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Turumpo or trumpo is a popular outdoor Filipino game of manipulating a wooden top to spin on an axis through a string twirled around it. It can be played by any number of players.


Each player needs a trumpo: a top made of wood and has an egg-like shape where in one end is slightly pointed than the other. Driven in the pointed end of the spinning top is an iron nail, an inch of which is projected out. The end of the nail is sharpened to make it even more pointy. A meter-long string is also needed which will cause the spinning motion of the top.

A two-or-more-feet diameter circle is prepared on the ground. A player may either use a stick or his foot to draw the circle. Ten feet from the circle is a starting line where players stand and throw their tops in the circle.

Before the game starts, the turns of the game must be decided through manuhán. Players stand in the starting line with their turumpo in one hand ready to be thrown. Their target is the center point of the circle. Whoever gets to throw his top the nearest to the center plays first.


There are two popular versions of the game based on objective. Players either try to topple each others' tops or simply be the owner of the last top spinning.

Experts in the game can catch their spinning top and keep it in motion in the palms of their hands.

Top Targeting

The objective of the game is to inflict damage on the opponent's top – the player whose top receives the most damage losses.

While the first player is twirling the string around his turumpo, the other players place their tops in the circle, in a bunch or in a row. The first player chooses his target top, aiming his own top on the target 10 feet away from the circle. If he hits his target, he may lasso his own top and start aiming to other tops again. If he missed, then he needs to wait until the spinning stops. His top needs to get out of the circle before it stops or else it will be the next target, and the opponent gets his and become the hitter. In case of a multiple-player game, the unsuccessful hitter's turumpo has to join the rest of the target tops in the circle, and the next hitter will be the person designated “second” based on the manuhán.

If a top is knocked out of a circle in the attempt of the hitter to hit his target, the former joins the rank of hitters outside the circle. All the players in line as hitter shall concentrate on targeting the remaining tops inside the circle. The game only ends when the last top in the circle gets out of it or is split open.

Last Top Spinning

The objective of the game is to be the remaining top spinning.

Players twirl the string around their tops' and unleash these on the ground simultaneously. The duration of the top's whirl depends on the manner by which it is thrown by the player. At times, the top makes a spinning whistle or buzzing sound as it whirl. The tops may collide on each other, and some can endure the strikes and continue spinning. Experts in playing the game can pick up the top in motion with their hand or a string and keep it spinning in the palms of their hands. The top which spins the longest wins.


  • Lopez, Mellie Leandicho. A Study of Philippine Games. University of the Philippines Press: Quezon City, 2001.



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