Me and Pepsi Paloma

Recently, one of the leading newspapers in the Philippines published an article about an old rape case.

Though I wonder what the motivation is behind the resurfacing of this case, it also reminded me of the song Spolarium by the Eraserheads, its purported reference to the Pepsi Paloma rape case, and its subsequent whitewashing that ended in the alleged suicide of the young actress.

When I first heard the song I knew there was more to it as almost all songs in the Sticker Happy album had dark undertones of political and social issues (ever wondered why the album cover was a naked woman playing a piano in an open field? And yes, the song Andalusian Dog is a reference to the silent short film Un Chien Andalou. I’ll leave it up to you to read up on that, quite an interesting movie.)

Anyway, it wasn’t until years later in a tipsy discussion with a college professor that I was introduced to the song’s connection to the Paloma case. While there were stark similarities, especially the mention of Enteng and Joey, I never really believed it as, one, I was really tipsy, and two, there was no Google back then. 🙂

You might wonder why I took the time and had enough interest to post about this while keeping mostly silent about bigger issues like wars abroad and domestic corruption. Well, simply put, this happened in 1982, the year I was born.

I have often wondered what the early years were like after Martial Law was lifted in 1981. Ninoy was assassinated in 1983, Pepsi Paloma “killed” herself in 1985, and the snap elections happened in 1986. I was four years old then, the critical formative years where social events being discussed by adults will have a significant impact on a child’s impression of the world.

I have noticed that people my age are either blindly optimistic or hopelessly pessimistic. Very few are in between. Are we, early 80s babies, the way we are right now because of the seesawing events that happened in our early years?

Or is Monday just affecting my normally dormant existential angst?

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