Friday, May 22, 2009



Some of these games were played at San Miguel Elementary School (now Teodora Cruz Elementary School) during our grade school days in the early 50’s. We had so much fun during those days especially during recess, before. and after classes. Sixty years or more had passed, my husband, Ric, and I, sponsored the San Miguel Fiesta on May 7-8, 2009. With the economy affecting everybody in the world, we thought we could still have fun and enjoy the Fiesta with a simple celebration giving more emphasis to the patron saint, St. Michael the Archangel. So we proposed some cost-cutting activity like playing a few of our local games. I consulted with our former teacher and principal Mr. Vicente D. Santos, who also went home from California, to be part of the Fiesta regarding the games. Friends, relatives and the “Kabataan” organization were very supportive of the idea and we couldn’t thank them enough for their assistance. The "Kabataan" played other games in addition to what I have listed below. Their assistance is greatly appreciated.

As simple as that, it ended up to be a wonderful Fiesta of St. Michael the Archangel in Hagonoy Bulacan, May 7-8, 2009, despite the threat of the strong typhoon that made a landfall in Pangasinan north of Manila. Barrio people and guests crowded the street to watch the kapitana, kapitan, hermano, hermana, their "abay" and the long processions highlighted with colorful and beautiful fireworks in the evening. Thanks be to God through the intercession of our patron saint, the Fiesta was celebrated in great jubilation!

Karera ng Bao ng Niyog(Coconut Shell Race)

Need: Even number of boys and girls 7 – 10 years old; several pairs of coconut shells depending of the number of players.
Each player must have a pair of coconut shells with strings about 1 meter long depending on the height of the player. String must be firmly knotted securely at the bottom inside the shell.
Draw 2 parallel lines about 8 – 10 meters apart. One line is the starting point and the other is the finish point.
Children (mixed boys and girls) form 2 lines. On the starting line the players stand side by side. Players put coconut shells under feet placing the string between the big toes and the small toes while holding on to the loose end of the string or rope.
At the signal, the players walk with the coconut stilts towards the goal or the finish line and turn around to return to the starting line. Players give the coconut stilts to the next player in line and walk to the finish line. The process continuous until the last players had their turns. The first team that finishes the race wins the game.

Karera ng Timba ng Tubig(Water Bucket Race)

Need: 2 buckets filled with water; even number of boys and girls 7 -10 years old.

Draw 2 parallel lines about 8 – 10 meters apart. One line is the starting point and the other is the finish point.

Children (mixed boys and girls) form lines. On the starting line the players stand side by side. With the bucket of water players walk from the starting line to the finish line and turn around to return to the starting line without spilling any water. Players had the bucket of water to the next players who do the same thing. The team that finishes first with more water left in the bucket wins the race.

Karera ng Itlog(Egg Race)

Need: At least 2 hard boiled eggs and 2 tablespoons or as many teams playing
Players: 7 – 10 years old boys and girls
Draw parallel lines about 8 – 10 meters apart. Two players serve as the starting point and other as the turning point.
Formation: Players form 2 lines.
The first players of each team hold the spoon with the hard boiled egg. They walk as fast as they can from the starting point to the turning point and then return to the line to turn over the spoon with the egg to the next player without dropping the eggs. If a player drops the egg this player picks up the egg, puts it back in the spoon and continues to play.
The next players repeat the movement until everyone in the team has had a turn. The first team to finish wins the game.

Egg Toss
Need: 1 dozen eggs. 12 pairs of players
Outdoor: Have players/partners form 2 lines. Give an egg to each of the players on one side/line. Start tossing the eggs to their partners who try to catch the eggs without dropping them on the ground. Players who dropped/broke their eggs are out. Continue to play the game until only a pair is left who is then declared as the winner.

Clothespins Game
Need: 2 dozens clothespins, 10 ft long clothesline, and players at least 13 years of age
Have 2 players hold the ends of the clothesline. Place the clothespins on the clothesline.
Players (with one hand behind their backs) take turns removing the clothespin from the clothesline with only one hand. Whoever can remove the most clothespins wins the game.

Balloon Popping
Need: Balloons, and players 10 – 12 years of age
Outdoor: Children blow/inflate and tie 3 balloons onto one ankle. At the go signal the players start to go around popping each other players’ balloons by stepping, stumping, kicking the balloons. Whoever is left with at least 1 inflated balloon still tied to the player’s ankle wins the game.

Spin the Plate/Bottle
Need: A paper plate or empty bottle. 8 – 10 Children 8 – 10 years of age stand in a big circle.
Outdoor: The leader starts with spinning the plate/bottle. While the plate/bottle is spinning the leader calls out a name of the players who then tries to get the spinning plate/bottle before it stops spinning. If the player catches the object the player goes back to the circle and the game continues. However, if the player did not catch the item this player is out of the game. The leader starts another round.

Apple Dance – Couples

Need: Apples or any round fruit, couples/partners. Those that wear eyeglasses must remove them while playing this game.
Couples place an apple or santol between their foreheads. The music will play any tune sometimes fast sometimes slow. The last 1-2 couples that stay win the game.

Safety Pin Game(Couples)

Need: A lot of safety pins, couples (husbands must be out of sight). With only the wives standing still have another player pin clothespins everywhere in the clothes (front, back, lower hem, sleeves, neck collar, skirt, pants, etc. Bring the husbands in and have them look for the pins. The one that finds the most pins wins the game. (No coaching please!).

Day and Night
Need: 1 wooden shoe or 1 slipper
Players: Boys and girls 6 – 12 years of age

Children form 2 teams (“night” team and “day” team). They stand 10 feet away opposite each other. Two lines are drawn on the ground and the teams stay behind their designated safe line. The top part of the shoe/slipper is assigned to the “day” team and the bottom part of the shoe/slipper is assigned to the “night” team.
The leader tosses the wooden shoe/slipper into the air while the players watch how it is going to land on the ground. If it falls down with the top of the wooden shoe facing up, the “Day” team tags the “Night” team. Anyone tagged becomes a part of the “Day” team. If the wooden shoe/slipper falls facing down the “Night” team tags the “Day” team. The tagged players then become part of that team. The players can only tag other players up to the safe line drawn on the ground.
Whichever team tags the most players wins the game.

Ankle Race
Need: Children 5-10 years old. Draw starting point and turning points. Form 2 teams.
2 Children grab their ankles, holding on to them all the way and race toward the turning point and back to the starting points. They then touch the next children in line and do the same thing until everyone has had a turn. The first team to finish wins the game.

Feather Race
Need: Children 5-10 years old. Paper plates and feathers on each plate.
Each child holds a paper plate with a feather on it; walks to the turning point; goes back to the starting line and hands the paper plate with feather on to the next player. Continue the game until all players have gone. The first team to finish wins the game. If the player loses the feather, player must pick it up and put it back in the plate. The game continues.

Need: Children and 1 less lollipop than the players
Place the lollipops on a straight line across from the children. At a given signal, the children run and take a lollipop each. The child that does not get a lollipop is eliminated but is given 1 lollipop for consolation prize. The game continues until all lollipops are gone.

Nut/Corn Race
Need: Children 5-8 years old; 2 bowls of nut/corn for each team. Draw starting and turning points.
Players stand behind the starting points. Place the bowls full of nuts/corn at the starting points. Place empty bowls at the turning points. From the starting points each player scoops up as many corn/nuts on the back of their hands and drops them into the empty bowl and runs back to the team. Some nuts/corn will fall off along the way; these may not be picked up. The next players do the same thing. The team that gets the most nuts/corn in the bowl wins the game.

Fruit Race
Need: Children 5-8 years old, fruits and ruler/pencil.
Children form 2 teams of equal number of players. Each team is given a fruit and a pencil or ruler. At the go signal, the first players roll the fruit with the pencil/ruler to the turning points and back to the line. They give the ruler/pencil to the next in line and do the same thing. The first team to finish wins the game.

Fruit Basket Upset
Need: Children 5-10 years old. Players form a hug circle. Children are asked their favorite fruit. When the leader yells a certain name of fruit (banana/mango/apple/etc.) all players with that name exchange places. When the leader yells “fruit basket upset” all the players exchange places. There’s no loser in this game, just fun!

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