Ja’s Weird Childhood Games (Part 2)

1.) Judge Ja

Time of Ja’s life: Around kinder to grade 2

Further Details:

When I was a kid, I didn’t think this was a game. I was deadly serious about judging people. (For further information see That Isn’t Success)

2.) Tic Tac Toe Rebellion

Time of Ja’s life: Grade three

Further Details:

We had a very strict president named Bernice. When we had idle time between classes, she would go to the blackboard and list down the noisy girls and the quiet girls. I was a good kid, so I was usually part of the quiet girls, but my good behavior wasn’t enough for Bernice. I swear she would put anyone in the noisy girls list if that person moved a single muscle. Were muscle movements too noisy for her? We weren’t allowed to do anything except sit there and read a book. One day my classmate Ja really wanted to play tic tac toe. I brought a big book, and we pretended that we were reading it. Behind the book, we were playing tic tac toe. It worked for a while, but Bernice discovered our secret rebellion.

3.) Starla Magic

Time of Ja’s life: Around kinder to grade 2

Further Details:

I was obsessed with the tv show Starla and the Jewel Riders. My friends Lara and Raisa loved it too. We decided to pick our favorite characters. I was Starla (because I liked picking the main character), Lara was Tamara, and Raisa was Fallon. But then another member joined our group, and her name was Katrina. Katrina wanted to be Fallon, and since Raisa was so nice, she let Katrina be Fallon. Raisa then became Shadowsong, which was Tamara’s horse. Raisa couldn’t pick another Jewel Rider because there were only three of them. I really resented Katrina for demoting Raisa’s designated character. I asked Raisa “Bakit ka pumayag maging kabayo?” She said “Di naman kabayo si Shadowsong. Unicorn siya.” She said that being a unicorn was fun, but I wasn’t appeased.

There was a storm named Katrina, and people started teasing her about it. One day, my classmates and I were on the school’s patio glider swing. It had two benches facing each other, a roof over it, and a connecting floor. Katrina got on the swing and an idea hit me. I stood in the middle of the swing and rocked the swing saying “Ahhhhh nandito na si Katrina! Binabagyo na tayooo!” My classmates started laughing. I kept doing this until Katrina left. Other people started doing this every time Katrina got on the swing with them. Okay, I don’t really remember if I actually started all of this. Maybe I didn’t. Maybe I saw someone else do it. Of course it was immature and mean, but when I was young I thought it was a justified punishment for demoting Raisa to a horse.

We all knew the right way to hold the jewels that our characters held. We would run through the corridors with our hands held up in the air as though holding invisible jewels. When I couldn’t find my friends, I would hold my hand up in the air, fingers positioned the way Starla holds her jewel, and I would let the “jewel’s power” guide me toward my friends. Our school had a basketball court, a cafeteria, a playground, and a mini forest, so the school seemed so huge for little Ja. Somehow the jewel thing worked, and I’d easily find my friends.

The jewel also worked to make the school bus go faster. Starla and the Jewel Riders schedule was just one hour after our dismissal time. If the bus got caught in traffic, I would miss the show. I would place my hand on the window grills of the bus positioned in the way Starla held her jewel, and I would will the bus to go faster. More often than not, I would be home on time to watch Starla.

4.) Spike’s Voice

Time of Ja’s life: Around kinder to grade 2

Further Details:

During recess time, my classmates and I would have a cartoon character voice contest. I would do the voice of Spike (apparently he was a panther. I always thought he was a cat) from Starla and the Jewel Riders, and I would always win.

5.) Pa-sabog ng Coins

Time of Ja’s life: Grade School

Further Details:

I was so good at saving money that my piggy bank would be filled with so many coins. When I got bored, I would make my cousins line up, and I’d say Magpapa-sabog ako. I would shower them with coins, and they’d scramble on the floor to get all the coins that their little hands could carry.

6.) Failed Prank on Apple

Time of Ja’s life: Grade School

Further Details:

I got really obsessed about my diary (See Confessions of a Diary Fanatic/ My Diary Malady) that I decided to make a pre-diary where I wrote down some notes about my day. Later on, I’d refer to my notes and use them to build a full entry. I took my pre-diary everywhere I went, so I was afraid I might leave it somewhere and someone might read it, or someone might be looking over my shoulder as I jot down notes. I decided to make a secret code that only I could understand (although some people joked that my horrible handwriting was enough of a code). I based the design on the alibata designating each letter to a symbol made of lines and dots.

During this time we recently moved into a new house. The house had an attic, but there was no stairway that let to it. One had to use a ladder and enter the hole in the roof of the third floor. The third floor also had a small room that had a hole at the back of the wall. I was convinced that this was a secret passage way to the attic. But I was scared. I was scared that I might get trapped, or something more scary was behind that wall, so I decided to trick my cousin Apple to do the exploring with me.

I took a piece of paper, wrote my secret code, wrote Explore the secret passage if you want to know the secret, and drenched the paper in coffee. When Apple arrived, I told her Look I saw this piece of paper there in the hole in the small room, I think we should go inside. Apple looked at the paper, then she looked at the small room, she peeked inside the hole, and then she left. She wasn’t interested.

7.) Fish-Fishan

Time of Ja’s life: Kinder to Grade School

Further Details:

The mango trees had two kinds of leaves: dark green ones and the light green ones. The light green ones were the new leaves. The new leaves had a squishy texture that reminded me of fish. I would collect all the new leaves, and I would place them on the table. I would get a pas-pas (the stik with paper strips at the end. used to drive away the flies) and wave it over the “fishes” and cry out Bili na kayo! Bili na  kayo!

8.) Guard and Sago

Time of Ja’s life: Around kinder to grade 2

Further Details:

My friends and I would buy sago’t gulaman, and use a straw to shoot sago at the guard. The poor guard would feel the sticky sago hit him, look around wondering where it came from, but he never saw us hiding behind the bush.

9.) Palayok-palayukan

Time of Ja’s life: Kinder to Grade School

Further Details:

My mother bought me some play pots made of clay. They were no bigger than three baby hands. It was a complete set. There was a bowl wherein you put the coal, wood or paper, which will be used to start a fire. This bowl will be placed under the pot. I also had a little frying pan made of clay. Mama would help me start the fire. She and I would put some rice inside the pot and some water and start cooking. I waited eagerly as the rice cooked, and when it was done, it was perfect.


[1] Why did you agree to be the horse?

[2] Shadowsong is not a horse. It’s a unicorn.

[3] Ahhh Katrina is here! We are caught in a storm.

[4] Throwing of coins

[5] I will give you some coins

[6] Pre-Hispanic Era Filipino Alphabet

[7] Come and buy something

[8] Filipino refreshment

Check out my other blog categories.

If you like this post, please subscribe to this blog. Ja is also on TwitterFacebookTumblr, Bloglovin (for blogfor Tumblr). Email Ja at: ageofthediary@gmail.com. 

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