February 14, 2009

Rex Smith ... and Rey Valera!

In the era of Teen Beat and Tiger Beat, Rex Smith was my all-time poster boy. His posters--magazine centerfolds, of course--adorned my bedroom walls, crowding out my sister's Scott Baios, Shaun Cassidys and Leif Garretts. We were young and TV-less, and magazines and second-run movies were our only connections to the world outside. Albums, singles and cassettes, too.

"Forever" and "Let's Make a Memory," are such lame songs. Corny even. I realize that now. But lately I've been having a bad case of last-song syndrome. And all because Rex Smith is all over media town. Obviously, he has joined the ranks of (formerly famous) foreign acts who have found a ready Valentine audience in good old Pinas.

Truth to tell, I was almost tempted to make the trip to Manila. Better yet, to Bacolod or Cebu. Oh, to go back to the heady days of the early '80s, when I thought Street Hawk was the coolest show ever! Alas, traveling isn't the spur-of-the-moment, pack-up-and-go thing that it once was. And so it was a trip down memory lane instead, where I realized that I may not remember the name of the person with whom I shook hands just minutes ago, but I could very well remember the lyrics of almost thirty years ago. Talk about selective memory, huh?

In any case, it's not just "Simply Jessie" that's forever playing in my internal player. Ate Dina's "favorites" have been rubbing off on my daughter, and the three-year-old has taken to belting out Rey Valera's "Kung Tayo'y Magkakalayo." As in.

February 8, 2009

Tree House

Gianna saw it first: the tree house on Seventh Street. Sitting on the sturdy branches of a mango tree, it hinted of blustery summers: of kites and blue skies and magical childhood days. Checking on the tree house became a routine--and Gianna and I would often dream of the time when our own mango tree is big enough to hold up our own tree house.

The other day, though, there was no more tree house to check on. It had been unused too long, said the man who built it for his two kids. The children are long gone, rebuilding their lives in faraway places. He is too old to climb, and there is little chance that the grandchildren would ever come home.

And so, he tore down the tree house. Better a cleaner skyline, he said, than a lonely structure that rings with memories of days lone gone.

Years ago, when the country was on a building frenzy, I felt a sinking sense of loss when they tore down a graceful mansion in QC to give rise to one of those impersonal developments. The house belonged to a president.

It was the same loss I felt when a they took down a quaint house along West Avenue. The same loss I feel now with the old tree house.

Alas, some of the monuments of our lives are not meant to last.

February 4, 2009

My Way

Yet more reasons why I love traveling this road: blue mountains, green trees and zero traffic.

Going home at the end of the day is one stress-free ride.