...back in the summer of ...

Whenever you hear an Andrew E. song, what's your initial reaction?

Do you cringe, remembering those godawful lyrics like "Kung gusto mong lumigaya ang iyong buhay humanap ka ng pangit at ibigin mong tunay" or that telephone number of Ana who lived in San Lorenzo Ville ("801-67-22") or wonder how the hell do you get a name like "Binibirocha"?

Or do you get a feeling of nostalgia, a slight increase in your heartbeat, with a smile slowly forming on your lips?

Then do you feel giddy, remembering a pimply and lanky boy in a distant past, who loved Andrew E so much that summer, he would PERFORM his songs, lip-syncing and dancing his heart out in front of you?

Then do you feel a little sad, because it was the classic Sweet Dreams story because of the you-like-him-he-likes-her-she-doesn't-care plot?

Wait, it's just me?

[So I guess everybody's cringing now huh. Heh.]

---

Summer of 1991 was spent with my sisters and I playing patintero, syato, agawan-base and kickball with the other neighborhood kids. Catching-our-breath time is either at our house (the drinking station), or the house in front of us, as they had a bahay kubo on their lawn.

And this bahay kubo is not just for playing house. It had two floors, with the first floor as living/dining room, and upstairs as a bedroom/playroom of sorts. It was weird, if you think about it, having a bahay kubo in a suburban neighborhood, and being a livable space. Well, the family who lived in front of us came from the province so, I guess that explains the bahay kubo?

So when the girls wanted to play on their own, and the boys did their thing, we'd be up that bahay kubo, playing luto-lutuan. I distinctly remember those clay cooking pots and pans that was so trendy back then, heh.

You might be thinking, "You were still playing with clay pots and pans inside a bahay kubo when you were already 11 years old?!?".

But I wasn't there for the cooking lessons!

I was there for the boy next door.

And I could see him, in his room, every time I was up in that bahay kubo.

Having his little sisters with me in that bahay kubo was heaven-sent, because it didn't look like I was spying on him. It just looked like his sisters were annoying him, pointing out to everyone that we'll be able to see inside their big brother's room.

For the first few days, he put on a show. He loved Andrew E., and he would play his tape full-blast every time. And then he would lip-sync, dancing around his room like a little Andrew E wannabe.

Then he got to the song "Mahal Kita".

My 11 year-old jologs heart could not help but fall head over heels for him then. I knew the song wasn't for me... but then all I could think about then was "what if he was singing that song for me?".

What if he told me "mahal kita"?

My heart nearly exploded that afternoon.

After a few days, he got tired of performing for us girls up in the bahay kubo. Maybe he got annoyed already with his sisters, maybe he didn't have enough moves from his Andrew E repertoire, but the day came when he drew the blinds.

And so summer life went on. Patintero, syato, agawan base and kickball all day long. A few silly conversations with him and the other neighborhood kids on our swing set, on the neighbor's swing set, and their swing set. A few serious ones when we were left alone. He offered to teach me how to ride a bike and I declined -- I might get too giggly with his arms around me, and I might semplang. The boys were joking around already that he might be Chinese because he came courting at noon, but we both laughed it off (albeit I was seriously giddy inside).

Hands down, it's the best summer I've ever had.

And then it ended.

Then the new girl moved in, and as being the most mestiza girl to ever grace our neighborhood's church's presence, she became the talk of the town. And of course he became one of her adoring fans. He became one of her ardent suitors.

But despite my infatuation with him, and his infatuation with her, we kept mostly in touch. And by that I mean greeting each other while we wait for our school service to pick us up in the morning. Hehe. And despite the fact that my mom spilled to his mom that I had a crush on him. [Moms are so evil during the puberty stage no?] I've already lost hope then -- I knew he will never look at me the way he looked at her. I was content that I was still able to talk to him, even though he knew I was head over heels in love with had a crush on him.

The school year was about to end, and summer was in the air. It was late afternoon, with the sun almost gone. It was just the two of us, sitting by the curb, doing nothing, talking about everything.

And then he asked me to come with him to his [grade school] graduation party.

I was shocked, flattered, nervous, giddy... all those intense feelings I felt for him the previous summer came rushing back.

I couldn't effing believe that he chose me.

And so, as I've told this story before, it was not a happily-ever-after for me at that graduation party. I didn't get to go [because as I said, moms are evil during the puberty stage], and I was left with a feeling of being only the second choice, with only being the second best.

And it all went downhill from there.

I don't know how it came about but we started to ignore each other. We didn't greet each other anymore. He started to hang out with the other kids.

Or maybe I started to ignore him. Maybe I didn't greet him anymore. And maybe because I was being an anti-social pre-teen, I stayed home most of the time.

We were reduced to two people who acted as if we didn't know each other.

I don't know what came over me but I felt shy, nervous and embarrassed all at the same time when he was within the perimeter radius. I was able to handle it before, but then I developed a defense mechanism, wherein I put up my bitch-face (of course I didn't know then that it was called a bitch-face) so he'd stay away. I guess, so that he wouldn't know how he still had a special place in my heart.

Our families even went to Hidden Valley together, and we barely acknowledged each other's presence! That trip was one of my biggest regrets ever -- it was my chance to mend things with him, but pride coupled with a low self-esteem didn't really make for a brave girl.

And so after a year or two I think, he went to the States. And stayed there.

And we both lived happily ever after. ;)

---

I may have written before that he left me feeling like I was only second best, and we parted ways like we never knew each other. But hey it was my fault -- I was too introspective, too scared and too unsure of myself. I was 12 years old then gaddamit, I didn't know what else to do!

But I will never ever forget that summer.

For Andrew E. and his hit songs, for that bahay kubo overlooking his room, for patintero and syato. For conversations on swing sets and by the curb.

For falling in love for the first time, at just the right amount, without leaving any scars to heal or tears to wipe away.

Because every time I hear "Humanap Ka Ng Panget" or "Andrew Ford Medina", I don't remember breaking my heart the first time I fell in love.

I just remember my heart exploding to a lip-synced version of "Mahal Kita" by a pimply and lanky boy that summer of 1991.

And that is how I have a completely different reaction to an Andrew E song. Heh.

---

And now a postscript about the boy:

Seems he hasn't forgotten too -- a Friendster message from him when I added him as a friend, ca. 2003:

Do you remember the days we would sit on your swing and talk whenever you guys throw a party in your house? Tell your family I said Hi! And I missed you guys too!


Le sigh *dreamy far-away look*

As I wrote before already (oooh, hey, I write about him a lot ha... hmmm), he's now a pilot, already has wife, and they have a little boy. He's not lanky anymore, as he has gained a lot of weight, but still dresses up like Andrew E... and that's a joke, of course, hahaha. He's still into hip-hop and rap, and I think he DJs in his free time.

If I'm in your Friendster network, try niyo kaya siya hanapin sa Friends list ko?!? I'll give a prize ;) Hahahahaha.


---

Why write about him again, after ten thousand years?

I bought First Love, read all 11 stories in one sitting, and thought, "Sino ba ang first love ko?".

Then yesterday afternoon, the taxi driver was playing Andrew E songs, and aside from smiling to the lyrics of "Submarine" [napaka-wholesome ng song na yon noh? sobra], I was smiling to the memory of the boy ;)

And so this lengthy post.

I hope it has brought you memories of first loves, summer loves, and your favorite Andrew E. song. Heh.

7 comments

  1. I super love this entry! Awwww. Is he the one who got away ba for you? :D

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  2. hmmm... puede. pero i didn't know him that well to say for sure that he was the one who got away eh.

    pero pero pero, eto ay base lang sa mga friendster pics nya, bagay sana kami eh! hahahah!

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  3. yung mga ganitong kwento makes me want to go back in time and wish my mom wasn't too strict. as in bawal lumabas ng bahay. i hated summer because i was stuck at home. haaay, is should've experienced this too. dami pa naman cute boys noon sa amin. hahaha

    regret regret regret... tsk.

    sa totoo lang, kinilig ako. hihihi

    ReplyDelete
  4. actually may curfew kami nyan. we had to be inside the house ng 5pm. o diba? pero nakakatakas, bait kasi ng helper namin eh hehehe.

    di ko nga alam kung kikiligin ako or mahihiya sobra because of the association with andrew e.! ahahaha!

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  5. beejing8:58 PM

    Nice header huh? Link Exchange?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I miss your stories!! I love this one :-) So, may love story ka na pala nung elementary, may soundtrack pa hehe :)

    Alam mo, this entry is even rom-com pinoy movie material!

    ReplyDelete
  7. ang lakas nga ng loob ko -- we follow each other na in twitter :))

    i seriously miss writing too :)

    ReplyDelete