Remembering the 90s: Values on Screen

Taking advantage of my nostalgic mood, I resume my journey down memory lane. Do you still remember the movies and television shows you watched? I do. I was studying in a public high school then back in Cainta, Rizal and my class is only half day. Starts at 6:00 am and ends at 12:40pm. I usually am in a hurry after class to either go to the gym and practice volleyball, go to a nearby computer station and play X-Men or Tekken – back then its graphics weren’t as refined as the latest version – or to go home and watch my favorite shows.

I remember back in high school after our final exam we went to Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall and stand by at the entrance waiting for the mall to open. It was an hour of waiting just to be the first in line to watch “Titanic”. Entrance to the cinema then was 70 pesos when it would be 25 pesos here in Bacolod for movies like that.

The 90s were also the height of Mexican/Spanish telenovelas. I would catch up “Lazos de Amor” when I arrive home – Thalia wasn’t famous then and her telenovela at RPN 9 was “Quincenera” together with Lucero, the star of Lazos de Amor. It was only later when everybody got crazy over “Marimar” that the producer invited her to have a concert in Manila. At 4:30 in the afternoon my friends and I were already in front of the TV set watching Claudine Barreto, Christine Hermosa, Paolo Contis and the rest of the young stars now crack their jokes at “4:30 na! And TV na!” show. This was replaced later by the Filipino version of “Dawson’s Creek”, Tabing Ilog. I would go home early in the evening to watch “Superman” where Dean Cane and Teri Tatcher were the stars then, “Tales from the Crypt” and “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”. The week wouldn’t be complete if I fail to watch “Bubble Gang”. Back then the show was wholesome. I would laugh my heart out at the MTV (music tagalog version) or MEV (music english version) of the current chart hits and the funny side of the latest commercials or watch Rica Peralejo and the gang in T.G.I.F. (Thank God it’s Friday).

Who can forget the Baywatch? Everybody drools at the lifeguard’s Pamela Anderson, David Hasslehoff and the rest of the cast parading in bikini and trunks at the beach. Or maybe laugh with F.R.I.E.N.D.S., joined Calixta Flockhart in her cases as Ally McBeal, share sentiments with the college life of the people of Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210 or be shocked by the cases in the X-files. I will not forget the Power Rangers when I would shout “It’s morphin time! Blue 3! Sabertooth Tiger! (haha) or Mask Rider Black, Dragonball Z, Bioman and Ultraman – watching them now would make me laugh at how “bahul” the graphics are but back then it was so awesome!

These were great shows that taught me some good values. Right now, movies and tv shows are filled with great graphics and special effects of less value while anime and manga and on-line games corrupted the minds of the young. These shows how society degenerated from the 90s to present. I guess there can never be any decade better than the 90s! I’m proud I’m a 90s child! Haha.

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Remembering the 90s: Soul of the Music

I was born in the decade of the dawn of electronic pop music and colorful leggings and headbands as if you are going into an aerobic class. I still had them playing in my mind: Brother Louie, Karma Chameleon, Rick Ashley, Cher, Roxette to name a few of the songs and artists. But the 90s bring so much memories especially with my friends and “barkadas” whenever I hear the songs being played on the radio or its new version are sang by my students.

The 90s gave fame to boy bands – duo, or group. We used to play their music when we have school programs and even memorize their dance moves. Code Red, LFO, Boyzone, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Savage Garden, Hanson, Moffats, 911 and a lot more. Not to forget the rock bands: No Doubt, Oasis, Nickleback, Blur, Nirvana, Radiohead, Pulp, Coldplay, U2, Foo Fighters, Bone Thugs, Black Sabbath and Metallica on the extreme. Add up the feud between the HipHop wearing baggy pants and loose shirts against the Punk’s skinny pants and shirts in black. The late 90s also gave rise to “girl power” popularized by the SPICE Girls with  Solid Harmonie, Bewitched and Destiny’s Child along. Thus, triggered the search for equality with men of the female species. Alternative artist also savored the eminence of the decade like The Corrs, Meridith Brooks and who can forget Alanis Morissette!

But what gives me the melancholy and melodramatic feelings are the, as I may say, timeless or classic songs of Eraserheads, Rivermaya, Parokya Ni Edgar and Introvoys. Everytime I hear their song brings me back to my high school years when being young and feeling “I already know everything” gives me so much freedom. Me and my “barkada” used to stay under a mango tree late in the afternoon with a bottle of Tanduay, strumming the guitar to the tune of Harana, Awit ng Barkada, Para Sa Masa, Toyang, Elesi and more. Life is fun and easy then. There’s nothing to worry about except if we can ever go to college and find a decent job in the future. This was the decade when our dreams and ambitions are weave and intertwined with the nationalistic and youthful cry of these local bands.

Now, as I remember this decade in my life, I can only smile. The 90s gave me so much memories to cherish even if the dreams and ambitions we woven aren’t what they are now. There is so much that because of its volume I am overwhelmed to put into writing.

I only wish I could go back in time, even just for a day. Siting under the mango tree, drinking my shot of Tanduay, singing the songs with my “barkada” as they strum the guitar strings…