December 29, 2010

Happy New Year!

They called me "Fountain." No, make that "Pawn-teyn." It was New Year's Eve, and the neighborhood brats heard me asking for the darn fireworks. The nickname stuck, and for the better part of my awkward teen years, I was known as Pawn-teyn on the street where I grew up.

I didn't complain, of course.  Why would I, when I had it a lot better than Bibi Ilay, Toto Maloto and Ella Botelya?  Despite the frequent name-calling and the occasional cat fights over turfs and visiting cousins, we grew up as friends.  Friends who shouted "siato" during siestas, played "iloy-iloyan" under the full moon and trooped together to Mrs. Amador for the komiks.

As I spend yet another year away from Molave Street, I remember the neighborhood boys and girls, some of whom I still meet.  I remember friends as well: friends far, near and in-between who remain friends nonetheless.  Who knows, I might just light a fountain for you guys!

And a happy 2011 to you, too!

December 20, 2010

Candy Candy

This is yet another blast-from-the-past post :p

The change-your-profile-pic-into-a-cartoon-character campaign over at Facebook has certainly brought back happy memories of growing up in what I thought to be a big, big world.

It was the late '70s, and so that we could wise up to the ways of the world, our parents would pack us off to Manila every school break. There were aircon PNR coaches then, and the 12-hour night trip past rice fields and coconut plantations shimmering in the moonlight was a cinch. The Paco Station--our final destination--would be teeming with people, an indication that we have arrived in the big city.

Of course, Manila wasn't as sweltering then. Depending on arrangements, we would be shunted from Makati to San Juan to Quezon City, getting our fill of pop culture. We'd take afternoon strolls to Cash N' Carry, Unimart, or COD, see a movie at the Coronet and ride the Ferris Wheel at the Fiesta Carnival. Most days, though, we would just bond with a coterie of cousins in front of the TV screen.

And so it was that I learned to wash the dishes courtesy of Kulit Bulilit and Imee Marcos (!), sat through endless screenings of LVN black-and-whites and gushed over the younger and slimmer Sharon Cuneta. But what I really looked forward to--other than Voltes V, Mazinger Z and Ronron the Flower Angel--was Candy Candy.

Candy Candy defined my big city summers. The midday walks to Dairy Queen or UniMart would be made to the tune of the Candy Candy Theme. And my first cartoon heartbreak was over Anthony!

Over time, I outgrew TV and realized I liked summers in Sorsogon more. I could have outgrown Candy Candy, too. Except the theme song is sticking to me like the amorseko of those carefree summers.

December 5, 2010

Blast From the Past

To me, nothing spells childhood summers more than this ice shaver. It was my going-on-sixth-grade summer when this thingamajig became the rage in our kitchen. You see, except for my dad, all of us weren't Bobby Flay clones. In short, we thrived on instants.

Blue Teddy made our protracted summers super easy. We only had to raid Ma's mini grocery for a can of fruit cocktail and Frisian Girl, grab ice cubes from the fridge, crank the handle and presto: halo-halo! And then, it would be off to the corner sari-sari store for a peek at the (contraband) komiks-for-rent or to the streets for a game of "football" or siato.

Thirty or so years later, Blue Teddy still works. The blades are as sharp as ever, and the eyes still roll, much like Tita T's, when she is about to spew some hush-hush family chismis. The daughter has somehow staked her claim on the shaver and has since resurrected it from the kitchen cupboard.

A blast from the past, the thingamajig may be. But it looks like it'll still be around for very, very long.