With the popularity of the online games, XBox, PSP, iPad, and many interesting gadgets, some children have stopped going to the streets to play these games; and for most kids who live in fenced houses, they haven’t even heard of these games at all, which is sad because most of their parents have enjoyed these games when they were young.
Actually, the Traditional Filipino Games are very much alive in the Philippines. It is not true that the Filipino Street Games are no longer played, as some would say that it has vanished in Philippine society in the age of computers and high-tech gadgets. In many urban and rural areas, a great majority of Filipino children still play outdoor street games as most of them are still unable to own expensive high-tech gadgets.
Traditional Filipino Games or games in the traditional Philippines are games commonly played by children, usually using native materials or instruments. In the Philippines, due to limited resources of toys of Filipino children, they usually come up on inventing games without the need of anything but the players themselves. With the flexibility of a real human to think and act makes the game more interesting and challenging.
A few decades ago, kids used to gather in the streets or in their neighborhood playground to play their favorite Larong Pinoy games like piko, patintero, taguan, tumbang preso, siyato, luksong tinik, etc. These has been their regular and popular pastimes, as well as the favorite games of their parents and grandparents until new and modern forms of entertainment has taken over the interests of young kids.
The traditional Filipino games were overshadowed by technology. Add to this to the fact that most parents today are wary of sending their kids off to the streets to play because they are worried for their safety. But then, if it’s just across the house, the exercise that the kids will get from these games would be worth it because physical outdoor activity is really good for them.
Gone are the days when for kids, playing means going out in the sun, running, rolling, jumping and shouting. Today, playing means facing the computer or other gaming device, pressing on buttons and keyboards, and spending the whole day just sitting around while facing the gadgets’ screens.
Indeed, times change, and so are the people’s ways and practices. Parents nowadays often lament on the fact that their kids are no longer familiar with traditional games such as patintero, taguan, piko, and habulan. But still they continue to support their kids’ addiction to Angry Birds, or other digital games for that matter, by buying them new gadgets in which they could play these games. Some parents would even play with their kids on these new gadgets. Perhaps they get addicted to online games as much as their children do.
There’s really nothing wrong with that. Technology is there for us to utilize to our advantage. And since they have become the source of entertainment for the kids of this generation, why not embrace it as well? The problem however, is when we totally abandon our past and forget the ways and practices of our childhood. Forgetting about our traditional games, and not putting an effort to introduce them to today’s younger generation, is like cutting the connection between the past and the present.
Introducing your kids to the traditional games is one way of instilling in them a sense of history. In that way, you do not only teach them something really interesting, but you also help them develop better futures by becoming aware of what transpired in the past, as represented by the fun games their parents did as kids.
Try to find other option if you think your community is not conducive to street games. Be creative in finding the time and the venue to expose your kids to these Filipino games. Nowadays, you can go to the CCP area in Roxas Boulevard which has lots of open spaces where you and your kids can play. It will benefit them more because they will cherish these memories of you spending time and playing with them.
Filipino games also help in bridging a connection between the kids and their elders, because these are the same games that were enjoyed by their parents and grandparents. The games serve as a common denominator among the members of the family.
Let children experience the fun things of playing the Filipino Street Games. Those traditional and classic games –piko, tumbang preso, chinese garter, luksong tinik, sipa, patintero, and many more. These are the games that were far more enjoyable than playing digital games. These are the cheapest forms of child play that will greatly benefit kids’ physical, social, mental and emotional development.
Play the games — these are the Filipino Games — the games of our heritage.
Check-Out the WIKIPEDIA article on the “Traditional games in the Philippines”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_games_in_the_Philippines#Reference