glass marbles

Eureka!  I found it!  By a stroke of good luck I chanced upon a group of kids hunched over the sidewalk playing marbles!

boys playing marbles

I played with marbles during my elementary school days, and so did most of my schoolmates.  Stomping the glass marble on the soft ground, five holes are made and the object of the game is to sink a marble into one of those holes.

boys playing marbles

Here, the player tries to hit the target marble.  It is not easy as the marbles are now only half the size of what they used to be.  If the player hits the target, he wins all the marbles that are in play.  The same is true if he holes a marble at the start of his turn.

We used to go to school with a pocketful of marbles to play during recess and after class dismissal.  On a good day it becomes 2 pocketful of marbles.  Bad days are when we had to skip our snacks and use the money to buy marbles instead.  The worst is when our teachers find out we’ve been playing marbles and confiscates the whole lot.  I wonder why teachers would want to confiscate our marbles – I haven’t seen them play at the school yard.  Not even once!

So once again I visited Gwynneth.  She just turned 4 last October 19.  I came by to drop off her birthday gifts sent from across the globe, from a wonderful person whom I met through this blog, and who was featured in October 2011.  Ms Leila, thank you for making this little girl very happy.  You are a blessing to the people around you.


90 thoughts on “glass marbles

  1. Pingback: THROWBACK THURSDAY: Top 10 Favorite Childhood Games |

  2. love your photos so much—amazing job capturing the spirit of these little ones. i spent some time in malawi after i graduated from college and remember wishing i could capture one visual that measured up to how much the children i worked with changed my heart forever. so glad i stumbled across your blog!

    • thank you. Your documentary of the issues facing your hometown is interesting, and I do hope the dengue cases have been resolved. We’ve had that epidemic a few years ago but it’s been placed under control now.

      • Thank you Orlando for appreciating my efforts.
        Happy to know that your government done something great deeds for controlling the Epidemic Issue. I wish my government can do thing sincerely for their public.
        I am honored to communicate with the great photographer with great EYE.
        Your Photos no doubt Speaks them self.



      • We also have issues here, but there are private individuals and organizations who take initiatives to help the community.

        Thanks, Kazmi.

      • So do we, I am working for Education, Health, Medicine, Monthly Food as an individual Under my own ONE RUPEE PROJECT which slogan is “A Rupee Can CHANGE You and Your Life”

        Thank YOU Orlando,


  3. So much that connects so many of us…I was in an intense game of marbles when I was in grade school and consequently ignored the bell that ended recess. When the game was over a few minutes later, I walked as quickly as I could toward my classroom, hoping I could somehow sneak in. I didn’t even get to try an excuse on my teacher, I was confronted in the hall by the meanest teacher in the school; and you know it…she confiscated my entire poke of marbles.

  4. I played with marbles as a child. I also played with “jackstone” – a game with a small rubber ball and 10 “stars.” That is how I used to pass time when I was young and still living in my grandfather’s house. Ahh, memories. I thought I’d never remember those again. It’s easy to forget when you’re so preoccupied with adult stuff.

    I’m glad you captured the priceless smiling expressions on the faces of the children while playing a simple game. You take wonderful photos. Keep it up!

    • Yes Jackstones! I remember one of my male classmates would play that with the girls at school. I miss seeing the interaction among kids these days. Most often I see many kids gathered but each one is too preoccupied with a phone or gadget.

      • There were even several techniques and styles for capturing the “stars!” Hahaha! Kids can come up with lots of ways to entertain themselves even with the simplest of toys.

      • yes, 15 or 20 levels if I’m not mistaken. Our school’s corridors would be lined up with girls all sitting on the floor playing jackstones. I wish I was already into photography then.

  5. I chanced upon your blog when I saw the thumbnail on Freshly Pressed and thought, “Hey, those kids look Filipino.” Your photos are amazing. Thank you for capturing such beautiful and genuine moments – it really warms my heart!

  6. Congratulations on being freshly pressed! I recall my brothers and their beautifully colorful glass marbles. I am happy for the baby girl who got beautiful gifts through the generosity of strangers. Great job with the beautiful photos as well. Cheers!

  7. Pingback: glass marbles « ABHIJIT 'THE DREAMER'

  8. another master piece photo work. also reminded , when we are young, ” SHIOMUY, HULIN GAMES” . no TV or Video games that time yet. thanks Master Orly.

    • thank you, Jack. This is a real compliment coming from you who has been taking photos before I was even in diapers. I am just following your footsteps in documenting the present, so that we can look at these photos again in the decades to come.

  9. Your photos sure brings back a lot of my childhood memories too. Like playing marbles during recess or ” text ” ( comic postcards ). I guess every month or every season, kids play different games. It’s already October and I was wondering if kids still fly kites as they use to do. Maybe this could be your next project.
    By the way, visiting Gwynneth on her birthday was really touching. Keep it up and keep the positive energy flowing.

    • I have no experience with the “text”; I don’t recall anybody in school playing it. I haven’t seen kids playing “sato” lately, and “sipa” is now played with the hands and feet, unlike before when we only played it with the feet. Kite flying is in season during the summer months of March – June, just before school starts.

      It was 2 days after her birthday when I dropped off her gifts last Sunday. Their sari-sari store is busy during weekdays and I don’t want too many people there spoiling the mood and the scene for a photograph.

  10. Once again nice pictures and narratives. May your life be “marbled” with health, joy and more blessings. Gwyneth indeed is a happy kid, thank you for making it happened. .You are instrument of kindness and joy!!!

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