Saturday, February 2, 2008

courtesy of :
Last weekend, my son told me that he needs a turumpo (top) for his PE class.

What kind of PE is that?
Oh, it's Filipino games.
Filipino games as in
patintero,luksong-tinik,and the likes? (Filipino-childhood-street-games)
What will you do with the turumpo?
Duh?! Of course I have to spin it.
But you don't know how.
Yep! Teach me.

Off we went to the palengke (public market) and bought 3 wooden tops, strings included. After getting three softdrink (soda pop) crown caps, then putting a hole in the middle of each crown with a 3"CW nail as the wedge, then threading the string through the cap, and finally doing the mandatory knots, we were ready for the turumpo lesson.

Dang! I can't make the top spin! Oh, the nail bit is off-center. (Poor quality. What do you expect? The turumpo is cheap at 20 Pesos, about $0.50 each). I got the other turumpo and walla! it spins... beautifully

As my grandson watched, my son practiced on his turumpo. After 15 minutes, he was able to do it. Next, I taught him how to catch and retrieve a spinning top off the ground. Okay. Done. Now, color the turumpo with different colored crayons. Why? To make it look colorful while it spins. Nice!

I just wonder: What made my son's school offer Filipino games as PE? Does it mean that fewer and fewer Pinoy kids are aware of the know-of and the know-how of Pinoy games? What happerned? My generation were the queens and kings of street games. We played patintero, taguan, luksong-tinik, biola, estatwa, and piko after school. The games went on for hours. As we did not have watches nor mobile phones back then, we knew it was time for dinner if one of our mothers calls out: Ano ba?! Uwi na. Kakain na. (Hey! Come home. It's time to eat.)

I was not the top queen of our street games. The queen of queens was either Solit or Pepot. They are sisters and they were so good I used to wish that I was their sister too so that I may have their super genes in playing street games.

My generation got their good share of excersise by playing physical games.

Nowadays, kids prefer to stay glued to their computers playing online games or mesmerized by their X-boxes, PS(3, is it?), Gameboy, etc. No physical activity at all!: unless they are enrolled in worthy-weekend-programs-like soccer-taekwondo-ballet-hiphopdance-basketball- and the likes. Some kids are missing a lot by not knowing and playing Pinoy games.

Great! I think I'll get 1.00 for my top spinning test.
You'll actually have a test for that?
Yep! Don't you know that this PE class is an in-demand class? The school offers about 5 classes of Filipino Games every semester and it's always filled to capacity.
You mean there are actually university-age kids interested in Pinoy street games?
Yep! It's a common sight to see students taking this subject to leave their class with torn shirts, torn knees and torn pride. Hahaha. They love the games!

Ummm... it's never too late to learn, I suppose.
Posted by desperateblogger On 2/02/2008 10:28:00 AM 10 comments


  1. "After getting three softdrink (soda pop) crown caps, putting a whole in the middle of the crown with a 3"CW nail as the wedge,..." - what is a whole in the middle? :)

  2. HI, I'm Filipina too. I think that all he classes for Filipino PE get full-packed is because, yeah, fewer and fewer Filipino kids know about these games. It's almost a dead part of our culture. Very few even appear to care that it's important to know about our native games. My salute to that school for trying to enliven the old games that filipinos used to play.

    I even remember during our high school days when we were taught to play "tumbang-preso". Goodness, very few of our classmates immediately understood how to play the darn thing! Good thing, filipino blood still runs thick. ;)

  3. hahaha. the school is UP Diliman. i have a grandson and i intend to teach him pinoy-street-games. we have started on "taguan".

    let's exchange links!

  4. i've had such wonderful memories during childhood playing these games. I just hope my children can play these games with her friends too!

  5. Thanks for submitting a great article to the March 2008 Mom's Blogging Carnival. You can see your story and all the others at:

  6. subukan nyo din yung maraming pinoy yan nilalaro sa icafe e

  7. Hi, Where did you buy the trumpo?

  8. @noel genio: at the palengke :))

  9. at What specific palengke did you buy the trumpo? City maybe? The palangke near me does not have those.

  10. @noel genio - a palengke in bacoor :))


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