Whistles and claps signal the approach of the troops. It was way past 3 pm, you just woke up from your noon time naps that your Lola insisted on taking. It was a pain trying your best to fall asleep at noon, your eyes are half-shut while looking at the clock’s ticking hands get slower and slower filling your heart with excitement. Shouts and laughter filled your front door, a voice calls your name enthusiastically and repeatedly. You rushed to the door and see everybody is waiting for you outside. You grabbed a suman that was bought by Nanay for merienda and an ice candy from the fridge, coins were clanking on your pocket that was given to you earlier by Lolo to buy snacks at the Sari-Sari store as you hurriedly go out of the house.
The games were usually seasonal, a cycle wherein a new trend of games will be famous then be replaced by a new one until it reached to a point where you will look again for your previous toy that was pilled up in your toy box. These games and toys were sort of simple yet innovative, no electronic parts, batteries or electricity needed, all you need are skills to play it and sometimes to create one and imagination. From nails attached to a wooden sphere with a flattened bottle cap and string to make a top that you then accessorized with thumbtacks that acts as armor to avoid konyat or chips, to sticks secretly taken from Nanay’s walis tingting, Astra thread sneaked out of Lola’s tahian and grocery store plastic bags to make a kite. There are also group games such as Tumbang preso, Langit-lupa and Chinese garter for the girls to name a few. A time way before handheld electronic devices and mobile games were invented. A much simpler way of life that is reminiscent of the past.
“Laro“ features set of works that depict nostalgia of how it is to be a child during the past decades. In parallel to this time of crisis and constraint, the child within our soul peaks through the window waiting – waiting for Nanay’s permission so we may finally go out and be with our friends outside who are shouting “Tara, laro tayo!”.