Chinese Garter, a game requiring flexibility, balance and coordination, is a popular game for Filipino children, most specifically among girls during their elementary years. The game revolves around an ordinary garter, around two to three yards long, which can be brought from the sewing store at around twenty pesos or less.
Players are divided into two or more teams, with a minimum number of two members per team. During the game, two members of the “it” team shall serve as “game posts” as they stand opposite each other and hold each end of the garter. The objective of the game then is to be able to successfully jump over the garter as it is gradually held higher by the game posts. Just like in the game 10-20, each team also has its own team leader, more commonly known as the “Mother”. Once a team member either touches the garter or fails to jump at a certain level, the Mother can still save her team by taking her team member’s turn. Failure to do so will lead to the team’s elimination by making them the new game posts and will bring the game back to the first level.
The Chinese Garter game is usually subdivided into ten levels. Most of the time, however, the players may decide for their desired number of levels for their game. Here is an example of the levels being used to give you an idea of the game:
- Level 1 – The garter is being held by the posts closer to the ground.
- Level 2 – Knee high
- Level 3 – Around the height of their hips
- Level 4 – Waist high
- Level 5 – Chest high
- Level 6 – Shoulder high
- Level 7 – Head high
- Level 8 – At the tip of the head
- Level 9 – A few inches above the head
- Level 10 – Also known as the Father / Mother Jump, as high as a kid raising his arms high on tip toes
The game usually ends after the highest jump. However, some kids would continue playing the game backwards. Instead of raising the garter higher, the posts shall hold the garter back to its lower position. The game now has a new objective: to be able to reach the garter by bending backwards. The game continues this way until the player reaches back to the lowest level.