Cover The 'green light, red light' doll on Squid Games (Photo: Squid Games/Netflix)

A nightmare turned to life: Which Filipino games would have made it to the country's own version of 'Squid Game'? Here's a quick rundown by the Tatler team

There is no denying that the fictitious world set by the hit Netflix series Squid Game mirrors the harsh realities of life. The binge-worthy show perfectly encapsulated how capitalist-dominated societies take hold of people at the bottom of the social ladder. In the story, hundreds of cash-strapped contestants play Korea's favourite childhood games at the expense of their own lives. 

If you're curious as to which childhood games would probably make it to the Pinoy version of Squid Game, read on to find out what the Tatler team included in the list (including a rating for difficulty level).

See also: Squid Game:5 Reasons to Watch Lee Jung-Jae’s New Addictive K-Drama

1. Pogs: Easy

Origin: The game of Pogs or "milk caps" can be traced to Maui, Hawaii. The game was played in the area sometime in the 1920s and 1930s. Many historical accounts would note that milk manufacturers like Haleakala Dairy and Orchards Hawaii occasionally distributed milk caps as promotional items. In 1971, Haleakala Dairy and Orchards Hawaii used the caps to market their fruit drink called "Pog". 

How to play: The flat, circular cardboard milk caps bearing the images of the latest cartoon craze (Dragon Ball, Street Fighter, Sailor Moon, or Pokémon) are used as pato or chosen cards. The main goal is to beat your opponent's bet by landing on the "right" side or flipping your opponent's pog over. If you win, you have all the right to take the loser's pogs

More from Tatler: 5 Things to Know About Jung Ho-Yeon From ‘Squid Game’

2. Tumbang Preso: Average

Origin: Tumbang Preso is a unique traditional game that originated in the Philippines. The name of this sport is the portmanteau of the Filipino words tumba, which means "to fall," and preso, which means "prison or prisoner". Together, the words translate to "fallen prisoner".

How to play: The game is typically played in backyards, wide streets, and any open area. It involves throwing a slipper at a can or plastic bottle, which the "defense-player" attempts to guard. The game borrows elements from tag and dodgeball.


3. Chinese Garter: Average

Origin: As the name suggests, the game Chinese garter originated in 7th-century China. During the 1960s, children in the Western hemisphere have played the game and put their respective twists or variations. 

How to play: In Chinese garter, players are divided into two or more teams. During the game, two members of the "it" team serve as posts as they stand opposite to each other and hold the garter through their hips, legs, or ankles. The main goal is to be able to jump over the garter without touching it. The garter would then be held higher by the game posts. 

Related: Squid Game Cast: Get to Know the Director and Actors Behind Netflix's Biggest Hit

4. Langit, Lupa: Average

Origin: The game Langit, Lupa, Impyerno may have originated in the Philippines where 84 million people consider themselves Catholic church devotees. The word langit is a Filipino term for heaven, lupa is for earth, and impyerno is for inferno or hell. The game's name basically describes how the "it" cannot reach players who are elevated from the land or Earth. 

How to play: The sport is very easy to play especially if you have the agility of a seven-year-old child. The rule is that players have to find a place (stairs and whatnot) elevated from the land. The unfortunate player who is caught and tagged standing on the ground becomes the new "it" and the running and tagging begin again. 

5. Jackstones: Average

Origin: Jackstones or "knucklebones" as ancient people call them, may have originated from Greece where people use astragalus (a bone in the ankle or hock) of a sheep. These could also be used both in gambling games like dice and for telling the future.

How to play: Filipino jackstones require the use of five jacks or small stones and pebbles around the backyard or house. Players will also need one small and bouncy ball made of rubber. For the game to commence, players (preferably two per game) must scatter the stones or jacks on the playing surface. One will throw the ball into the air and pick up a single stone before the ball falls to the ground. The player who gets the most stones gets to win the game.

Read also: How to Make Your Own Dalgona Candy From ‘Squid Game’

6. Piko/Hopscotch: Hard

Origin: The game of piko or hopscotch began in ancient Britain during the early Roman Empire. According to several historical accounts, the original hopscotch courts were over 100 feet long and used for military training exercises.

How to play: Playing piko is very simple, players only need to have markers that are usually drawn on the cement ground through chalk or crayons. Every player must hop back and forth the markers using one foot. Landing on both feet is only allowed in the area or areas considered as home or bahay of a certain player who has earned it after successfully finishing the game. No other player can step on this area. If a player accidentally lands his or her foot on the markers and bases of the other players, he or she loses one turn.

7. Patintero: Expert

Origin: The word Patintero is derived from the Spanish word "tint" or "ink" in reference to the drawn lines.

How to play: The sport is basically the Filipino version of the Korean squid game itself. The goal is for the offensive players to get as many players through the court without being tagged by the defensive players or the "it". If one player from the offensive team is tagged by a defensive player, he or she goes to the end of the marks to wait for the next turn.

Do you think you can finish these challenges? How far into the game would you last given your knowledge of these classic Pinoy childhood games? If the show has taught us anything it's that besides skill, we'll all definitely need a heaping dose of luck.


6 K-Drama Product Placements That Are Impossible to Miss

13 Korean Netflix Shows To Watch This 2021: The Silent Sea, Squid Game, And More

House Interior Design: K-Drama Home Decor Tips

Tatler Asia
© 2022 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.