Saturday, December 11, 2010


     There is a very well-known Filipino saying "Ang hindi lumingon sa pinganggalingan, ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan." (One who does not look back at where he has been, will not get to where he is going.)

     I have written about my very poor excuse for a handwriting here and gave a little nod to technology here  but I wonder how many of you in our generation, particularly the Martial Law babies with older children or nephews and nieces, talk to them about what life was like growing up, without present day technology.      

     For my mom and me, this is one topic of conversation that elicits the most teary-eyed laughs whenever it comes up. Normally, it starts out innocently with a comment on how hard life is becoming. Of course, mama counters with her own, "Maswerte pa nga kayo eh. Alam mo ba, noong panahon namin..." (Your generation is still very lucky. Did you know that back in our time...) 

     And so it starts... anecdotes of a generation so rich in values amidst the simplicity of life and the absence of the convenience of modern technology as we know it. The simplest of these is the comparison on currency.

     My mom tells me that growing up, money had more value because coins were minted with a high silver and gold content. Coins were in those days, had monetary values of a half cent (isang kusing during my grandmother's time) and 1, apart from the usual 5, 10, 25, PhP1.00, and so on... She says that unlike today, the coins then were very heavy and solid unlike those that are in circulation today which are very light and very thin.

    I do remember growing up that there were several changes to the coins that were put out in circulation but I never did start a coin collection. There were the one-centavo coins that had the image of Lapu-lapu that were in the shape of either a square with rounded edges or round ones. There were also five-centavo coins in the shape of a flower. There were also the flora and fauna series, and even a decagon shaped coin.

     However, the clinchers are the things money can buy in those days.With the average office worker's salary of P20.00 a month,  P2.50 will put a whole chicken on the table for dinner. P0.15 can buy you a bottle of soft drinks or take you from Pedro Gil in Manila to Quiapo. A date including  jeepney fare, Pepia (Pepsi and hopia), a double program movie, and a big bag of peanuts (popcorn was not available yet) to munch on in the movie house only costs P5.00!!!!

     How nice it would be if today, more people would be able to afford more of the basic necessities of life, and there was more value to the money we hold today. Ironically, the world has gotten more materialistic and so dependent on money that hardly can seem to buy anything of value. There is more money needed now to buy just a fraction of what it could afford years back, and yet, we say that this generation is better. How so, at least financially speaking... Let me know your thoughts on this. Please feel free to leave a comment. :D

(Mini Curve: "Martial Law" babies: those born in the Philippines during the period of Martial Law between 1972-1986 under the administration of President Ferdinand E. Marcos)

©CherWriter 2010.12.11


  1. My grandma had a cookbook that was impossible to use cos the ingredients were listed as "P10.00 beef" or "P2.00" potatoes. Even math was simple then. Not so many numbers to add up!

  2. In today's world, maybe P10.00 worth of beef and P2.00 potatoes will only amount to a teaspoon!

    Maybe your grandma's cookbook is a diet cookbook? Hehe!

    Thanks for sharing this anecdote! :D



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