Filipino Games

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Like any other country in the world, Philippines have many different games that are played as a past time, or simply for recreational purposes. Some games are more popular and more well-known than the others, but the three games that stuck out at me were Tubigan, Sungka, and Culliot.

Tubigan, also known as Patintero, is played outdoors. The players are divided into two equal teams. Based on a coin toss, one team becomes the runners, and the other becomes the tagger. The object of the runner is to get through all the lines back and forth without being tagged. To set this game up, the ground is marked off in a 5 or 6 meter rectangle divided into four equal parts. The taggers stand 1, 2, 3, and 4 on the marked lines. Tagger number 1 can go anywhere to tag the runners. Taggers 2, 3, and 4 must have both feet on the marked lines, and can only tag the runner as they cross their lines or as they get near them. As soon as the runners cross line 4, he must return to line 2 and call out “Tubig!” scoring a point for his team. The runners must score a clean pass within 2 minutes; otherwise a turnover will be called.

Sungka, known as mancala in Southern Asia, has been around in the Philippines for as long as anyone can remember. The sungka board is a small treasure – the older it is, the more precious, it sits on a side table or a top bench, waiting to be played. The sungka board is a shallow boat made of solid wood. The whole length of the boat is lined in seven small bowls carved in pairs, with two large deep bowls carved out at both ends (bahay) for captured “sigay”. The props needed for this game are pebbles, “sigay” or shells, or seeds. In each small pit are initially 7 “sigay.” Sungka is always played by two people. At each turn a player empties one of his small pits and then distributes its contents in a counterclockwise direction, one by one, into the following pits including his own store, but passing the opponents store. If the last stone falls into a non-empty...
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