Posted by johnamor | Filed under Art
I wasn’t a particularly gregarious child. All the kids in my neighborhood were a bit too old for me to play with, and so I’d always have to settle for observing the big boys play, my brother Roby among them, while I sat off to the side studying bugs… and the dirt.
I was three.
But every now and then, the big-boy world of competition and rough-housing would overlap with my world of little monsters and squinting. That is to say… my brother would find spiders and have them fight on barbecue sticks. For those of you who don’t know, this is a pretty common pastime in the Philippines, and it is probably one of my earliest and fondest of memories. ——————————————-(picture below via The Telegraph)
The big boys would find spiders in my grandmother’s sprawling garden, which at the time felt like a huge forest. Again, I was three… and pretty small for my age at that. I was a runt in my brother’s pack, but when it was time for spider fights, I had no problem getting a good look as Roby would give me the front row seat, complete with commentary on the little arachnids’ jabs and blows. There was humor, suspense, and sometimes even drama. The whole gaggle of kids would crowd around me and my brother, captivated by these miniature bloodsports. To this day, I’ll take it over a boxing match. The entertainment value of watching my brother pit spiders against each other was probably one of the key factors that sparked my love for telling stories and designing creatures, and it’s all thanks to his giving me the best seat in the house.
I had picked up the skill of ‘projected dialogue’ …and it would later keep me entertained for hours on end when there were no spiders to be found and I was back to playing with bugs in the dirt.