Wednesday, December 20, 2006


This is a traditional Filipino game played mostly by children at parties and fiestas. The idea is, while blindfolded, to take a swing with a wooden stick at the hanging clay pot which contains candies and coins. The odds of successfully smashing this clay pot is often against you, but nonetheless, virtually all kids will gladly stand in line for a chance to do it.

As a participant, you will be blindfolded; gently guided to get a sense of the distance; made to feel the hanging pot with the stick (as in this photo); and then led back at the start of the line. However, to lose your bearing, before given the go signal, you will be made to turn a full circle or two. Then you are on your own towards the hanging clay pot full of goodies. You may rely on your gut feel or listen to the conflicting coaching of the boisterous crowd.

By the way, does anyone remember the name of this game?

This was one of the many fun actitivites that awaited the children of Hidalgo Street yesterday at a street party hosted by the Hidalgo Business Organization. It was coordinated by Mrs. Huang, president of the Federation of the Philippine Photographers Foundation (she is in the last picture below). A magic show enchanted the kids well into the night along with lots of food for their delight.

As it turned out, this recently tranformed photographers' haven section of Hidalgo Street near the Quiapo Church also became a joyful playground for the area's children even if for one day, yesterday.

Below are some pictures from the party. For the most part, I purposely configured my camera’s settings to reflect the excitement, though they may appear blurry.

posted by Señor Enrique at 8:33 AM


Blogger abet said...


hello...fiesta ba yan sa inyo?? Ganda ng pics ...nice shots again. Maligayang Pasko po sa iyo at sa iyong pamilya.

December 20, 2006 11:41 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Basey!

This was a special Christmas party sponsored by the merchants of Hidalgo Street for the children of this area near Quiapo Church.

Salamat at Maligayang Pasko din sa iyo at sa iyong pamilya!

December 20, 2006 1:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same concept as the pinata. It's one of my kids' favourite game.

Colourful pictures, and you captured the excitement of the crowd.

Merry Christmas, Eric.

December 20, 2006 1:40 PM  

Blogger ladybug said...

Nice shots you got there senor! :-D I think the game is called palosebo.

Merry Christmas to you and your family! :-D

December 20, 2006 3:17 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks, Irene ... and a Happy Christmas to you and the entire family !

December 20, 2006 3:22 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Palosebo nga ba yon? Thanks!

Wishing you and the whole family a Wonderful Holiday as well, Ladybug!

December 20, 2006 3:25 PM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Hello from cold and misty Belgium!

We call it the piñata.(Bicol)

The piñata is a bright container generally suspended on a rope from a tree branch or ceiling that is filled with candy and toys and is used during celebrations. A succession of blindfolded, stick-wielding children and some fun-loving adults will try to break the piñata in order to collect the candy inside of it. It has been used for hundreds of years to celebrate special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas, and Day of the Dead.

It is a game originating from the Spanish.

December 20, 2006 8:24 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

But I'm sure the whole of Belgium is absolutely photogenic, especially at night with all the Christmas decor. I would love to be there photographing the various sights BUT I do not like the cold weather.

I'm sure everyone is enjoying the family reunion right now.

Enjoy your holiday, Sidney!

December 20, 2006 9:27 PM  

Blogger vonjobi said...

i don't think "palosebo" is quite right. i know it as "hit the pot," but the tagalog translation--"basagin ang palayok"--doesn't quite sound right, either.

anyway, my guess is that it was a christmas party. merry christmas!

December 21, 2006 5:10 AM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

sa amin din ang tawag "hitting the pot." =)

December 21, 2006 5:19 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

senor enrique,
it's also called pinata (enye on the "n") here in southern california. the version here is the hitter aims for an item made of paper machet instead of a clay pot.


December 21, 2006 7:18 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I was under the impression that Palosebo is the bamboo pole greased with lard or something slippery with a pouch of money of the very top of it. The goal is to climb up and reach for it.

Ano nga ba ang pangalan ng laro na ito?

Merry Christmas, Vonjobi!

December 21, 2006 8:23 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

"Hitting the pot?" In english, Carla? Is there a Tagalog name?

December 21, 2006 8:24 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi DatuPanot ... that would be the same as in Sidney's town in Bicol. Ano ba yan? Nalimutan ko na. :)

And those paper mache created are often huge, right? Saw some pictures in magazines. I think that might be a Mexican influence.

December 21, 2006 8:26 AM  

Blogger nina said...

hmmmm..isnt it called "pukpok palayok"? not quite sure though but i love how it rhymes. ehehe!

happy holidays na nga lng..ehehe!

December 21, 2006 10:30 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

simpleng "basagang palayok" lang ang tawag dyan, ang palosebo ay yung may pole na nilalagyan ng langis, may plastik o panyo sa tuktok kung saan may lamang pera o mga kendi, ang mananalo ay yung mga makakapunta sa tuktok at kukunin ang panyo o plastik :)

sya nga pala eric, mukhang hindi na kayo magkikita ni nanay dahil plano na nyang magpunta dito by mid january, ang gusto nya nga sana ngayong pasko na para makapagtago lol!!

December 21, 2006 11:03 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

May nagsabi nga, Nina, tawag daw doon ay "basagan!"

Ewan ko ba ... hilo na ako.

Merry Christmas!

December 21, 2006 12:09 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Galing naman! Buti pa si nanay magiging Singaporean na! Naku, dami hahabol na inaanak niya ... hehehe.

Basagang palayok ba tawag nyo dito, Melai? Sa probinsiya namin iyan ang ginagawa sa mga asawang gabi na at lasing umuuwi ng bahay. Binabasag ng mga Mrs. ang palayok sa ulo nila para matauhan daw.


December 21, 2006 12:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

senor enrique,

yes it's mexican in origin, known or unknown to many of us our dialects are peppered with spanish and mexican language. "palenque" is actually mexican. "palapa" thatched roof made of coconut leaves... i don't know the origin but is both used in mexico and the philippines.


December 21, 2006 12:37 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...


It was "hit the palayot" for us in Mindanao. And thus depending on the dialect, it could also be basag or paluan ng palayok.

Those clay earthenware or pots are quite common most anywhere in the islands. It's called "colon" in our dialect.

Pinata (with the Spanish n) is quite common here in the US because of its proximity to Mexico.

My son's little kid had one two months ago for his bday. Was surprised to learn that it was store bought for under $5. Turned out underneath the pasted colorful crepe paper decorations, was nothing more than pieces from a carton box shaped like a horse.

December 21, 2006 12:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

heheheheeheh para namang basagang pinggan yang sinasabi mo kapag naman sa maynila na diba :)

hmmmn matagal na si nanay dito umuwi lang sa pinas na homesick yata e ngayon matumal na daw pagtitinda kaya ibibigay nya na lang yun sa pinsan ko na kasa-kasama nya sa pagtitinda, pahinga na lang daw sya dito :)

December 21, 2006 5:21 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Mas mura daw kasi ang palayok kesa sa pinggan, Melai.

Ah, ganon ba? Dati na din pala siyang taga Singapore. Ayon na nga, kahit anong ganda ng ibang bansa nakaka-homesick pa din, di ba?

Pag ako ay napadpad doon tawagan ko kayo at kumain tayo doon sa isang kalye na sa hapon ay ginagawa ng kainan. Nakita ko ito sa Food Channel. At saka ang mga alimango pagka-lalaki! Giant crabs na ata ang mga yon.

December 21, 2006 5:58 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Wow! All along, DP, I thought "palengke" was from our local vernacular and that "mercado" is its Spanish counterpart.

I really learn something new almost everyday. Thanks!

December 21, 2006 6:01 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

What I find surprising, Amadeo, is that considering how witty Pinoys are with coined words and phrases, how come no one came up with a single definitive word for this popular game?

BTW, in NYC, amongst Pinoy kids, also popular is the "pabitin." This is almost always homemade.

December 21, 2006 6:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...


December 22, 2006 2:30 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's probably it, "hampas palayok!"

Thanks Spy!

December 23, 2006 12:51 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


About Me

Name: Señor Enrique
Location: Manila, Philippines

View my complete profile

This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called Flickr Badge. Make your own badge here.
Señor Enrique Home
Designed by The Dubai Chronicles.
All rights and lefts reserved.