Thursday, January 8, 2009

Experiences with Allen

Allen is my 10 year old nephew. He is in grade 5. I appreciate Allen very much because he can play on his own even when he was younger. His older sister, Eriel, doesn't like his things. They are diametrically opposed. One likes sweet catsup, the other prefers it sour. When one likes a food fried, the other wants it with soup. One likes 'tuyo', the other one 'sapsap'. Allen wants the tartar or mayonaise for his burgers, Eriel requests hers without any. Moreover, Allen eats more viand and less rice, and the opposite is for Eriel. If someone has a strong liking for something, think of its opposite and you will not guess far! The only thing they eat together is fried chicken and both love Max's sizzling menus. A lot more follows in contrasts...

During weekends when i come home to visit them, Allen and i normally make this small trips on the roads. We call it 'pasyal'. We sometimes venture on more difficult paths, once he calls it extreme pasyal, the road was muddy, slippery or weedy, because only Kiko's horse uses that path. It was a farm path very far from the main road. Our pants were full of 'amorseko', 'mangkit', 'kulutan' etc. These are the plant propagules which attach to your clothes that touch them. It assured them of species perpetuation because you carry them far from the source and deposit the seeds wherever you 'pagpag' them.

These past holidays Allen and i tried our 'pasyal' again. He introduced me to the habits of insects which i discovered he probably has been observing all his young life. In a small tree are some termites along the trunk. He said these termites are eaten by the orange ants, which in turn makes its house on top of the tree by enclosing some leaves with some materials to make a hole inside for their habitat. Then, he said the orange ants (we call 'lisa-lisa) are killed by the big black ants resembling 'hantik' but not really 'hantik'. He can actually hold the black ants on its back and put them near the orange ants. We basically put the prey near the predator to easily observe the drama.

I asked him what then happens to the black ants. Who are its enemies. To my amazement, he already knows the answer. He pulled me somewhere to look for some small holes half a centemeter in diameter at the opening. Even without the ants entering it he is already familiar with them. We just waited for sometime and there was the black ant coming out. Very near the hole entrance was a small spider net, maybe 2 inches diameter. The spider is said to be the predator of the black ant. Very wise spider, making its house near the black ant's door. And, we really observed the food chain in action that few hours in the morning.

Allen is an amazing kid. He is a scientist in the making, maybe! Be it ants, spiders, birds, chicken and cats, he definitely is interested. I hope he will easily survive the future generation's challenges.


  1. He sounds like a very interesting and intelligent kid. What an observer. It's great that he knows a lot about his own surroundings. Most kids would rather stay at home and play computer.

  2. Thanks Karmi for your comments. Yes, Allen seems to be a budding scientist, hehe. But he is also dismatling some broken toys to get the parts and put other toys to run or functional. He does not want help from adults though. Moreover, he wants to sew his own pencil case, no matter how bad his sewing looks like. Maybe he is a kind of person who wants to see thing done his way, and enjoys his creation.

  3. Hi Nids. it's almost 1am here now. I started reading your posts (old ones).About Allen, I think he carries your genes so I'm not surprised..a smart kid na may pinagmanahan.


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