By Karla Atanacio
Aksyon ng Ating Kabataan (ANAK) Inc. hosted a series of traditional Filipino games during last month’s Food-o-rama festival. The two-day event was filled with fun and enjoyment as families from all across Manitoba gave their best effort to participate. Larong Pinoy was composed of classic Filipino games such as patintero, tumbang preso, piko, Dr. Kwak Kwak and Chinese Garter – games that are usually unbeknownst to younger Filipino-Canadians.
Foodorama organizer Lourdes Federis wanted to remind Filipinos that our culture is just as worth sharing as our food. “I remember after playing Chinese Garter when I was a kid, my friends and I always buy sago or scramble. I think Larong Pinoy compliments that “homey” feeling, and most especially I want to preserve that part of our culture to the coming generation.”
On Saturday, players got their hands dirty as they played patintero, sipa and Dr. Kwak Kwak. Festival sponsor Valen Vergara didn’t let his business attire stop him from winning the game of Patintero with the Liwanag Family. The team claimed victory against their opponent in a close match of 2-1. For the rest of the afternoon, the Liwanag Family dominated the field, with their son Allen winning sipa with 58 kicks in under 2 minutes, their daughter Arbien tying first place in piko with Tamae Kato, and the rest of the family successfully assembling themselves in an unsolvable loop during an intense game of Dr. Kwak Kwak.
Things took a turn on Sunday as the previous day’s intense level of competition turned into a laid-back learning environment. The Datuin and Madrid family were happy to join their children in a friendly match of tumbang preso, touchball, chinese garter and Dr. Kwak Kwak. Each family brought home educational prizes from ANAK Inc.
“All in all, we enjoyed the festival. We are happy we took part [in Larong Pinoy]; we also won educational prizes that my kids will enjoy,” said Rizalina Jeroso-Liwanag. “When I was in college, I won first place in a sipa competition. Every time I tell this story to my kids, they become more interested in Filipino games. It’s good that they can now share it with others.”
Larong Pinoy is expected to return in the second year of Food-o-rama.