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Art & Culture

Blast from the Past: 12 Nostalgic Filipino Toys of the Past

Blast from the Past: 12 Nostalgic Filipino Toys of the Past


Greetings everyone! I am so excited to share with you all about one of my favorite topics: Nostalgic Filipino toys! As a proud Pinoy, I have fond memories of playing with these toys during my childhood. From the trumpo to the plastic balloon, these toys were not just a source of fun, but they were also a way for me to connect with my culture and heritage.

I remember running around with my siblings and friends, shouting “Trumpo, ready set go!” or “Tirador, aim, fire!” It was a different time, a simpler time, and these toys were a big part of it. And the best part? We didn’t need expensive gadgets or high-tech devices to have a blast, all we needed were a few pieces of metal or plastic and our imagination.

Now, as an adult, I still find myself drawn to these toys and the memories they evoke. That’s why I’ve decided to write this blog, to share my love for these toys with you all and to pay homage to the cultural heritage that they represent. So sit back, grab a sipa or a saranggola, and let’s take a trip down memory lane!

Nostalgic Filipino Toys


Ah, Teks! The card game that was a staple of Filipino childhoods, including mine. I remember countless afternoons spent playing with my cousins, each of us trying to collect as many cards as possible. The objective was simple, have the higher value card, win the round and take both cards. It was a game of strategy, luck, and a bit of sneaky tactics.

You can find these Filipino toys on Lazada!


Trumpo is a classic Filipino toy that consists of a small spinning top made of wood. I remember playing with it as a child, trying to spin it for as long as possible on the ground. And let’s not forget about a little competition where we would try to knock each other’s trumpo over, adding a bit of strategy to the game. The thrill of seeing it spin and trying to keep it going for just a little bit longer was always exciting.


Moving on to Pogs. I remember spending hours playing this with my friends during recess. The excitement of flipping the pogs and seeing which ones we would win was unmatched. I still have a small collection of pogs in my room, as a reminder of those carefree days.


Tirador was one of those Filipino toys that was always a hit among my friends. The aim was to knock down your opponent’s pieces and be the last one standing. I still remember the sound of the pieces hitting the ground, and the triumphant feeling of being the champion.


Sipa was one of filipino toys that I loved playing with my cousins during family reunions. The objective was to keep the ball (made of woven coconut leaves) in the air using your feet, head, or any other body part. It was a fun way to spend an afternoon, and it was always a friendly competition to see who could keep the ball up the longest.


Sungka Board was a game that was often played by the older generations in my family. It’s a traditional Filipino game of strategy, and it was always fascinating to watch my grandparents play.

Coconut Leaf Ball

Coconut Leaf Balls were often used in games like sipa or patintero. The sound of the ball being kicked or hit was distinct, and it always brought back fond memories of playing with my friends.


And for “Jolen,” there were different variations of the game, but the most popular one involved flicking a marble and trying to hit a group of marbles inside a circle. If any marbles went outside the circle, they automatically became part of the winning player’s collection. This filipino toys where fun and simple game that brought so much joy to my childhood.

Plastic Balloon

Filipino toys - Plastic Balloon

The plastic balloon was one of the classic Filipino toys from the 90’s that many of us remember with fondness. Despite its peculiar smell, playing with it was an art form, requiring some skill to form the perfect balloon. You squeezed the tube to get the resin-like substance, rolled it, placed it at the tip of a straw and slowly blew air until a balloon was formed. And don’t forget the bonus feature of easily repairing any holes that may occur during play using your mouth to blow air. I have fond memories of the excitement of creating a balloon, playing with it, and fixing any holes that may occur. It was a simple toy but brought so much joy to my childhood.

You can find these Filipino toys on Amazon!


Saranggola, the traditional Filipino kite, brings back so many memories for me. Made of bamboo and colorful plastic bag, the objective was to keep it in the air for as long as possible using the wind. I remember the thrill of running with my friends, trying to get the kite as high in the sky as we could. It was always a competition to see who could keep their kite up the longest. Even now, the sight of a saranggola soaring in the sky takes me back to those carefree days. And let’s be real, who wouldn’t want to relive their childhood running around with a colorful kite on a windy day?

Old Tire and Stick

Ah, the good old days where all you needed was a simple tire and stick to have hours of fun! Back in the day, we used to take old motorcycle tires, grab a stick, and engage in a heated game of “kariling.” This competitive racing game was all about keeping your tire rolling and reaching the finish line first. The game was best enjoyed with a group of friends and in an open space like the streets. And let’s just say, winning was serious business. But despite the competition, we couldn’t help but laugh and have a blast playing this simple yet entertaining game.

Significance of these Filipino Toys

These toys hold a special place in the hearts of every Filipino who grew up playing with them. They represent a time in our lives when things were simpler, when our biggest worries were who would win the next round of “Tirador” or “Sipa.” They represent a time when we could spend hours playing outside with our friends and family, without the distractions of technology.

For me, these toys bring back memories of spending time with my cousins, siblings and classmates, laughing and playing until the sun went down. They remind me of the sense of community and togetherness that came with playing these games. Whether we were competing against each other in “Trumpo” or playing a cooperative game like “Sungka Board,” these toys brought us together and taught us the value of teamwork and sportsmanship.

These toys were also a way for us to connect with our cultural heritage. From the traditional “Sungka Board” to the handmade “Coconut Leaf Balls,” they were a symbol of the creativity and resourcefulness of the Filipino people. They showed us that we didn’t need expensive gadgets or toys to have fun, that all we needed was a little imagination and creativity.

And let’s not forget the laughter and joy that these toys brought us. I can still hear the sound of the “Plastic Balloon” bouncing on the ground, or the satisfying thud of a marble hitting its target in “Jolen.” These toys brought so much happiness to our childhoods, and they continue to do so every time we reminisce about them.


As I look back on these nostalgic Filipino toys, I can’t help but feel a sense of longing for the simpler times of my childhood. These toys brought so much joy and laughter to our lives, and I worry that kids today who are stuck playing games on their iPhones and iPads will never understand the joy that these classic toys brought us.

But, despite the advancements in technology, I hope that these toys will always be remembered and cherished by Filipinos everywhere. I hope that future generations will continue to pass down the traditions of playing “Sungka Board” or “Tirador” to their children and grandchildren. These toys are more than just toys, they are a part of our cultural heritage and a representation of the Filipino spirit.

So, let’s take a moment to appreciate these classic toys and the memories they have given us. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of “Sipa” or a newcomer to “Jolen,” these toys have something for everyone. They have brought us together, taught us valuable life lessons, and most importantly, they have brought us so much joy.

And, who knows, maybe someday we’ll be able to convince those kids glued to their screens to put down their devices and pick up some teks or borrow the neighbor’s old motorcycle tire. After all, they might just discover that there’s more to life than just playing games on a screen.

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