What Summer Break Looks Like for Chinoys: A Nostalgia Trip

Prior to the pandemic, the term “summer break” became somewhat arbitrary for Chinoy kids as their schedules were jam-packed with activities that range from academics to sports and everything in between. Some of these activities might have felt too much like school, but others might have ended up being one of your hobbies. If you grew up Chinoy, then you’ve probably experienced doing at least one of the following during summer:


1. Kumon

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You thought that the beginning of summer break means that you’re finally free from the shackles of Mathematics, but then you discover you’re going to spend the next two months or so learning how to do mental Math in increasingly complicated ways because your parents enrolled you to Kumon. If it’s not Kumon, then your parents probably enrolled you to advanced Math classes instead to prepare you for the next school year. Summer camp who? We don’t know her. We only know pain.


2. Lessons at Liberty Hall

Photo from Research Digest

Liberty Hall doesn’t induce as much existential dread compared to Kumon because it offers a mix of academic and extracurricular activities. There are times when you are subjected to classes like abacus and essay writing (作文), but other times, you also get to take classes for Chinese calligraphy (書法), Chinese painting (國畫) and dancing. You might not necessarily enjoy all these activities, but admit it, it’s better than having Math classes all day.


3. Lessons at YMCA

Photo from When In Manila

Parents also encourage their children to be sporty, so you probably spent your summers at YMCA learning how to swim and also how to be less afraid of projectile basketballs. Sometimes it works and you eventually learn to love sports, but other times, you just turn into even more of a couch potato. You probably also took music lessons here, although it’s not like you actually play the musical instruments unless it’s for a relative who is about to give you an ang pao.


4. Ko Tiam

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Summer classes don’t usually take up the whole day, but instead of going home immediately after, you had to spend the rest of the day helping out with your family business or ko tiam as some would say. It’s usually not too strenuous because you’re relegated to tasks like answering phone calls or stock inventory, although this means you technically have a lot of work experience already because you’ve been interning for your family business all your life.


How did you usually spend your summer breaks? Let us know down below!

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