My Superhero Action Figure

Majority of the present male human specie – young and old – grew up playing with superhero action figures.  Every one of these dudes can gleefully recall which among these animated crusaders was their favorite.  I am part of the unfortunate, luckless and deprived minority.  I never got the chance to play with a mini-Superman, Batman or the Green Lantern.

that’s me! hahaha! had a pretty twisted set of toys yet with awesome childhood

Instead, I can clearly recall that I and my siblings would play with canned goods and variety of grocery items of Nengkoy (my mother) from her pantry storage at the second floor of our house.  We enjoyed rolling cans of Hunts pork & beans on the floor with the aim of hitting unopened plastic bottles of Jergens body lotions and Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific shampoos.  We find excitement in stacking weighty tins of Spam luncheon meats. And we adored imagining fragrant boxes of Dove and Ivory bath soaps as mini cars. 

Miniature sports figures (not the Hulk, Captain America nor other superheroes) would be so infrequent to come by because we would have to wait for the next can of Milo or Ovaltine to finish because the free promotional mini-sports figures are buried somewhere within the cans of these powdered choco drinks.

Don’t get me wrong.  I actually had a balanced and awesome childhood.  But unfortunately, I could not contribute or share a fun childhood experience when asked which among the superheroes did I grew up having as an action figure. 

But now that I am old, people would seem to start contemplating whether they had a cool childhood as I did when I dare answer such question because my reply now would no longer be a boring “none”.  It is only lately that I figured out that I actually grew up having a superhero action figure! It’s the supreme crusader in bright red imperial regalia that would beat even the chief, topnotch and paramount superhero a human animator has created.  Nowadays – though I did not played with it, I actually prayed to it – my simple answer to this question is the little Santo Niño (translation: the image of The Child Jesus).

My very own Santo Niño in green imperial regalia was gifted to me by my mom more than 25 years ago when I decided to live on my own and be independent.

Smells Like Grandma!

Have you ever wondered what you actually smell like? Do you know what object when smelt will be reminded of you?

During college, I learned through lectures, readings and studies (Psychology was my major), that olfaction or the sense of smell can harness evocative power towards a person’s emotion.  I personally believe that people can fall in love towards a food, a location, an animal or even a person because of the odorant organic molecules that these objects of affection diffuses.

Just imagine the aromatic smell of coffee that relaxes you in the morning or the joy you feel when you smell freshly baked bagels?  Have you ever wondered why some stunningly beautiful and well-mannered lady can be so head over heels towards a rude dude who only takes a shower once a week? It must be the odor!  Furthermore, multiple journals in Psychology asserts that memories and recollections as evoked by smell are usually localized to the childhood period.

this reminds me of lola teray… ow i wish you can smell this.

All these stance and viewpoints about olfaction were further reinforced when I and my younger sister bought a buy-1-take-1 Japanese-made charcoal soap from a grocery store!  I of course paid for the “buy one” and she took the “take 1”.  Hahaha!

On my initial use and as soon as I lathered it on my hands, a vivid childhood recollection was evoked by the subtle fragrance of the soap!  The scent clearly reminds me of how my Lola Teray (my mom’s mom) smelled like.  On an impulse, my brain suddenly replayed some of the beautiful childhood memories I had when my adorable Lola Teray was still alive.

my lola teray… she smells so good…

lola teray’s photo when she was a chosen subject for a photography session

My family lost my Lola Teray more than 30 years ago, and I could not imagine how an object now can actually trigger and remind me of my long-forgotten scent of my grandmother!  How amazing is that?!  And as soon as I finished my shower, I messaged my younger sister telling her that the scent of the soap reminded me of our sweet and gentle grandmother, Lola Teray.  She agreed!

Now, I wonder how I smell and what odorant chemical compounds that I diffuse?  I wonder what crazy object do I smell like? Hahaha!

Put Voltes V Anime Series on Netflix

I recently read an article which acknowledges the existence of Philippine-English.  It is an English language variety that is different from American, British and Australian English-es.  Philippine English is so prevalent – thanks to the big population of Filipinos on the planet – that it has officially been acknowledged as an acceptable English language variant.  It is so unlike the other English-es that it actually has its own slang and peculiar accent.

grew up watching this!

I have long acknowledged that I learned speaking the English language during my early childhood years by regularly watching Sesame Street (a TV show in American English).  But after I have outgrown my liking for it, my learning the English language has continued thru my childhood fondness for the old Japanese anime TV series Voltes V (pronounced as Voltes Five) dubbed in English.

I can truly say that Voltes V – which was controversially banned by dictator President Marcos in 1979 due to its underlying theme of rebellion and revolution – plays a big chunk in honing my knowledge of English as a language.

Unlike the most recent rerelease of this TV anime series which was dubbed in Tagalog-Filipino language, the original one released in the 70’s in the Philippines was dubbed in English.  What is so atypical with the original series shown in the Philippines is that it was dubbed by native Filipinos speaking the English language. 

I recently re-watched the first 2 episodes of the series (thankfully available on YouTube) dubbed in English and I can truly distinguish that the English language utilized was the classic example of how a Philippine-English is along with its distinctive accent.  My way of saying “comfortable buffalo” is so different from how Americans would say it!  Ask your native-Filipino workmate and an American friend to say these words for you to know the difference.

Sad to note though, that a big number of young Filipinos now can’t speak nor write proper English may it be of whatever English language variant.  One reason maybe is because shows now prevalent in various forms of media in the Philippines are now spoken or dubbed in the local Filipino language.

I am not saying that Filipino language is a bad thing.  What I would just like to say is that knowing a second language is a weapon, a faculty, a gift.

say “comfortable”!

I can’t seem to identify an English-dubbed or English-spoken TV show in the last 10 years shown in the Philippines that became trendy or popular among the youth which can be acknowledged later on in their life as a basis of their learning another language.

If given the power, I would re-release Voltes V in Netflix! The version would no doubt be the old Philippine-English dubbed edition for the present kiddos of today to watch and learn.  And if present kids now would reject watching it and prefers some lame and boring Filipino-dubbed TV series, me and my fine Philippine-English speaking generation would definitely look forward to watching it.

Cutest & Bravest

At a very young age, I knew how it was to be very sick.  I was too sickly, I could be considered a regular “customer” of hospitals.  If hospitals and clinics would have a promo like Starbucks – earn enough points to get your free coffee on your next visit – I would be one who can easily earn the required hospital points to avail of a free confinement in the next visit. 

i remember this! my elder sister took this photo and i was just discharged from (as usual) the hospital.  too weak to smile! hahaha!

During my childhood, nurses and doctors are no longer surprised to find and see my name on their medical charts.  Nengkoy (my mother) in fact have loads of stories and anecdotes about her experiences in hospitals and during medical emergency situations that involves none other than, me.

I know how it is to be very very sick.  That is why every time I see a young child at odds and is battling an illness and medical circumstance, my heart would just melt.

I am in tears when I encounter this trending news about John Oliver Zippay, the young kid who battled and won a war against cancer.

The video washed my eyes!  I am super happy for J.O. (his nickname).  What is good to know is that aside from being sickly at a young age, both I and J.O. were tagged “STRONG” by our respective fathers.  The hashtag in J.O.’s GoFundMe page created by his dad was #JOStrong.  My Tatay (Dad) on the other hand named me after Neil Armstrong.

got this from cnn photos!  super happy for this boy! so brave, so brave!

There’s one big difference though between me and J.O.  Aside from his infectious charm, the difference is that J.O. is the cutest and the bravest!

Cutest Kid In The Solar System

I can no longer count the number of times I clicked the symbol in Instagram account of mikeybot.  It is because this account features the cutest kid in the solar system!  And every time my mobile phone is notified about a new YouTube video on HiHo Kids channel, I would get so excited hoping Ernie would be part of the new feature.

 

From among the cute HiHo Kids channels, here’s my personal favorite video of Ernie.  It’s unadulterated-ly cute, funny and heart-melting…

Watching the infectious smile, the wondrous cackle, the playful tease and even the frivolous nose picking of Ernie makes me miss the feelings on what it is to be a simple happy kid.  I guess I will never get tired clicking the  symbol in mikeybot’s Instagram page.

Aym hukd wid #superernie!

Prince of Cuteness

I recently discovered via internet a kid that is a bundle of charm and adorableness. His name is Ernie.

prince of cuteness

prince of cuteness

I was captivated by Ernie on the first time I saw him in the internet.  The first video I saw Ernie at was in a YouTube video in which he and a bunch of cute American kids were tasked by a number of adults filming them to try Filipino food. Ernie in that video stole my heart!  He was the only kid who had the full courage to eat Balut and appreciated tasting it.  And when he tried the Taho, it made me conclude that he is the most endearing human being in the internet!

cuteness overload!

cuteness overload!

Ernie for me is the Prince of Cuteness.  This 3-year old kid is pure sweetness and lovability.   I guess his not even aware that he is starting to become so popular because a lot has started following his dad’s Instagram in which the majority of what it features are photos and short clips of cute Ernie.

Ernie’s photos and video clips presents the sparkles and freshness of being a kid.  It features the naivety, the innocence and unassuming-ness of an early life which every one of us, I guess, badly misses and would love to relive or to reminisce.

I don’t know, but I think Ernie’s photos and video clips touches hearts.  And one of which is mine.  You can follow the sweet smiles, the adorable laughter, and the guilelessness of the Prince of Cuteness at https://www.instagram.com/mikeybot/

Ke kyut kyut ng batang ire!

Borutesu Faibu

“A generation without closure” is one label that has been associated to my generation.  This is basically linked to me and my contemporaries’ failure to realize whatever happened to the well-loved Voltes V team (Steve, Big Bert, Little John, Jamie and Mark) and the Bozanian Empire when the very popular TV show’s final five episodes were cut off the air by the Marcos regime in the late 70’s.

But because of the new technology in which almost all information is now available in the internet, I had the opportunity to finally make a closure on this long-standing delay.  Some even feel that this anime is considered to be the longest story ever told.  Thanks to Youtube and the person who uploaded the final episodes of the most adored anime series of my generation.  Hermetic seal has somewhat been achieved. 

However, there are still some silly questions that left hanging after watching the final episode:

  1.  Who did Jamie end up marrying? Will she pose sexy in the cover of FHM magazine?
  2. Did Little John outgrow the black heads on his face?  How does Little John look like as an adult?
  3. Would Big Bert agree to trim his body down as treated and sponsored by Dra. Vicky Belo?
  4. Would Mark be signed up as a Bench underwear model in its next bi-annual fashion show?
  5. Would Steve agree for a 5-picture contract with Pinoy Box Office Queen Sarah Geronimo?
  6. Are the remaining Bozanians with horns on their head dehorned by the earthlings when peace was achieved and realized in the universe?  In case they do not have horns anymore, does it mean they will never get horny for the rest of their lives?
  7. With peace being achieved in the universe and Voltes weapons are practically of no use anymore, will the Ultra Electro Magnetic Top, Laser Sword, Voltes Bazooka and Chain Knuckle be auctioned in Sotheby’s or be on display at Tokyo National Museum?
  8. Is it true about the rumor that Voltes V will do a film and their main antagonists are Celia Rodriguez, Bella Flores and (the come-back movie of)  Zenny Zabala?  There’s even a big buzz that Imelda Marcos will have a special participation at the end to relive her family’s power of killing Voltes V! 

 These questions may seem to belittle the fascinating anime of my childhood days.  But one thing remains Voltes V was able to bring a generation of Filipinos (of various social-classes) into a commonality.  It created a shared experience that really brought people together.   It captivated a Pinoy breed on a story of friendship, of brotherhood, of sacrifice, of justice and of team work.  No doubt, Voltes V will always have a reasonably huge fragment in my life and the persuasive lessons it conveyed will always be remembered.

Dahil dyan… Let’s Volt In!!!