Some Games of Filipino Children

Os-Os.

This is a game used by older persons to amuse small children, exactly as our game of the “Five Little Pigs.”

The child is grasped by the wrist with the left hand of the elder, who repeats “Ang áma, ang ína, ang káka, ang áli, ang nóno, tóloy, os-os sa kíli-kíli mo.” That is, “The father (thumb), the mother (forefinger), the elder brother (middle finger), the elder sister (ring finger), the grandparent (little finger) straight up to your armpit.” The armpit is then tickled. Os-os is a verb meaning “to go up stream.” This is a common game among the Tagalogs of Mindoro Island.

Marbles.

The game of marbles is played with conical shells, propelled by laying on the ground and striking with the ulnar side of the index finger, which is snapped from the thumb against it. The goal is a hole in the ground, in which the stakes, usually consisting of other shells of the same kind, are deposited. The “taw” is a straight line some six or eight feet away. If a shell is struck, the owner of the striking shell has another shot, and the owner of the shell struck shoots from where he lies. He seems to incur no penalty.

This is a common game on Mindoro, and is played usually at the beginning of the dry season.

Tágo-Tágo.

Translated, the name means, “Play at hiding.” It is played exactly as “I spy” and the counting out beforehand is similar. There is a considerable number of counting-out rhymes to be heard, only one of which I am able to give entire. It is in Filipino Spanish. “Pim, pim, serapim, agua, ronda, San Miguel, arcángel.”

In English, “Phim, phim, seraphim, water, the night patrol,
St. Michael, the archangel.”

Hop-Scotch.

This game is played by marking out in the dust or sand a parallelogram, which is subdivided into a varying number of compartments. A small stone is put into the first subdivision, and the player, standing on one foot, kicks it into each in turn. If it goes out of bounds he is allowed to kick it back, so long as the other foot does not reach the ground. A failure to complete the circuit entails a loss of turn, and on the next round the player begins again at the first compartment.

Jack-stones.

Is played with pebbles or shells. I am unable to give the special movements, which resemble very much our own game. I suspect that it is of Spanish origin.

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