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The cube that saved the 80s

OT: tsinelas update here.

WHEN I read the headline ‘Gabby Concepcion Comeback Confirmed!’ early this year, my first reaction was to pinch myself to check if I was awake. I don’t really have problems with caps and exclamation points in an entertainment headline. They can even use the ZapfDingbats BT font for all I care.

But it was Gabby Concepcion. He’s got the words PINOY EIGHTIES stamped on his forehead. His sudden reappearance only meant one thing: he’s broke. No, seriously it meant the 80s is officially making a comeback, and Mr. Concepcion is broke. And have you heard that the Friday Group is reuniting? I found it cool when another comeback artist Louie Heredia tripped and fell, like a dumb ramp model, while singing “Can’t Find No Reason” in a noontime show, and survived to tell the tale. A true 80s hero.

It’s not difficult to imagine the 80s back again. We’ve been through a lot of embarrassing moments as a pop-crazed people, so that theoretically, it’s not impossible for today’s youth to go gaga over spandex, padded shoulders, Boy George, break dance, Michael J. Fox and Olivia Newton-John like their stone-washed parents before them. The 80s was the decade taste brutally forgot; its comeback will prove there’s justice in this world. I don’t want mine to be the only generation to suffer spray net.

So I forgot about Gabby Concepcion, until last week when on a jeepney ride I saw a high school student tinkering with something that looked familiar. I inched closer to a vacant seat near him for a better look. He was tinkering with a little box. No, it was a cube, made of even smaller colored cubes. And the boy was twisting the poor thing, as if he was trying to disassemble it…. Oh my God, it’s… it’s… the Rubik’s Cube!

I was teary-eyed. I suddenly missed my classmates who wouldn’t let me borrow their Cubes even if I offered to write their ‘How I Spent My Summer Vacation’ essays. I remembered how I cried copious tears in the CR because I didn’t have toys. I remembered how girls ignored me because I didn’t have a skateboard. I remembered how I was jailed for stealing siopao from the canteen because…

OK, where were we? Oh, the Rubik’s Cube. Now, if there’s one icon that makes me proud of the 80s, it’s the Cube. This brilliant puzzle saved the 80s. The Cube is the 80s’ proof that it was a thinking, mystery-solving, cube-twisting, siopao-stealing generation.

Although the Hungarian sculptor Erno Rubik invented the Cube in 1974, it achieved its icon status in the 80s. Rubik didn’t intend to invent a puzzle. He was only interested in the structural design problem. He asked, “How could the blocks move independently without falling apart?” So 80s. It’s like Michael Jackson saying, “How could I improve my nose, my lips, my skin without looking like Elizabeth Taylor?” Then he transmutated into the wacko sensation that he has become.

My first time to see a Rubik’s Cube was in the popular soap opera ‘Flordeluna.’ In the scene, Reneboy (played by Herbert Bautista) gets a scolding from his father (played by the late Dindo Fernando) because he’d rather solve the Cube than study his lessons. Reneboy eventually yields, goes to his room, leaving the Cube in the sala. The father, after making sure the boy is gone, picks up the Cube, stares at it, starts twisting it, until he finds it impossible to stop. The father mutters something like “Ang hirap pala nito” as Reneboy emerges from his room. Hiding his embarrassment, the father sternly tells his son, “This thing stays with me until the end of school.”

There, this column’s done. I’m running out of space. Now leave me to my Duran Duran collection.

sunstar cebu, october 7, 2008

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18 Responses to “The cube that saved the 80s”

  1. this is really my era, hahaha..
    duran duran, earth wind and fire, the dawn, juan dela cruz band, and all! …Except for gabby (he’s vain!), hahahaha!

    back to the cube, i know you can solve this one in less than 5mins, hehehe.. payter!

  2. aw, 80s diay ka soy? hahahahaha!

  3. @ rei: amazing, nakarelate pa ka sa 80s nga emo man ka. hehehe. yeah, i can solve the cube in less than a minute. hehehe.

    @ reah: admit it. you’re a billy idol fan. 🙂

    @ chowa: aw, ha? no comment. hehehe. but i know a friend of yours who’s an 80s fan – si jek. hehehe. (peace jek)

  4. @insoy: wala ko kaila ana noy…bata pa ko…haha the reason behind my smile is…:p

  5. @insoy:
    hahaha.. watibir soy. knsa kaha nang cgeg emo sa ato be? haha..
    hala, parehas diay mo sa akong manghod, hahah.. payter! oi, imo na ning tagay na naghuwat, hehe..

  6. the cube reminds me of Magnifico’s hopeless father.

  7. One word: yuck.

    Spandex, leggings, Regal Shocker, Miami Vice – I could go on and on about why the 80s should stay dead. Apparently, no one gave Gabby Concepcion the memo.

  8. hoi, max surban fan man na c jek! hehehehe

  9. gabby concepcion is like david hasselhof but only the lesser demon hehehehhe

  10. ug sa dihang nakahinumdum kong magnifico.

  11. si gabby concepcion ug romnick sarmienta akong mga crush sauna, haha.

  12. abyan insoy di ba naa kay mp3s ni tina paner? send beh. 😀

  13. uhm, bago ra gyud tawn nahuman ug download nako ang salida nga P.S. I Love You nila Gabby ug Sharon. ka gimingaw lagi ako mama sa salida.. Si Sharon kay 16 pa diay ato sah…hmmm…ikaw sir insoy, pila na imo age? hehehe

  14. @tinay: waaahhh! gubaa ani oi. tina paner man gyud. hehehe.
    @clado: mamasangil pa gyud sa mama bisan siya gyud nay gimingaw sa sharon-gabby loveteam.
    @ vera, yowee: bitaw no? magnifico tuod. ey vera, i bet crush pud nimo ang menudo.
    @chin, dan: kato gyung mga banda nga pahugtanay og pants ug patas-anay/panipisay og tingog: scorpions ug uban pa. hehehe.

  15. wala ko kaila nila uy, 85 sad baya ko gipanganak.
    pero with the help of google… ahahaha, ahaka, di pud ko nila uy, labad. 😀

  16. hahaha kadungog ko ug scorpions ganina sa online streaming hahahaha

  17. every 25yrs man daw mobalik jud ang uso sa particular generation according to sociology. even present artists like rico blanco, you can observe that his music is influenced by the 80’s. just listen to his current single yugto, the lead guitar sounds like U2.


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