While you may think that Philippine games (commonly known as Larong Pinoy) are mostly about running around chasing people, they are not. If you are not really someone with that much stamina, you should engage in many of the Filipino indoor games.
Many of these indoor games are played by certain regions in the country, so when you ask someone, they may not be familiar with a particular game. While Philippine games are usually popular with children, traditional indoor games are more popular with teens and adults. Here are a few interesting indoor games you might like to play to pass the time.
This Larong Pinoy is played by drawing a circle on the floor or a board. You place a shell in the middle of the board. Each player takes turns in trying to make the shell move out of the circle. To do this, they would use shells and attack by placing the shell in between the upper parts of the forefinger and thumb and tossing it forward the shell, similar to how a marble is thrown.
Tablita makes use of a 26-square diagram (the corner boxes are taken out). Each player has copper disks and they toss the copper disks into the air to land in the square diagram. If the player’s disk lands on a line, he does not score a point. To score, the copper disk must sit perfectly inside the square. The player with the most number of copper disks inside the square wins the game.
Cara-cruz is a Larong Pinoy that is very popular with adults. While this is an indoor game, it can be played on the streets too. Basically, it is a heads or tails coin guessing game. While gambling is prohibited in the Philippines, many adults play cara-cruz to pass time. Most of them also place bets but since you are betting coins, there’s really not much profit for winning.
Birachapa is a variation of cara-cruz. Instead of tossing the coin in the air, the mediator will spin the coin on the ground. As it slowly stops, he will place a coconut shell on top of it. People will then bet on whether it is heads or tails.
Dama is a very popular indoor game. Many people who stay outside their houses (I usually see this game being played at tricycle terminals) also play this. Dama is basically checkers. You may apply the rules of checkers here where you go diagonal and take your opponent’s pieces as you pass them. There is also another version of this Larong Pinoy. In this version, you would allow your opponents to take your piece. It means that if they can take it, they cannot avoid it. The first player who loses all his pieces wins the game.
Bingo is so popular that you can even see this being played in the malls now. This is one of the favorite Filipino past times. The same American rules apply to this game. A number is drawn and players cross out the numbers that have been called on their card. They win if they complete a particular BINGO pattern.
Sungka is one of the oldest board games played in the Philippines. It uses a sungkaan, a wooden table-like structure with 16 shallow holes. Each side has 7 holes and the end has 2 bigger holes. Each of the seven holes on each side gets 7 shells each. The first player usually selects the second hole closest to the enemy’s bigger hole and starts distributing one shell for each of the next holes. Then, he would end up with one shell on his empty hole, after which he would choose another part to distribute. Each time he takes a particular hole to empty so he could distribute the shells, he would pass on his side of the hole to bring in more shells. If the last shell happens to stop on the enemy’s holes, the other side would take turns. In the case that he stops on an empty hole on his side (not the big one), and that empty hole has one shell, he would take the opposite hole shells for his own. The objective of the game is simple – fill your own side of the big hole with more shells.
There are many more interesting Larong Pinoy in the Philippines. Whether you are an active outdoor person or a mellow indoor person, you can surely engage in these games for fun.