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A sungka board has seven cups for each of the two players–six cups will hold the cowrie shells (stones or fruit seeds can also be used), while the seventh cup will serve as the player’s home base.The goal is to distribute the shells in a counterclockwise fashion, with the player who gathers the most number of shells in his or her home base declared as the winner.The player with the last trumpo standing becomes the winner.Popularly known to Filipino kids as “teks,” these cards are similar to NBA collectible cards, except the former were commonly played in a betting game wherein the winning player takes home the cards.Kids (and adults) today are often too absorbed in playing digital games, so much so that we no longer know or remember how to play with traditional Filipino toys.Unlike their virtual counterpart, the old-fashioned Filipino toys nurtured our creativity and built a sense of teamwork among our peers.
Kids would often throw their tops on a flat surface and let them spin and outperform each other.
Known to Filipino kids as holen or jolen, these toys are played indoors or outdoors and encourage the players to get down and dirty.
Different variations of the game exist, the most popular of which require a player to flick a marble and hit a group of marble inside a circle.
Although considered as a toy by many, the sungka board is also used by some Filipinos to foretell future events.
According to an article published in the Indian Journal of History of Science, the sungka board in the Philippines “is occasionally used for popular divination, especially by elders enquiring on whether travel by youths is auspicious on a certain day, or by girls interested in finding out whether and when they will get married.” Another popular toy that traces its roots to ancient civilizations, the marbles come in different sizes and are usually made of glass with melted pigments.