Wednesday, May 02, 2007

One thing I like about De los Reyes street, despite its residents belting out videoke songs and cats mating shamelessly in other people's backyards, is the sound of children playing outside. Since it's summer vacation, kids in the neighborhood are out in the street early in the morning, taking a break during lunch which could also be a chance for their moms to force them to take a bath and get rid of that amoy-araw smell and libag all over their their skin, after which, they start to take over outside again, as if it were their own private kingdom, their "Terabithia", if you will. They play outside usually right up to midnight. I can still hear them now.

A couple of hours ago, I heard a grumpy man shouting "hoy, para kayong mga kalapating nakadapo diyan!" Apparently, the rugrats have decided to stick themselves onto the grumpy neighbor's gate, like Spiderman crawling a skyscraper's facade. Then some smart-aleck shouted back, "lipad! lipad!", retorting to the grumpy neighbor's allusion to pigeons. It was funny, actually, and cute. As all of them "flew" away, somebody decided that they needed to change the game they were playing. It was "viva, ice water" this time.

I listened to them, looked out the window here in the study and I realized they were playing what to me and kids of the 80s knew as "Monkey, monkey".

"Monkey, monkey, Annabelle!
How many the monkeys, did you see?"

And the rikitikitik
and the blue, black sheep,
is this true?
Yes or No,

I'm not really sure if that's how the words are spelled. What is rikitikitik? Heaven knows what. But it surely was one of my favorite games.

Now, "Monkey, monkey" has evolved into different variations. There was the "Shake, rattle and roll", "Shake, shake, baby", which I think are permutations of the walang kamatayang "langit lupa".

I wish all children in the world would get to experience the joy of playing out in the streets instead of being cooped in their suburban homes, with their Play Stations or their PCs as their playmates. And even when there are children out there in the streets, I wish though that they could play instead of working--selling their wares or begging for alms. I also wish that our streets were safe enough for children to play in. Playing is every child's right.

If only these politicians campaigning for next week's elections could promise this: a world safe and nurturing enough for our children to live in...


  • At 12:28 PM, Blogger Borgy said…

    OMG! talagang napakanta pa ako while reading that "monkey-monkey" song. and it made me cringe... kinilabutan talaga ako. hahahaha! yeah i remember those days. and i think it was "shake shake shampoo" not "" hahahahaha!

  • At 5:53 PM, Blogger color_blind said…

    hahaha oo nga "shake shake shampoo" funny noh! actually, ang saya nun! puro laro lang problema natin...haayyy..those were the days :)


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