That’s what resounded in my mind when I saw a group of people playing patintero in our street this evening.  It’s the first time I’ve seen patintero being played in our street in a number of years.  And the people I saw playing it were college-aged kids.  Maybe their generation is the last one to ever fully know how to play patintero and all other Philippine native games.  It makes me very sad that kids today and in the future will probably never fully experience the simple but true joy of playing these games on the street.  Not in a lawn, a garden, a patio or some other playground, but right on the street where vehicles and pedestrians may constantly interrupt play, yet also become an added element of the games.  God, I miss playing on the street.  I grew up on patintero, taguan, agawan base, piko, chinese garter, luksong tinik, step-no, even biking (I was the neighborhood girl champion – and beat boys one time we raced!  One of the crowning moments of my childhood, haha!).

I wish that kids today will still learn how to blow bubbles using gumamela, know what aratilis is and how it looks like, know the rules of ‘tex’, and form teams using kampihan through ‘black or white’, otherwise known as pompyang.  I hope the ‘it’ will still be chosen by chanting ‘matira, taya‘ while doing pompyang.  I know it’s grammatically incorrect, but I still want to hear ‘time first’ when wanting to take a break from the game for a while.

Like many other parts of our culture, I hope we do something to preserve our native games.  To parents of young children, please, please, teach them these games and let them play on the street, even only once in a while – with the proper supervision of course, times are different now.  Get them away from the computer and the video games sometimes.  There’ll be plenty of time for that in adulthood.  We should know, right? 😉 Let them enjoy childhood.  Remember how much fun yours was?

I wonder if there’s a good book on Philippine games.  One that has complete and detailed rules, instructions, terminologies and even illustrations.  Even a little history would be good.  Hmm…a good book project if there isn’t one yet.  Time to do a little research.

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