Nostalgia is a sickness that hits harder as I’ve grown older. Music is the worst offender. A few seconds in, the first few notes of music is all I need to trigger even the smallest wave of nostalgia all over.

Today it was Utada Hikaru’s First Love while having tempura maki over dinner. It’s one of the many unintentional moments that make me go, aaaahhhh, this reminds me of high school innocence. For a short moment, I’m pulled back into a smaller world where everything I knew and felt were experiences with friends, or from Japanese drama, books and manga. A time when things were less complicated and relatively easier to handle. Happiness was simple; life was less cynical.

The older I am, the more there is to miss. When I was 16, there wasn’t much to miss about being 12. At 22, I was too busy running after dreams to reminisce. But at 28, going on an imaginary trip with the feels is a different story. Now people have come and gone, doors have closed and opened, paths have twisted and merged. Age blesses a person with wisdom (if you’re lucky), but that comes with the burden of knowing — what it feels, what it means, what it’s like. Ah, the burden of experience. Somewhere along the way, I became old enough to feel a twinge of sadness at moving on beyond a life of school uniforms, of structured schedules, of silliness, of old friends, of happiness within a smaller world.

On most days, nostalgia ends almost as soon as the last note plays. I’m back to the present day, to present worries, to present dreams, to present joys. Just like that.

And a long post script:

I enjoy the Reply kdrama series (1997, 1994, 1988) precisely because watching them sends me back to those feelings and moments of growing up with friends and family. It perfectly captures the sentiment of those times and ties it together in narratives (which I love).

I wish they’d adopt a similar concept for Philippine television. The last couple of decades have been rich with events, for better or worse, and it shouldn’t be an impossible feat to create a heartwarming story with our unique history (just count the number of People Powers the nation has gone through…). Filipino media isn’t original to begin with, and if there’s anything worth adapting, the Reply concept is definitely it. It probably will never happen, but they can do what they will with my free unsolicited advice ;)

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