Patintero, also known as harangang-taga or tubigan, is a traditional Filipino children's game. Along with tumbang preso, it is one of the most popular outdoor games played by children in the Philippines.
Patintero is derived from Spanish word tinte ("tint" or "ink") in reference to the drawn lines. Another name for it is tubigan, tubiganay, or tubig-tubig ("water [game]"), due to the fact that the grid lines are also commonly drawn by wetting the ground with water. It is also known as harangang-taga or harang-taga (lit. "block and catch"), referring to the game mechanics.
Patintero is played on a rectangular grid drawn into the ground. The rectangle is usually Template:Convert in length, and Template:Convert wide. It is subdivided into four to six equal parts by drawing a central lengthwise line and then one or two crosswise lines. The size of the rectangle and the number of subdivisions can be adjusted based on the number of players. The individual squares in the grid must be large enough that someone can stay in the middle out of reach of someone standing on the lines.
Two teams are needed, each with around two to six players. One team acts as the taggers, the other acts as the runners. This is usually decided by a game of rock–paper–scissors (jak-en-poy) or a coin toss.
The object of the game is to cross the rectangle back and forth without getting tagged. One tagger is usually assigned per crosswise line. Taggers can only move along their respective lines, with the exception of the tagger on the first line who is regarded as the team leader (patotot). Unlike the other taggers, the patotot can also move along the central lengthwise line. Taggers can tag runners at any time, including those already past them, but both of their feet must always be on the lines. Tagging a runner when none or only one foot is contacting the line is not counted.
Runners can cross at any time and to any adjacent square, however, they can only exit the playing rectangle at both ends of the rectangle. Once a runner is tagged, they are out and will sit out the match until the next game. Teams score points when they complete isang gabi ("one night"), a full circuit of the playing rectangle, from one end to the other and back again. Once all the runners have been tagged, the teams reverse roles, with the taggers now becoming the runners and vice versa.
In some versions of the game, the match ends if even only one runner is tagged. In others, this only applies if the patotot of the team is tagged. In modern versions, there is also sometimes a time limit for how long runners can attempt to score points. The match ends once the time is up, regardless if no points have been scored.
In popular culture
- Whatever happened to ‘patintero’?. Philippine Daily Inquirer.
- Old-Fashioned Filipino Games.
- (2001) Unique Games and Sports Around the World: A Reference Guide. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313297786.
- How to Play Patintero.
- Patintero a.k.a. Tubigan or Harangang Taga. Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Northern Illinois University.
- Laro ng lahi: How to play patintero, tumbang preso and more!.
- ‘Patintero’ on the streets. Philippine Daily Inquirer.