A Whiff Down Memory Lane

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Feb-ulous Challenge Day 18

I love the smell of… grass.

green grass is home. <3

green grass is home ❤

On my way home tonight, I passed by the rotunda located at the entrance of our village. It has a big and sort of egg shaped structure in the middle. The ground is covered with grass and around it are random types of plants. This is my regular route home but tonight when the jeep passed the roundabout I smelled grass, freshly watered grass, and it kinda reminded me of my childhood.

Remember how smells can transport you back in time and refresh your memory? That’s what happened to me. When I was in elementary, my school – which is now replaced with condominiums and parking lots – was beside the old St. Therese of the Child Jesus Church which is now The Shrine of St. Therese. The old church had a big garden at the back with lots of Santan flowers and Yellowbell trees. That old church and its flowery garden was a big part of my childhood. My friends and I would run around, chasing each other, playing until my asthma attacks. We’d have our drum and lyre practices and field demonstration rehearsals beside the church near that very garden. We would seek shade under the trees and lie on the grass even though it made us itchy. I remember collecting flowers and then placing them as an offering to the huge statue of St. Therese placed in the middle of the garden.

Santan Flower

Santan Flower

Those Santan flowers were not only an offering to the saints but were also sweet snacks… or so we thought it was. You can ask everybody who went to my elementary school. We all tried getting that nectar at the tip of the Santan because, I don’t know who, but somebody said it was sweet. Trust me, it isn’t, it was like an urban legend sort of thing or like the kisses hoax. But I was one of those many kids plucking and “tasting” the santan flowers in the church garden. We looked like idiots convincing ourselves it was sweet, but it was fun though because nothing beats bonding over nectar, right?

Anywho, the smell of grass is like an express ticket down memory lane. It got me to thinking though, I did have a great childhood. I met my best friends then and up until now we’re all still together. The church, our school, and the garden may be gone forever but with a whiff of that old familiar smell, the memories come back.

PS. Below is a photo of the kisses

Kisses! :)

Kisses! 🙂

Let me tell you something about this kisses. They are small circular, colorful, and scented… erm… thingies that we collected as kids. According to kiddie urban legend (or as we come to realize… it’s a hoax!), these kisses multiply on their own. They say the bigger ones are “pregnant” kisses and then after a few days they give birth and multiply. I remember my cousins and I believed that ridiculous story so we put our kisses in a container lined with cotton to make the kisses comfortable. Yup, we were crazy kids but can you blame us? I mean we have to make sure our kisses are comfortable, they are pregnant after all. 😀


Weather You Like It or Not.

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1 Post A Day Challenge – ENTRY #6

Landscape Photography Kuno. :))

As you may have noticed, I hate the rainy season. I automatically associate rain with gloom and bed weather is not as appealing to me as to others. It has been raining here for almost 3 weeks now and I think the sun has sneaked a peek about thrice at the most during the previous weeks and it sucks. I must admit, I miss the Sun. I really do. 😦 So with nothing to do, I flipped through my old photos and came across these photos that captured the wonderful weather.

Way back in college, I had a Radio/TV production class. We had to do an educational program for grade school kids that talks about Haiku. The photo above was taken during one of the video shoots. I remember it was a particularly good day for a location shoot. It’s my favorite kind of weather, sunny and windy (unlike the weather for the past weeks!). Makes you want to sit back on your lounge chairs and just chill. If there’s a playlist that can make you feel infinite, just like Nick & Norah’s, I think there’s also a weather that makes you feel that too. For me, this is it. You stand still and feel the sun shining on you and then a breeze hits your face. It’s just so awesome. That is what a good day should be.

These photos were taken at the Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center in Quezon City. Who knew there’s a place like that in the middle of the busy streets of Quezon City. We did the shoot there because we needed a sort of Japanese inspired structure and we needed the nature-feel for the Haiku discussion.

The weather proved to be unpredictable especially that day because after a few hours of this beautiful weather, it poured like it’s nobody’s business. We had to re-shoot 3 freakin’ times. You can just imagine my outrage but fortunately, we still finished it just in time for submission. The finished Educational TV Show was called: “The Adventures of Caloy & Kikay: Space Traveler’s Guide to Afro-Asian Literature”. I wanted to post the video of the output but my internet connection’s being a pain right now so maybe next time. 🙂

The one and only behind the scenes photo I was able to take.

Directing, writing, and baby sitting your group mates all at the same time was an experience that is definitely gonna occupy some serious space in my memory bank. Twas fun , in a way, and very memorable. Whenever the weather is sunny and windy, it kinda brings me back to those days and I feel young and infinite. 🙂

Let The Games Begin!

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1 Post A Day Challenge – ENTRY #4

Raining still. The rain is definitely a damper, I must say. When I was younger, I loved rain during weekdays and hated it on weekends. Strong rains during weekdays automatically mean no school which means longer time to sleep and I can watch the cartoons we usually miss on school days. Bad weather during weekends is just plain cruel for a 10-year old kid who loves to play outside.

The moment we step out of the house and into the yard or the street (if we’re allowed), we turn from squeaky clean to grimy, sweaty, stinky kids. All from running around and hiding in corners, dusty cabinets, or somewhere the IT can’t find us. Here are some of my top 5 childhood games:

1. Hopscotch a.k.a. PIKO

Favorite Rule: Sunog Bahay!!! *Evil Laugh*

Instead of chalk, we use pieces of broken paso (flower pots) to draw the lines and our names on our “bahay” (houses). The orange lines are way harder to erase so imagine my father’s horror when he comes home and sees our driveway full of drawings and bad hand writing.

2. Games with repeated names as titles:

2.1. Bahay – bahayan – This is basically playing house. We appoint the oldest cousin to be the mom and the only boy cousin who would play with us will be the dad and we’ll play house. We easily got bored with this so we played the next one instead.

2.2. Lutu – Lutuan – We basically pretend to be cooks. The cousins who were my age were mostly girls so during Christmas our gifts are usually the same. We always got a kitchen set. It was no fun cooking imaginary food so one time we decided to use real food like chips or nuts or whatever we can find. As soon as our moms found out we were scolded for playing with food so we eventually landed on dried leaves, flowers, and other greens we can find that will resemble vegetables. My dad had a lot of plants so we were always plucking leaves or fruits or flowers from it and he wasn’t happy about that too so we went around the block and plucked things from our neighbors’ gardens.

Julienned dried leaves and flowers? YUM! :9

2.3. Teacher – teacheran – Of course we missed school during summer breaks so we played school too! God, we were weird kids, weren’t we? Anyway, we’d appoint somebody to be the teacher and we did actual lessons like Math and Spelling. We had a little blackboard and chalk. By the end of the summer vacation we all had an-an (a skin problem from using chalk) that we cured by putting pounded ampalaya leaves on it.

 3. 10-20 (Ten Twenty)

This is one of the games we played all the time. It’s basically jumping around a garter or elastic counting by tens starting from 10 to 100. You can play by teams or individually (but you need at least 3 players or if there are only 2 players you’ll need a tree trunk or anything to hold the other end of the garter.) Here’s a better explanation from wikipidea.com:

A game involving 2 pairs, with one utilizing a stretched length of garter. One pair faces each other from a distance and has the garter stretched around them in such a way that a pair of parallel lengths of garter is between them. The members of the other pair, then begin doing a jumping “routine” over the garters while singing a song (“ten, twenty, thirty, and so on until one hundred). Each level begins with the garters at ankle-height and progresses to higher positions, with the players jumping nimbly on the garters while doing their routines.


Thank you google search for the photo. 🙂

10-20 Vocabulary:

a. “dead mother dead all” – if you play in teams, you usually have a mother or a leader. If the “mother” doesn’t finish the routine or doesn’t get it right, even if the other team members did it correctly they will loose a turn.

b. “saling pusa” or “saling kit-kit” – is a person who’s technically NOT part of the teams – because they’re too young to play or they sucked – but is still allowed to participate in the game because your aunts or the sitters saw you excluding him/her so they asserted their rights as adults and imposed if not ordered you all to let the him/her play.

c. “wider” – basically means you have to use your arms to widen the garter. Thin participants usually get this a lot. (Can’t paint you a pretty good picture, maybe I’ll post one when I get to play again.)

4. Sikyo (for us jologs) or Block 123 (for the coños) a.k.a Agawan Base

This one I learned to play at school. You have to be able to run fast and be swift enough to dodge the enemies cause if you get tagged you’ll be held captive. There are 2 teams with bases usually parallel from each other. You’ll have to chase each other and once you got a hold of the “enemy” they’ll end up as active waiting for their team mates to tag and save them. It would be hard to save team mates because of guards waiting to run after you and tag you as well.

Unang Kawal Ako!!!

5. Patintero

This is my favorite game of all time. You need a big open space where you have to draw six boxes at least (3 rows and 2 columns). Players stand and guard the lines and they should prevent the other team players to cross those line. If you one of you gets tagged all of your team mates will be IT.

“Patotot” is what we call the player who guards the line in the middle that intersects all the lines. 🙂

When I was in 6th grade, my classmates and I would play this all the time. We actually kept score and called it a tournament. We used the open space beside the old church (which is now the Shrine of St. Therese) and we’d team up, run around and try to catch the opposing teams until our lungs give out and our knees give in to exhaustion.

I had a pretty great childhood. Unlike the kids of today who sprain their fingers swiping away in their iPads and straining their eyes from too much TV or social networking – which actually in a way is anti-social because instead of talking personally they just text or tweet each other – my childhood was all about getting down and dirty…literally. It was so much fun to run around, be free, and be a kid and play outside. Scratched knees and bruises were all worth it. I wouldn’t trade the scars and awesome stories and friends for anything else.