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A Walk Down Memory Lane: Summertime in the Philippines

  • April 9, 2020

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Summertime in the Philippines

There's no doubt about it. Summertime is definitely here. You can feel it in the air and the warmth of the weather. It's getting a lot warmer nowadays that it makes it especially harder being stuck at home under quarantine.

However, that doesn't necessarily make it a bad thing. Because for most of us who grew up in the '80s and '90s, this was the norm for us. Just chilling at home and getting a good balance of relaxation and playtime.

What was it like to spend summer vacation back in the day?

The end of March officially started the Philippine summer vacation. Most schools would have already been done by the third week of March with only the signing of clearances during the last week of the school year.

Most of us would already start making plans with our friends how we would see each other over the break and what things we would do in the following two months.

Related: The Top 25 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home According to Vacasa 

Some of us would go to the province to spend a few weeks with our grandparents and other relatives. Others would just stay at their homes making the most of the break to relax and unwind. The more privileged ones would go out of town at least twice to go swimming at a pool or beach resort.

Since it was harder to find a retractable awning for sale in the Philippines during that time, we pretty much spent our afternoons under the sun playing street games with the neighborhood kids.But, of course, before you could go out and play, you will have to take a nap first. That was a non-negotiable parental order.

But once outside, we had the time of our lives. Running up and down the streets playing patintero or game of tag or hide-and-seek. Those with bikes would go in groups and go for a ride around the neighborhood.

Then our parents would call us in for a quick but hearty merienda before going out to play again.

Pre-Mobile Devices

Folks who grew up in the '80s and '90s found ways to kill time back then. Boredom wasn't as much of a deal then as it is now with kids separated from their gadgets and mobile devices.

We found plenty of things to do. Aside from playing outdoors, we played with whatever we can get our hands on like toys, a clothes hanger, a twig, and other stuff. We would grab old newspaper copies and turn them into planes, boats, and hats among other things.

Some of us would grab the latest copy of a song hits magazine and learn the lyrics to the latest tunes or use them as a reference to practice playing the guitar. Those who had friends with other musical instruments would form a garage band and practice just for kicks.

Summertime was also a great time to pick-up new skills. Painting or drawing classes and dance and performing arts workshops were usually the top classes to take during the time off from school. These kept kids occupied while their parents were at work.

Other kids just prefer to stay home and spend the whole day (and night!) talking over the phone with their friends. Some kids also like to stay home and just read the latest novels or comic books.

Malls were the popular hangout then, especially arcades and bowling alleys. Whenever people got together, whether they're friends or family, they would spend hours and hours talking, laughing, bonding, and enjoying each other's company.

Things may be simpler back then but it was some of the best times of our lives. Those days prior to the proliferation of mobile devices allowed us to really connect with other people and ourselves.