For many reasons, today’s youth might have a hard time relating to children of the past decades. Possibly one of them was the Pinoy-version amusement park called peryahan where kids of the ‘70s to early ‘90s used to hangout.
As of now, the open yearlong Enchanted Kingdom is the country’s most go-to place. More than a decade ago, Pinoys were more drawn to peryahan. There is much excitement and anticipation as it sprouts only weeks before and after fiestas in the provinces.
As this seasonal carnival becomes less appealing to today’s youth as the 70s to 90s kid, you might appreciate the way it painted the colors of your childhood.
10 Famous Peryahan Attractions
For a throwback trip, here are 10 of the famous peryahan attractions that bring your childhood back. Hit the comments section and share your own nostalgic story.
Have you bought an entrance ticket to see freaky characters like Babaeng Sirena, Penguin Boy, and Taong Pinaglihi Sa Palaka just out of sheer curiosity? You spent all that pocket money, only to end up getting disappointed after learning the truth.
You learned that Babaeng Sirena was a girl wearing a costume, Penguin Boy was a midget with deformed limbs, and Taong Pinaglihi Sa Palaka was a facially deformed child.
Though you might laugh it out afterward, freak shows are exploitative in nature. Good thing it is no longer part of the modern-day peryahan.
A barkada trip inside a peryahan is incomplete without a dare for a thrilling ride. Infamous rides like the octopus, roller coaster, caterpillar, and rocket are few of the choices. While on the run, you could hear the ear-splitting screams as well as the creaking metal sounds due to rust.
After the experience, you thanked God for your second life. Also, you learned to conquer your fear despite the seemingly unstable structures, questionable implemented safety standards, and urban legends of people flying off the rides.
This attraction is mostly seen now on noontime shows. This is a fun game with simple mechanics. A pretty girl above the water tank sits at a collapsible seat connected to a bull’s eye target.
For a paid amount, you get a ball to throw at the target. Then the girl would dunk into the water tank once the target was hit. To make it more interesting, sometimes a celebrity guest would sit and obviously expect to get soaked.
Remember the scary murals of kapre, manananggal, tikbalang, and other Filipino folktales who used to make you tremble in fear? Probably, you remember more about how your annoying friends convinced you to take the horrifying ride.
The horror train ride became the childish initiation rites for cool kids in fraternities and turned members of the wimpy losers’ squads into full-fledged men (at least for them).
As you get older, you slowly realize the monsters inside the tunnel are just lame actors who wear awfully-made masks and costumes.
This is a walk-in attraction with three different types. The first type is the fun-house filled with obstacles and optical illusions. Next, is a maze made of mirrors and/or glass panels. The last type is a mix of the two.
This is a fun-filled activity, especially with friends. For small peryahans, the supposedly giant maze is most likely just a giant rip-off. The attendant fooled you into thinking you got lost for hours when it could really only take a few minutes and even seconds to find a way out.
You could almost not see these nowadays in a peryahan. However, if you missed the experience, Subic Bay’s Funtastic Park has a modern mirror maze you can try. Best of luck!
As a young kid, the game booths are where your parents would bring you for family bonding. For many young (and young-at-heart) couples, these serve as romantic dates as the guy tries to impress the girl by winning a stuffed toy.
Classics like balloon darts, coin toss, and shooting range are still visible in peryahan today.
Another fun-filled adventure to bring you and your friends closer is this walk-in version of a horror train. Together, your group made a micro-version of EDSA People Power as you all linked arms and huddled as one unit.
For most guys, they even fantasized about the idea of bringing beautiful girls with them. Peryahan’s horror houses were basically room-sized.
Bigger parks like Star City had Alcatraz, a two-floor building of extreme terror. A so-called duwag exit halfway through the course is even ready for those who could not get a hold of their fears.
To win a pack of PeeWee, plates, lollipops, or plastic pitchers, you tossed a 25-centavo coin to shoot it inside the square spaces painted at a low table. No matter how small the reward is, you somehow felt like being the world’s richest person alive.
For bigger prizes, gamblers flocked to bingo huts, color game tables, and roleta ng kapalaran booths for long hours.
Kiddie rides like bump cars and merry-go-round mostly require a minimum height of 4 feet. Together with a guardian, small kids can find a safer alternative to enjoy — the giant slides. As kids slide to a pool of soft plastic balls, parents give their child happy memories.
Today, some parents go to the malls to bring their children to giant inflatable slides.
Did you remember “ang taong kumakain ng buhay na manok” and get sleepless nights? Along with flame throwers, knife jugglers, creepy clowns, and acrobats, these acts put you in mixed emotions of amazement and trauma.
As technology advances, Filipinos show their world-class circus acts in TV talent shows or uploaded videos on YouTube.
Peryahan Now and Before
Peryahan is still a thing of today. The amusement parks are now safer and use better technology. These are great improvements that should happen and we hope to see for future peryahan as well.
The peryahan of the past reminds you of how content you are with life’s simple pleasures. If you love the nostalgia from this article, you can also check the toys that Filipino youth of the 90s used to play.