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Disappearing child’s games


BY PET MELLIZA/ THE BEEKEEPER
 
Today’s kids may be amused at us for ignorance of their favorite TV shows but we can laugh back at them, more likely than not, for not knowing “ins” or “pabanog”.
 
The words lost in the minds of Ilonggo children may lengthen. “Tubig-tubig”, “punaw-punaw”, “tumba patis”, “paga-paga” or “burnil” and “pikyaw”, among others, baffled them.
 
Those were games that we used to play before our parents called us home to wash ourselves and pray the rosary in the evening. After supper, when the moon was up, we gathered to assembled at the street corner to play some more.
 
Kids no longer play those games today as the TV and PC games the households.
 
“Paga-paga” or “burnil” was a game where each player held two rocks, a flat one and the other round but smaller. One who sank the round stone into the hole won. Each tried to derail rivals by striking one’s round rock with the flat one to the direction of the opponent’s round rock. If it hit, the opponent returns to the starting line. This game needed at least two players.
 
“Pikyaw” used two sticks, one of which was about three times longer than the other. There were two teams competing. The role of the longer stick was first, to launch the shorter one from a skid-slit on the ground, and second, to strike the latter in mid-air, both to the direction of the opposing team.  If the adversaries caught the missile, the player was knocked off.  
 
Otherwise, they tossed the shorter stick back to the skid-slit (a furrow on the ground). If it hit the longer stick lying across the furrow, the player was out.
 
Scoring in “pikyaw” was done by flipping the longer stick from the skid-slit to where the shorter stick lied after it was tossed back by the adversary or after it was struck on mid-air by the player using the longer stick. The team with the higher number of flips won.   
 
“Tumba-patis” and “punaw-punaw” were played nighttime. They were variations of hide-and-seek. In “tumba-patis” though, the “aswang” had the extra obligation of guarding a can; it could only make a catch if the can stood upright. The players would distract the “aswang” so that others could kick the can down.
 
“Tubig-Tubig” or “inum-inum” and “ins” were similar and had two teams playing, one to get to the “finish line”, the other to block them. In “tubig-tubig” the “on” team advanced by quickly touching the rocks, one in each stage. Each rock was guarded by an individual player and by the overall “runner”. The guard scored a catch if it touched the “on” player in the act of touching the rock.
 
The overall runner scurried from one rock to another and made the catch on any adversary that could be reached by his/her arms even if the “on” player was not touching the rock. The teams switched roles after a successful catch.
 
“Ins” required teams to get to the finish line but this time, the route was marked by series of squares (two squares per phase), each with an assigned “guard” plus the overall runner who could make a catch anywhere so long as he/she didn’t stray away from the lines of the squares. We used water to draw the squares on the dirt road.
 
“Agaway priso” or “pabanog” was our way of mimicking the “banog” (hawk). There were two teams, each with its own “pugad”. One team sent “banog” out to “hunt”; the opposing team let loose its banog to chase the intruder. The chaser stopped and returned to base if the intruder was already far. However, the intruder might return to “catch” by mere touch unwary adversaries. The touched person became “prisoner”. If the intruder was “caught” (also by touch) while attempting to sneak into the defenders’ base, he/she became prisoner, too.
 
The defenders retaliated by sending “banog” to get prisoners, or as the game progressed, to “free” their own detained at the enemy’s base. The “prisoners” were made to stand holding each other’s hands. Once touched by their own “banog”, they were “freed”. When all its players become prisoners the team lost.
 
Wish to be a child once more if only to play those disappearing games.
 
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