Saturday, November 03, 2007

Kites in Paradise Philippines

Flying Kites No More in Paradise Philippines

Supposedly, this month, November, is the end of the kite season in paradise Philippines. At least according to me and other kite addicts here in the Philippines. Yes, I am not afraid to be called as a kite addict in my early days as a kid and I am proud to be part of the no lessening tradition of kite flying here in paradise Philippines during my childhood days as a lover of kites and an artist of small plastic kites that used to fly the Philippines skies.

Nostalgia in Kite Flying in Paradise Philippines

I remember when I was a small tot that even as early as the morning mist of six o'clock in the morning I would drag a spool of thread touched with small pieces of pulverized glass and what we call as cola to make it stick in the "sinulid" with my kite. This tradition of having "bubog" in the thread that we use is for fighting kites and to avoid loosing the kite in a tag of war in the Philippine skies during the kite season which usually starts as early as August. The windy season by the way starts at September when the typhoon usually starts to devastate the paradise Philippines green land of pastures. While we start to smell the aura of the Christmas mist, I am starting to feel a new era of kite flying and many battles that I am going to fight against rival kite flyers in the land of kite flying gladiators here in the Philippines. This to me is the most unique tradition of kite flying, unknown to many.

Smelling the Kite Season over Christmas Scent of Air

I remember when I was a kid that I used to get excited not by the smell of Christmas in the air during the month of September but with the start of the seasons here in flying kites in paradise Philippines. I also remember the first time that I flew my own plastic-made kite with a best friend beside me, it was in the squatters area where we used to live near. A small strip of vacant lot vacated because of the biggest fire here in Paradise Philippines during the 80's. I can also recall "Pasong" as we call him, the bestest friend that i had. The same person who taught me to fly kites in Paradise Philippines skies using the old roof in their house where we climb to get the advantage of being able to fly the biggest kites in the sky and win almost all battles of tag of war with our competing rivals from other places that we could reach using the threads called as Alexander equipped with what we call as "bubog". Defeating the battles between rival kites never really had anything more than the best feeling of getting the advantage to be over the others. This way you can be called as the great kite flyer or the "namamayani. Nmamayani is the tagalog version of a hero that never gets defeated by anyone else in the battles between rival kites here in paradise Philippines skies and what good feeling it is as I recall when you are being called as the "namamayani", in fact this is the best feeling as other boys in the hood would even see who's flying the best kite they can find in the skies.

Pagbububog for Kites in Paradise Philippines - A process to do

The kite flyer called as the "namamayani" by the way is also a kite watcher at times where all he does is to take a look and watch who is the best and tries to engage in a battle with him upon seeing that he wins his kite battles also to see who's the best. In my early days as a kid who loves to fly kites in paradise Philippines skies I never forget to drag my friend along wherever I go to fly kites. The most favorite place where we fly these hero kites that we have is the "riles" or the railroad tracks, the same place where we pulverize the glass from a busted fluorescent tube put inside a sardine can and let a train run pass through it early at six o'clock, the schedule of the train to pass in the railroad. The railroad is the site of many battles lost between kites but usually, this does not include us as we always win battles there and other kids would not even dare get close to our kites. We are unsung heroes of the kite flying kids in paradise Philippines back then and I never regret being part of that tradition. I will never forget the railroad tracks, the friends that we have gained during those days, the artful kites that we used to make, the threads that we use and process that we call "pagbububog" or putting pulverized glass in the thread that we use wehn flying kites. There are traditions that we have observed to be most effective in the "pagbububog". This is that the more strict you are in limiting the "bubog that gets in your thread, the more you can win battles against other rival kite flyers in the paradise Philippines skies.

The Cola Used in Kite Threads - The Best Accesory

The "pagbububog" is actually the first step of knowing that we will win many battles against rivals when our kites get to the skies and engage in a tug of war with other flyers in the hood. I can also remember that after the process of "pagbububog", we make what we call as "salat" or feel the constant distribution of the pulverized glass in our threads. This way, we can be sure that we will surely win our battles in the paradise Philippines skies. A tradition to use in making the "bubog stick to the threads that we use is called by the way as the "cola". Something sticky when heated. This "cola" gives us the advantage that the "bubog will not be touched away by our hands as the less water we put while cooking the liquid bubog, the more sticky the solution will be and the harder the threads will become when the process of "pagbububog" is done.

Kites in Paradise Philippines, A Disappearing Tradition

Nowadays, all I can do is to grieve for the dying tradition of flying kites in paradise Philippines and the happiness that it brings to my heart. The beautiful tradition is almost gone. The days of excitement, perished with the existence of cyber gaming, cell phones, early marriage and many more. These are probably the culprits of the dying tradition of the unique way of flying kites in paradise Philippines. The tug of war and many unnamed battles that we have won in the early days of the the tradition. I'm afraid will soon be a lost paradise for me while I live here in the Philippines. At least i am proud that somewhere in my heart and in this beautiful life that I have lived, I am a proud member of the early kite flyers and gladiators in the skies of paradise Philippines. There may be many other reasons that you can name aside from those that I have mentioned here but there will never be another era as exciting as the time that battling kites used to fly in the paradise Philippines skies.


al said...

i am an avid kitemaker and would like to know more about kites in the philippines. please write me at

Anonymous said...

brod dito sa san juan uso na ulit ang saranggola.

problema lang wala na mabilhan ng cola :D

Arky Agapito said...

Hi! This is Arky from GMA 7. We are interested to make a story about "kite flying" and "kite fighting" in the Philippines. Is there anyway you can help us with this? Please let me know. You can reach me via mail,

Hope to hear from you. It will be greatly appreciated! Thank you very much!

Arky said...

Hi! This is Arky from GMA 7. We are interested to make a story about "kite flying" and "kite fighting" in the Philippines. Is there anyway you can help us with this? Please let me know. You can reach me via mail,

Hope to hear from you. It will be greatly appreciated! Thank you very much!