Sipa | @natmuseumph (National Museum of the Philippines


Summer is here! Why not take a break from the internet and sweat away from the heat, while safely playing traditional games with your family at home?

For this Museum From Home series, the National Museum of the Philippines features Larong Pinoy which has become a symbol of our cultural heritage and pride.

“Laro” is the Filipino term referring to all forms of recreational play. These games commonly use indigenous or locally available materials and instruments. Play is one of the great ways to help children learn social customs and values. It is also an avenue to develop skills in preparation for competitive participation in sports and other everyday situations.

One of the most popular Philippine traditional games is sipa. The term “sipa” refers to the game itself, the object being hit, and the act of hitting. This game tests the agility, speed, and control of the players, who use their feet, knees, elbows, or hands to continuously hit the sipa before it touches the ground. It is a game of stamina, either played individually or in teams.

A rattan ball is also used to play the sport native to Southeast Asia, known as “sepak takraw”. It is coined from the Malay word for kick (sepak) and Thai word for woven rattan ball (takraw). A sports event in the Asian Games and the Southeast Asian Games, the match is played in a court between two opposing regu (teams), each consisting of two or three players, who hit the ball back and forth using only their feet, knees, and heads over a net. In the Philippines, this traditional sport is part of the primary and secondary school curriculum.

During the annual sports fest of the National Museum of the Philippines every October, sipa is one of the games played for the Palarong Pinoy.

Try playing sipa at home to stay fit and agile during the Enhanced Community Quarantine, and you might just get a kick out of it.

You can also make your own sipa using common materials such as rubber bands, flat metal, and strips of plastic straw.

You may want to read: