Note: I was born nostalgic. I find it hard to dispose things which really made an impact in my life. These things may either serve as a reminder of a certain event or bittersweet memories, or just plain nostalgia at its best. As I was rummaging thru my stuff, I found out that I brought the Class Magazine which we published as part of our College Requirements. I was the Sports and Entertainment Editor in our class and I wrote a feature article about Filipino Indigenous Sports.




I went to the place where my childhood friends and I used to play. Though my neighbor’s tacky two-storey house has already replaced those gigantic tress which provided us shade during a hot day, I could still feel how we laughed at the top of our lungs and how the six of us screamed at each other for no reason at all. ‘Twas still the same place where we always go after an afternoon ‘siesta’ and play from ‘one to sawa.’ I closed my eyes and suddenly felt that I am a child again. Yes, I’m Mark Ryan and I’m six years old.


Back then, a small empty can of any evaporated or condensed milk really made a difference. Those times when our slippers became our tool to protect ourselves from the dreadful person who stood in the middle and caught us while the tin can was still standing inside the circle.
There were also times when there were no tin cans present anywhere. What we did was to settle at my lola’s backyard and looked for two pieces of sticks, one longer than the other, while two of our friends were making a hole on the soil. We were divided into two groups and the playing team hit the smaller stick using the longer one. The game usually caused a riot among us kids especially when the members of the losing team shouted ‘shaaa-tooooo!’ from the starting point up to the place where the stick landed after the winning team hit it.  When the heaven became too selfish to us because tin cans and sticks could not be found anywhere, we picked some pieces of grandma’s shattered garden pots, used it as a chalk, and made two lines with spaces between them and a vertical line at the middle.  The game started after the ‘patotot’ shouted ‘enter.’ The object of the game was for every member to successfully go back and forth the borderlines, saying, ‘inch’ on the first line so that the first player of the defending team could let you pass. But if tin cans, sticks, or pieces of shattered garden pots were not present, we just had no choice but to play one of our favorite games. Kids who were good in jumping, as far as I know, best did that game. The players leaped at the top of the person playing the ‘it’ while he was bending forward and holding his knees.

Time passes and things change. Kids in our present time may consider our childhood games as obsolete and out of fad. Because of the emergence of play stations, PSP, the mouch sought-after counter strike and other interactive games, the words tumbang preso, shato, patintero and luksong baka may never be put into practical usage again. As far as the children of today are concerned, they are just words which will be considered as part of the 70′ and 80’s kids’ memory dictionary. I wouldn’t be surprised if my baby brother approach me one day to ask how these Filipino games are played.

If I could just close my eyes and relive the moment when our infectious laughter caused by the different unique Filipino sports do the magic, I will gladly do so.  In a wink of an eye, many things could change but those games will always be a part of the childhood I had which was proudly Filipino.


P.S. Thanks to Pareng Eli for the brilliant artwork. And by the way, don’t forget the number one rule in playing some Filipino games, ‘Dead Mother, Dead All.’