Sunday, November 19, 2006


I feel nostalgic when my sister asks me about the cartoon TV shows I watched in the past. And as I think about them now, I miss them. Those shows that I watch of the span of my childhood, those great shows back at the 90's. I really miss them… all of them.

Back then, the local station, ABS-CBN has some pretty good morning and afternoon shows for kids. Mostly made by the Japanese, but with Western themes, mostly drawn from literature, like "Heidi", "Charlotte", "Cedie", "Princess Sarah", "Little Women 2 (Actually, the Little Men)", "Georgie", "Cinderella", "Huck Finn", "Adventures of Tom Sawyer", "Daddy Long Legs", "The Three Musketeers", "The Secret Garden"… to name some of them. And there were, the so-called, animes, too. Like, "Zenki", "Magic Knight Rayearth", "Saber Marionette" and others. GMA has some good shows, too, back on my days, before the "anime" era. Like Disney Adventures. And here is where I first caught glimpse of the cool cartoon, "Biker Mice From Mars". But those days were an ABS-CBN rout when it comes to children cartoons and TV shows.

I remembered the X-Men's popularity back then every Friday on ABS-CBN (though I was able to see episodes of it again, years later through cable channels like Star World and Jack TV). The very catchy opening theme song is the kind that gets stuck in your head, that's why, all these years, I still can hum it.  And I love it when the narrator says, "Previously, on X-Men"… Though there is an X-Men Evolution TV show now, and I like it, too, I still love the X-Men animated series back in the 90's. Friday night was kid's night, because of shows like X-Men, and Spider-Man... yeah... I love that show. And Power Rangers! It was a cult back then. And when my sister watches today's Power Rangers: Ninja Storm, and Dino Thunder, I always tell her about the Power Rangers of my days, the first power rangers and the Zeorangers and the Turborangers and the Power Rangers In Space. And later on, Beast Wars: Transformers arrived in the Friday night schedule. Until high school, I loved that show, even though it was transferred to Studio 23, and I like the sequel of the show, the Beast Machines.

ABC-5 has some pretty great shows back then. I really love "Bravestar". I used to play I was him, "Strength of the bear (with the echo "bear… bear… bear")". And "He-Man" and "She-Ra", I cannot forget those shows. And the Five-Man, the "Japanese Power Ranger Copy Cats" (which might be probably the original). And other shows, especially on weekends. And the first time I caught a glimpse of "Slam Dunk" was here, before the GMA "Slam Dunk".

My first awareness on anime can be credited to VTV on IBC-13. Dragon Ball, Ghost Fighter, Battle Ball, Time Quest, to name a few. They were first shown here before the other stations.

Then we got those shows on cable, especially during weekends. Star World has pretty neat shows on weekends during those days. "Voltron", "Saber Riders and the Star Sheriffs", the Japanese version of  "Transformers", "Dinky Di's", "Dino Riders", "Denver: the last dinosaur", "Dungeon and Dragons", etc.

Cartoon Network's Hanna-Barbara cartoons are really good classics.  In my opinion, they equal Disney ("Mickey Mouse & Friends") and Warner Bros. ("Looney Tunes") TV brand in greatness. The Danger Zone, back then, introduced me to the likes of "The Centurions", "Swat Cats" and "Ninja Robots".  Other kid's channels arrived, but Cartoon Network was the first and most dominating early on.

There used to be a Kermit channel, now defunct, with awesome kids shows also, like "Fraggle Rock", "Muppet babies" and "Encyclopedia". And I love the specials of this channel.

The cable channel Nickelodeon shows back then were also great. "Ren and Stimpy" may be plain stupid and disgusting, but, I admit, I did watch it. Those were the days of "Rocko's Modern Life", "Angry Beavers", and some of them can still be seen today like "Rugrats", "Hey, Arnold!", "Catdog" and "Spongebob".

I was in late elementary when Disney Channel came in cable. And more shows and toons came to catch my attention and viewing time. I used to remember waiting patiently for "Archie's Weird Mysteries" - my favorite back then - every night.

And of course, the anime mania. Yes, our generation become addicted to Japanese cartoons. GMA boasts of starting the anime era in the Philippines. But I already watched "anime" back before that, in AXN and other channels.

The shows I watched back then… ah, how I really miss them… "The Simpsons", "Captain Bucky O' Hair", "GI-JOE", "Transformers", "Super Mario Bros.", "G-Force", "Muppets", "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" - oh, there are so many great shows in my childhood, I can't mention them all.

I really miss those shows. They were part of the memories of my childhood. When I lie in our sofa, very relaxed, with the remote in my hand and my concentration focused on the TV. Those were the days…

I am about eleven years older than my sis, and she had grown to be a TV aficionado like me. I kept on telling her how she missed out most of the best TV shows I enjoyed in my childhood. Some, she was still be able to watch. But most of them are not shown anymore. Yes, there are also several good new shows and cartoons in the present, too.  But I think my era was better.  I am still wishing that I can obtain a DVD collection (and a DVD player and a TV set) of those shows and cartoons in my childhood.

Many say that too much TV is bad. Maybe they are right - hey, they are mostly right, I admit that too much TV is bad. But I think they should also see the positive and brighter sides. My TV viewing experiences had brought me several good memories of my childhood. And believe it or not, anti-TV activists, I learned many lessons from those shows I watched. Yes, there is also some good in watching TV.

There is a cliché that goes, "we are only children once." Yes, and therefore it should be enjoyed. There is no harm in watching some TV (just not too much that it takes all our time to do other great things). To have fun. To enjoy.

I still enjoy watching TV. "We are only children once." And I am still a child at heart, though I find that life become more and more complicated as you grow up. But sometimes we have to forget those complicated things, and be a simple child again. In which watching TV (or reading a book, or playing, or watching a butterfly, or picking flowers, or eating chocolate, etc.) can make a child happy and satisfied.

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