From Word of Honor to Hologram?


Photo taken from the web.

It’s 11:22 PM and I can’t sleep yet. It must be the inclement weather. As a person grows old, he/she tends to worry a lot not for him/herself but for those who must be in need.  I have become dependent on technology since year 2000 from communication to my daily task plan. Now, I am depending once again on technology to get the latest weather update.

More than two decades ago and when cellphone was not yet in circulation, people depend on another person’s word of honor if they wanted to meet at a certain date and time elsewhere. My most memorable experience was when a friend and I agreed to meet at the entrance of the Baguio Cathedral after my enrollment. Bataan to Baguio used to take 12 hours for cutting trip from Layak to San Fernando to Dau to Baguio so whenever our kind neighbor whose into vegetable selling business would go to Baguio to buy, I was expected to be one of those on the big jeepney for a free 6-hour ride. (I will forever be grateful to the Almario family for that).

Our group arrived an hour earlier at 7AM. I went straight to the school and ate at the canteen. By 8AM, I started the enrollment and finished by 10AM. From the school, I walked along the Assumption Road and headed towards the shortcut going to the Baguio Cathedral.  At the back of my mind, I knew it was impossible to meet my friend 4 hours before our intended meet up but anyway, maybe luck was on my side.

When it was confirmed that I was 4 hours advanced and there was no way to tell that friend that I needed to go home that day, I headed to the Victory Liner station with a heavy heart.  I made a short call to my mother to inform her that I would be home, using the payphone at the corner of Piltel. It was also my way of letting my friend know that I arrived in Baguio earlier than usual.

It was past 10PM when I reached home and the first thing that my mother said was my friend called up and was looking for me. She said that I was on my way home and that ended the story of how inconvenient it was before to solely rely on word of honor when circumstances wouldn’t allow a person to be true to her word. Maybe some would ask why I didn’t spend the night in Baguio instead. The answer was because I had nowhere to stay for the night as I was on the process of transferring to another dorm or boarding house then.

The generation that I belong to is lucky enough to witness the boom of technology. My first cellphone was an Alcatel as I couldn’t afford a Nokia 5110. I got it through installment (6 months) and I used it for a year before acquiring my first Nokia phone. Whatever happened to Nokia saddens me; they used to be the big thing in the cellphone manufacturing.

Through my cellphone, I was able to confirm appointments and meet ups if it was a yes or a no, a sure one or a maybe. Some friends would say that they were on the way when in reality, they were still at home and dressing up. Some would cancel at the last minute.

Six or 7 years later, texting became a thing of the past because we now have Facebook messenger, Viber and Line (to name a few). What puzzles me actually is how people of today seem to become aloof when it comes to face-to-face communication but are very sweet and friendly on messenger. I don’t want to think that I now have more virtual friendships than a real one because to be honest, I am not for anything unreal; I can drop relationships that do not make me happy.

Maybe the texting or chatting of the future is through hologram. When that happens, I will still stick to what my heart truly wants— a real friendship or relationship with connection.