1. Aquanet. The 80s was all about hair--the bigger and higher, the better. In the era of gravity-defying bangs, a can of Aquanet provided the height and the style. Other '80s hair musts: mousse, mineral oil, gel, petroleum jelly even. Obviously, we were so into "hair," or why would there be a group called "The Gelboys"?
2. Falcon Crest and Knots Landing. The Channings and the MacKenzies injected primetime Sunday nights with just the right mix of mystery, intrigue and an intricate web of not-too-real relationships.
3. "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" and "Walking on Sunshine." The former was the ultimate party perker-upper; the latter, the ultimate happy song.
4. SNHS Batch 84. We laughed some, cried some and basically winged it through four years of high-school superficialities. Twenty-three years later, our batch is still mostly intact, thanks to e-mail, blogs, and all the trappings of the high-tech universe.
5. Pops and Martin and Penthouse Live! I happened to watch the episode where Martin swore undying, everlasting love to Pops. Good thing most of us don't get proposed to on live TV, ha ha ha.
6. That's Entertainment. Back when Billy Crawford was still Billy Joe, there was this college kid who just had to go home early on Wednesdays to catch Romnick on the tube. Don't give me that look: I liked the Monday Group (think Jestoni and Lotlot and--heavens--Ronel Victor) better.
7. The Catcher in the Rye. I read this in the summer of '85. Like Holden Caulfield, I, too, had noble ambitions of erasing the unmentionables from the walls and protecting the kids from the cuss words of the world. Unlike Holden, though, I grew up and realized that ignoring the unmentionables is just as effective as wiping them out.
8. Balayan, Batangas. Starlit nights, bonfire by the beach, sketching souls and building castles. Ah, who can ever forget those wonderful, wonderful bonding moments with The Varsitarian?
9. Menudo. Weird Sister wangled a hotel room pass, and promptly learned everything she could about Puerto Rico. She also bought just about every album--including the obscure Spanish recordings. Which is probably why she aced her Spanish subjects...
10. People Power and sardines. Rumors of food (and toilet paper) shortage were heavy in the days leading to the EDSA Revolution. So that we wouldn't starve, we hoarded two boxes of sardines. The Revolution was done in a matter of days. Not our sardines, though. EDSA 1 has since been trivialized by succeeding EDSA revolutions, but to this day, I still can't get myself to eat canned sardines.
11. Crushed. For three years, I had this major crush on a neighbor: a law student who was also a "congressional" son. I thought I really had it going when he asked me to dance. One question, though, effectively put a period on three years of pining. On learning that I was in journalism school, he asked, in the most serious of tones: "So, you wanna be a newspaper?" Really, I wanted to be a television...
12. The Ricefields of Gerona. Picture two girls and a boy on a moonlit midnight, walking three (or was that ten?) kilometers with the end nowhere in sight. The ricefields of Gerona in Tarlac, shimmering amid the surreal glow of moonlight and echoing the creepy baying of farm dogs, did provide the perfect backdrop for college friends out for a weekend of discovery.
13. Reyna Elena 1986. Hilarious, but Ma "volunteered" me for the Search for Reyna Elena in our subdivision. Even more hilarious, but I won. If you must know, it was a money contest.
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