Published on

ANAK    The end of an era

For the past few days, I’ve been bopping my head to the soundtrack of my childhood. It’s the sound of synthesizers and early electronic beats defined by bigger hair, exaggerated shades and neon colours.

It’s found its way back in the geek chic eyeglasses, chuck taylors and skin-tight blue jeans, beak-standing baseball caps evolved mullets, hair-bangs and brighter make-up that I see inspiring the trendy youth of today. But as a product of the 1980s, I’ve become the one subliminally critiquing today’s authenticity. In whatever way trends evolve, the adult-me can’t help but measure the way it once was when I was a child.

It is no secret now that the world has arguably lost the only living symbol of this decade. It’s all over the news and the speculations of his death rage rampant in the headlines. For whatever controversy he now leaves behind, Michael Jackson’s sudden passing has nonetheless jolted me back to a time when I was first introduced to his music. I remember my Kuya’s child-size leather Thriller jacket and the white-mitt that I wore when we impersonated him. I laugh at the thought of the young chubby-cheeked me with the pink Cabbage Patch Kids sweat suit moon walking on the kitchen floor, punctuating each beat with a grab at the crotch the way he did. I remember dancing with my sister and brother at the dentist’s office when Billie Jean came to move us. Finally, I remember beaming with joy when my mom allowed me to slip Bad into the shopping cart at Kmart. It was my first ever LP.

As trends come and go, I know each generation will take bits and pieces of yesterday to build onto tomorrow. Perhaps it’s a way of ensuring we keep those memories alive. Yet, as I realize these memories of mine were not made all that long ago, I know that time will continue to pass and find the distance between the present. No one is allowed to escape this and even the power of certain pop idols must succumb to the truth of their mortality. Today is not the same as the yesterday I remember – as it should not and cannot be. But, for now, I am happy to listen to my digitized personal soundtrack and remember it as if it were still an LP.

Contact the author at

Have a comment on this article? Send us your feedback