the miseducation of ms. eduka sionista

ah the things we learned as children from watching teevee, the so-called idiot box that could shape young, impressionable minds. 
while kids from more sophisticated neighborhoods (whose parents made it a point to talk to their children only in english) watched only sesame street, we watched all kinds of shows, be it german moreno's sunday special extravaganza showcasing the belle star dancers in their mind-boggling costumes and choreography or annaliza or iskul bukol.
but the ones i luv were the old filipino films shown every afternoon, usually around 2 p.m. right after we washed the dishes and cleaned the dining room/kitchen after lunch.
anyway, here are the things that i learned from those misspent afternoons in front of the tiny box that showed black and white pictures.

from commercials:

* you will grow taller, healthier and stronger if you drink milk everyday (from nino muhlach's milk maid commercials. unfortunately, nino didn't grow at all.).
* you can make soap from a dry leaf by pouring a generous amount of olive oil into it (the old palmolive soap commercial).
* just by brushing your teeth before bumping into your crush will make him fall in love with you, especially if your teeth gleamed like pearls. (close up commercial).

from watching filipino movies:

* rich people always look like they have just stepped out of the parlour and wear really nice and expensive clothes, bags and shoes even if they are just at home, reading kislap magazine in the living room.
* rich people always serve juice when there are guests in their homes. usually this is served by maids in starched white uniforms.
* poor people live in small, crowded shanties in squatters' areas, where criminal elements abound.
* rich people treat poor people very badly. they make their lives miserable by, among others, taking away their land, and killing them if they fight back.
* poor people are not allowed to fall in love and marry rich people. but in the end, luv conquers all and the luvers will live happily ever after despite their different backgrounds.
* poor people are god-fearing, have good hearts, helpful and cheerful despite their miserable surroundings and living conditions.
* rich people are generally unhappy and not contented with their lives. most of them also steal money from the government or from other wealthy people just to be richer. they are also bound to play around, that is, get a mistress or a luver on the side to while away their time.
* poor people (mostly the lead actress who suffered in the hands of the wealthy villain) can become very very rich and get back at their tormentors by: becoming a movie star or singer (sharon cuneta made a killing on this one); marrying an old, dying rich man (or the so-called four m: matanda, mayaman at madaling mamatay) (vilma santos); becoming a prostitute catering to rich men only (alma moreno made an art on this one in a number of films); studying really hard and paying for her education by waiting tables, washing dirty clothes, etc (vilma again and sometimes dina bonnevie).

* rich people usually fly to the united states when they want to forget about their problems at home. or when they want to turn a new leaf. as if!
* women who smoke and drink and studied overseas (usually in the united states) have no/loose morals. they steal husbands and become glamourous queridas. they have abortions. they sleep around.
* men who smoke and drink are real men. they are also playboys.
* when a woman is dizzy and vomits afterwards, she is pregnant. an older woman (a mother, grand mother, aunt) will know about this even if the pregnant woman has not told anybody yet. the wiser woman will confront the poor pregnant gurl. this is usually followed by slapping, shouting (sino ang ama ng dinadala mong iyan? sino? sino? malandi ka! malandi! walanghiya! hindi mo na binigyan ng kahihiyan ang pamilya natin!), a lot of crying and then the gurl will be thrown out of the house for shaming the family. afraid!
* when a drunk person drives a car, especially when he is shown driving fast or when the driving scene is taking longer than usual, he will surely have an accident. (so don't drink and drive!)
* before someone tries to kill another person, he will announce it first, even if it's obvious that he intends to kill him because his gun/knife/other weapon is already aimed at him (magdasal ka na dahil papatayin kita!). if it's the goon (contravida) who intends to kill, he will end up dead instead because the main actor (bida) will find a way to snatch the gun/knife from him.
* sometimes, before killing each other, the lead actor and the main antagonist will first engage in an angry debate, trade insults. this will give the main actor the chance to utter the title of the movie (hindi ka na sisikatan ng araw!) then bang! bang! bang!
* when a married woman plays around, she will end up dead, land in prison or become stricken with cancer or other horrible diseases. a punishment for her sins.
* when a married man fools around, the wife will forgive him in the end and they will live happily ever after.
* when somebody (usually the actress in a dramatic, award-winning role) wants to commit suicide, she will tell someone else first (if she is alone, then she will talk to the audience or to the invisible god) and will ask for forgiveness before doing it. (patawarin niyo po ako, diyos ko, pero hindi ko na po kaya ang mga pahirap at pasakit sa mundong ito. kayo na po ang bahala sa aking batugang asawa at mga walang kwentang anak! patawad!)
* when a man realises that he is gay and his love is unrequited, he will likely kill himself. or when he is already gay at the start of the film, he will fall in love with a straight guy (a call boy, macho dancer, among other low lifers), who will reciprocate his affection in exchange for money. then he will commit the unthinkable, suicide.
* when people fight, especially women, they shout, slap each other, even the so-called rich and educated ones. this is where those memorable lines are spoken, the scenes that will likely be shown on the movie's teasers and trailers. (remember the classic: you are nothing but a second rate, trying hard, copy cat!)

as i grow older, of course, i realised that most of these were not true. though in some cases, art imitates life (or is it the other way around?!).
but by the time i realised this, it's already too late.
no wonder that my life is as colourful and full of dramah like those characters in primetime soap operas.


by the way, most of today's movies about rich people look and sound so phony. you can tell that the writers, directors and the actors are not really from the bueno familia. their characters and dialogues are so cliche, you have seen or read them somewhere else, like in comics or old viva films movies. the ones who were really good in writing and directing movies about the very rich were danny zialcita (remember those funny, kilometric dialogues?), peque gallaga, don escudero, and jose javier reyes.


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