I fondly remembered the days when I was a child and I did not have to cope with the pressure of the modern world. We played under the brightly shining sun, drinking “Eight o’ clock” powdered juice drinks, eating mangoes taken from the colossal trees of neighbors, and we made our faces brown by spending long hours under the sun. When we were tired, we simply ran to a nearby stream and bathed there, while some of us catch fish and roasted them for a good snack. Finally, if we did not have money, we would simply peddle all sorts of things from freshly harvested fruits to fish. Overall, it was an idyllic life: Even though we did not have lots of money, we were really happy and blessed.
Of course, we would walk for 20 minutes and/or take a pedicab, which is basically a bicycle with three wheels and a roof to school (I was in third grade back then) and back: However, there was no “rat race” and instead, students played all sorts of games in the large field of the school, which is also utilized as a football field and a baseball field at the same time.
Back then, time goes as fast as a race horse, and all of a sudden, December comes, with its Holiday festivities…and of course, the much-awaited Christmas vacation. But for the meantime, we eat and drink at the year-end party, where we receive all sorts of gifts.
Then, vacation comes. For us, vacation is not about having a lot of parties, or having to play with lots of expensive toys, or having to go to a lot of places. Instead, we get to gather our friends with a martial spirit, create bases, and voila!
Yes, you’ve seen it right! With fists, slingshots, wooden swords and shields (along with lots of chips, biscuits and juice), we try to fight and uphold the honor and glory of the purok that e live in! Of course, quite a lot of parents (especially my mother) did not agree with it, saying it is dangerous.
A normal day starts by eating our breakfast and helping our parents with the housework, followed by setting up camp at various locations in the neighborhood that we live in. Our first base was found in a grassy area filled with lots of banana trees; it was a good location to scout the opposing force (OPFOR), since the other puroks were just beyond that road!
Well, the OPFOR was pretty good too, as they created camps deep inside their respective neighborhoods, and believe me, we really had a lot of fun and frustration trying to weed them out! Thus, we tried to create strategies, whether it be raids, secondary attacks, or even pitched battles in order to reach our objectives.
For some unexplained reasons, the other purok (we were Purok 2, which is basically a couple of wooden and dilapidated houses near a middle-class bivouac, while Purok 1 hosted the basketball church and the local chapel) always took the initiative to attack; all we have to do at the first instance is to send a runner, call our friends, and fight with all our might. Our enemy had a land area 9 times bigger (and thus having lots of reinforcements), but we had the upper hand.
It was noontime. We have just finished our lunch, and we were eager to bring the battle to them; we pelted them with pebbles and a fruit of an herb, which can be easily used in a slingshot. As a general rule, we did not hit our opponents in the head; we simply tried to find chinks in the body where we can “chip shot” them.
They were really pressing the issue, as a group tried to flank us from the main road; we decided to reposition near the chapel (it was huge, by the way), and try to harass them from there while we waited our “tank force”, which was basically composed of five children with all sorts of shields and weapons.
After thirty minutes of engaging, the cavalry finally arrives, and I suggested that I take four of our fastest runners and pelt them from the rear while the rest of them engage head-on. The rest agree, and I take my friends on a run; all of us were shivering from nervousness!
Finally, we reached the basketball court, and we were completely between the opposition and our comrades! We loaded our slingshots without delay, and after ten minutes of endless firing, the other side was forced to retreat in a panicked manner!
We were not contented with that; we entered the eskinita which leads to the center of the neighborhood, and to our surprise and delight, we were able to recover a lot of slingshots, wooden swords, and some other paraphernalia, including a map of our neighborhood! Oh my God!
That was the end of a long day. We were victorious that day, but everyone knows that Luck is not really that kind, and after three vacations of fighting and dominating them (we even forced a lot of “treaties of capitulation” with them), they beefed up their ranks and conquered our fortress. I was in sixth grade, and by then we were already about to step into high school.
No matter though. I really enjoyed those days, and I hope that the children of this generation get to enjoy a childhood away from the computer monitor and Candy Crush…