By Lina Cagulada
Alright! it’s over the top but I can’t help it, and can you blame me, the songs of Abba’s “Mama Mia” were anthems of my youth way back the years when I entered college and exited.
How can you not like and sing along with “Dancing Queen,” “Angel’s Eyes,” and “I have a Dream,” when you’re oh so young, so full of life and growing up gracefully as they summarized your youthful tireless energy and feel good moments.
I recalled screaming out those songs one after another in the bathroom and losing my voice. I couldn’t attend class afraid of embarrassing myself and I learned my best friend lost hers too, also of screaming out those favorite songs. It’s OA, I know. Our friends teased us the local Abba girls who tried too much.
One of the most memorable songs to me was “Fernando” because it personally involved a guy I was infatuated of, no, not Fernando Poe, Jr., the actor of the original “Ang Probinsyano” and the late father of Senator Grace Poe.
The Fernando of my life was my crush who got away when he impregnated a girl. The girl, sobbed, sobbed, happened to be my first cousin so I was crushed to pieces. I recalled because I loved the guy (or so I thought), it was automatic I would love the song. I was curios about the song so I took time to research it.
I learned it was dedicated to Che Guevarra, the South American rebel leader admired by intellectuals and revolutionaries and decades later was immortalized in t-shirts. I wondered if the young apolitical people wearing it knew about the people’s hero?
Even until now, I think, I cherish the last line of the song-“if I have to do it again, I would, my friend, Fernando.” It really made me cry that time. But that was long, long ago.
Today, I must admit I did as well but not anymore because of the guy named Fernando but because of the beautiful memories of the songs of Abba that affected us that time.
I cried, yes, but these are tears of happy memories remembered with fondness and vigor. I thank the artists-musicians behind it, they who came from Sweden and made the world a lighter, vibrant place to live in with their songs that touch our lives.
Those times I remember too of excellent Filipino musical artists like Basil Valdez and Celeste Legaspi. Local songs like “Ngayon at Kailan Man,” “Kung Ako’y Iiwan Mo,” and “Saranggola ni Pepe.”
Oh! I look back to the good old days with a big smile in my heart. Thank god for the spices of life.
Editor’s note: The author lived in California, USA for 15 years and recently settles back in Caraga Region.
Photo courtesy of modamore.co.uk