- Posted August 23, 2013 by
Muntinlupa City, Philippines
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Life in the early 1980s: Style and politics
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Remembering my Transition to Adolescence during the Early 1980s
I graduated from elementary education way back in April, 1981 here in the Philippines. I was about 12-years old when I graduated from elementary schooling during that time. I became a high school freshman in the same year. The early 1980s was the time when I became an adolescent. Back then the teens were crazy about Post-Punk (also known as New Wave) music and fashion. I thought then that Duran Duran was the best rock band in the world and that it's cool to dress up like Boy George, Prince and U2's front-man Bono. I also admired such pop artists like Cyndi Lauper and Madonna who started to rise to fame in 1983. The strut, popping, locking and break-dance were the dance-crazes during that time. I actually enjoyed performing the strut, the popping and the locking during the early 80s. I even tried doing some easy break-dance moves during that time. Hip-hop during the early 1980s was slowly but surely becoming 'mainstream'. Hip-hop music then was identified as “electro-funk” . Afrika Bambaataa was then the leading voice of the early 80's hip-hop movement. The early 80’s New Wave bands that sing socially-conscious songs like Tears For Fears and U2 would later become very popular in the mid and late 80s. The late Michael Jackson was of course crowned as the "King of Pop" during the early 1980s. I usually do the moon-walk and other dance-steps popularized by the King of Pop during break-times when I was still in high school.
The early 1980s was also the time when I was exposed to the "social gospel" by my aunt- Dominga Pinera. The social gospel opened my eyes about such community issues like women's rights, children's rights and social justice. It was also during the same period that the late Philippine Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. was shot to death after arriving from the US. The late senator was an exile living in the US before he decided to return to the Philippines in 1983 to further the cause of ending the then authoritarian Marcos administration through peaceful means. After the fatal shooting of Benigno Aquino, Jr., also known as "Ninoy", I became involved in peaceful rallies that called for the return of democracy in the Philippines. I was in my early teens back then. The latter part of 1983 would mark the beginning of a 'peaceful pro-democracy revolution' in the Philippines that would culminate in February, 1986 as "People Power Revolution". The 1986 People Power Revolution toppled down the Marcos regime through non-violent means.
I can honestly say that the early 1980s was an important and meaningful era to me as a human being. It was during that time that I begun my 'non-violent activism'. I spent my early adolescence during that time. My early social-volunteer work begun during that time. An aunt of mine, Dominga Pinera, exposed me to such volunteer works like helping battered women and children and planting trees in the provinces from 1982 until 1983. I usually wear colorful shirts, skinny jeans, parachute pants, colored arm-bands and “top-sider shoes” during that era.
In the early 80s I thought that the world was divided only between the Iron Curtain led by the then USSR and the Free World led by the US. I also thought then that democracy was only for non-Muslim countries. I thought then that all Muslim countries were being governed by autocratic or despotic leaders. I also believe that all Western powers didn’t have 'colonies' anymore during that time. Since I was in my early teens back then, I thought life on Earth means jokes, games, fashion-craze, watching TV, parties and more parties.
Of course, people's points-of-view do change as they mature. I later realized that our world can be divided and sub-divided racially, religiously and culturally. I later learned that some Muslim countries have democratic governments while other Muslim nations have authoritarian governments. I also realized later on that some Western powers still have some colonies in the modern world. I know now that life on Earth, aside from partying and joking, also means being responsible and caring to one's own self, to other human beings, to other creatures and to the ecological balance of this planet.
I was also into reading poetry and essays during the early 1980s. I usually read poems and essays inside the school's library during free time. I read literary works voraciously when I was in high school. Back then I already had the aspiration or the desire to write essays and poems once I become an adult. I was dreaming back then of writing books that would contain my own original ideas and poems. I knew during that time that there were no means of getting my poems and essays published. But the desire to publish my own essays and poems was very strong inside of me during my early adolescence.
I must admit that the latest advancements and innovations in information technology drastically changed our world. The Internet somehow gave me the opportunity to continue my non-violent and constructive activism even if I have my own family now and I’m earning a living through business and sales. Online activism allowed me to participate in today's global campaigns of championing human rights, environmentalism, gender equality, democracy, racial equality, clean and transparent governance and social justice.The Internet also gave me the opportunity to publish my own short stories, poems, essays, thesis and even mini- documentary videos. Aside from being an entrepreneur and salesman, I’m also a cause-oriented blogger, online campaigner and free-lance writer in the present time. My dedication today to community volunteerism and good causes had been influenced by my exposure to the “social gospel” and the mass actions seeking justice for the late Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr during the early 80s here in the Philippines.
The early 80s inspired me to be a non-violent activist fighting for worthy causes. It’s no wonder that I admire such great people like Desmond Tutu, Lech Walesa, the late Philippine Pres. Cory Aquino, the late Pope John Paul II, and Former President Kim Young-Sam of South Korea who became famous for standing up for human rights, civil liberties, freedom, human decency and non-violent mass actions during the early 1980s.
My personal advocacy called “political abrogationism” was shaped by my participation in the social gospel movement and the mass actions asking justice for the late Philippine Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. here in the Philippines during the early 1980s. Political abrogationism is the advocacy that preaches the reality that the desire to have democracy and freedom is universal to all human beings. The advocacy wants to abolish all despotic and tyrannical regimes all over the world through peaceful means. The advocacy also preaches that there’s no more reason to have any form of monarchy now in any part of the world. Political abrogationism preaches that every country, social organization and culture on Earth should peacefully embrace democracy. The advocacy affirms that democracy and freedom are natural, moral and universal aspirations of all human beings of this world.
My ideas about “political abrogationism” grew out from my non-violent activism during the early 1980s. My political experiences during the early 1980s helped me in creating the said advocacy. My rabid anti-dictatorship beliefs today were somehow molded by my early non-violent activism during the early 1980s.
We’re now in the early 2010s and today’s music and fashion had been deeply influenced by the Post-Punk or New Wave music and fashion trends of the early 1980s. Even the so-called ‘emo subculture’, which is popular among many youngsters of today, had been somehow influenced by the New Wave Movement that became mainstream during the early 1980s. I spent my early adolescence during the early 1980s, and I would always cherish the memories of that era. By the way, I still wear skinny jeans, parachute pants and colorful shirts in the present time.
(NOTES: The 1st picture in this iReport was about me graduating from elementary schooling in 1981. I was about 12-years old during that time.
The 2nd picture in this iReport was taken in 1982. I was swimming then at a certain beach in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. I was with my friends and Aunt Dominga Pinera when that picture was taken. Aunt Dominga can be seen at the extreme right of the picture. She’s the lady wearing a light blue t-shirt besides a young boy at the extreme right of the picture.
The 3rd picture in this iReport was taken in either 1988 or 1989. I was sitting inside a photo-studio in Metro Manila when that picture was taken. The late 80s was the time when Communist dictatorships in Europe were dismantled by peaceful revolutions. I included the picture because the whole 1980’s era was very memorable to me as a human being.)