One week ago today, I was in my bedroom when the music of the radio of my neighbor entered my room. It was an old song in the 1950s sang by a male singer whose black ugly face was that of a plantation slave of yore in the United States, but whose voice was so divine it was like a warbler singing on a clear blue sky.

The advent of the Youtube enabled me to see the singer in his teens singing the song. I wondered if his face was shown when his song first appeared on the airlanes. I wondered how long the song reached to the Philippines in those times, and how long it reached to Bohol as my friend said last year, the Philippines is one hundred years behind America.

Unlike nowadays that young generations have instant access of information within their fingertips through the Internet, they did not know and experience the long waits of the old generations.

In the 1970s to the 80s, the movies that you read in the movie guides of the Manila Bulletin or Manila Times reached Bohol a month later.

As long as I could remember in 1969, the movie that was shown simultaneously in Manila was the musical “The Sound of Music”. It was sponsored by the then College of the Holy Spirit now the Holy Spirit School. When the plane that carried the film passed by overhead of the then sectarian school, the pupils clapped with glee.

It was shown at the then Filipinas Theater which was considered the best movie house in Tagbilaran at that time. It ran for a month, the longest in Tagbilaran history.

There were three other theaters in Tagbilaran. The Maharlika and the Melrose. The Maharlika still stands today which is now converted into a bank called PS Bank. A portion of the facade of the Filipinas Theater is a part of the MetroCentre Hotel. The forerunner Melrose Theater which was in Gothic architecture was torn down by its new owner and that is now the China Bank and Builderware.The three theaters were owned by the Garcias of Pampanga who came to Bohol in the 50s to venture in the movie theater business. Their relatives who came later opened the first pawnshops in Tagbilaran.

When you go to Manila, it took three days to get there; to Cebu City was four hours. There was only one ship plying the Cebu-Bohol route and vice versa, the then M/V Sweet Heart which was permanently listing to portside. The ship left Cebu for Bohol at 12 noon and arrived at 4 pm and left Tagbilaran at 12 midnight and arrived Cebu four hours later at dawn.

Manila then at that time was considered very distant. And when one wears a new kind of hairdo and sported signature clothes and had fair skinned, they are considered to have come from Manila. And Bohol seemed isolated from the rest of the world.

With the advent of the social media whose information are within at ones fingertips, Bohol is no longer behind. We are now connected to the rest of the world in an instant, unlike in those olden days.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Stress shortens one’s life.