Kite Flying Afternoon at Quirino Grandstand
Posted by beyondpraise
I always dreamed of flying a kite when I was kid. I even dreamed of becoming a part or at least watching the kite flying festival sponsored by Bearbrand back in the 90s to no avail. Days passed by and we’re all grown up but I still wasn’t able to fly my kite. Few months before I turn 23, I was finally able to wind the thread and watch my kite glide the windy, late afternoon sky of Quirino Grandstand.
Who wouldn’t love these colorful stuffs, sometimes shaped as butterflies, bats or eagles, as they fly beautifully in the middle of blue sky. It’s just nice to see it flying high while being threaded by a kid’s skillful hands. Boys would fondly brag to one another about their kite flying skills and their enormous kites but girls like me before could only watch them play their thing.
Before the digital age, children fill their childhood memories with experiences like these. There used to be a lot of green fields and grasslands where children can run and laugh together as they discover how to emerge as the mightiest of them kite fliers. But today, I wonder if the children in my neighborhood still know how kite works, or if their dads taught them how to fly one during his weekend off.
There used to be a lot of families who gather around Quirino Grandstand for a kite flying session with the kids. The afternoon sky near the Rizal Park was often dotted with colorful kites. But last Thursday, my kite was flying alone and my laughter was the only thing that disturbed the stillness of Quirino Grandstand. My partner and I bought a small kite from the vendor within the area and he gave us an orange colored kite with 40 or so meters of thread. It’s almost sun set so we hurried and took our place in the middle of the field.
The strong wind blew and the kite went higher and higher. It was really hilarious every time the kite seemed to fall down and I didn’t know what to do. As kite genius as he was, my partner taught me some of the tricks on how to thread the kite. “Pag babagsak na, takbo ka papalapit, irelease mo ng konti tapos pag umaakyat na, hilahin mo ulet!” Yeah, that seemed a little vague but it actually worked.
I just really love the freedom of the kite and the joy of threading it to make sure that it is having a wonderful flight. I love how the thread is almost invisible but always present between the kite and the kite flier. And no matter how simple it may seem, I now know that kite also needs a skillful flier in order to reach the peak of its kite life.
The fun ended with fits of laughter when the end of the thread suddenly slipped out of my partner’s hands. We tried to chase it but the wind was so mighty it took the kite all the way to the light post near the Luneta park. The thread tangled up on the electric line and kite flew steadily in place for at least 15 minutes before it disappeared.
That was probably one of the most amazing afternoons of my adult life. The simplicity of the experience and the modesty of the kite is something that reacquainted me with the kid inside my heart. I often tell my elders that I am now a grown up lady and that I can really handle myself well, but in truth I am just a child, fearful that her kite would hit the ground. I’m just happy that no matter how unskilled I am, there are people around me who are patient enough to teach me how to wind back my kite.