when I was a kid

I have these strange thought about things when I was a kid and i’d like to know what’s yours. It just amazes me how children so young could come up with such crazy ideas and it’s so unique. Here’s mine and I’m really looking forward to hearing about yours.

thought # 1
I was so confused about this sign written on walls on the streets. It says “POST NO BILL”. It made me wonder why all those walls were as clean as the cloud. I asked my mom and I couldn’t get myself to agree with her. She told me it means that you can’t post anything on the walls. It totally meant the opposite to me. As I understand it then, it meant – you can post and you won’t have to pay for it.

thought # 2
I never realized there were traffic lights that tells you that you need to stop or that you can go. So I was thinking what could be wrong whenever the cars stopped on a red light. I figured there could be a car on the forefront who stopped and went to buy a cigar or something from a nearby convenience store so every car after it had to wait in line. It wasn’t a very convincing idea even to myself but I managed to believe in it for a while.


Photo credit: http://info.alleninteractions.com


a little

When I was little
I think about love just a little
I look at boys just a little
And nothing more than that

When I grew a little
I think about boys more not little
I look forward to falling in love more not little
I knew there’s more to that

I’m not yet grown up, just a little
I don’t think about boys but one, more than a little
And I think I know love more than when I was little
And I wish there’s more to that

the wall

Snob. That is the classic first Impression of me. And for my entire life I have wanted it to be that. It was my shield.

I grew up being bullied because I was an ugly duckling – I was skinny, plain, quiet and had bad teeth. I was bullied because I was poor – my uniform is off white because it’s been handed down to me instead of white like my other classmates; I wear civilian about a month when the school changed our uniform because we cannot afford to buy the new set of uniform right away.

At such a young age I started to build my own wall to separate me from the bad ones, the strong ones, the rich and famous. That wall I kept on building and made sturdy until I don’t recall I have built a wall.

It was sad behind the wall. It was lonely behind the wall. I was alone but I felt safe.

I made myself tough and able to fight for myself. I trained myself to be assertive when I have to and to not let others talk down on me or look down on me. I learned to value myself and I realized I am no less than others.

Even my closest friends would describe me as a snob, intimidating, unfriendly. That’s also the reason how I ended up with only the good ones; friends for keeps because only those with sincerity and pure intent of friendship are the ones who were able to cross the wall.

Snob. It’s how I was perceived by others because that is exactly how I wanted them to see me. In the end, their Impression is real and intended.

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games of yesterday

It’s quarter to 4 in the afternoon; the sun is a golden ball on a warm Saturday. I was by the window intently looking at the children busy as a bee out in the streets. They were laughing and shouting, running back and forth from the corner of the street to the other. I check the time and watch the minute hand move as slow as a snail as the time winds up to 4. I just can’t wait to join the kids playing on the streets. My dad won’t let me play not until it’s 4 and the reason behind that – I never found out. As the clock struck 4 I stepped out of the house, so excited my pulse was a race car. In the next hour I am a ball of fire, blazing, scorching and flaming.

Growing up in a tropical country, I spent a fair enough of time on the streets playing various outdoor games. Those games involve a lot of running, jumping around and concluded with so much sweating. There’s this game called pick-jump.
My playmates and I would divide ourselves into 2 teams. 2 players would stand at the starting line with their fists closed looking intently at each other, squinting their eyes a bit before the game begins. You’d thought they’d have a fist fight or something. But no, pick jump is a very peaceful street game. At the count of three, they would draw rock paper scissors and whoever wins gets a number of sprints to the finish line. If you draw a rock and win over a scissor, you get 10 sprints. If you draw paper and win over a rock, you get 5 sprints. If you draw scissors over a paper, you get 2 sprints. The next player goes next after each one gets to the finish line until all the players had their turn and whichever team gets all its players finish first wins. This does not involve a lot skill really except for having the advantage if you have really long legs. But I enjoy that game a lot.

When we get tired of pick jump, we would usually move to a more athletic game we call monkey-monkey.
I have no idea who and how that game was named as such. The mechanics of the game is simple. One player would be the it and he would chase each player and touch them saying monkey. When you get caught and monkey-ed, you will have to stop like a statue and not move until one of the other players frees you by touching you and saying Annabelle. The game would go on until the it have made all the players statues and whoever was the first to become a statue will be the next it. What keeps it exciting is that even when you’re touched to be a statue, you can move and inch closer to any of the other players so they can touch you and say Annabelle but if the it catches you, he would shout boom at you and you automatically become the it. I’m quite a sneaky player back in the days and I move as light as a feather I don’t remember being an it at all. There’s a similar game called shake-shake shampoo which is technically the same. This time, the it would touch you and say shake and to free you up, another player would have to touch you and say shampoo. And instead of being still, you would sway your hips like this until you’re freed by the magic word – shampoo. It must have been a shampoo commercial where they got the name of the game. I never really cared to find out.

Another game that I really liked to play then is called Dr. Quack Quack.
This game is all about creativity, flexibility and involves puzzle-solving skills. We would divide ourselves into 2 teams. A person from each team will be chosen while the rest of the team hold hands and form a circle. The chosen team member tangles and intertwines her team mates into a human twist puzzle. A delegate from the opposing team will have to untangle the puzzle to score. If he is unsuccessful, the score goes to the other team. It is then the other team’s turn to tangle themselves and a delegate from the opposing team tries to untangle them to score. It could be a race to 3 or a race to 5 depending on what was agreed.

These games are the pillars of my childhood and I am a bit saddened that in this year and age, kids even back in the Philippines, barely know about these street games. They know more about Clash of Clans, Candy crash, Farmville and a thousand more online games. Their afternoons consumed sitting in front of the computer or holding on to their IPods. I had a dynamic childhood and it remains fresh in my memory as if it was yesterday. On some Saturdays, I find myself staring out my window, thinking about yesterday that was my childhood. I check the time and watch the minute hand move as slow as a snail as the time winds up to 4.

I wrote this speech for the 4th speech project on the Competent Communication manual How to say it. The objectives of this speech are:

• Select the right words and sentence structure to communicate your ideas clearly, accurately and vividly
• Use rhetorical devices to enhance and emphasize ideas
• Eliminate jargon and unnecessary words. Use correct grammar

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a kid’s journal

I started writing on a diary when I was 5 and I can barely spell. My grammar was out of this world and not being a native English speaker, my journal entries were absurd if not horrible. I knew this because I came across my many journals from 25 years ago when I was packing my stuff and putting away things I’ve held on to in the past which I thought were important that’s now clogging my cabinet.

It piqued my interest to read further more on my journals and those Ordinary days now seem precious. I know I wrote those things but I don’t recall much about it happening. I could not believe myself that that was even possible. Even the ones from when I was a bit older, around 9 or 10 years old; I still cannot recall the things I’m reading. How odd is that?!

I had an idea. I picked a random, totally Ordinary day from my journal and read the entry to my sister. And I asked her to read her journal entry on that day. The day I picked was a day when we apparently had a big fight about who’s going to hold the clicker while we watch TV. And based on what I wrote on my journal, it was a pretty big fight. When she read me her journal for that day, it was about a totally different thing and no mention of the “big clicker fight” at all.

It’s interesting that my sister’s Ordinary day was not so Ordinary for me. Each day can be just another day – typical, average, and nothing special. But all those Ordinary days combined, makes up my uncommon, unusual, extraordinary life of today.

that it will not fade

Having a newborn is overwhelming. It is a Vivid memory when I first held him in my arms, in that bright lit room full of people dressed in white and white caps that I don’t recognize. In the middle of what appeared to be a chaotic scene, I found serenity and for a moment, it was just him and I.

Looking back, I try to recall how far and how much I can remember about my childhood and it’s exhausting and frustrating. I wish we could remember right from the day we were born. So I can keep the memories my mom and I had when I first came into the world.

If my little angel can only remember these times that we spend together, how his parents take pride and joy as we carry him in our arms; he would know that he’s safe, loved and cherished.

For now, all I can do is make memories, store them in my heart and make it as Vivid as possible. So that when he’s older, I can tell him all about it just like my mom did.