The ‘Saranggola’ Kid – A True Story (#22)

This is story is inspired by my experience as a child. The ‘Saranggola Kid’ was my neighbor. He was 16 years old and I was 8. During the 1950s, the sky was filled with dozens of kites (‘saranggola’ in Pilipino) of all kinds during the kite season when it was windy. Tony was like an older brother to me.

‘True Tales’ Series – Volume 22

eastwind journals – May 7, 2023 – Archives tr370

By Bernie V. Lopez,

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When you look up at the sky, you see about a dozen or two of them crowding each other, the few giant GURIONs, one to two meters in length, steady and strong, and the many small ones, meandering and moving fast. This was in the crowded area in Quezon City, mind you, not the open rural fields. I lived near the crossing of Espana and Quezon Blvd. and there was a big vacant lot to the side of our house, perfect launching pad for kites.

Sometimes, the kites had one- to two-meter tails to keep them steadier. The small short-tailed ones would often have a ‘dog fight’, trying to cut the line of the other. Just watching them kill each other was so much fun. Once, Tony would find an ‘enemy kite’, maneuver his kite above and beside the target. As soon their strings touch, Tony would pull violently to cut the line of the enemy kite. Tony’s kite string was loaded. He used finely-crushed glass glued to his string which had more ability to cut.

As soon as a kite went down, I would run towards where it would fall to retrieve it. The ‘rule’ was – a downed kite was owned by the first one who picked it up. I had a portable mini-scissors to cut the long string when I retrieved a downed kite. Sometimes there was a grapple for the kite until it was torn to pieces. Once, I was in fist fight. I gave all my downed kites to Tony. He would laugh when he saw me with a black eye.

Tony was my idol, the greatest kite flyer and kite killer in the world. He would start early, when other kites had not yet arrived. He would unravel his long string for about an hour until his small short-tailed kite was so high, you could hardly see it. I felt how heavy the string was with a slight pull when Tony let me maneuver his kite. When the kite was high enough, he would tie the string to a rock, as we ate breakfast of hotdog sandwiches made by his mom. We would be seated beside the rock. After breakfast, he would let me take over for a while.

I was his student in kite killing. He made his own kites, the design tailored to kill – small fast highly maneuverable kites. I had my first kill under his supervision. We celebrated on that day, drinking beer. I did not like beer but I forced myself so not to offend my idol.

Then, suddenly, Tony disappeared. I never saw him again, until one day, ten years later, I met him by accident in Divisoria where he sold kites on the sidewalk for a living. I was 18, and he was 26, but we recognized each other right away, and embraced. He had his kites on a blanket, so that, when the police came on a raid, he would simply fold the blanket and run away. Then he unraveled his eerie story.

Tony did not know what to do with himself. He drifted around, and wallowed in drugs, until a priest picked him up as he lay on the sidewalk half-conscious. The priest saved him from addiction, adopted him, fed him, housed him, and nurtured him. Tony said he was joining the priesthood and we would never see each other again. He handed me a rosary and said that, when I get depressed or lonely, just say the rosary and all troubles would vanish.

The next time I saw Tony was on television. He was now a healing priest, touching the sick on the forehead. They crowded him. He looked so happy. The kite killer became a cancer killer. Bless his soul.

p437 – albatross – king of the skies

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More Inspirational Articles

FOR THOSE WHO NEED HEALING, spiritual or physical (depression, anxiety, loneliness, terminal cancer, covid, diabetes, etc.) – say an online healing prayer with one or both healers below. Terminal patients have been healed in cyberspace. All you need is to have faith –

1) Father Fernando

2) Sr. Raquel Reodica, RVM –

Download free e-book ‘Healing Stories of Sr. Raquel’ at

Author’s book. At age 26, the author (eastwind) drifted through Europe, hitchhiking 25,000 kilometers for three straight years. He wrote a book on his adventures, Wings and Wanderlust. He learned deep insights that radically changed his view of life, which he wants to share with readers looking for themselves or wanting to catch the wind. More about the book (get a copy) =

Author’s Credentials. Blogger – ex-Columnist (Inquirer) – Healing Ministry – ex-Professor (Ateneo University) – Documentary Producer-Director (freelance, ex-ABS-CBN, ex-TVS Tokyo) – ex-Broadcaster (Radio Veritas) – Facebook “Bernie V. Lopez Eastwind” / Pages “Eastwind Journeys and Journals” and “Mary Queen of Peace”.


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