I went outside today. The afternoon sun felt warm, so I took my daughter for a walk on our street. It was just past 4 o’clock but there were no children playing on the street. We walked past two homes and came back. It felt wierd. I wasn’t used to being outside anymore. Just taking a walk, or sitting on the front steps, talking to the neighbor also sitting on her steps, or tending her garden.
I used to be always out, growing up. Right after school, the neighborhood kids would meet on the street and start playing whatever games we fancy for that day. Patintero, luksong-tinink, tumbam-preso, chinese garter. If a jeepney drives by, we’d just run toward the ditch cum-shoulder , wait for it to pass, and occupy the road once more.
We would be running, skipping ropes, jumping over fences. We won’t go home until one of the mothers shout for us, because it’s getting dark or supper’s ready, or homework needs to be done. There were no malls then. No play yards, video games, cell phones and IMs. Barbie dolls, lego, and game boards were for the rich. So we played outside all the time, and it was the best childhood ever.
I think I’ll teach my daughter games like patintero, moro-moro, and luksong-tinik. Better yet, I think I’ll teach her friends too! It’ll be fun to see them play the games I played growing up… and then I’ll join in.