Filipino culture brings us outside of our houses most of the time. To be out is to be alive. 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. Larong Pinoy is more often than not done outside.
Luksong tinik (English: “jumping over thorns”) is a popular game in the Philippines. It is originated in Cabanatuan city, Philippines, played by two teams with equal numbers of players. Each team designates a leader, the nanay (mother), while the rest of the players are called anak (children).
The players are to jump over the fence without touching it. As each round is cleared, the fence gets higher as a hand is added. This continues until the players who act as the fence run out of hands and feet to add. If any part of a jumping player’s body or clothing touches the fence, that player is out. In variants of the game with a designated “mother”, that player has a chance to save a failed jumper by attempting the jump herself. If she fails, the game resets with the failed jumpers forming the fence.
Apart from playing as the fence in the following game, the failed jumpers can also be asked to play a round of “truth or consequence”, giving them a choice to answer a question honestly or undergo a task given by the other players. These questions and tasks are usually harmless but embarrassing, such as revealing who one is infatuated to or rolling in the dirt.
The luksong tinik is fun to play. The entertaining part isn’t the jumping itself, but cheering, taunting, jeering, bragging and laughing of the kids.
Somehow the games we had played and our parents played, had been handed over to the next generation. 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.