Baseball Lesson: Learning a Culture

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Last week I bought baseball gloves and a ball so I can teach my son how to play baseball. Learning to play baseball is like a rite of passage for all American boys. After all, it is known as the American pastime.

Trying to be a good father, I will not deprive my boy of this opportunity, even if I’m far from qualified to teach the game. I just hope that I will not injure my kid and myself doing this.

I don’t like baseball. I don’t like playing it (not just that I don’t know how). And I don’t even like watching it (especially with all that chewing and spitting). Moreover, who plays baseball in the streets of Manila? But that besides the point. My son needs to learn it for the sake of our adopted culture.

As I was teaching my boy how to catch the ball with the gloves (as I myself was also learning), I was surprised that my daughter was interested too. So she borrowed my gloves, and she and her brother played and learned catch. I was more surprised on how quickly they picked-up the skills. As I sat watching my kids play baseball, I thought to myself that this will be my contribution in Americanizing (is that a word?) my children.

Tomorrow, I’ll teach them how to hit a can with slippers, and play tumbang preso.


  1. Don’t forget to teach them patintero, touching ball, agawan base, and piko (hopscotch), not forgetting the intricacies of choosing the right kind of pato that will lay flat when flung onto a piko square or rectangle. Sipa, too – I remember you were one of the best sipa players in school. Chinese garter, marunong ka? Eva probably does. 🙂 Childhood games are an important part of culture – and it’s great how you’re passing on to your kids the Pinoy bits that are in their DNA, as well as making sure they learn the culture of the land they were born in. 🙂

  2. Yun pa pala, jackstones! Also Chinese jackstones, the three little cloth bags filled with mongo beans. We used to sew them ourselves. 🙂

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