It was an ordinary afternoon and I was in a taxi on my way home when the taxi driver parroted his stories of growing up in his province. He talked glowingly of it despite the poverty.
Poor, he said, but it was a joyful life. Full of life, innocence, and simplicity. And everything was fresh and natural. There were no gadgets but we had so much fun with our games.First he talked about their rivers. Clear and pristine and fish was abundant. They had fun swimming in those rivers naked. No malice. Just sheer joy and innocence. Like me, he learned to swim early in life with his peers.
Drinking water. Ah they just opened a hole beside the river and drank from it and their thirst was quenched. That simple. And they had satisfaction and fun.
And their games? They were all their creation. Indigenous. They did not spend a centavo for their games. And they had fun. He talked about games they played in the river and in the dry lands. Patintero. Tigso. Tubig2. Bulan2. Piko tae. Among others. And they had fun. Sheer fun and joy. No gadgets.
And what about food? Ah they angled for frogs and fish. They learned life skills when they were young. They did not even think of hardships. Learning life skills was their constant companion. And they had fun. They enjoyed the experience.
Fresh crabs, alimango, fish, small and large abound in the rivers. The river was so clean they can drink from it and no cholera will happen.
And the taxi driver mourns the loss of these rivers to pollution. To loggers. To mining. To the so-called development. Where have all the rivers gone?
He also mourns the loss of innocence and the love for simple things in life. Children today are engrossed with gadgets and individuality and when they have none, life us miserable for them.
This is the main reason why the Philippine Sports Commission headed by chair Butch Ramirez wires the country with Sports for Peace Children’s Games to allow the children to play indigenous games and to have fun.
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