- Posted September 7, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Life in the early 1980s: Style and politics
When My World Was Much Younger
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
Last month, my country, the Philippines celebrated the 30th anniversary of the assassination of then opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., the man who fought the Marcos dictatorship. It is still vivid in my mind: flashed on the TV screen were the words saying that he was gunned down at the Tarmac of the Manila International Airport. And then the funeral that came after: I saw his bloodied remains when his body was brought to my hometown where he had been governor. From then on politics has become a concern, a staple in my young mind.
What was surprising was that I was only 11 years old then. I was enjoying the later years of childhood, about to enter the exciting and turbulent years of adolescence. It was always a novelty for me to strike the keys of the typewriter. I was wide-eyed playing the Nintendo Game and Watch. The TV shows I watched in black and white.
And wow, the early 80s brought us Michael Jackson's Thriller and Irene Cara's Flashdance. I cheered for the LA Lakers and the young star Magic Johnson especially when they took on the Celtics. It was the images of the Cold War that I remember seeing when I think of international news from the papers and from TV in those years... USA (and allies) versus USSR (and allies).
Yes, the world was much younger, and from my perspective, much simpler. How much can the world change in 30 years? A lot.
Now in the early 2010s I look back at nostalgia at those good old years. Since then there was revolution after revolution in the realm of technology. The old tube TV has been replaced by its flat-screen descendants. I cannot anymore talk of typing as "striking keys", because "pressing" is now the more appropriate verb, or "touching" when the keyboard appears onthe screen of the tablet. In the 2010s music is less creative in general and revivals of songs from the 80s betray further the nostalgia for things past. Today I remain a fan of the LA Lakers in the twilight of the career of Kobe Bryant who, as a toddler in the 80s, probably watched the Lakers. And thirty years after the early 80s--will there be an imminent return to a Cold War? USA (and allies) versus Russia (and allies)?
Even Philippine politics has gone a long way, ironically with the son and namesake of the late Benigno Aquino, Jr. now at the helm. The past issue of a corrupt dictator and his cronies in the 80s has morphed and multiplied, this time, in a host of other government officials. Yes, Philippine government after the restoration of democracy remains sick.
In the 80s, my siblings and I (see pictures) shared in each other's dreams. Our parents worked very hard and from them we learned many of the things that we now can be proud of. Thirty years later, after having lost our parents, we live apart from each other. However, our bonds remain strong. The 80s have been crucial in our formation. The 80s have made us strong and wise.
That is why I always look back at that golden age with nostalgia, those years when my world was much younger.
[The people in the photograph are my siblings. In the first photo, clockwise, from top: Edwin, Aileen, Emerson, Joel (myself) and Kate. In the second photo, from L-R, oldest to youngest: Edwin, Kate, Aileen, Joel (myself) and Emerson.]