082714: The Urban Tracker (In Manila): The Real Luckfinders of Bingo Bonanza at 798

All set for that barangay binge called bingo
n invite to barangay bingo is something that puts a ring of excitement to most of the eager old-time barangay denizens. 

So being one of them, it’s not bad at all to test my social nature along with the rest of my neighbors who converged that day on a court and rode along the madness of the bonanza of a game – BINGO!

This hysteria, in a long run, somewhat became a tradition. There’s a 2-way strategy why barangays mostly in Metro Manila always make it a point to throw this salvo. For one, it’s one project campaign of those in the position and for another, it’s a venue for konsehals to indicate their presence and visibility. But mainly, it’s good to note social activity like this brings out the constituents and Pinoy’s social nature.

Under the shield of tent, the bingo participants in ready mode
The participants were now assembled in a makeshift tent with booming sound system crucial during the Bingo proper. To facilitate the order, tambiolos were in place and an electronic indicator board was mounted to signal that a number has been called. Days prior to this event, a multi-colored bingo card was in use costing 100 for a bundle had been sold by an appointed reseller or direct seller. 

The colored bingo card in a bundle.
It’s like a communion of sorts for this favorite pastime that never goes out of style. Bingo has been Pinoy’s favorite diversion as a pastime or timewasters apart from small-time gambling like mahjong, tong-it. Perhaps gambling ways are inherent to Pinoy blood or evolved a form of a lifestyle and venue for a social platform to gain social network while testing one’s luck strategy.

Scrambling for a space using a seat.
They say luck is not determined on what’s laid on the cards, but on how it turns out. This principle applies on bingo that adds to the thrill and excitement of the play. Wielding their colored dab inks, the participants marked each number as called by a bingo master.  Each was embroiled in hopes of striking that combination.

The pattern to follow
Like in big mall’s counterpart with a pattern combination, this barangay level bingo earlier distributed the leaflets showing the patterns to follow with the corresponding prize. There were marshals assigned all over who must whistle once a player shouts Bingo! They were validated in front of the audience by calling each number. Then off to next round.

A politician for a highlight! Hi Ali!
As the round proceeded, the prize became higher and the combination was rather complicated.  As soon as excitement became at peak, that’s the time the local counselors came on stage announcing their projects even offering a surprise package that’s not bad for a special round. The package could be in form of cash or grocery items or portions of rice. Judge for yourself if it's a timely trick!

A chick peddler on check
In two occasions, I must admit I won a grand prize of a bingo  - one a cash price and one a washing machine. From the clamors, thrills, complaints, nuances; I could say that's natural as one of the lucky finders.

The rice cake looks yummy
and yummier closer, slice me that one!
In between breaks with intermission music, peddlers swarmed offering their ready-to-eat deli. Ambulant fishball, corn, ice cream and even hotcake on-the-go stalls were starting to operate on the side. I took this rice cake for its standout color peddled by an enterprising boy for 5 pesos a slice. It’s called sapin-sapin matching the cold ice tea drink on-hand.

And lo a sack of rice, for a prized stake!
After hearing the councilors obvious political plea, then it's time for the black-out portion as the final blast. A cold cash of 5,000 was awaiting the grand winner and the rest was absorbed marking their cards for a miss out could cost a default.  That’s the way how a bingo supposed to end, fun and memorable for a reason but in a way, it has worked both advantages for the organizers, politicians and the constituents.  Bingo is after all, in a nutshell, an unfolding of Pinoy’s demeanor being taken advantage by some political ilks.