In broad daylight, a phoenix, a giant praying mantis and a manananggal took to the skies. No, they were not about to harm anyone. Rather, they were part of this year’s Bear Brand Kite Fest.
Taking the time off from the city’s hustle and bustle, families and barkada spent the weekend at Greenfield City Sports Field in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, to enjoy the pleasures of kite-flying.
Despite the fact that a lot of today’s kids would prefer to stay indoors and play with their gadgets, quite a number showed up and frolicked in the sun.
One of them is seven-year-old Hannah Denise Bacomo, who was with her mom Maria Toni. Maria said kite-flying is a weekend family sport for them and that they do it as often as possible. “One great thing about kite-flying is that it’s a relaxing activity. You don’t need to buy expensive gadgets just to enjoy this sport.”
Unlike other kids her age, Hannah also enjoys triathlon aside from kite-flying. “That’s why it’s not hard for her to appreciate kite-flying [because] she’s really into outdoor activities,” said Maria.
Kite Association of the Philippines (KAP) officer James Kekenusa said that with many kids nowadays too gadget-oriented, they need to be encouraged to go out and play more. “Why don’t they go out in the sun and fly kites with their parents? For sure their parents flew kites in their days,” he said.
Father to two sons, Kekenusa spends weekends or whenever there’s free time doing just that with his kids. “I always tell them technology and these gadgets are just there. But a fine day like this doesn’t come as often,” he said.
Culture and tradition
As officer in charge for the international affairs of KAP, Kekenusa flies to various countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas, where he has noticed “governments conduct kite festivals because they see that it boosts tourism.”
“It’s a wholesome family activity, and as Asians, it is part of our culture and tradition,” he said.
Kekenusa has been flying kites for over a decade, but he has not tired of it. “Having your kite up there and seeing a sincere smile from the kids is a moment I cherish,” he said.
Meanwhile, showing Pinoy pride with their “Centennial” kite, which combines all Philippine flag designs, is the uncle-nephew team of Edgar Camo and John Carlo Santos of Pampanga.
Santos said he finds joy in flying and making kites over playing with the latest gadgets because “it’s more challenging, and unleashes the artistry and creativity in me.”
With almost a hundred kite-flyers, KAP president Orlando Ongkingko said “we are happy to tell everyone that kite-flying is very active, and we are here to revive the Filipino kite tradition.”
The second leg of Bear Brand Kite Fest will be on May 8 at Subic, Olongapo.