Water buffalo.

Image via Wikipedia

Whenever I miss the days when life was simple and pollution of every kind was almost non-existent, I read this essay which was forwarded to me. I posted it not to plagiarize but because I think the essay is very profound. I’m sorry but it was written in ‘taglish’ i.e Tagalog-English but it still remains great. I’ll include the author’s name later when I find out who. Just ignore the html script and roll down a little. You can read the original taglish version at Plato on-line.


1950′s, 60′s and 70′s !!

First, some of us survived being born to mothers who did not have an OB-Gyne and drank San Miguel Beer while they carried us.

While pregnant, they took cold or cough medicine, ate animal entrails, and didn’t worry about diabetes.

Then after all that trauma, our baby cribs were made of hard wood covered with lead-based paints. Even our walkers were made of wood and without wheels.

We had no soft cushy cribs that play music, no disposable diapers, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, no kneepads. Sometimes even the bikes have no break.

As children, we would ride in hot un-airconditioned buses with wooden seats or cars with no airconditioning & no seat belts.

Riding on the back of a carabao (water buffalo) on a breezy summer day was considered a treat. Now, children don’t even know what a carabao is.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle purchased from 711. Sometimes straight from the water pump.

We shared one soft drink bottle with four of our friends, and NO ONE actually died from this. Or contacted hepatitis.

We ate rice with star margarine, drank raw eggs straight from the shell, and drank sofdrinks with real sugar in it but we weren’t sick or overweight kasi nga……


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, and get back when the streetlights came on. We were happy just playing simple games like tag and hide n seek and some obsolete games.

No one was able to reach us all day (no cellphones and beepers yet) . And yes, we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our wooden trolleys (with wheel bearings as wheels) or plywood slides out of scraps and then ride down the street , only to find out we forgot the brakes! After hitting the sidewalk or falling into a canal (seweage channel) a few times, we learned to solve the problem ourselves with our bare & dirty hands .

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 100 channels on cable, no DVD movies, no surround stereo, no IPOD’s, no cell phones, no computers, no Internet, no chat rooms, and no Friendsters……. …WE HAD REAL FRIENDS and we went outside to actually talk and play with them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no stupid lawsuits from these accidents. The only rubbing we get is from our friends with the words ‘is it painful?’ or the more aggressive ‘good for you!’

We played marbles (jolens) in the dirt , washed our hands just a little and ate dirty ice cream & fish balls. we were not afraid of getting germs in our stomachs.

We had to live with homemade guns ” made of wood and wrapped in rubber bands. Some rougher boy’s games are blowgun and slingshot wars (I have my share of scars). Still, we enjoyed.

We made up games with sticks ( Shato ), and cans and although we were told they were dangerous, we didn’t mime or killed anyone -just bruises and wounds.
(Shato was the most complicated and was a version of baseball but instead of a ball, we bat a smaller piece of wood.)

We walked, rode bikes, or took tricycles to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them to jump out the window!

Mini basketball teams had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t pass had to learn to deal with the disappointment. There was no ‘childhood depression and damaged self esteem’. If you’re not sport, you lose.

Parents were present just to make sure the children were OK and not to quarrel with each other.

That generation of ours has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, creative thinkers and successful professionals ever! They are the CEO’s, Engineers, Doctors and Military Generals of today.

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had failure, success, and responsibility. We learned from our mistakes the hard way.

You might want to share this with others who’ve had the luck to grow up as real kids. We were lucky indeed.

And if you like, forward it to your kids too, so they will know how brave their parents were.

It kind of makes you wanna go out and climb a tree, doesn’t it?!

PS – The big letters are because your eyes may not be able to read this if they were typed any smaller (at your age).


About DigitalPlato

Poch is a Bookrix author and a freelance writer. He is a frequent contributor to TED Conversations.
This entry was posted in Essay, history, humor, philosophy, Society and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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