Our titanium jubilee—why titanium? | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

On my last birthday, I received the latest Apple laptop, and I am getting ready only now to set it up. Who to call?

The IT guy I know, who has brought some sanity when I can’t understand what’s going on, is a young fellow. He does excellent work. There is just one problem. He does not teach. Perhaps it is fairer to say, I do not learn.

There is this strange dread I have about computers that I have yet to overcome. I am afraid to foul up. It is almost like I am afraid that some monster will emerge from the screen if I click the wrong key.

I have heard that it’s normal for an older person to resist when a young one attempts to teach. You think? Does age make us unteachable? Are we so fixated on the idea that it is us who should do the teaching that makes our minds go on “stupid” when it happens the other way around?

Of course, there’s also the language barrier. Young people mumble. Or they speak too fast. Or are my ears on mute?

To this day I am waiting for my favorite tech wiz to have some free time. I will ask him to speak slowly, enunciate clearly and to please, “Explain before you click.” Maybe then I will learn.

Hail Alma Mater!

It’s that time again. My son is getting ready for his 50th De La Salle homecoming. San Beda also celebrates in February, and I have nephews coming in from Australia for that one.

For some, reunions mean crash diets and trips to the gym. Others seriously contemplate botox shots.

No matter what shape you are in, it is always an exciting time. It is a real treat to get together with old friends, compare lives, and remember the good old days.

Of course, for us oldies, the all-day festivities can be tedious.

On the Feb. 3 we celebrate the 70th anniversary of our high school graduation at Holy Ghost College. It is called our titanium jubilee. Why titanium? Because they ran out of precious stones and metals like diamonds and gold. And kryptonite was already taken by Class of 1944.

I looked it up, and truly, titanium does not display too many amazing qualities. But it is stronger than steel and resists high temperatures. It is hardy. I would like to believe it stands for endurance, because we have endured. A friend suggested that it is also a precious element. We’ll take that.


We scheduled our first 2019 meeting in a hurry. We had waited until after the holidays to make plans and now the date looms before us. It’s crunch time and we don’t do that too well anymore.

But we are thrilled. It will be a gathering of high school friends, the once-young girls with whom I shared a wonderful time of my life.

There were about 12 of us in the restaurant (not counting yayas and caregivers) throwing all caution to the wind and relishing incredibly good Japanese food, morsels of meat and fish laden with miso and soy sauce, ginger and wasabi.

For dessert we were escorted to the palatial home of our gracious hostess right next door to the restaurant. We had coffee, tea, ice cream and cake. Her lovely daughters who were there to attend to their mother’s every whim, which included being warm and loving to her friends, pampered us. It was heartwarming. Quite moving.

Ravages of time

Between bites of chocolate cake and sans rival, we talked about homecoming, about tickets for the lunch in the school gym, and about what to do on stage as titanium jubilee celebrators.

I looked around me and saw our canes, walkers and a wheelchair, and it saddened me a little to realize how the spirit is still so willing. But alas, how time has taken its toll on our once supple and agile forms.

Many in our age group, a few even younger, are suspected to have “lost our marbles” so to speak. We forget stuff. We can’t help it. It just happens.

Some of us have gotten loud and repetitious, annoyingly, pitifully so. And the people around us roll their eyes. They get uncomfortable. Some groan. Or they giggle. They don’t know how to deal with it. If it were not so sad, it would almost be funny.

Someone once asked if I am afraid that it could happen to me. I cannot lie. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat thinking, what if suddenly I don’t know the people around me. What if home becomes a room full of strangers?

I choose not to dwell on this. What good would it do? I tell myself, whatever happens, God still loves me.

In the meantime, like the song says: I’ve got a lot of living to do.

Let me share a few lines from a poem about aging by Maya Angelou.

When you see me sitting quietly, like a sack upon a shelf
Don’t think I need your chattering. I’m listening to myself.

Hold! Stop! Don’t pity me! Hold. Stop your sympathy!
Understanding if you got it, otherwise I’ll do without it!

When my bones are stiff and aching and my feet won’t climb the stair
I will only ask one favor. Don’t bring me no rocking chair.

I’m the same person I was back then, a little less hair, a little less chin
A lot less lungs and much less wind.
But ain’t I lucky I can still breathe in.