Saturday, October 1, 2011

Larong Pinoy, Luksong Tinik

We are children of the sun. Not the literal anak araw or albinos. Living in a tropical country, the Philippines is blessed with a lot of sunlight. And the Filipino culture brings us outside of our houses most of the time. If you stay indoors, its either you are too old or too sick. We work, we socialize, we play outside. To be out is to be alive.

When we were young we play outside our houses. There's a time to behave, there's a time to be wild. When there's sun, open space, and a few kids...the fun begins! And larong pinoy is more often than not done outside. A favorite, is luksong tinik.

Photo by Isabelo Santos
Luksong tinik is a very popular game to Filipino children. It is a game where one has to jump over the tinik and cross to the other side unscathed. Boys and girls play, lining up to jump. There are always 2 "thorns" who place feet and hands alternatively to make the tinik higher. It gets higher and higher up until one gets snagged in the thorns and replaces one of the taya.

The luksong tinik isn't physically demanding, and its fun to play. The entertaining part isn't the jumping itself, but cheering, taunting, jeering, bragging and laughing of the kids. We all know you can't play this all day. Soon, after a few rounds, the kids would tire of luksong tinik and move on to another game.

Somehow the games we had played and our parents played, had been handed over to the next generation. It just happens naturally. I find it amazing. With the rise of computers, less and less children are playing outside. With the increase of condominium type living, playing space for children lessens. Its a pity that more and more people are missing out a Filipino childhood. They're missing out a lot of fun. They're missing a lot that made us Filipino.