With online gaming becoming the fave pastime among youth

MANOG-BANOG FESTIVAL. Lapaz, a town in Leyte, hosts an annual Manog-Banog Festival with the aim of reigniting the youth’s interest in kite flying. Known as ‘manog-banog’ in the local Waray dialect, kite flying has long been a beloved tradition among Filipinos, but has somewhat faded in popularity with the rise of online gaming. Photo shows one of the contenders preparing his kite for the competition held last April 9. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)

LAPAZ, Leyte  – Amidst the fervor of online gaming, a cherished summer tradition is being revived by this town: kite flying.

This pastime, beloved by both children and adults, remains alive and vibrant thanks to the efforts of the community and town councilor Marlou Marticio.

On Tuesday (April 9), 36 participants hailing from various barangays gathered in Barangay Canbañez, located approximately a kilometer away from the town center, to take part in the second ‘Manog-Banog Festival’.

Named after the Waray term for kite, the festival offers cash prizes to winners and consolation prizes to all participants.

The event showcased a myriad of kites crafted from string and colored cellophane, boasting designs ranging from dragonflies and planes to birds and traditional diamond shapes.

Marticio, the organizer of the festival, shared that his inspiration stems from a desire to reminisce about his own childhood memories and to encourage younger generations to explore activities beyond the realm of online gaming.

“As a child, kite flying was my favorite pastime. Nowadays, many children are unfamiliar with or disinterested in traditional pastimes, as they are more engrossed in online games like Mobile Legends,” Marticio expressed.

Thus, the Manog-Banog Festival not only serves as a competition but also as a celebration of the joy of kite flying—a wholesome and cost-effective activity.

Marticio expressed delight at the increased participation in this year’s festival, with 36 contestants compared to the previous year’s 27.

Among the participants was six-year-old Akiyo Enciso, accompanied by his mother, Liezl, 26. Akiyo, the youngest contestant and currently enrolled in Kindergarten, shared his enthusiasm for kite flying.

“I love flying kites. My uncle Ronel helped me make mine,” Akiyo shared.
According to Liezl, Ronel crafted a kite for his son, resembling a ship, using colored cellophane just last week for the contest.

“Akiyo was eager to participate. He thoroughly enjoys flying kites after his afternoon classes,” Liezl remarked.

“Despite the intense heat we are experiencing, seeing him enjoy himself makes it all worthwhile,” she added.

With the success of the Manog-Banog Festival, the local government is considering integrating it into its annual fiesta activities, scheduled every April 28.