Life before wifi, Part 3

Sorry, Part 3 took longer than I planned.
It’s because I didn’t realize life after wifi is actually a cornier story to tell.
I do remember the first time I experienced broadband. It was at my dad’s house. I was surprised when I turned on my sister’s computer and was instantly connected. I couldn’t believe it! There was no dial-up sound with toing, toing, toing. My brain could not process.

In June 2003, Jeroen and I finally moved to our new house, away from the parents, along with our two baby boys, household staff and our family computer—a Mac.
The Mac even had its own room. We called it….the computer room!
Ben started using the computer at 1 1/2 years. Markus started much later. But now at ages 11 and 9, both have amazing Minecraft skills.


I had my own laptop in my room where I blogged.
One day I remember talking to Jay Lozada on the phone, who casually told me about wifi.
Apparently it was a wireless Internet that could be accessed in any part of the house.
“You mean I could write in my courtyard?”
“Yes,” he said.
I could not believe it! This was my Mac in 2007—a hand-me-down from my Dad.

My old skin

I think we were relatively one of the first homes that had wifi in Metro Manila—so novel it was, we even had wifi parties at home. This was 2007.

Wifi wrap dinner at home

Things definitely changed when Jeroen also got his own Mac. It became like his second wife.

My boys and their toys

And now computers are very much part of our home. My kids say they can’t imagine life without internet. That makes me feel bad because they don’t even know the joy of patintero.
That’s why this summer, they’re required to step out and do exercise or sports hour everyday, be it basketball or swimming, and they follow.
As for everything else that changed, that would require another blog post. But I won’t be calling it Part 4 because I don’t want you to wait again. Meanwhile, let me catch up with all my backlogged work.
Told you it’s a corny story.

basic human needs

Life before wifi, Part 2

In 1997, God gave me the best birthday present: I met Jeroen.
Sixteen years later we are still together as married best friends with three boys.
Jeroen had just arrived from Sydney, Australia and decided to stay after meeting me.

Jeroen when I met him
Jeroen at a friend’s house in Mandaluyong, 1997

Luckily my sister was just opening Dôme Café at the Shangri-La Plaza and needed a foreign chef.
Jeroen got the job. Soon after, we got him a pager too.
On his free time he would visit me at home and play Super Mario or watch movies on LaserDisc, which were rented from a store on Mabini Street, San Juan.
When I told our son Ben this story, he asked me to show him what a LaserDisc looked like.
“Oh my God, that’s huge!” Ben gasped, when I showed him this video:

Life was awesome. Here’s Tony Hadley on LaserDisc:

You’ve got mail

Jeroen and I got married on November 25, 2000. He moved in with me, which shocked the hell out of my baby sister when she saw him sleeping on my bed one morning.
“Natulog dito si Jeroen!” she came running to my parents, very upset.

I was already subscribed to a Tri-Isys dial up account, which needed a few tries before getting connected.
The thrill of listening to your dial-up connecting is something today’s kids won’t ever understand, said my Twitter follower.
I still have fond memories of personally going to the Tri-Isys office at Robinson’s Galleria to pay my monthly bill.
We were billed by the hour back then, so we didn’t spend the whole day and night online. And after I went online, I would ask Jeroen, “Do you want to use the computer?” before logging off. Because sayang the minutes!
It was during this time, the year 2000, that I started blogging.

(To be continued)

Life before wifi, Part 1

I first heard about the information superhighway (or Internet to you) when I was studying at Parsons New York back in the ’90s. My dad told to me to check it out so we could communicate via email, but I didn’t get it then.
Back the ’90s, Internet was really new. My Mac looked like this

My old Mac SE/30

My favorite gadget was the Nintendo Super NES, where I played many games of Super Mario 3.
I remember calling my Dad long distance to ask if it was OK to spend $139 for it. :)


When I went back to Manila in 1995, Internet still wasn’t a big thing—pagers were!
I quickly subscribed to EasyCall 141. My pager looked exactly like this:

Easy Call Beeper

To send a message to someone’s pager, you had to call a 141 number and tell the operator your message.
How awkward it was to say “I love you” to an EasyCall operator. Can you imagine what those people went through, having to hear sappy messages all day long? They must’ve rolled their eyes a lot.
I also remember there were certain words you couldn’t use, like shit or crap. You were not allowed to curse on EasyCall.
My cellphone was a huge Nokia phone with antenna. It was as big as remote control.

Texting wasn’t happening yet, so pagers were still very popular.
I remember the first person I knew who was texting—Ariel Lozada, who directed my first fashion show in 1996.
I would watch in awe as he texted model Joyce Oreña, another early adopter.
When I finally got my phone to text I would text junk to Ariel—that would be the equivalent of people who still send useless email.
So that time, everyone still had the phone and pager combo or just pager and landline.
Take note: the word “landline” was new. Prior to cellphones, we just called it “telephone.” Walang landline.

Death of a pager

Then one day my assistant Melvin Mojica announced he was giving up his pager to buy a cellphone that could text instead. I was shocked because I couldn’t imagine giving up my pager.

We all had pagers: (from left) Rene Perrenoud, Ge Madriaga, Paolo Arévalo, myself, Paolo Raymundo and Melvin Mojica at my fashion show in Fashion Café, Glorietta, in 1999. (Photo: Eddie Boy Escudero)

It turns out Melvin was psychic.
And so it came to pass: more and more people dropped their pagers for a cellphone, and EasyCall, once an enviable company, died a natural death.

(To be continued)

Mich Dulce for less at Bench!

Bench enchants with a special collaboration with designer/milliner Mich Dulce.
Mixing quirky and cute with playful influences from the 1950s, Mich introduces easy-to-wear headpieces as well as a nautical, sort of rockabilly, clothing line.

Mich Dulce for Bench

“A lot of my trademark bows are seen on headbands, fedoras, and caps in a red-white-navy color palette,” says Mich of her collection. “The girls’ line is very vintage and sweet while the men’s line is basic and simple, playing with stripes and anchor motifs.”

Mich Dulce for Bench

Her favorite pieces are the puff-sleeve tops with hand-drawn bow prints and the ribbon-buttoned cardigans.
Expect to see high-waist pencil skirts, cardi cover-ups, tops with retro bows and dots for girls, plus nautical stripes for the boys.

Mich Dulce for Bench

The Bench collaboration is a dream come true for Mich.
“I’ve always wanted to do more accessible headpieces as my personal price points are quite high,” says Mich, “so this is perfect.”

Mich Dulce for Bench

Mich Dulce is art and design rolled into one. Having trained at London College of Fashion, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in the UK, University of the Philippines, the Philippine International School of Fashion, and Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Mich has leveled herself up in the industry.
Her designs have been worn by music icon Adam Ant and Vogue Nippon editor Anna Dello Russo as well as Leighton Meester in Gossip Girl and Freema Agyeman in The Carrie Diaries.

Mich Dulce for Bench

The ad campaign is just as artsy and whimsical with a larger-than-life paper boat shipwrecked in a lost wonderland.
“I wanted to veer away from the usual pin-up clichés associated with rockabilly and nautical. Hence, a play with a newspaper boat,” she explains.

Mich Dulce for Bench

Bench is a brand that is proudly Filipino and like the designer herself, currently works on a global scale.
“I like to think our brands are similar in that we are both Filipino labels gone global,” Mich says.
Wear your art on your sleeve and be sure to check out Mich Dulce’s quirky collection at a Bench store near you.
To know more, click HERE.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...