The wealth of summer fun activities were much anticipated events by
school children our age. Unlike the present generation, we engaged in
healthy physical activities, instead of being pasted to our seats with
eyes glued to screen monitors. Because we had the numbers [we were 7,
and our neighbors, 10 siblings], the other children in the neighborhood
would converge in our area.
Fun starts early evening, with the
girls and the younger boys playing the tagging game of "patintero."
Only the older boys would play our own version of "tumbang preso."
had a different version of the game, having converted it to a hide
and seek format instead of the traditional tugging game. After the
"it" (prisoner of the game) was chosen, someone will throw the can
away as far as he could, and while the "it" was retrieving the can to
place it back in an upright position at the prescribed base, everyone
else would go into hiding. The "it" must now go searching, and when he
identifies somebody, he declares the name and races back to touch the
can for the save. That somebody now becomes the new "it". Anyone who
outraces the "it" to the can can throw it again and everyone can go
hiding once more. It was such fun hiding behind the shrubs and dark
spaces beneath the quonset houses. At times, we would get into the
house using the rear entrance and have some refreshments while the
"it" goes loco searching for us. Ah, what simple joy worth
Summer fun activities would include regular trips
to the swimming pool to relieve us of the summer heat. We often
trooped to the pool, only a short distance from our quarters, usually
after lunch, about 1-2 pm. We would frolic and play water games for
hours, unmindful of the sun's heat. The pool was a better and safer
place to play water games than the pontoons. I was more into
swimming when I was younger, because I could not be accommodated yet in
basketball games as I was too frail and small. But when I became a
teener, I would become a regular fixture at the basketball courts.
some summers we would join the cruise excursions, together with the
families of other navy personnel, to historic Corregidor Island. We
were ferried to the island by navy vessels, usually an LST (landing
ship transport), the same type of ship Dad commanded as a young
lieutenant, in bringing Filipino combat troops and their war materiel
to Korea during the Korean War. By mid morning, we would already be at
Corregidor, taking a dip along the island's shores and having picnics
at the available shades. Others would spend the time to see the
tunnel and other WWII relics that were preserved on the island, which
is now a major tourist destination. By 4 pm, we were already on our
way home, tired and sunburned.
I also remember the two
consecutive summer ceramic lessons that my eldest brother and I took
at the base's hobby shop, at the behest of our Dad. The shop also had
a shoe-making and repair ,and was operated by CPO Jocson, an
accomplished shoe maker from Marikina, now a city, and the shoe making
capital of the country. Here we were taught the whole process of
producing a finished ceramic product, from clay mixing, assembly and
use of plaster molds, clay setting time, retrieval from the mold,
trimming, baking, and painting.
If my memory still serves me
right, I think my Kuya Sander made a mug, and I, a rooster decor. Our
products were kept on display in our house as testaments to our
creative craftsmanship. Ha ha ha! The ceramics shop, unlike the shoe
making and repair shop, closed shortly afterward, probably due to lack
of support and patronage.
Every year, we always anticipated the summer fun activities awaiting us during our two-month school break.
[Myriad of Sports Activities]