The frightening thought that age is catching up with me worries me every time I fall into the habit of comparing my generation to the youngsters now. It was the same way my Mom or Lola would elevate their times by discrediting ours. They would say:
“Kami noon pandesal lang at mga prutas ang baon okay na. Kayo paresto-restoran pa! Para namang kumikita na kayo ng pera. ”
“ Noong bata kami palaging may chaperone sa sayawan, ngayon kayo ang gagaling tumakas.“
“Sa paaralan namin noon walang calculator pero ang bibilis naming magcompute. Kayo may computer na pero ang bobobo nyo pa rin sa Math!“
I’m starting to sound like my Mom. I would tell my panganay:
“Kami noon walang facetime pero mas masaya kasi face-to-face interaction”.
“Noon malandi ka kung may boyfriend o girlfriend ka sa high school, ngayon kayo naglalambutsingan pa daw sa classroom sabi ng Madam mo.”
“Bastos na mga bata ngayon. Di na nagmamano at di marunong gumalang sa matatanda. Noon kabataan ko tatayo ako sa bus pag may matandang sasakay.”
The whole point is to prove that the past — the subjective past — is much better than the present, an aging ego’s favorite past time.
Tonight what triggered yet another sickening comparison was when I listened to ‘Himala’ by Rivermaya. Why Rivermaya, of all the 90s band? Not that I am a fan. They were just the first thing that crossed my mind because I keep seeing event posters of another contemporary band from the 90s — Side A — on my Facebook newsfeed. The band will have a reunion concert in New York soon. (I am not too fond of Side A Band so I contented myself with a Rivermaya song instead as a representative of that era.)
Twenty years back I was singing popular love songs that mentioned conservative and religious notions such as ‘langit’, ‘himala’ (from Himala by Rivermaya), ‘Diyos’ (from Gary Valenciano’s Natutulog Pa ang Diyos) and even the phrase, “O, Dios ko!” (from Eraserhead’s Pare Ko). Eraserheads and Rivermaya are popular alternative rock bands in the 90s that were supposed to be satanic (backmasking scandal) and supposedly rakistas that are substance addicts as were de riguer for most band members then. And yet their songwriting is still deeply influenced by religion. That’s how spiritual we were then that even love songs were peppered with religious elements.
Last year my public schooled binata whom I see as the typical lad of their generation, cluelessly asked me this while pointing at the picture of Virgin Mary with a toddler baby: “Sino yang batang buhat-buhat ni Mama Mary?” Duh! Naloka ako!
This is a true story that I keep on repeating to my contemporaries. At the very end of each kwento, I would blurt out with matching dramatic hand gestures, “Ano na ang nangyayari sa mga bata ngayon?” That said with the air of arrogance based on the biased notion that our generation is better.
In conclusion, given those songs as examples and even before I cared to listen to what the kids in the Philippines are listening to right now, I just feel like my time were much better than theirs.
Parang noong sa nanay ko lang. Tumatanda na talaga. Matigas pa ang ulo.