Fuel Your Wanderlust With These Filipino-Inspired Playing Cards

Travel to our islands while staying home.

playing cards
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

(SPOT.ph) The ongoing pandemic has put a damper on all our travel plans. Most of us are now staying home as much as we can and trying to busy ourselves with various hobbies. If you're looking to take a break from all the binge-watching or knitting, there's a travel-inspired deck of cards you can use for a game or two of poker. Tara Baraha!, as it is aptly called, is the first and only brand of Philippine-themed playing cards with two available decks: Philippines and Palawan.

playing cards
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
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Pinoy-inspired playing cards

According to Tara Baraha! owner Jo Gamos, Tara Baraha! is "more than just a deck of playing cards. It is an invitation for travelers to rediscover the beauty of our Philippines." Apart from having the usual numbers and symbols, the Tara Baraha! deck shows a range of information about the country like Filipino traditions, childhood games, festivals, flora and fauna, local transportation, and more. And if you look closely, instead of having the diamond, heart, spade, and club to represent the suits, there are the pusô, mangoes, abaniko, and malunggay, respectively. The packaging also bears an illustration of the Philippine jeepney set against a background inspired by local woven fabrics. Tara Baraha! lets you "Play Your Way Around the Philippines," as its tagline goes.

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playing cards
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

Tara Palawan!, which is a joint venture between Tara Baraha! and Iconik Travels and Events, takes you on a visual journey on one of the world's best islands. The Joker cards serve as a map of the whole island province; while the suits use symbols that are uniquely Palawan: the sikad-sikad for diamond, kasoy for heart, Batak Spearhead for spade, and Palawan Orchid for club. The rest of the cards showcase endemic animals and plants, historical sites, festivals, cuisines, and natural wonders on the island.

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playing cards
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
playing cards
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

Tara Baraha! also serve as a social enterprise. For every deck sold, a portion goes to Dream Big Pilipinas, a non-government organization that helps give underprivileged kids better opportunities through football and education. Part of Tara Palawan!'s sales, on the other hand, go to Art on the Move, which is a group of local Palawan artists empowering kids through art workshops.

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Gamos also started a fundraising in March 2020 amid the pandemic. Up to P2.265 million was raised through the campaign called "Tara! Tulong Tayo!," which extended cash assistance to 2,155 families of displaced daily wage works and provided hot meals to victims of Typhoon Ulysses.

Tara Baraha! is available online through Lazada. The Tara Baraha! deck is at P350, while the Tara Palawan! deck is at P450; or you can get the bundle for P750. For more information, follow Tara Baraha! on Facebook.

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