The Betamax Experience

beta1by: Rex Godinez Ortega

[I get incredibly nostalgic every time I see a Betamax tape or player. It just transports me back to the early 90’s when I was still in high school. This article was originally written for my high school classmates, and posted at] 

It’s a Monday morning and you know what that means—another Jim Basilia Jr. recap of last weekend’s movie. On the agenda: The latest Charlie Sheen movie–Navy Seals.

For the next couple of hours it’s Charlie Sheen this, Charlie Sheen that, gwapo kaayo this, gwapo kaayo that… until his tongue slips, and he blurts out: “gwapo kaayo si Charlie Shee—“ (say what??)


<more laughter>

Ahh… those were the good old days when seeing a movie over the weekend got you so excited you could hardly wait to see your classmates the next week.

Watching movies then meant a family trip to Iligan’s video stores like, Po Video, Flash Video, or Tron Video to borrow Betamax tapes.

Can you still remember how you felt as you stood there with dad or mom waiting for the video store clerk to finish rewinding all the tapes?

If you’re unlucky enough not to have seen the latest flicks, you could just feel yourself being nudged out as the gathered circle of friends tightened: with everyone nodding their heads in confirmation, and taking turns recounting the minutest of details.

beta2After the storytelling, it was time for tape swapping: “Overnight lang kay ma-overdue unya.”

But it’s not just Betamax tapes of the latest movies being swapped around on campus then.

There was also the secret exchange of triple X tapes (c’mon, fess up) that you hurriedly took home with you to watch before mom and dad got back from work.

Unfortunately for you, Iligan Light and Power f*cks up again and that for-adults-only video cassette is now stuck inside the Betamax player (panic! panic!)


When your parents return, as do the electricity, the cassette tape that represented all your sinful desires is automatically and smoothly ejected by that now traitorous machine.

Keeping your cool, you think of a brilliant plan: Blame the classmate. (This was about the time Merrill discovered his problem-solving skills were excellent.)

(If you think this is just fiction, go ask Allen.)

The Betamax brings back a lot of memories. Just the sight of one takes you back to high school, and to childhood, definitely.

It may have been big and bulky, but it was the best thing to have at home, especially when your classmates came calling.

(Pass the Pee-Wee, please.)


About Recoy

Contrary to popular belief, he is not anti-social. Just selectively social. And he has selected to socialize with words. [Recoy is the Iligan-based journalist and blogger, Rex Godinez Ortega.]
This entry was posted in Essay and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Betamax Experience

  1. MChief says:

    haha …sangko dalunggan ako smile ani

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