Meet the Lola Schooling Younger Players in Mobile Legends
Carmen Taqueban aka “Lola Gaming” is 71 years old and is the oldest Mobile Legends gamer and streamer in the Philippines.
She started playing Mobile Legends (ML) at the height of the pandemic in 2020. When the lockdowns barred her from going out of the house, she became so bored she decided to try out “one of those games” her grandchildren played.
From Lolang Tindera to Lolang Gamer
“Nagtitinda talaga ako. Tindera ako ng mga ulam na nilalako ko. Pero noong nagkaroon ng pandemic, nakikita ko yung mga apo naglalaro ng mga ganyan, ML (Mobile Legends). Syempre naiinip ako sa bahay, hindi na ako pinapalabas dahil sa pandemic, nandito na lang ako sa bahay, kaya sinubukan kong maglaro.
(“I am really a vendor. I sell food that I peddle outside. But when the pandemic hit, I noticed my grandchildren played ML. Since I was no longer allowed to go out of the house and I was getting bored, I thought of trying the game.”)
Her grandchildren couldn’t help but laugh and be amazed when their Lola started playing their game.
Lola Gaming with Her Grandson and Fellow Streamer 'Raygeki Gaming'
“Hayun. Tumawa ang mga apo ko nung sinubukan kong maglaro! Pagkatapos nun, pinagpatuloy ko na kasi wala nga akong magawa. Syempre may edad na ako, at kaysa naman sa natutulog lang ako, parang nakakapanghina ng katawan iyon.”
(They laughed! Then, I continued playing because I don’t have anything to do anyway. At my age, you’d either be always asleep or doing something.”)
‘Pindot Lang Nang Pindot.’
Lola carmen told Esquire Philippines how she eventually learned the basics of Mobile Legends. At first, she was confused with the game and just kept pressing whatever button was there.
“Noong una syempre parang nalilito ako, pero masaya kahit hindi ko alam. Pindot lang nang pindot,” said Lola Carmen. “Sabi ng mga apo ko, ‘Sige, Lola, matututo ka rin diyan.’ Tinuturuan ako ng mga apo ko.
(“At first, I was confused but happy even though I had no idea what I was doing. I just kept pressing buttons. My grandchildren encouraged me, ‘Just keep playing, Grandma, you’ll eventually learn.’”)
Masaya kasi marami akong nakikilalang mga tao. Nakikita ko na maraming bumabati ng ‘Good morning, Lola,’ o ‘God bless.’ Ang saya, doon ako natutuwa. Bukod sa paglalaro, masaya ako at marami akong nakikilala.
Lola Carmen’s Gameplay and Favorite Heroes
At first, Lola Carmen only played Classic Matches in Mobile Legends. Then, her viewers encouraged her to try Ranked Games.
“Dati pinababayaan ko lang ang laro maski matalo, masaya naman kasi ako. Pero sabi ng mga apo ko at ng mga viewers, ‘Lola bakit hindi ka mag Rank?’ Sabi ko, anong rank? Noong sinubukan ko mag Rank, tinulungan ako ng mga viewers ko at ng mga apo ko.”
(“I did not use to mind how I played even when I lost. It was fine because I had fun. But my grandchildren and viewers told me, ‘Why don’t you try Rank?’ I asked them, ‘What rank?’ When I finally played Rank, my grandchildren and viewers coached me.”)
‘Rank’ is the the type of match that lets you level up as you defeat other teams. This is different from Classic Matches in which losing or winning doesn’t earn or lose you points.
Lola Carmen says her grandchildren and viewers coached her on gameplay strategies to increase her win rate in ranked matches.
“Marunong ako pero hindi ako sanay, iyon ang sinasabi ko sa mga apo ko.”
According to Lola Carmen, at the moment, she uses two heroes: Khaleed and Hilda. Both heroes play fighter roles (as opposed to mages, assassins, and supports) but can also take heavy damage, that’s why they are also tanks.
How Lola Gaming Handles Trash Talkers
Trash talk is very common in the gaming community. It is an insult directed at teammates or opponents to boast, taunt, or intimidate. Although trash talk is an established culture in sports events and the gaming community, it is not tolerated by Mobile Legends. Punishments are meted out on players who commit verbal abuse.
Lola Carmen, on numerous times, has been on the receiving end of some of the harshest trash talk in Mobile Legends.
But that’s just one of the mildest ones she received, and she won’t mention the others, which she described as “mga bad words.”
Asked what she does when she gets trash-talked, she replies with a little tone of sadness.
“Wala... Pinababayaan ko lang. Syempre, kahit na may maramdaman ka, pipigilin mo lang kasi, kumbaga, matanda ako, dapat nasa akin ang pasensya.”
(“Nothing… I just leave them. Of course, I’d get hurt, but I have to contain my emotions because I am the older one, patience is expected of me.”)
What Lola Carmen Does with her Earnings
As a popular streamer with over 135,000 followers on Facebook, it is usual for Lola Carmen to receive tokens, gifts, and Facebook stars (convertible to cash).
“Ginagamit ko pag nagbabayad kami ng mga ilaw namin.” (“I use it to pay for our electricity bill.”)
She admits she hasn’t bought anything luxurious or expensive for herself. Sometimes, she gives money to her grandchildren, who resolutely refuse to accept it.
“Ayaw nilang tanggapin eh!” Lola Carmen laughs. “Sasabihin nila sa akin, ‘Sa’yo na lang iyan, Lola, matanda ka na eh!’”
(“They refuse to accept my cash gifts! They would tell me, keep that, Grandma, because you’re old!”)
Among her prized tech possessions is a gaming chair that was sent as a gift from another famous streamer, Solid Angela. Her headset is another gift from Logitech.
‘Maglalaro Ako Forever’
It’s not a line you’d typically hear from her generation, but according to Lola Carmen, she would like to keep playing forever, or at least as long as she is able to.
“Maglalaro ako hangga’t kaya ko! Sabi ko nga kay Lord sana lalo pa akong palakasin kasi pagka nag-i-istream ako, parang ang lakas-lakas ng katawan ko, pero pag wala, parang iba ang pakiramdam ko.”
(“I will keep playing as long as I am able to play! I pray to God to give me the strength to keep going because every time I stream, I feel really strong, but every time I don’t I feel different.”)
Lola Carmen plays and streams at least three hours a day. But in the past, she used to do it for 7 hours a day.
“Naglalaro ako mula 3 p.m. hanggang 6 p.m. Kung minsan, 2 p.m to 6 p.m. Dati inaabot p aako ng seven hours, pinapagalitan ako ng mga apo ko.”
(“I play from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., sometimes 2 to 6 p.m. In the past, I used to play seven hours a day, and my grandkids would scold me.”)
Lola Carmen says it keeps her active. “Nakakatuwa lang kasi, eh, dahil imbes na matutulog ako nang maghapon naglalaro ako.” (“It’s so fun. Instead of sleeping all day, I get to be active and play.”)
‘Anong Aral Ba Napupulot Mo Diyan, Lola?’
This writer is a gamer himself and had been scolded countless times by adults for playing too much. Countless times, we’ve been asked by parents: “Anong aral ba napupulot mo diyan sa kakalaro ng computer?”
This time around, we turned the tables on Lola Carmen and asked her the same question: “Anong aral ba napupulot mo diyan, Lola?”
“Ahh… ganito kasi yan....” she begins. “Dati palagi ko ring pinagagalitan mga apo ko! Yun pala, ganito pala, masaya din!” she concedes. “Masaya din kaya pala sila naglalaro. At saka, kaysa nakikita kong natambay iyong mga apo ko, mas okey lang na nasa loob lang sila ng bahay. Natutuwa rin ako ngayon dahil at least, marami akong nakikilala sa paglalaro at nakakapagbigay-aral ako sa kanila. Diyan ako masaya talaga.”
(Ahh… It’s like this… I was among those adults who scolded their grandchildren for playing too much computer! But I realized, playing is fun! So this is why they keep playing. Besides, I prefer them staying at home than loitering outside. I am also happy that I get to meet a lot of people through gaming, and I am able to teach them life lessons. That’s what makes me happy.”)
“Kung may mga bata na may iba yung sinasabi, napapayuhan ko sila. At saka pangalawa, natutuwa ako na kahit papano, nagagamit ko yung panahon ko para makapagbigay-aral sa kapareho kong mga nanay at sa mga bata.”
(If there are kids who are rude, I am able to give them advice. I am also able to use my time to help my fellow mothers and the youth through gaming.”)
‘Modules Muna Bago Mobile Legends.’
For Lola Carmen, it’s not ironic at all that she should be playing while giving advice to gamers at the same time. Among the advice she keeps telling the younger players: “Mag-aral muna at tumulong sa gawaing bahay bago mag ML.” (Study first and help with the chores before playing ML.”
“Kung talagang mahilig silang mag-istream, tutulong sila sa mga magulang nila at unahin nila ang pag-aaral. Iyan ang lagi kong pinapayo sa mga bata na kalaro ko sa ML.”