Written & Produced by: Batong-Apog
While we celebrate Margielyn Didal’s gold popping in Skateboarding – women’s street event in the 2018 Asian Games and the committee raises their glass for the 4th gold; the curbside “kuya-pa-skate” kid Miguel shoves my board in his blunt rubber slippers.
Around 10 in the evening in a not-so-convenient store for this twelve-year-old dude, I started hearing the ever-famous line “kyah pembarya” along with the other forms of dissonance you hear around Taft. Oh yeah, I admit being one of the ignorant passerby but not until he started asking about my setup.
Well, this 12 year-old kid who goes by the name Miguel is quite aggressive – when he got ahold of my board, he started checking its parts and asking about my setup. He was pulling a casual dialogue on: 1. Where I skate, 2. Who I skate with, and 3. How often I skate.
With every inquiry I knew he was just trying to stimulate my interest, as he was already low-key riding my board. But I quite had a “talk.”
1.This kid skates along P. Ocampo, although it’s just a side activity since his main priority is to bag some coins for tomorrow’s class that’s scheduled from 10pm – 3am sharp!
2. And Miguel skates with anyone or should I say he skates through anyone. As he implies, you’re considered a friend if you go by his place carrying some wheels, because the only time he’s able to grind a skateboard is when skaters are taking a break and he has the opportunity to skate around the vicinity all by himself.
3. As often as skaters drop by and probably as often as it is allowed. I’ve been skating for quite some time now and I came to realize that the peak time for skating around the area is 10PM. Good thing for the young enthusiast, the crew rocks with him. But as soon as the guards or local officers start snooping around and blow their whistles, we all know the drill . . . “Sibat na!” ROLL OUT FOR YOUR LIVES! And everyone calls it a night.
I was just asked these three questions and I was struck by a bunch of issues in the Philippine skate scene.
Maybe by now that the hype’s out for Margielyn’s victory, the national committee’s likely all cheers and out to celebrate, and perhaps tomorrow’s transcendence and support will be focused on what the majority considers only the “major” sports and activities.
So take it from our golden champ and allow me to acknowledge a statement from her as she emphasized:
“Kung susuportahan at gagawa ng maraming skate park, skate clinic, at mag-hunting tayo sa iba’t ibang lugar ng talent.”
With that she guarantees more skate champs.
“Ang daming talent sa Cebu, sa mga provinces. Kulang lang talaga sa support,” she stressed in an interview with ABS-CBN.
It should be obvious by now that there are a lot of people from all ages and all walks of life that are passionate about skateboarding and the skate lifestyle has established the fact that it can gather and unite the people – but as she implies, there still is lack for funding and support from our government.
Kids like Miguel serve as a concrete example that our nation’s skate dreams are indeed alive and thriving. Right now we are hopeful and wish nothing but the best for our skaters. We may never know what the future will hold, but as soon as the clock ticks 10, and everyone is out to play – in that moment, somehow and in some way, the kids own the streets.