Saturday, January 5, 2008

Traditional Philippine Games

Whenever I reminisce about home, I try to do it not in an emotional way but by telling the girls fun stories about home. And their favorite tales would be those that would involve learning a new game. Thus, the traditional Philippine games are known to them now. Such as the following:

Jackstones, (also called jacks, fivestones or onesies) is a common game in the Philippines but not here in Germany, I am surprised to know; when the kids first tried to learn jackstones with me here.

It is a hundred year old playground game that started with little girls and boys collecting small stones and animal bones, materials all found near their homes; and they learned to use them in a game by tossing them into the air in a way similar to today's version of the game.
A set of jacks consists of ten (or perhaps fifteen) small metal six-pointed stars, called 'jacks', and a rubber ball. The playing surface is any flat area, we usually use a table or the floor. Anyplace where there would be enough space for all players which could be from one to ten, would already be ideal. Read more here.
When I was a kid, this is a favorite when after school game while waiting for our 'sundo' (someone to fetch us). But of course, I didnt stop playing this until nobody wanted to play with me anymore :D I so love preparing for the game: looking for a playmate to play with, finding the 'pato' (marker), choosing the right chalk color, finding the right place to draw the hopscotch, choosing the pattern (there are several actually, remembering only the house and the letter S); and of course the excitement of the game itself.
Hopscotch is a simple children's game which can be played with several players or alone. The first player tosses (marker) (typically a stone, coin or bean bag) into the first square. The marker must land completely within the designated square and without touching a line or bouncing out. The player then hops through the course, skipping the square with the marker in it. Single squares must be hopped on one foot. For the first single square, either foot may be used. Side by side squares are straddled, with the left foot landing in the left square, and the right foot landing in the right square. Optional squares marked "Safe" "Home" or "Rest" are neutral squares, and may be hopped through in any manner without penalty.

Upon successfully completing the sequence, the player continues the turn by tossing the marker into square number two, and repeating the pattern. If while hopping through the court in either direction the player steps on a line, misses a square, or loses balance, the turn ends. Players begin their turns where they last left off. The first player to complete one course for every numbered square on the court wins the game. Read here.

Bato Bato Pick (Rock, Paper, Scissors)This game is a popular one for my girls because they dont need anything to play this, only their readiness. They play this when they are bored inside the car, they play this while waiting for their food in the restaurants, they play this when the train's schedule would mean an uneasy wait, etc. This is their game against boredom.

Rock, Paper, Scissors, also known as janken or roshambo is a common name for a popular two-person hand game. The game is often used as a selection method. It can be played with skill if the game extends over many sessions, as a player can often recognize and exploit the non-random behavior of an opponent.

The exact name of the game can vary, with the three components appearing in a different order, or with "stone" in place of "rock". Non-English speakers often refer to the game by their words for "rock, paper, scissors" such as Jack En Poy or Bato Bato Pick (rock, rock, choose!) in the Philippines. In France and the United States, in particular, the game is ofter referred to as Rochambeau (ro-sham-bo) in honor of Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, compte de Rochambeau, French hero of American Revolution. Rochambeau was present in York when General Cornwallis surrended to George Washington. It is believed that Washington, Cornwallis and Rochambeau played RPS to decide who would be the last to leave Cornwallis' tent after the exchange of formalities. At the time, it was considered most honorable to be last. Rochambeau "won" the RPS game and the game has been known as Ro-sham-bo ever since. Here for more.

And the most common kiddie past time all over the world, painting the sidewalks :D
The kids wanted to stop the rain from really draining their backyard playground so they decided to paint the sidewalk full of smiling sunshine. I told them I used to do that when I was a little girl in the belief that it helps, indeed, to stop the rain from pouring :D
For more photos, check out PMN Fam Pics.


Jeannie on UNFOLDING said...

awww what a good mom you are. Thank you for sharing this. Tuturuan ko si Julian mag jackstones. kaso hindi ako marunong mag hopscotch kasi puro lalaki kalaro ko.. i had no one to play that game with...

Mixednuts said...

It's admirable of you to teach your girls your childhood games. They look like they are having fun.

Jennie said...

this is so much fun sis! :-) i love the shots!

i just posted a reply on your other blog that led me here and guess what happened again? akismet strikes again. argh! i really hope there's something i can do about it.

julie said...

It is nice to teach children how to play different games,they do not only learn, they enjoy as well!

Have a great week, Keng! :)

Sunshine4Life said...

i miss mychildhood days seeing them play...

sis, tagged ya here:

roni said...

thanks for the tip, now i know what to do to start the rain here in the desertland, lol!

Heart of Rachel said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. It reminded me of my childhood. I loved playing all the games you mentioned. I was great at jack stones. :)

I also played hopscotch or piko with my classmates while waiting for my yaya to pick me up from school.

Bato Bato Pick ... I still do it when a need arises. Ha ha!

ScroochChronicles said...

I'm teaching my kids how to play hopscotch/piko now. It's a little difficult lalo na for Adi. Medyo masama pa ang eye/foot coordination niya eh.

Bato-bato-pik is also one of their fave games. May daya pa nga eh. Si Adi has "rain" to combat "paper".

And I just got them "sidewalk chalk" for their sidewalk art.

Tuwang tuwa ako when I read this :)

Christianne said...

I love seeing pics of your girls having fun, keep them coming!

A question pala, do you speak to them purely in German?

Ruth said...

whew, this brought me back memory lane. during those times we used to play outdoors more (less tv, and virtually no video games). jackstones (hanggang anong exhibition ang kaya mo? hehe), piko, patintero, chinese garter, open the basket, monkey-anabel, haaay.... i wonder how many kids these days still play such.

raqgold said...

jeannie - you know what, i used to play piko with my brothers, too :D

mayi - oh they had fun. esp since knowing that other kids dont know how to play most of those games. sikat daw sila :)

jennie - thanks jennie. i wonder what's really happening with that akismet coz you're not the only one.

julie - they really enjoy those games because those are really novelty games here.

arlene - that's why i play those games with them. ok, am checking out the tag!

roni - what would you do? erase those smiling sun, hehe

rach - bato bato pick is always the best. kahit saan.

cookie - si IC din may daya sa jack en poy, meron syang needles, hahaha.

christianne - kapag hindi sila makulit, they have more fun, hehe. i speak to them in german, in english and in tagalog. halo halo kasi minsan nag ta translate ako parati in one sentence e.

ruth - wow, monkey monkey anabel. teka muna, how does the rule goes nga ba. one ask how many monkey tapos you count and the one tagged would be out of the circle di ba? tapos takbuhan din yan? hmmm... this is great going back memory lane and such fun.

haze said...

These reminds me of my childhood memoried co'z I used to play these with my sister, cousins and friends...super pikon pa ako pag natalo :( ! Hay naku, how about Shatong, tumbang preso, chinese garter, luksong baka at maramin pang iba :D ! HAZE

feng said...

hopscoth pala ang tawag sa piko sa Ingles. :)

amazing your two adorable girls play Pinoy games! naku, kung boys lang siguro sila, baka tinuruan mo na din ng tumbang preso! :)

Christianne said...

That's good to know. I talk to Annika in 80% Tagalog with some words are in English and Swedish (e.g. mas madaling ituro ang "star" kaysa "bituin" hehe) and I was wondering if this might be confusing Annika. Mukhang okay lang ang ganitong approach, if your girls don't get confused naman.

KK aka Tina said...

Hi Raq,

I played alot of jackstone when I was in elementary. Your daughters look so cute playing pinoy games :) .

JeannieTheDreamer said...

HI RAQ! I changed my blog name to

just letting you know... will update my pmn file

raqgold said...

haze - grabe, i am listing down those games and would begin teaching them to the kids this summer aside maybe from tumbang preso at shatong, too expensive kapag may nabasag haha

feng - i had to think a long time for the english name of piko ha :D

christianne - kids are clever :D

KK - am sure lil K would love to play those games with you too :D

jeannie - ok, will check it out. thanks for letting me know.

Grace said...

About the rules of PIKO.....

pano na nga ba yung pag tapos mo na tirahin yung lahat ng squares? I mean pag dating mo sa buan (dun sa arko)? ano na gagawin?

I'm asking cuz I'm playing hopsotch right now (even i'm still in my night gown, lol!)with my lil girl, after coming to the discovery that they don't play that game much anymore. I sure don't want them to grow up not playing our well-loved games.

Next weekend, I will teach them moro-moro... then patintero... then shatung.

If you have any note for me about these games, I would appreciate it. Please email me at

Thank you so much! ^_^

Grace said...


you are doing a great job teaching your kids the games we Pinoys grew up playing...

Keep it are contributing well to the preservation of our beautiful culture.


Pepay said...

Í stumbled on your site because I was lóoking for the name of this game. My son was playing it while ago, took a shot and wanted to post it to facebook but I was not sure how to name it. Was it jack and stone or jackstone? So i decided to consult Google then saw your site.

raqgold said...

Grace, I hope I managed to answer your comment through an email :-) We do still play shatung, too, as we have enough sticks in the garden and space.

Pepay, I used 'jackstone' because that's what we used to call it in the Philippines. My girls think jackstone is not a simple game, I told them they just have to learn :-) Have fun!