Authors: Ben Ruhe
Date Submitted: May 31, 2001
Article Type: Journal

Orlando T.D. Ongkingco of Manila is “Mr. Kites” in the Philippines. Organizer and leader of the Kite Association of the Philippines, “Orly,” age 45, energetically promotes the sport, has written a book about kites, spreads the word internationally by attending kite festivals.

To deal with the name immediately. Ongkingco——a conglomerate of last, first, middle names—was the full name of a distant relative so revered his family adopted the whole name instead of using only the Chinese surname “Ong.” It’s a big clan. There are several dozen Ongkingcos listed in the Manila phone book. Like lots of other Filipinos, Orly has a mainly Chinese bloodline. Certainly he has the smarts associated with the Chinese.

Born in the extreme south in Davao, Mindanao, Orly has been fascinated by kites since childhood. He recalls as a child flying a kite with his grandfather and thinking: “This is fun. I’m happy. I’m looking up toward heaven.” Orly says he made kites off and on through boyhood but only accidentally succeeded in getting them to fly well, because he did not grasp the aerodynamics. When he finally achieved knowledge and success, he was “exhilarated.”

PDF Link: Journal Issue