22nd of May
If you were a toy, what kind of toy would you be?
The question came from a blogger friend’s post and I was surprised that I can’t give an answer to this question. After trying for an hour and three returns to Blue’s blog post I gave up. I went back to Blue’s site, re-read the post and enjoyed reading the awesome comments from Blue’s loyal blogger friends. Then I typed away my thoughts on why I can’t think of any toy if I am one.
I also realized that half of my youth is clogged with traumatic experience of having a mother who was gravely ill. But before that I was a happy kid. I have lots of good memories particularly back in the house where I was born before moving to the house where we coincidentally found that my mother was ill. (As to why we moved house is another long story).
When I was a kid my idea of playing is being outdoor or in the backyard, climbing trees, playing street games, hide and seek, swimming in the river that includes wild diving and a lot more games that includes physical movement.
“Luksong Tinik”, “Piko” “Luksong-Baboy”, “Patintero”, “Sipa”, "Tumbang-Preso” are some of the outdoor street games that defined my idea of play when I was a kid. It not only taught us of healthy competition but of the real essence of socialization with our peers. I thank God that I belong to this generation.
Our first home had a very wide back yard with rows of coconut trees and other fruit bearing trees. It’s probably the reason why I love climbing tress. My neighbors and playmates would ask free fruits and “pakiling” leaves from our trees but they don’t know how to pick them. I would volunteer to climb and pick the fruits for them! Wow I was a good neighbor and play mate eh?
When some playmates invite me to do “play house” or “play cooking”, I would volunteer to fetch the water or hunt for “food” or tiny woods to be used for cooking.
I am the youngest in a brood of six. Before me is a four-year older sister who is not as hyper active as I am. My mentor was a brother who is six year older than I am . He’s the one who taught me all the physical outdoor games – probably why I ended up looking like a tomboy when I was a kid ha ha. I was his favorite “tag-along”. I have another brother but is a lot more older than the two of us (actually the oldest among my siblings) and is not as fun to be with (Hush! don’t tell him I said that). My awesome brother taught me how to ride the bike, jump over a bonfire and a lot more games that boys usually do. He also made my first rubber sling that I used for hunting tree lizards and other uncommon creatures.
One of the toys that I can’t forget was a home-made scooter made by my father from scraps. Yes we were like that before. We made our toys. We don’t go to expensive stores to buy fancy toys to play with.
We made our paper dolls and dressed them from our own designs made from old magazines and paper scraps. We accessorized them with garlands made from real ”santan” flowers that we also made. I pity the young girls of today for knowing Barbie.
If ever we play house that involves cooking we look for empty cans to make our pots and pails. We used the neighborhood plants as our vegetables. We made our dough from mud. We don’t buy kitchen sets and “play dough”.
We chased butterflies and dragonflies and play with them then release them if we see that they are already stressed.
We run and crossed the river with our dogs. We don’t bring them to dog parlors to trim their fur. We don’t bring them to shop for fancy dog clothes.
We draw our own board games from paper board scraps or from the street itself using a broken chalk vase. We used bottle caps as our markers.
We lay under the trees and wait for birds to settle, watched them pick fruits and make their nests and listen to their chirping. They were our music along with the sound of the river flow and the wind playing with the leaves of the trees. At night we listen to crickets while waiting for fireflies to appear then share our strange stories under the moonlight (when not playing hide and seek).
We bathed under the rain specially during strong ones. After the rain we swam in the river because we knew that the current is stronger and the water is cleaner. We made floaters from fallen banana trees. We don’t buy them.
Now I realized that this is the reason why I can't think of any toy if I were one because my thoughts were clogged with the fancy and senseless toys that the kids of today are exposed with. I don’t want to be identified to any of these fancy toys.
Back then we don’t need fancy toys to play with or to enjoy our youth. I thank God for bringing me to this world on that generation. I am lucky! How I missed those days...
Photo Source: Google Images. Collage by: Blog Author