This month’s playdate is Palaro ng Lahi Part II.
The Christmas season has been a sinful month, what with all the dangerously appetizing feast laid on the table for the holidays and the long-awaited vacations we’ve all worked hard all year to secure.
Because of this, we thought it’s time we straightened our acts a bit and give our idle bodies some much needed exercise.
Gyms are a little too expensive and too stiff for us, though, so we opted to do something more fun instead — and of course what would be more fun than playing at work?
Nope, we don’t mean fancy adult games like golf and all that. We’re talking about the good old games we used to play in our childhood. Games like the ones on the list below:
Ubusan ng Lahi
For those who are not familiar with the game, no, we’re not bloodthirsty people out to wipe some clans from the face of the earth. “Ubusan ng Lahi” is actually a game where a group of players chooses an “it” that will be tasked to eliminate the players one by one by tagging them. Any player tagged will then become an “it” himself or herself. He or she will then chase the remaining players together with the original “it” until no one else is left. The fun thing about it is since you’re busy running for your “life,” you don’t usually see who gets tagged, so you can’t let your guard down when you’re around the other players. We caught most of the players this way, but one of our main illustrators was too cunning to be tricked so he was left as the last one standing and duly got his well-deserved bragging rights.
Few kids who grew up in the Philippines before the year 2000 onwards are not familiar with this game, especially the girls, so no introductions were needed for this one. We simply proceeded to dividing ourselves into two groups by doing a “maiba-taya” with most of the girls ending up in one team and most of the guys ending up in the other — much to the latter’s dismay. The guys did try their best to keep their pride and managed to clear the first couple of levels without much trouble, but the latter challenges proved to be a little bit too much for them. In the end, the girls claimed the victory amidst the guys’ lighthearted boos.
Dr. Kwak-kwak is a game that that is played by having a group of players loop their arms into complicated twists so that no one can tell how the loops ended up that way anymore. It then becomes the task of the “it” to figure out how to “untangle” these loops until the players are back to how they were when the game started.
For people who seldom get any exercise, we were worried for a minute that our limbs would not be able to take the punishment … oops… we meant challenge… but surprisingly, our aging bones turned out to be unwilling to go down without a fight, so we were able to successfully finish the game in spite of the complicated mess we ended up finding ourselves in.
Playing Dr. Kwak-kwak allowed us to rest for a bit while the “it” figured out how to “untangle” our arms, so when the game finally ended, we were ready and raring for another fast-paced round. This time, we chose saksak-puso (come to think of it, why do these games sound a bit too violent?) to satisfy our need for some adrenaline rush.
Saksak-puso is played by having an “it” chase the other players. To tag a player, the “it” needs to touch any part of the player’s body and announce the tag by shouting “saksak.” The player is then considered “dead” and not allowed to move an inch until another player who has not been tagged yet revives him by shouting “puso.”
The game was fun and exciting, but given our number (there were eleven of us minus the “it”) and the large playing area, we decided tagging all the players until nobody was left would take us forever, so we thought we might as well move on to a new game and get some rest while we’re at it.
The previous three games tested our stamina, agility, and craftiness, so for this game, we chose to challenge our flexibility with a round of limbo rock for a change.
Just like how it was with the game of Chinese Garter, this game proved to be a breeze for the shorter girls and a challenge for the taller guys. Two of the guys were particularly competitive, though, so what they were not able to pull off with their height, they tried to pull off through sheer flexibility, and pulled it off they did that we wondered for a bit if they had collapsible joints that they can rearrange at will. No one made it past the waist level in the end, though. (tee-hee!)
The day was already drawing to a close by then, so we agreed to play one last game before we head back to the office to get some food and much-needed rest, and since this was already the last game, we decided to use all the strength we have left for a round of “Agawan Base.”
As what the name suggests, the game is played by two opposing teams guarding their “bases” located at opposing ends of the playing area. Some of the players then venture out of their bases in an attempt to capture one of the opposing team’s players. Anyone captured will then be taken as a “hostage” until all of the opposing team’s players have been captured or one of the enemies managed to steal the base by sneaking inside their territory and touching the marker that had been designated as the “base.”
After making the rules clear, we did another round of “maiba-taya” to see who’s going to become a member of which team, and just like how it ended during the Chinese garter game, majority of the guys went to one team and majority of the girls went to another; however, compared to the Chinese garter game where the girls dominated the game, the odds completely went to the guys’ favor who ran, dodged, and faked their way into stealing the base of the other female-dominated team this time, eventually beating them twice in a row.
Still catching our breaths, we headed back to the office for some much needed rest and refreshment after the games officially came to an end. The exhaustion was evident in everyone’s faces, but everyone was grinning from to ear while fondly recalling the little mishaps we encountered during the game as well as reminding ourselves to grab some Ibuprofen and medicated strips for our muscles that would surely act like crazy once the “torture” that they had to endure had finally sunk in.
All in all, it was definitely a day filled with fun and we’ll be looking forward to having another one.
Wish us luck! (^_^)