth so they could become the next “it.”

9. Sawsaw suka

Sawsaw suka is also a  Larong  Pinoy popular with young children. In this game of two players, the other player dips the index finger in the other’s palm and sings a chant. Once the chant ends, the player with the open palm has to catch the index finger.

10. Teks

Teks is a popular card game among boys (sometimes girls). You have a standard-size game card, usually printed with anime or cartoon characters. Each player places a betting card on the floor. Then, each player hits the card with another card and if both his cards and the betting cards face the same way, he gets all of them.

While many of the kids these days enjoy staying indoors and playing with a computer or tablet PC, Filipino kids still have lots of experiences with traditional  Pinoy games. In fact, the government has pushed traditional games to be taught to kids because it is an important part of our culture. If you want more proof, you will find that some universities offer Philippine Games as a PE subject (I took it when I was in college; so much fun!).


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  1. There are a lot of Traditional Pilipino Toys & Games, as well Customs & Traditions. I’ve long planned to dedicate a sizable portion of Piedra Blanca Gardens & Nature Park here in Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal for the purpose of showcasing these. We need input from different parts of the country if we don’t want to miss anything. I don’t mind that my email & contact information be published, I can even moderate the endeavor. Nem B. Santos, Jr. (retired Banker & Newspaperman)

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