Back in the day, Dagmay was the king of kite aficionados in Guinarona. His were HUGE kites, like using 15 sheets of papel de japon. Next would be Nerio, who could manage five sheets with his pinugtutan kite, which was also Dagmay’s favorite shape. Pablo Ty had this kite with diamond patterns, but he could only manage three sheets at the most.
Oh, when their kites were up in the sky, their symphony was heaven! Each kite had this sungba or a bunch of them at the kite’s back, which would produce a huge humming sound. They made the sungba from the buri leaf, which they boil and dry and functioned as a bow, and with the wind pressure, produced the humming sound.
There was this Manasis guy from Liraw whose kite was the shape of the human form. The old folks would balk at such shape because in their belief, it attracted lilente or thunderbolts.
The force of Dagmay’s pinugtutan kite was such that it needed two to three people to pull it. Dagmay would often let his huge kite float in the sky for 24 hours–pinapahuron in the kite club jargon.
The most amazing time was when the kite operators would agree to a battle of kites. The losing kite’s string would snap off, and the kids would run in the direction where the kite would land, and the lad who was successful in retrieving it (ladron) was a star of sorts.
Then, in Guinarona, the kite season was February to March. It presaged the closing of school and the ushering of lent.
Some of our friends are opining about the greatness of the past in Guinarona. Well, the kite season was certainly one of the defining moments.
Who are the new Dagmay, the new Nerio, the new Pablo Ty? Or shall we just be pining and hankering?