about the game

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One of the many native Filipino games is Tumbang Preso which directly translates to “fallen prisoner.” There is no known creator or identified date as to how this game came to be, children would just gather with what limited resources they had and start playing. The game calls only for the use of an empty tin can which serves as the preso, a pamato or throwing object such as a flip-flop or tsinelas for each player, and finally a circular barrier around the can which can be drawn on the ground with chalk, charcoal or directly into dirt.

Tumbang Preso is traditionally played with a maximum of 9 players, one serving as the taya or “it” who will be guarding the preso in the middle of the circle. Before the game begins each player will take turns throwing their pamato into the circle, the pamato that lands the furthest from the preso is determined as the taya. When the game begins each player will take turns trying to knock down the can from a distance of about 2-3 meters, if they fail to do so they must retrieve their pamato while the taya tries to capture them to take his/her place as the taya. If the can is successfully knocked down the taya remains in the circle and puts the can back in place so the game can continue.