Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I don't know how to translate this into English but the Tagalog name of this famous and well-loved Filipino game is "Patintero" in Hiligaynon (Ilonggo) and Sugbuhanon (Cebuano) it is called "Tubiganay".

Perhaps the Tagalog name came from a Spanish word "tinte" meaning "tint" refering to the lines. I can see why the Visayas region dwellers call it "tubiganay" because in the dusty fields where it is being played, oftentimes, water is used to make the lines that is crucial to holding this game.

I recall breezy, moonlit nights of fun playing patintero under the light of Third World lamposts and the moon with my friends. Another variation is on hot, lazy summer afternoons, a few pails of water on a dusty patch of land, add a few neigborhood kids and you’ve got stiff competition going on! Patintero is a game of speed, agility, team work and being able to bluff.

What you need: even ground that you can write on using chalk or charcoal, or a patch of land that you can create lines using water or mark using a pointer stick. Some soil is really dark and loamy and instead of adding water or writing with chalk which would easily get unnoticed, you can use a stick to make shallow grooves in the soil for your lines.

Players: minimum number of 4 - 6 children, more would mean more fun!

The paying field:

On smooth cemented or asphalt ground, use chalk or, if the ground has a ligth-gray color, charcoal to draw a lines like below:

If there are more players, you must add more lines. The more lines you have, the more difficult (takes longer to finish) but the more exciting the game!

The Game:

Players make up two teams of even number (i.e. 2 against 2 or 3 against 3) They can use “maalis-alis” to make the groupings (see previous blog on “Maalis, alis”). Then team leaders can use Jack en Poy to decide who will play first. (Note: Jack en Poy in my next blog).

The winning team gets to run first while the losing team gets to guard the lines. The team leader is on the first line and he has the “power” to also run along the middle line to catch an opponent.

The running team use all speed and bluffing strategies to get through the lines and back earning them a total points relative to how many players were able to enter the lines and come back to the starting point.

When one member of the running team is tagged, then the runners now become the line guards and the guards now take turn as runners.

This game can takes hours of fun and good exercise for the young and even the young-at-heart.


Papa Osmubal said...

Dear Kabayan,

Patintero is obviously a loan word from Spanish. I am not Tagalog as I am from Pampanga so I don't know the native Tagalog term for Patintero. We have a native Kapampangan term for the game and it is "Piko" or "Piku". In English Patintero or Piko/u is "Hopscotch".

I hope my comment helps.

Papa Osmubal

Papa Osmubal said...

Dear Kabayan,

Sorry, I must have mixed things up. Patintero and Piko (hopping or hopscotch) are totally different. I confused one to the other.

Papa Osmubal

Anonymous said...

Patentero is different from Hopscotch. I agree with you. I miss playing this.

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J'ai deux coeur, ma mari et ma fille. Prefere la theatro y la cinema y tambien leer muchos livros. Mahilig din akong makinig sa mga tugtuging Pilipino at mga kakaiba tulad na freestyle na jazz. Shu fi aqel elyaum? Tabemashyooo!!! Hai, so desu. Amo gid na ya ang nanami-an ko himuon, ang magsige-kaon!!! Mau lagi nga ingon ani ko kay sige lang ug luto akong bana.