BNP Sportsfest: Palaro ng Lahi
Do you remember the time when we used to go out and play in the sun all day? When we scour our villages in search of new hideouts to brag? Back when we pride ourselves with how fast we can run? Sure would be nice to relive those times, don’t you think?
We thought so too, and that’s why we organized the very first BNP Sportsfest, with the games centering on traditional Filipino games that we all loved and played in our childhood.
First on our list was one of our old-time favorites – the “Taguan” (hide-and-seek). This was an ideal game because our studio is located in Le Jardin de Fleur, a compound surrounded by towering trees and other plants, so there were plenty of places to hide.
The only problem was running around with our fragile bones that have not experienced proper exercise in weeks, although the thrill of hiding and slipping past detection seemed to have overpowered that as we spotted fellow staff members crawling on all fours as they slowly inch towards the “safe” base.
Still on a roll from the Taguan, we proceeded to the second game on our list – the Tumbang Preso. We apparently played slightly different versions of it when we were kids, so we decided on the official rules first before choosing the “it.”
The first few rounds were a bit easy because some of the staff were still trying to get the hang of the game, but after things warmed up a bit, the game started to become more challenging as the succeeding “prisoners” aggressively pursued those who tried to retrieve their slippers.
With all the running around starting to take its toll on us, we decided to give ourselves a chance to catch our breaths by playing a less strenuous game for the third game. This time, we chose to play with “jolen” (marbles).
However, while it did give us an opportunity to recharge our batteries while preparing for the other more physically demanding games, we soon learned that it’s no less competitive than the previous games as the staff focused hard on taking the most number of marbles home. The game even came to a standstill after the last marble remained rooted to its spot despite the staff’s successive attempts to knock it out of the ring. A winner was eventually declared, though, and everyone posed for a commemorative photo showing their spoils.
Feeling recharged thanks to the previous game, we moved on to team sports, picking Patintero first. Like the previous games, members of the staff proved they were serious about the whole thing by strongly defending their posts, creating several deadlocks throughout the game. However, what the players were not able to achieve through sheer speed and agility, they made up for by using feints and distraction techniques, and after a prolonged battle of wits, Team A emerged as the winner.
Eager to make up for losing the previous game, Team B wasted no time in attacking the opposite team, effectively eliminating three fourths of Team A in the first few throws. The agile Team A captain proved to be a difficult opponent to bring down, though, as she continued to evade one attack after another, ultimately managing to “revive” all her fellow teammates.
The game continued for another round, but even with Team B successfully preventing Team A from scoring another point, the game eventually ended in Team A’s favor.
A combination of football and baseball, this locally adapted game is played with the same rules as baseball, except that instead of hitting the ball with a baseball bat, you kick the ball with your foot, and since it was chosen as the last team sport, everyone gave their best to secure a homerun.
It didn’t come easy considering everyone has already spent most of their energies playing the first few games, but in the end, sheer willpower and team spirit prevailed and Team B concluded the game and the sportsfest with a victorious cheer.