Sunday, January 27, 2008

Forever Student (and feeling old)

Earlier today I was watching a group of college kids taking photos of each other. They enlisted the help of their professor to take a group shot wherein they were lying down on the grass in a circle with their heads together. I couldn't help but smile because I remember having a photo with the same shot and it was in the beach with my college friends from the publication office (Malate Literary Folio). I also remember seeing Sweetie's college photo album and they also had the same pose.

I felt old! Eeeeeeps! I did! I've been doing a number of trainings for students and I started realizing that I was old when:

(1) They didn't know who "Lucky" was. Luis Manzano when he was a kid was nicknamed Lucky by his Star for All-Seasons actress-mom Hon. Gov. Vilma Santos. Now I have to find another punchline when I explain "I'm feeling lucky".

(2) They don't know who "Carlo" is in the Purefoods TV commercial... "Dear Diary, Carlo sat beside me today and he's so cute!" Rawr! Carlo was played by Patrick Garcia. They also don't know who Doogie Howser is. So now I have to remember to use "Carrie" (Sarah Jessica Parker) of Sex in the City when I explain what blogging is.

(3) They don't know what a beeper looks like. My very first mobile phone was issued by my employer, Smart, and it wasn't a GSM phone. (Now don't even ask what the model was).

(4) Their jaws dropped when I said that it took hours for my professors to download a 1,000kb file from the internet and during that time only professors had complete access to the internet. I do remember chatting back in college though.

(5) They all giggled when I said the only game I know how to play is Pacman and Tetris. (My parents were really strict about those things, I didn't even own a "Game & Watch" and my prized possession then was a watch where I could play Pacman). And don't even dare ask if I know how to play Super Mario, you just might make me cry.

And on the side, my 9-year old nephew interrogated me last week:

Kyle: Tita, how old are you?

Me: Old enough.

Kyle: Tita! Sige na!

Me: Okay, fine, fine, I'm a year younger than your Mom.

Kyle: So you're 32! (rawr! magaleng mag-math ang batang ito!)

Me: Uhuh, so?

Kyle: Tita Piggy! (he thinks I'm cute and fat!) Antanda mo na! Dapat may asawa ka na!

And then Kyle gives me this really, really wide-eyed (dinilatan) look. Buti na lang cute siya. And my answer -

Me: Eh I don't feel old eh and I'm not really rushing.

Kyle groaned out at that point and scolded me. Thank God my cousin saved me from further torture.

Well going back to my original story. The past few weeks that I've had the privilege of speaking in front of thousands of students I realized that I finally got over being nervous when I do presentations (and stage fright) and that it is indeed a privilege to share my learnings and experiences to kids. I always highlight though that everything is a continuous learning process, that we should always be students, always open to learning new things, acquiring new skills and always keeping your eyes, ears and heart open.

To the students who've been dropping me lines in my email, thank you very much. I hope you picked up some stuff from me (and hopefully not the kalokohans). Hehehe.


  1.'s weird. kahit ako i feel that sometimes. feeling ko matanda na ako. lalo na when young kids call me uncle. nagkakaroon ako ng goose bumps.

  2. Anonymous3:30 AM

    I can relate to almost everything... from Lucky, Carlo and Doogie Howser to feeling privileged to share my experiences and knowledge to students.

    I also don't feel that old, and yeah, we're not rushing. :)

  3. Anonymous10:20 AM

    I'm subscribed to your feed.

    I love the 90s and I love the references you mentioned. Now I really want to watch that hotdog commercial once again. "Ay... Goodbye Carlo!" Si Chantal Umali pa yung babae! And Doogie Howser made me want to become a doctor when I was young.

  4. Anonymous6:44 PM

    waaa! they dont know lucky??

    siyempre relate ako. my youngest sister (she's 21)and i were listening to the radio and there was this song "forever blue" sung by a singer na di ko kilala. sabi ko, mas gusto ko ang original wc was sung by cacai velasquez.

    she was surprised it was a revival. no idea daw sino si cacai. waaaa! 21 na yun ha!

  5. Anonymous12:47 AM

    Dear Diary,

    Carlo sat beside me today. He's so cute. He said I'm pretty kaya lang I'm fat. So from now on, good bye chocolates! Good bye ice cream! Good bye hotdogs! Ayyy.... Good bye Carlo!

    HAHA! Exact ba???

    I miss Doogie Howser. :(

  6. Anonymous11:42 AM

    ang bata2x mo talaga te, nkita na talaga kta sa personal.. :D isa pala ako sa nakatanggap ng Google Folder, sticker at ballpen.. salamat te ha! ahehehe remember mo ung nganswer ng adsense na taga-Xavier University, ako yun te :D interesting talaga ung topic mo te aileen, un lang talaga ang pinunta ko sa convention.. at salamat nman may inuwi akong Google give aways.. may iba pa ba te? ahehehe hanggang dito nlng, salamat!

    P.S. Lasallian ka pala ate?
    Live Jesus in our Hearts, Forever!

  7. Hey, I'm 24, but I still remember Lucky, Doogie Howser and Carlo... And Aileen, you're not alone, Super Mario makes me cry =)

  8. sajang ganyan ang buhay!sa mga bagets ka sumama para di magmukhang oldies!pag edad natin ng 32 e dual citizenship n tyo.filipino and senior citzen!ahehehe!

  9. Anonymous11:18 AM

    same here, nakaka-related din ako diyan. I actually started browsing the internet using a 33.6 kbps modem wayback in 1998. super slow talaga and connection.

  10. Wow, Aileen! Your first employer was SMART? Great! What department ka? :) That's where I work.

  11. Anonymous2:26 PM

    I love this post. It's so 90's...late 80's even (don't remember when I last had a beeper). I'm only 26 and I can relate to it. Hay! I'm getting old na rin.

    BTW, love your blog. First time to comment, but I've been lurking around. Sorry, off topic pero I hope to read more horror stories from you. Galing. Really reminds me of my Malate Literary Folio days din.