Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Of Boom And Zoom

Two things still always reduce me to being a kid again: fireworks and airplanes taking off.

I grew up knowing only the simple fireworks of New Year’s day in our neighborhood. That would be labintador, kuwitis, watusi and the pitiful baby rockets. I knew that fireworks in the skies were a lot grander in the US, given the Fourth of July pictures and occasional scenes in movies and television. The first time I saw live something close to as grand as those Times Square pyrotechnics was when Enchanted Kingdom opened (okay, so not as grand as the Times Square one, but beggars can’t be choosers). I still get a giddy thrill and a silly grin on my face every time I witness fireworks up close and live. And I wish I could see in person such grand displays as the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics, or the New Year countdowns in major cities. But for now I will just have to be contented with TV coverage and the occasional trip to SM Mall of Asia on Saturday evenings.

I’ve always loooved watching planes take off. Yes, you got that right. It’s planes leaving, not arriving. There’s something romantic about departures, and planes always mean trips of considerable distances. I love riding planes, despite knowing that the most dangerous moments of a plane ride are the take off and landing. To appreciate a successful take off is to marvel at the technological feats of man that made it possible to fly with birds.

Notice that both fireworks and flying airplanes involve looking up. When I was growing up, movie theaters were divided into three (orchestra, lodge and balcony). I preferred watching in the orchestra section because that meant I’d be looking up at the big screen. I wanted the images to overwhelm and be larger-than-life.

The physical movement of tilting my head back evokes the movements I made back when I was a child, when everything and everyone else were larger, more overwhelming and more powerful. It brings me back to a time when my parents were never wrong, movies held the answers and the heavens listened to my prayers.

Today, thanks to airplanes and the Internet, the world seems a lot smaller, and the movies can easily be broken down to their component parts and analyzed mercilessly. Yet one glimpse of the heavens lighting up or a screaming jet taking off, and the world is once again awesome, magical and mysterious.


Theo Martin said...

another impeccable piece of writing. :)

totoo yun! yung sinabi mong movies really felt larger than life before than now.

Aris said...

wow, love this.

i share your fascination for airplanes. for me, it is man's greatest invention. :)

MkSurf8 said...

hmmm, may tingala at head tilting pa =)

let's do some planespotting next time.