“Dampa” is a beloved traditional game that has been passed down through generations in the Philippines. It is a game of skill and strategy played with rubber bands (known as “lastiko”) by two or more players. The objective of the game is to unravel a stack of tangled rubber bands by striking an air pocket formed using one’s palm against the ground.
Although there are variations of the game’s rules across the country, the most common version called “Latik-latik” or “Latikay” involves players taking turns attempting to unravel the stack of rubber bands and reach a certain finish line. If a player fails or ends up with an even number of rubber bands, the turn passes to the next player. The player who successfully unravels the stack and ends up with an odd number of rubber bands at the finish line gets to keep the rubber bands as a reward and continue their turn.
To play the game, players use various hand formations known as “Dampa” to create different air-bending techniques. For example, the “pikpik” technique involves using one hand to make a valid turn without unraveling the stack as a strategy for the next player’s turn. Another technique involves forming the hands into a turtle shape, known as “baobao” or “bambo,” to create a larger air pocket for blowing. And other technique like “plus/minus 1, 2, 3” or “silencer”.
Despite being less popular today because of modern games and technology, “Dampa” continues to be enjoyed by kids and families who appreciate its simplicity and tradition. We hope that future generations will continue to cherish and play this beloved game, keeping it alive for many more years to come.
How to Play Dampa
If you’re curious about how to play “Dampa”, here’s a refresher on the game’s mechanics and rules:
To begin, the game must be played on a flat surface, as a rough surface could damage the player’s wrist and air bending will not that effective.
The game requires at least two players, with each player wagering the same and equal number of rubber bands into a reward pool.
To start the game, players must first decide who goes first. This can be done by flipping a coin, playing a game of “Jack and Poy,” or simply by volunteering. Once the first player has been determined, the players must agree on the finish line where the rubber band must be reached. The rubber band is then tangled into a stack and placed on a certain starting area.
The players take turns attempting to unravel the stack of rubber bands and reach a predetermined finish line. If a player successfully unravels the stack and ends up with an odd number of rubber bands at the finish line, they get to keep the rubber bands as a reward and continue their turn. If they end up with an even number of rubber bands, their turn ends and the rubber bands are shared among the other players.
It is important to note that while there are variations of the game’s rules across the country, the basic mechanics and objective of the game remain the same.