Evolution of Sungka: Blending Classic and Modern Gameplay

Beautiful pieces evoking recollections of historical recreation as well as novel interpretations of the almost-forgotten Filipino game of sungka.

This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s October 2023 Issue.

Whether you want to take up playing the game—and in doing so share it with the co-occupants of your home—or pay homage to an important implement of fun in our history, there are options of the sungka available that range from the traditional to modern. 


Shaped like a skateboard and composed of multi-colored strips of wood, the piece brings us back to the objective of the game: having fun. With its satin finish, the “Sungkakaiba” sungka board is a fresh, young take on the well-worn game.

The "Sungkakaiba" Skateboard Veneer
The “Sungkakaiba” Skateboard Veneer/Photo from Instagram @uniquefindsmanila

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Master craftsman, Ugu Bigyan, receives inspiration from the earth and nature, evident in the delicately shaped and colored flowers. The jury is out on whether you want to use this for actually playing the game, but this standout work has a place in your household.

Ugu Bigyan's ceramic take on sungka
Ugu Bigyan’s ceramic take on sungka/Photo from Instagram @uguceramics


This unique 1940s piece is crafted out of yakal wood finished with an array of rich colors finding renewed splendor against the deeply colored yakal. The game entails both players pitted against each other between two horse busts; we’re here for that sort of drama.

Lot 134 Salcedo Auctions
Lot 134/Photo from Salcedo Auctions

Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia October 2023 magazine via SariSari.shopping or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.

Photos by Ed Simon of Kliq, Inc.

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