We live in modern times, but it did not seem too long ago when many of us experienced a different life as young children.
If you lived in a sleepy barrio, near a lush forest or ricefields, and a clear stream of water, you must have missed those times, even when they were also fraught with challenges in day-to-day life. When we recall those times, we often describe life as simple and carefree. As small children, we pass time baked in the sun, playing in the fields with our rudimentary toys made of bamboo, banana leaves, coconut husks, or any material we can conceivably invent as toys.
Life during those times was hard. Electricity may not be available. We had to fetch drinking water from a well 30 minutes away. Pork and chicken meat may be a luxury as we have to contend with whatever vegetable dishes our mothers will prepare for meals. But we find joy in living that life of simplicity probably because, despite the hardships, we tend to remember happy memories with siblings or cousins, neighbors, and friends.
We play patintero or piko. We don’t have toy guns but improvise with a bamboo gun called luthang. We aim our slippers towards an empty tin can in tumba lata. We compete to catch dragonflies as a skill. Or catch spiders and place them in matchboxes while challenging other spider owners to a duel between our pets.
The toys many of us played with before seem ancient when viewed from the current perspective. But it did not require us to plug into an electrical source, charge a battery, buy expansion packs or connect to the Internet before we can enjoy the game.
So for you who enjoyed these games growing up, be thankful you had the chance.