Nostalgic fun under the sun: 7 Filipino outdoor games to remember

Nostalgic fun under the sun: 7 Filipino outdoor games to remember

“Larong Pinoy” was a full-body exercise without us noticing. It was a combination of physical movements from running, jumping, balancing to coordination. Games like these had us working up a sweat, going from clean shirts to drenched ones in no time. Fortunately, parents often came to the rescue with a combination of a face towel and baby powder to save the day.

This article will explore seven nostalgic outdoor games that shaped the childhoods of every Filipino. Now that it’s summer and the heat is only getting worse, we can’t help but look back on the days when it was fun under the sun.


In this game, two teams compete: guards and runners. Using chalk or wet ground, lines are drawn as boundaries. The goal is simple: runners try to cross the lines without getting tagged by guards. Known as “tubig-tubig” in Cebu, it’s fun for both guards and runners. Guards must stay alert to stop runners from crossing. It’s a game of agility and teamwork, having every player move their muscles and come up with strategies.


Also known as “agawan-base” in Luzon, this game involves two teams with their own areas situated opposite to each other and the goal is to defend their base. Players rush to capture the opposing team’s base, while defenders try to tag intruders. Once tagged, players become “prisoners,” who can be rescued or are out. Rules vary based on agreement. The winners are the first team to touch the base or the team with the most prisoners. This fast-paced game promotes cardiovascular endurance, speed and agility.

Luksong Baka

This popular Filipino game, designates one player as the “baka,” or cow in English, who assumes a kneeling or crouching position. Other players take turns jumping over the “baka,” and once each member of the team successfully clears the jump, the “baka” gradually stands up, making it more challenging for the others to leap over. Players are permitted to use the “baka’s” back for support as they jump but are disqualified if they trip over it.

Chinese Garter

At various heights, from ground level to overhead, players aim to cross over a taut elastic band, known as the “garter,” without touching or tripping over it. Two players hold the garter at opposite ends, while teammates take turns attempting to clear it. If a player fails, the team’s “mother” steps in to rescue them; if unsuccessful, the jumpers take over holding the garter. This game promotes balancing, teamwork and flexibility.


Elementary students adore this game where they place their hands side by side, palms facing down. In this game, players unwind a pile of rubber bands, blowing them towards a finish line in turns. The winner emerges as the one who successfully unravels the stack, reaching the finish line with an odd number of rubber bands.


Toss and kick and don’t let it fall to the ground. That’s how you earn a point. This game can be played indoors or outdoors, as it doesn’t require a large space for running and jumping. Players typically use a lightweight, shuttlecock-like object called the “takyan.” They can use their feet or elbows to keep the object airborne, depending on the rules. In other mechanics, one player starts by tossing the takyan into the air with their foot and others take turns kicking or hitting it. “Takyan” promotes stamina, balance and coordination among players.


The “kasing,” made of wood and nail, is thrown onto the floor to spin. It has an egg-like top and spins around its conic tip, usually made of iron or steel. A string is wrapped around the top that will trigger it to spin. Players then tie the string in a knot before releasing it. Scoring depends on the duration of the top spinning on the ground. Rules vary on what the players choose to play it. The game promotes sportsmanship and honesty.


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