Bill proposes battle of ‘sungka,’ etc.
MANILA, Philippines — A game of “sungka,” anyone?
The House of Representatives is a step closer to passing a bill that would preserve traditional Filipino games such as “sungka” and “sumpit” by holding annual tournaments featuring the indigenous sports.
Popular during family gatherings, sungka involves two players and entails dropping shells or stones into the holes of a canoe-shaped board called “sungkaan” or “sungkahan” until one player captures the most stones and becomes the winner.
“Sumpit” is a blowpipe that uses mongo, among other small, round things, as ammo.
The House youth and sports development committee last week endorsed for plenary approval its committee report on House Bill No. 6192, or the proposed Philippine Indigenous Games Preservation Act.
It identifies some of the traditional sports or games from indigenous communities, including tribal archery, blowpipe, “sibat (spear)”, dug-out canoe race, rock balancing, sumpit, sungka and “kadang-kadang.”
Kadang-kadang is a popular game where players race on stilts.
Among other provisions, the bill calls for the staging of annual regional and national indigenous sports competitions to be spearheaded by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee.
It also proposes the inclusion of indigenous games in the basic education curriculum and the regular conduct of demonstrations in sports meets like the Palarong Pambansa.
Some grade schools feature indigenous games during their annual sports fests by way of reintroducing them to Filipino children.
“It is incumbent upon the State to lay down specific policy directives to promote the interest of our indigenous peoples, and strengthen our cultural heritage and historical roots,” according to the bill.
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