In the current age of Internet, social media, and modern gadgetry we couldn’t really blame the children of today for no longer interested nor engaged in playing so-called traditional Filipino backyard or playground games. This is simply a case of natural social evolution brought about by continuous environmental changes and technological advancement.
Some fifty or forty years ago, streets were wider, vehicles were lesser, road traffic was not busy, playgrounds abounded, and backyards of houses were more spacious and typically uncemented. And all these naturally facilitated what is regarded now as traditional backyard games. And, of course, the lack of such factors in the current world, compounded by the availability of more computer-based toys and modern sources of entertainment, is the primary reason kids of this generation are no longer inclined to play such old-school games. And that is not a shame. You cannot just force something on them that is not really natural, considering the current circumstances.
The main reason the tendency of kids forty years ago was to spend their time outside their houses and be with their neighborhood friends was the plain fact that there was really nothing much to do at home—except to watch a limited supply of shows on a black-and-white television, listen to a limited supply of music on a transistor radio, watch grandma make doll dresses with her sewing machine, and help mom with the household chores. Who would not be bored at home doing only those activities? For sure, given the chance to have whatever is available today back in their own times in the 1970s, for instance, children and teenagers of that decade will not have second thoughts in simply staying home instead, surrounded by such highly technological entertainment appliances.
Respect Begets Respect
So, don’t be too hard on the kids of today. Let them play their own games. In fact, parents should also try to learn such games so they prevent the widening of the so-called parent-children social gap. Most of all, don’t ridicule the leisure activities of today’s children, so that such children, in return, will not tend to laugh at the “ancient” toys and ways of the old. As an old parent or grandparent, you had your time. You played your own game. Just share your stories and adventures to the young without the need to compare it with theirs or, worse, to derogate their modern ways.
The Last Leaf
Kung ikaw ay isang magulang, tanggapin mo na lang ang natural na patuloy nap ag-usad ng teknolohiya. Ang mga libangan at pinagkakaabalahan ng mga tao ay nakabatay rin lang naman sa kung ano ang bago. At walang masama riyan. Ang dapat lang gawin ay matutong ibalanse ang paglalaro sap ag-aaral at pagtatrabaho. Ganyan rin naman ang mga kabataan ng kahit anupamang nakaraang panahon.
Kanya-kanyang panahon lang yan. Imbes na kutyain, laitin, o pagtawanan ang makabagong kabataan at pamamaraan, intindihin na lang ang mga ito. Dapat pa nga e pag-aralan din upang di mapag-iwanan.
Kapag ganyan ang iyong pananaw, mas magiging maganda ang samahan ng mga magulang at mga anak nito. May respeto sa isa’t isa.
(In the next issue, learn about some traditional Filipino backyard games like holen, pikô, patintero, and tumbang preso.)