Monday, February 25, 2008

Growing Up 1970s Style

It was the 1970s, and I miss those times.

Like most Filipino children growing up during the Martial Law years under the Marcos regime, I grew up a complacent child, learned early proper discipline, and enjoyed afternoons watching Sesame Street, a beloved program which is sometimes cut to give way to an impromptu Marcos speech. Back then, we as children understood what was authority, and we know how to keep quiet whenever someone older than us has something important today.

Although our family disliked Marcos, we respected his authority, and my father forbade us to say anything against Marcos. My father knew that Marcos was a powerful man and we understood it. It would be inviting trouble to say anything against the dictator. Everyone seemed to be spying on everyone.

Right now I see how many children become so unruly that their parents become so frustrated disciplining them. I should say that I was still fortunate growing up as I did, respecting authority. Perhaps Marcos wasn't really so bad. Certainly he did a lot of bad things, but the discipline that he instilled in the minds of the people is admirable.

Nowadays, children are not so afraid of authorities. They have learned the word freedom, which is very dangerous. They hurl threats to authorities, to teachers, to parents. You spank a child to discipline and you can end up being sued in the Bantay Bata. These children will eventually grow up and then their own children will do the same to them. That is because they were not as disciplined as we were during our time. And so they just passed what they learned in childhood to their own children.

The new media of the internet and home videos contribute to the current degeneration of today's children. Some parents let their children use the internet not knowing that a lot of hazardous things are in store for their children to learn. Children today kill each other all over the internet, in dangerous games like Ragnarok, Diablo, and the like. In between they can watch porno, which is all over the internet. There is one Filipino eight-year old child discovered by his parents masturbating in front of the computer screen, watching hentai. Apparently, his favorite anime hero, Goku (of Dragonball Z) was featured in the movie having sex with Sailor Moon! Parents should be careful of giving their child gifts of laptops, cellphone, and mp4 as these can easily be downloaded with sex movies.

Back in the 1970s, our family owned a black and white TV set called Zenith. It had dial knobs to change channels and volumes. On afternoons we watch Speedy Gonzales, Sesame Street, and endless reruns of black and white old Tagalog movies. On evenings we watch Wild Wild West, Six Million Dollar Man, Starsky and Hutch, the Incredible Hulk and Charlie's Angels. I later learned that these series were all filmed in color and the reason why they appear black and white was that our TV was black and white...

The closest thing that I can ever come up to watching porno was when Gloria Diaz starred in the movie Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa, and it was shown on TV, and even the scene when she didn't have a bra was cut. To my dismay. All our neighbors were flocking to our house because we were one of the few who happened to own a TV set in the entire neighborhood.

I remember curfew. No one was allowed to loiter in the streets from 12 am to 4 am. From that time on you can secretly look from the window through a small opening of the curtains, and you see a very quiet neighborhood. Every barrio was like a ghost town. Even the stray dogs were herded into the city pound. The vagrants had to stay out of the streets. The result was that the crime was lessened. Everyone was afraid of Marcos.

Now, I still think I'm fortunate growing up in the Martial Law years. It was a relatively peaceful time. And we respect our elders.

It was the 1970s, and I miss those times.


Charmilicious Riza said...

Haha, I remember those days...thanks for writing about it, it made me reminisce with my own childhood memories, lol.

amie said...

Dear sir Dennis, hello po, this is amihan ruiz and patty joven of ADMU. we have a project on comics archiving and preservation in the philippines under our cultural heritage calss under dr. zialcita. we found your blog through gerry allaguilan's site. we've already established contact with him and we hoping that we could get your email so as to ask you about the state of preserving filipino komiks today.

(and ganda po ng blog niyo! so far, kayo na po yung isa sa pinaka informative sources namin. medyo kulang talaga po kasi ang written material on Komiks in general. sana padayon lang.)

our email is and

hoping for your favorable response,
amie and patty

Dennis Villegas said...

dear amie,
you can contact me at 09087275818.

lucas griego said...

Thanks for the fascinating blog on Pinoy comics and on the personal memories of a different time. Very informative and entertaining to read about how the Philippines was in years gone by.

It's really only with the advent of the internet that much of the rest of the world has been able to actually see the Filipino tradition of comic book making. Some very, very talented artists.

Though your site and others who have posted history and art I came to realize that many of the comics I grew up with as a kid in the US were actually pencilled or worked on by Filipino artists who had emigrated to the US.

Thanks once again for taking the time to write your blog. It's appreciated!

Best regards,
Lucas Griego