Monday, 22 September 2008

Tumatanda ka na, Batch!!!

My back aches and my knees wobble as I limp back to my personal jungle in a bunker somewhere in the deserts of the Arabian Gulf.

A small amber bottle of Colchicine is parked on my desk, flanked by a cheap mug, a Sherlock Holmes-like magnifier and my baby Andre's B-daman. The med standing by in case my uric acid unexpectedly shoots up.

When I first came to Dubai, I only pop a caplet of Enervon C. After seeing my doctor last December, my pillbox menu now includes Colchicine (an anti-gout drug), Allopurinol (to flush out excess uric acid), Lipitor -- Pfizer's best-seller -- (to lower my cholesterol level) and Metformin -- which Doc Europa said was meant to help me slim down. Later I'd found out that this is an anti-diabetes drug.

I still blame the poor quality of water that comes out from the tap for the brittleness of my hair, which has turned salt and pepperish -- highlights as others describe it -- after spending (some say, wasting) over two and half years in this part of the world.

About a year ago, I was flabbergasted when a former colleague, who was in her 20s, didn't have an idea what the hell is Tears for Fears when she asked me what's playing on my iPod. I even had to tell another that Spandau Ballet doesn't have anything to do with Swan Lake or The Nutcracker.

Not to be outdone, I nearly dropped dead laughing when the same pa-cutesy (read: tanga) 20-something thought that Bananarama was a concoction at Baskin-Robbins.

Geez, the icons of my youth gone and forgotten -- and terribly recalled by today's youngsters!

When Ara and Aia asked me to let them watch the Fall Out Boy concert, my memory bank retrieved images of Lee Majors, who became the Fall Guy after making a successful run as the Six Million Dollar Man.

I see my presumptuous, eternally youthful "friends" snickering.

The reason behind these LOL moments suddenly got rammed into my face when my high school batchmate Joel Valencia forwarded a mail to our Yahoogroup which had the title of this entry.

"Tumatanda ka na, Batch!!!"

Ka-boom...aaargh! Reality bites!

Am I really getting that old? Have I already graduated into the Jurassic list?

I'll be clocking the last year of my third decade of existence in a few weeks' time and I'm still on denial mode that soon, I'll be joining the age of the "Life Beginners".

But come to think of it, hindi lang naman ako ang tumatanda.

My mom -- the heartthrob of her generation -- turned 70 last May.

My Tito Pito, who was the macho guwapito during his prime, has turned silver and gray.

My Ate Marichi -- the eldest among my first cousins -- is now a lola.

Some nephews and nieces whom I used to carry in my arms have either joined the work force or are about to get their rolled up cartolinas for the last time.

From wearing booties, my Ara is now going to school in stilletos. I dropped a tear when Mara texted me that my baby girl Aia is "dalaga na" and "Dadoy" Andre now has a love interest in school.

Life goes on.

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus was right -- change is central to the universe.

"Everything flows, nothing stands still. Nothing endures but change."

And here's what Joel had sent me ...

Tumatanda ka na, Batch!!! (author unknown)

Nasa Friday Magic Madness na yung mga paborito mong kanta.

Nakaka-relate ka na sa Classic MTV.

Lesbiana na yung kinaaaliwan mong child star dati.

Nanay na lagi ang role ng crush na crush mong matinee idol noon.

Dati, pag may panot, sisigaw ka agad ng "PENDONG!".Ngayon, pag may sumisigaw nun, ikaw na yung napapraning.

Parang botika na ang cabinet mo. May multivitamins, vitamin E, vitamin C, royal jelly, tsaka ginko biloba.

Dati, laging may inuman. Sa inuman, may lechon, sisig, kaldereta, inihaw na liempo, pusit, at kung anu-ano pa. Ngayon, nagkukumpulan na lang kayo ng mga kasama mo sa Starbucks at oorder ng tea.

Wala na ang mga kaibigan mo noon. Ang dating masasayang tawanan ng barkada sa canteen,napalitan na ng walang katapusang pagrereklamo tungkol sa kumpanya ninyo.

Wala na ang best friend mo na lagi mong pinupuntahan kapag may problema ka. Ang lagi mo na lang kausap ngayon e ang kaopisina mong hindi ka sigurado kung binebenta ka sa iba pag nakatalikod ka. Ang hirap nang magtiwala!


Mahirap nang makahanap ng totoong kaibigan. Hindi mo kayang pagkatiwalaan ang kasama mo araw-araw sa opisina. Kung sabagay, nagkakilala lang kayo dahil gusto ninyong kumita ng pera at umakyat sa tinatawag nilang "corporate ladder".

Anumang pagkakaibigang umusbong galing sa pera at ambisyon ay hindi talaga totoong pagkakaibigan. Pera din at ambisyon ang sisira sa inyong dalawa.

Pera na ang nagpapatakbo ng buhay mo.


Alipin ka na ng Meralco, PLDT, SkyCable, Globe, Smart, at Sun.

Alipin ka ng Midnight Madness.

Alipin ka ng tollgate sa expressway.

Alipin ka ng credit card mo.

Alipin ka ng ATM. Alipin ka ng BIR.

Dati-rati masaya ka na sa isang platong instant pancit canton. Ngayon, dapat may kasamang Italian chicken ang fettucine alfredo mo..

Masaya ka na noon pag nakakapag-ober- da-bakod kayo para makapag--swimming. Ngayon, ayaw mong lumangoy kung hindi Boracay o Puerto Galera ang lugar.

Dati, sulit na sulit na sa yo ang gin pomelo. Ngayon, pagkatapos ng ilang bote ng red wine, maghahanap ka ng San Mig Light o Vodka Cruiser.

Wala ka nang magawa. Sumasabay ang lifestyle mo sa income mo.

Nagtataka ka kung bakit hindi ka pa rin nakakaipon kahit tumataas ang sweldo mo. Yung mga bagay na gusto mong bilhin dati na sinasabi mong hindi mo kailangan, abot-kamay mo na.

Pero kahit nasa iyo na ang mga gusto mong bilhin, hindi ka pa rin makuntento. Saan ka ba papunta?


Friend, gumising ka.

Hindi ka nabuhay sa mundong ito para maging isa lang sa mga baterya ng mga machines sa Matrix.

Hanapin mo ang dahilan kung bakit nilagay ka rito.

Kung ang buhay mo ngayon ay uulit-ulit lang hanggang maging singkwenta anyos ka na, magsisisi ka.

Lumingon ka kung paano ka nagsimula, isipin ang mga tao at mga bagay na nagpasaya sa yo.

Balikan mo sila.

Ikaw ang nagbago, hindi ang mundo.

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