Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Games Children Play

After the post about what makes us proud about our country (click here for the article), thoughts of the games I used to play when I was young came flooding back into my mind.

There were the different kinds of tag-and-you're-it games. It took me two days to actually remember the chant for Langit-Lupa.
Langit, lupa, impyerno
Saksak puso, tulo ang dugo
Patay, buhay
Maalis ka na diyaan.
All players make a circle and say the chant in a singsong manner while pointing at each player for every syllable. Whoever gets the last syllable will be that first taya ("it") of the game. Everybody then scrams around looking for places that are higher than the ground to reach langit (heaven) where they cannot be tagged. You can only be tagged if you are standing on lupa (earth) or a place that's level with the ground. It's usually agreed upon before the game begins that when you're taya and you tag someone else to be the new taya, then he or she cannot tag you back. The game ends when almost everyone is tired or most of the players are called home (usually by one of their parents shouting their names from their homes).

Kompyang is another way to determine who will be taya in a given game. everyone puts out their hand palms down and shouts "maiba taya!" After shouting the seemingly necessary sentence, everyone raises their hands ever so slightly and puts it down again either palms-down or palms-up. Whoever has the different hand will become taya. If there nobody has a different hand, then the players who have the hand that showed up fewest are taken out of the kompyang round. So if there are five players who have their palms up and the other three have their palms down, then the three are exempt from becoming the first taya. The remaining five players will do the kompyang again until a taya is chosen.

Prikidam 1-2-3
There's also prikidam 1-2-3. I don't even know why it's called that. Some of my friends tell me the game's name is really "piggy-down." But we agreed that it's also called agawan-base. This is a tag game that uses more strategy than langit-lupa. Everybody gathers round and puts one of their hands. Everyone does the kompyang, but instead of choosing one player to become taya, two players will become team leaders. Then they get to choose their teammates from the remaining players. Each team chooses a base (usually a big gate or a tree). There are two ways to win this game: by taking over the opposing team's base or by holding all opponents hostage.

To take over the opposing team's base, the whole team must touch the opponent's base without getting tagged and shout "prikidam." Again, I am boggled by how this word came to be.

When a player is tagged or caught by an opponent, he or she becomes a hostage and is trapped in the opposing team's base and must keep one hand in contact with that base. Usually a member of the team who caught the hostage will keep an eye on the base to make sure that the hostage does not escape. When another hostage is taken, they hold hands and stretch their hands as far as possible to that they can be rescued easily. Only the first hostage is required to physically stay in contact with the opponent's base. All hostages are rescued when someone from the hostage's team taps them.

(to be continued in another post)