A Game of Patintero – Near Surigao Airport

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This post has been edited. I stand corrected with what this game was called. Thanks to Jessica who correct me on this error in the comment box below. (Thanks wife for telling me the game that isn’t! Love you none the less!)

Coming to Australia to live from Philippines, I have experienced few games that we used to play. Living in Australia, I yet to see the very same games we used to play. In saying that though, how kids here in Australia, in suburban areas anyway would most likely be going to parks or playing computer games or games that their parents have bought for them.

Philippines is a third world country, so kids will have to be creative, plus these child games would most likely be passed from generation to generation. It still exists today, evidently.

I am one of those parents who’s children lives far away from me. In this particular case, one of my children still lives in Philippines—my fiance, Jobelle Alaysa and Tahnee. During my last visit—some calls home coming. I had the chance to spend quality time with my daughter—we met for the very first time in person. Amongst the many things that we did as father/daughter (and recorded visually). I share to you our experience at Surigao Airport. More about how I met my daughter for the first time on this blog How Does it Feel Like Being Overseas Filipino Workers — OFW.

A game of of Patintero

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A game of Patintero goes something like this. You create a rectangle big enough so all your players can fit in there, but small enough that you can actually tag somebody. It is like playing tips, but you have to stay within the rectangular play area

Create the play area. You create two other sets of even lines connecting from one end to the other of the longest width of the rectangle.

The “in” team. This team will need to tag or tip the opposing team. That’s it! That’s their job. If they tag one of the opposing team then the game or round is over. They then swap sides. This team however, is limited to where they can go. They are only allowed to run along the marked lines. See the image above. Those are the only places where they can run around to—anywhere where there is a line.

The runners. The runners job is go get through the lines without getting caught—by tagging or tipping. It’s simple as that. If you can or somebody from your team passes through the guards then you win that round. You then swap sides.

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The spoilers

Tahnee and I was on our walk, exploring our surrounding. We tend to go for a walk before breakfast. This was one of my ways to bond with my child—away from the comfort of her full time carer, the one she’s most comfortable with and can’t live without. Her mother. I would have enjoyed it too if the mother came with us, because then this would become a family event, instead of a father and daughter thing. Either way I don’t mind. Walking for recreation like how we do it in Australia in my observation is not common in Philippines. I don’t know why, but distance, sun and heat seems to discourage Filipinos from walking around!

As we approached an empty gravel area near Surigao Airport, Tahnee and I decided to go there and play a little bit. Running around a dusty gravel at the same time on the look out for any arriving or departing air-planes. When she noticed some kids playing Patintero, she let go of my hand and ran and started to join them.

Fortunately, the kids there, were tolerant of her and was keeping an eye out for her, so they don’t run into her whilst they continue and play their game. Tahnee the “saling-pusa” enjoyed her time, as if she was playing with the older kids. We spent a good 2 hours there until the kids finally had enough and started walking away from where we were. They jumped the fence and onto the air-field playing right close to the tarmac.

Kids play where play lands and take off?

Tarmac? Yup! You won’t see kids doing that here in Australia. The airfield in the first place will have a fence so high up that it would be a chore to climb. Living in Australia, we do have strict rules. It’s called Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S). Because of the rules here and fear of getting sued and all the rest of it. Stories like these are almost non-existent.

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Dad and daughter time again

After the kids left—you can actually see the kids at the background of from the photo above. That’s where they went and started playing again, right next to the tarmac. Just above Tahnees head.

It was back to father and daughter again. We chased each other, we did try playing tips—but Tahnee hasn’t quite gotten the concept of it. So we played the chasing game until she grew tired of the game. Just before we left for home, she played horsey on this hardened soil. Needles to say though, our clothes were…dirty from collected dust mixed with sweat!

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Jojie Certeza

Jojie Certeza is a Sydney based photographer. His passion for photography started in 2007 after being introduced by a friend who is also passionate about photography. He also founded; www.asimplecreation.com— a food photography service. He can be hired for food photography assignments

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