Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bato, papel, gunting world championships

Back home, when we were still kids, we called this game "pik", probably the Visayan way of saying "pick". The game is played by two players first holding hands and then, on the count of three, releasing the hold to do a gesture of a "bato", "papel", or "gunting". The rule is simple: Bato wins over gunting. Papel wins over bato. Gunting wins over papel.

And guess what? I have just learned from the Thinking Blog that there is actually a professional competition for the game complete with an annual world championship at that. The last one was held last October 13 in Toronto, Canada with a total of $10,000 in prize money. In the championship, a woman bested a man to become the first ever woman world champion.

Too bad no Filipino seem to have known about this. Clearly, the game can be a sport where Filipinos can excel in. The Thinking Blog even offers some very cool tips on how to win in the game. For example, he suggests going for paper or "papel" against a male rookie whose natural tendency is to lead with a rock or "bato". On the other hand, female rookies tend to go for scissors, probably showing the natural tendency for females to cut things. :)

After knowing this, it would really be nice if someone can organize a professional organization/competition on the game here in the Philippines. It will give our kids extra encouragement in playing their "pik" more seriously. Who knows we are just a few years away from our very own rock paper scissors world champion, yung tipong Bata Reyes sa "pik".

In fact, as an added encouragement, our lawmakers should consider replacing the tossing of coins or drawing of lots in deciding tied election contests in our country. Toss coin and drawing lots are really akin to gambling and based on chance, while "pik" is really a game of skill and mind, which is really better in terms of promoting values. Our thanks to the Thinking Blog for bringing this to our attention.

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