street games

Come to any urban center in the Philippines and it is hard not to notice side streets being used as public playground.  The exponential growth of the population as a result of in-migration and unchecked birth rate is guarantee that there will never be enough public recreational facilities for everyone seeking to engage in sports.


Depending on the games being played, street playgrounds can be anywhere from a clear open road to a barricaded one.  Badminton has become a popular game of late, probably because it is now being taught in school.


Native games are also on being reintroduced to schoolchildren.  I love these games because they are fun and keeping scores is not necessary, unlike sports wherein one team needs to lose for the other team to win.


Unlike sports, an unlimited number of timeouts is permitted anytime during play, especially if it is to take care of an itch.  There is no game clock to mind.  The game ends when it becomes too dark outside or when mother calls.  A full timeout only becomes necessary when a vehicle needs to pass through the playground.

There are no hard and fast rules with these games, and nobody seems to mind.  It’s all about having a good time.


On the more serious side is a basketball tournament organized by the local community.  The road is closed to traffic from early evening until all the scheduled games have been played.

Overall, I am just glad to see many of the usual activities making a comeback.  We haven’t recovered fully yet.  There are still people living in makeshift houses and tents, but this is a good sign that things will be better.


9 thoughts on “street games

  1. If those kids were playing in the US, with no adult family member watching them….. a concerned neighbor will call the police and report the parents for child endangerment. Political correctness running wild. If any of those children go to school with bruises from playing, the school nurse, teachers will need to call the police and report possible child abuse. They would rather have the children spend hours playing violent video games at home than have a real life street games while exercising their obese bodies. Alwys good images Orlan. How I wish I could go back to my love of photography. Miss carrying around my backpack of film cameras with its carry on tripod and accessories.

    • Things are so different there that I sometimes wonder what circumstances made them so. I would rather have my kids play outside than stay at home and play video games, but times have changed.
      I do hope you will be able to get back to photography.

  2. I’ve been very lax in following my favorite bloggers lately, as well as posting to my own blog. But today when I read through this and your previous posts I was reminded of what a wonderful job you do. Not only are your images wonderful (as I’ve said in the past, I’m a huge fan of bw), but the text that accompanies them is as well. Poignant, to the point, you state the facts/truth without being confrontational or sappy.

    Instead of repeating what other commenters have said, I’ll just say “ditto”. How amazing is the human spirit!

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