My grandmother loved taking a siesta, true to the strong Spanish influence on our family, her naps were sacred. Considered to be her “metime” and relaxation, she would announce that she would be
taking her afternoon nap, so as everyone in the household would know she would be indisposed for a few hours. Her siesta would also mean a short time for me to pretend to be asleep too and play inside the house without supervision, maybe sneak out for a bit and run around, depending if I could mauver the front door not to make a sound, it takes a certain angle to open and close our
door, so sometimes I won’t risk it, lest she wakes up and discovers I went out without permission.

So, the few hours of my granny’s slumber must be used wisely, taking all things into consideration when trying to maximize play hours. One afternoon, grandma announced as she always did that, she would be taking a siesta, smiled and nodded, pretending to be sleepy too and laying down on
out sofa, as she exited to her room. I looked out the window and thought it was too hot to sneak out, so I looked around the house trying to find quality toys I could fiddle with. I found my “Lato – Lato,” but it wasn’t called this back then, I forgot its name at that time but is popularity is likened
to the craze we have today, every kid had it.

By definition the “Lato – Lato” is a “toy that consists of two plastic balls suspended on a string that, when swung, slams against each other to create that distinct clacking sound. With enough practice,
the balls can be knocked together above and below the hand.” The Lato – Lato I had was different from the ones we have today, it was a complete contraption, not bound by a string, but has the same effect of the present version. I figured that the thing would create noise, so I had the brilliant idea to hide under the table and play, in the small brain of a 10-year-old, I surmised, the impact would be lesser.

After 5 minutes of finding the rhythm of the “lato -lato,” my grandmother stormed out of her room and found me under the table, she confiscated the contraption and stormed back to her room, then I heard a thud on the galvanized sheeted roof of our neighbor. I surmised the fate of my “lato – lato,” which had driven my slumbering grandma to her raging wrath. Least I say, I ended up
sobbing under the table, mourning the loss of my toy, which was the newest craze, how would I face my friends who had the same thing, I wondered and thought how mean granny was, seething in anger.

Fast forward to the present date, with my grandmother dead and me not fitting under the table
on a drunken night with friends at our favorite watering hole. There were children at the table with the present day “Lato – Lato,” giddily playing and laughing, I wanted to throw the wretched things out the window. And that is my Lato Lato Story.

Amianan Balita Ngayon