of then and now

yesterday is the official start of my twins’ summer break.

not for my youngest son though since he has still rehearsals for their moving-up ceremony which is set on april 2, 2013.
for the twins they had already left all school pressures and  tensions yesterday before they joined their respective friends in their last day private “parties”. then at night, they were already prepared to play and tinker again with their psp games. 
i had to ask them if they would never be bored playing with the downloaded games in their play station portable. it was a unanimous NO.
i kept silent and was about to tell them the games of my generation which i would always look forward to playing during vacation time if i did not see them very much engrossed with all those alien buttons to me. in a way, i pitied my children for not experiencing my childhood games where i derived so much fun and enjoyment.
top of my list among  these games is PIKO. just like hopscotch in other countries, players  take turns in tossing tokens  (which are usually flat stones) in outlined boxes drawn on the ground. hopping and skipping are then done by each player to be able to win the game by completing a “bahay” or house. scoring is done by drawing each part of the “bahay” (bikol: harong or balay).
piko game (photo grabbed from www.dpreview.com)
piko game (photo grabbed from http://www.dpreview.com)
next game which i am almost a master of (wink!), is PATINTERO (bikol language: tirigbasan or turubigan).  this is a variation of tag played within an outline which is also drawn on the ground. unlike PIKO, this game is played by two opposing teams where all members of each team must be able to cross the predrawn lines without being tagged or tapped by their opponents. if you know the moves of neo (keanu reeves character in “the matrix”),  you would swiftly reach the safe zone in this game and earn points for your team.
this is one game which my oldest brother yul, our cousins and friends in ilawod once played at night while the full moon was up. i clearly remembered how happy i was watching them playing and arguing like little children.
patintero game (photograbbed from www.batagueno.blogspot.com)
patintero game (photograbbed from http://www.batagueno.blogspot.com)
TAGUAN (bikol: taraguan) or hide and seek is one of my favorite games. this is a very simple and easy-to-organize game with its very simple rule, but what challenges the players here is their resourcefulness in looking for the place to hide from the “taya” or “it”.
i think i was one of those who were good at hiding but not in looking. 🙂 that’s why i did not want to be the “it” because my playmates were better in concealing themselves which would sometimes make me sore and close to tears.
taguan (photo grabbed from www.giantbomb.com)
taguan (photo grabbed from http://www.giantbomb.com)
ask my grade school classmates and they will vouch for my being one of the hard-to-beat players of this fourth fave game of mine. 🙂 🙂
this is the chinese garter. don’t ask me why it’s called chinese and not pinoy garter. i don’t have even the slightest idea.
chinese garter (photo grabbed from streetsidestory.blogspot.com)
chinese garter (photo grabbed from http://www.streetsidestory.blogspot.com)
as you can see, this is played with two persons  serving as posts for  the tied garter. then, another player has to hop and skip through the garter which is raised every time the player in the middle succeeds in doing the task or more of a challenge for each stage.
this is one game where only the BEST survive. you can only be declared the winner if you would be able to reach the highest level which is usually above the head of the two human posts who have already extended their arms while holding the garter. being already tall for my age when i was young, i was one of the very few among my counterparts who hold the record of “chinese garter queen”!
i am right-handed but when it comes to playing SIPA, i use my left foot. and boy i tell you, i possessed an impressive skill on this game. 🙂
sipa game (photo grabbed from theseagull.journ.ph)
sipa game (photo grabbed from http://www.theseagull.journ.ph)
so how is this game played?
a token made out of a washer and plastic straw or candy wrapper (i.e., snow white, white rabbit, tarzan bubble gum, etc.) is kicked into the air using any part of the body except the hands (a latter variation of this had the players use their elbow already). the longer and numerous times one kicks the token is the basis for winning this game. 
BAHAY-BAHAYAN  (bikol: harong-harongan or balay-balayan) or role playing as father, mother, brother and sister was another unisex game which i dearly enjoyed but not my mother and siblings because our living room would become topsy-turvy as if a typhoon had just passed by it.
why not if all the pieces of furniture (good thing we only had a  few) would be turned upside down just to create the best-looking house within a house! hahahaha.
bahay-bahayan (photo grabbed from www.smartparenting.com.ph)
bahay-bahayan (photo grabbed from http://www.smartparenting.com.ph)
obviously, i was not that lady like when i was young. i did not only enjoy playing the mentioned games above, but i derived more pleasure in playing the boys games.
TRUMPO (bikol: turumpo) or the game where boys spin their wooden tops, trying to shove others out of a drawn circle was also learned and played by me.
trumpo (photo grabbed from catmonanonsabako.weebly.com)
trumpo (photo grabbed from http://www.catmonanonsabako.weebly.com)
this is one game though where my talent was not fully honed and i did not become as skilled as my brother joseph and our neighbors because i was immediately discouraged in specializing on this. hmmm…maybe, i became a threat to all of them!  🙂
SARANGGOLA (bikol: buradol) or kite flying was very much identified with the opposite gender, but i also did this popular recreation. in fact, i knew how to make a paper kite made of twigs and paper. what i would create though would always be beaten by my male playmates once i let my kite fly. 😦
kite flying (photo grabbed from bogordailyphoto.blogspot.com)
kite flying (photo grabbed from http://www.bogordailyphoto.blogspot.com)
i think this article might turn into a novelette if i continue talking about the games of my time. really, there were a lot! some of these game were just even creatively thought of just to entertain ourselves anytime and anywhere without spending a single centavo.
without a doubt, i had a colorful and beautiful childhood! and these games which i talked about are one of the reasons why i would always go back to those carefree days where my main problem was whether i would be allowed to play instead of coercing (hyperbolically speaking) me into sleeping during siesta hour. 🙂 
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