Afraid to scratch the tracks and ruin the record, I held my breath to steady my hands as I lifted the needle from the recording that played on the vinyl player. Abruptly, the music stopped and silence descended like the sword of Damocles. I replaced the vinyl record with a more upbeat “Manila Sounds” and chase it with syncopated dance steps.
You may be stunned at how we do things back in the days – quite understandably so. But each time we reminisce, the memory never fails to crack a smile into our faces. Especially when pictures are shared and talked upon – in real-time. Such is CLASSIC BAI, TITOS AND TITAS OF CEBU, a Facebook group page that features anything and everything old timer from 1960’s to 1990’s. And so, the past is a repertoire of memories good and bad, yet the mind tends to romanticize the past to make us feel bad of the present.
When Mark del Rosario the maker of this Facebook account was asked by Esquire Magazine what made his TITOS AND TITAS gone big so quickly, his answer was, “everyone wants to go back to the past and relive the glory days”. “We want to bring back the good, ‘ol days”, he proudly said.
True indeed we are treated to nostalgic picture posts of vinyl record player, the ‘Yoyo’ we are so fund of that we outplay each other with tricks on it. A little improvement over gramophones are the cassette players and tapes. And this one amuses me for its intrinsically Filipino trait. When we pledge something, we say, “Moor pa. Cross my heart, pa gyud” with the complementary gesture of linking both hands at the middle finger like a chain. And, to cap it all, one post reads: “we had the best of the best of all times”.
Sometimes, however, we tend to nudge this just a tad too far. We tend to romanticize the past by memories that seem to magnify the good and play down the bad. We hear stories of how people “used to be” happier, or that society “used to be” less corrupt. But are they really what they claim to be?
Toni Bernhard J.D. of Psychology Today wrote, “Romanticizing the Past Makes Us Feel Bad About the Present”. The article sites her life change when she succumbed to a chronic illness that made her give up her much-loved law-professor career. She said, “although I’ve adjusted to the new life, I can still find myself romanticizing about the past”. Accordingly, she rationalized that all these wasn’t true. That by being a law professor had its share of challenges and difficult times. And that all these romanticizing of the past only serve to make her feel bad of the present.
I also read somewhere that humans are depressing breed of species. It said that 71% of Britons felt the world is getting worst and only 5% correctly think it is improving. And asked whether world poverty decreased by half over the past decade only 5% of Americans correctly think so. People are inclined to think the world is getting worse than they really are and this distorted predisposition is amplified by the media.
I do not want to douse the fun for I enjoyed it too. By enjoying however, be reminded not to fall to the tendencies of romanticizing the past and thus feel bad of the present.