In 2010, an article entitled “From Physical Recreation to Digitization: A Social History of Children’s Games in the Philippines” written by Charita Arcangel Delos Reyes, she states that an interesting segment in social history is to study children as “the main holders and “keepers‟ of game culture”. Playing games have been an important phase of growing up. “Where there are children, there will always be games. And the world has never been without children”. Play is said to be the greatest motivator, for it defines lifestyles, industries, and major resource allocations. Games serve as “training grounds for the virtues and vices of adulthood.‟
Here in the Philippines, traditional games are commonly played by children with the used of native materials. Due to limited resources of toys of Filipino children, they usually come up on interesting games without the need of anything but the players themselves. With the flexibility of a real human to think and act makes the game more interesting and challenging. Since it is a tradition for Filipinos to play in a bigger and spacious area, most games are usually played outside the house, like the “Ubusan-Lahi” or “Ubusan ng Lahi”.
In a blog,written by Benjamin Mangubat the game tentatively called Ubusan ng Lahi or UBL is modeled after the Game of the Generals invented by the late Sofronio Pasola. It is a board game played by two opposing individuals with an arbiter. A rudimentary knowledge of military rankings (based on the superior defeats the inferior) played against the other side with the ultimate goal of capturing the flag of the other side make the game exciting. It is a game of strategy, and bluff. The Game of the Generals had its heyday in the mid-seventies but it is no longer as popular now as it was. As a game, it appealed to the Filipino’s inclination to action and fast results.
Likewise, the Japanese period saw the emergence of the pre-game the game of conquer, Ubusan ng Lahi literally means, anihilation of race, which may have stirred memories of the Japanese invasion in the Philippines during World War II as it was also known as “Bansai,”, Japanese term for “longlive” as greeting or patriotic cheer.
Ubusan-lahi was played in deffirent ways in diverse places, but most of the time, the game is being played in a way, that one tries to conquer the members of a group (as in claiming the members of another clan). The tagged player from the main group automatically becomes an ally of the tagger. The more players, the better. The game will start with only one and then try to find and tag other players. Once a player is tagged, he or she then will help to tag the other players until no other participant is left.
Children are innovators of most unique games who surely would have a way to reinvent traditional games. It helps shapes their bodies and healthily develops their physical and mental alertness. Indeed, games serve as training ground for children’s social development as they learn to interact with each other. As one cliché says “I got stinky, I got dirty, but see, I learned.”