Say the word tong-its, and you may have a Filipino in your midst! Tong-its is a popular Filipino game loved by the Ilocanos. According to some, tong-its was played in Pangasinan in the mid-1980s and then called “tung-it.” However, it has since evolved.
However, what makes people enjoy and love playing tong-its so much? For one, it has been around for quite a while. It has also been around for generations. It’s also been passed from one player to another. It is also easy to learn. Overall, what makes it so beloved is its fast gameplay, accessibility, and ease of learning.
For one, tong-its is a very accessible game, especially for Filipinos. It was also available online, made possible by game developer CodeTribe Labs. CodeTribe Labs’ vision was to connect OFWs worldwide by taking one of the Philippines’ most popular street card games and converting it into an experience that anyone around the globe could share. The product had resulted in “Tongits Wars,” and it was available on Facebook.
The proprietor of CodeTribe Interactive was Eric Asinas. He had experience as a telecoms engineer in various African countries, where he learned that the three activities his fellow OFWs enjoy the most are karaoke, basketball, and Tongits. However, OFWs could only engage a little in those activities due to the demanding nature of their work. Asinas had hoped to fill that void with the creation of Tongits Wars.
Despite its lack of advertising, it has gone viral and gotten over 100 thousand players. However, the game had bugs that required fixing. Moreover, as the game was free-to-play, the studio turned to in-game advertisements and Facebook payments to meet the upkeep costs of a game server that had to handle 1.4 million users. In 2013, the game had to be shut down for good.
After two (2) years, Tongits Wars returned to apps and IoS. Despite setbacks, it has since risen well. And it also became a platform where you can freely play tong-Its.
Now, you can play tongits online!
Easy To Learn
Another thing why people love tong-its is because it is a game that is quite easy to learn. It can get a little confusing at first, but it’s easy to get the hang of it after practice! In addition to its accessibility, the ease of learning tong-it lies in the fact that most Filipinos who know how to play it learned the game’s art from their relatives or even their parents!
Lastly, another reason why Tong-its is so beloved is because of its gameplay. In tong-its, you use a standard deck of fifty-two (52) cards with a maximum of four players. Every player is given and dealt twelve (12) cards, while the dealer has thirteen (13).
What needs to be achieved in the game is that you need to use up all the cards in set combinations. To do this, you must use the other players’ discarded cards.
Tong-its is a beloved game, especially for Filipinos. Its roots may be traced back to the streets, but it has a cultural significance and legacy.