Games with Filipinos

filipiniana visual

Writer: Solenne S.

Editor: Liz S.

Visual: Somya D.

After celebrating PISTA on Wednesday, March 4th, the Filipino culture has remarkably stood out this week with its unique aspects that surprised us all. Here are a few interesting common Filipino games, sports, and dances! 

Street Games 




The name Patintero originates from the Spanish word tinte, meaning ink. In reference to the game, it relates to the lines drawn on the court setting up the game. This game can be played indoors, although it is more commonly played in the streets. On the playing field, there are two teams and the objective is to get around the defenders on every line and dodged them until the end. The team with the most points wins. 


Luksong Baka


Another popular filipino street game is luksong baka which in English means “jump over the cow.” A minimum of 3 players are needed but can be played with up to about 10. It begins with the “taya” or the “it”  in a kneeling down position and the other players use their hands to push on the tayas back and go over him/her without falling over. As each round is completed, the “taya” raises his/her body in order to make it more challenging. 






While most people may not know this, the Philippines has a national sport called “Arnis.” The sport is a type of martial arts that involves using weaponry such as sticks, knives, blades, and hand to hand combat. The objective is to be able to develop the ability to protect oneself using the application of the Philippine martial art. While it is not yet an olympic sport, the Philippines considers it as part of their culture. 


Philippine National Basketball Team



Basketball is dubbed as the most famous sport in the Philippines despite it not originating from the country. Although the average filipino male height is 5 feet and 4 inches, and the average female height is 5 feet and 1 inch, the Filipinos utilize their environment and build to its best ability to be able to play the game. The game’s fast pace and its energetic dynamic has won the hearts of the Filipinos. 






Tinikling is a traditional folk dance that started during the Spanish colonial era. The dance involves 4 people, two dancers and two bamboo holders. The two dancers have to dance in between the closing bamboo sticks while following a beat and synchronized movements. The dance was created based on the punishments that were given to the Filipinos who did not work hard enough for the Spanish empire. Today, it is a lovely dance that brings its audience to joy despite its harrowing origins. 


Pandanggo sa Ilaw


Another dance originating from the Spanish colonial era is “Pandanggo sa Ilaw,” which translates to “Dances of light.” While there are various versions of the dance in different regions, all have one common aspect of the  candles that are balanced on the dancers’ hands and heads throughout the whole performance. It is mostly danced in the provinces of the Philippines. The difficult dance has left audiences in awe across generations. W