• Does Your Child Know Trumpo, Sipa and Saranggola?

    Commemorate Independence Day by introducing them to the toys you played with as a kid.
    by Apol Massebieau .
  • IMAGE La Pomme Living

    With “Araw ng Kalayaan,” I thought it would be nice to celebrate by making these homegrown toys and giving it an even more patriotic bent.

    The idea came a few weeks ago. My husband Pierre, my daughter Lilou and I were on a beach in Zambales. We met a boy named Justin who made several kites from discarded plastic bags and two bamboo strips tied together in a cross. Most of his materials were found right on the beach. The only thing he bought was a roll of nylon fishermen’s string.

    Justin flew the kites with his brother and a bunch of younger kids. With the openness and warmth typical of Pinoy kids in the provinces, they welcomed us. We spent a good part of one afternoon with them, just hanging out. As a parting gift, Justin gave us one of his kites.

    More from Smart Parenting

    IMAGE La Pomme Living

    I bet that Justin is the kind of kid who is a master at tumbang presoor falling prisoner, where you try to topple the can by hitting it with your rubber slipper--it was great, sweaty fun on the streets of Las Piñas. Back then, it wasn’t the crowded city that it is now. Big parts of it were still grassland, there were not a lot of people, and there certainly were very few cars and tricycles. 

    IMAGE La Pomme Living

    One game I didn’t play very much were wooden tops, locally known as trumpo (I used acrylic paint to color these tops). I probably had this fear that I would drop the thing on my foot and get myself stabbed by a rusty nail. I was a too imaginative kid.Besides, I was never very good during the few times I tried spinning a top. I had playmates who were ninjas at it though, keeping their trumpo spinning endlessly!

    IMAGE La Pomme Living

    I was much better at sipa. I read that we were playing this game way before the Spaniards came, so hey we should be all kicking around a sipa on Sunday! To make this, all you need are washers or tingga. You can get them from any hardware store. Traditionally, you tied plastic strips to your washer, but I used strips of fabric in the photo (this way, you can just soak in a pail of water and soap to clean and reuse). The object of the game is to kick the sipa with your foot, keeping it up in the air as long as you can. 

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    IMAGE La Pomme Living

    Now, do you remember these coco-leaf balls? I made them using long strips of thick paper or cartolina, but these are traditionally made using coconut leaves. Because it’s been so long since I made one, I needed a refresher course. I watched this video--it’s instructive and gets bonus points for the host, who is funny in that effortless and insouciant way we Pinoys have sometimes. 

    Apol Massebieau blogs about minimalism and the DIY life at La Pomme LivingShe runs La Pomme, which hand-makes toys and DIY kits for kids. She is currently based in the Philippines and lives with her husband Pierre and daughter Lilou.   

    More from Smart Parenting

View More Stories About
View more articles
Sign In with your website account