Sungka, although it may not be distinctly and purely Filipino, is a playful game of wits and strategy. Played by two players in a wooden, boat-like object with cowrie shells or marbles, the main goal is to out-play your opponent by literally taking all of his marbles (pardon the pun!)– or pearly shells, as the case maybe.
It may not be apparent to non-insiders of the sungka game, but there is a winning technique or strategy to this game. But more than the technique is to employ psychology or ruses that may distract or misled the other player. Feigning casualness or indecisiveness add firepower to the basic technique.
Again, this game betrays the Filipino’s interest in games where tactics and ruses that cleverly hide one’s real interest is more crucial than mere strategy.
Play it once and you’ll be playing it more than you originally expected.
Mabuhay ang Sungka!