Well, I’m glad none of you sent indignant emails defending #sentisabado. It’s all part of discussion! I know I blogged about the first one—and it was fun—but this is my current take on the topic, as published in today’s Inquirer.
First things first: I don’t like it that #sentisabado has become a weekly event. In fact, I think it’s ridiculous that people have started planning out themes and dates for their Tweets (fiestas and fiestas for September 11, music and movies for September 18, etc), and that some rabid fans excitedly Tweet #sentisabado-related things even when it’s not a Saturday. And then someone tried to start a #lumanglinggo hashtag that thankfully didn’t take off.
But what is it, exactly? #sentisabado is a topic on Twitter about anything and everything nostalgia-related. It first started three weeks ago, when blogger Tonyo Cruz and friends began reminiscing about things from their childhood, like old shows and goodies. Then it became a worldwide phenomenon in one day, with Filipinos from all over the world joining the trip down memory lane. It kept people Tweeting until the wee hours of the morning, and it was a good thing—but then it came back with a vengeance the following Saturday. And then the next.
“Filipinos have this habit of beating things to death,” said writer Adrian Dy. Apparently, a lot of people share his sentiment. Blogger Grace Velasco said, “I think it’s losing steam, based on my Twitter feed last Saturday. Barely anybody joined in. Silent protest of like minds?”
However, for every person fed up with the endless stream of nostalgia every Saturday is a big fan of the weekly #sentisabado. On its Facebook fan page, Merrie Yamson, an avid follower, said, “Thanks [to #sentisabado], I was able to unwind. Kahit day off ng yaya at wala tulog galing shift, I really squeezed #sentisabado into my schedule.”
Another fan, Jenett Mae Santos Biñas, said, “I had a great time sa Twitter. Ang dami ko na na-contribute sa reminiscing. Sa uulitin! Panalo yung ‘Dyesebel’ ko ni Alice Dixson. Naka-relate sila.”
Twitter’s public nature made it possible for people to share memories from their childhood with total strangers. #sentisabado opened up the memories of Generations X and Y (who mostly Tweeted about stuff from the ‘80s to the ‘90s and allowed them to engage in a public exchange. Thus, during the first couple of #sentisabado weekends, there were a lot of “OMG yeah, I remember that!” moments because of the number of people involved in the exchange. Things, names and places that seemed doomed to total obscurity were again dug up for old times’ sake. For a rapidly aging generation whose overexposure to pop culture has jaded many of its members, the return to childhood innocence (and vintage, kitschy references) was a refreshing change.
So here’s a suggestion for #sentisabado: instead of dooming it to what will surely be an early death by subjecting Twitter users to it on a weekly basis, how about holding it on a less frequent schedule? That way, instead of having to plan out things and coming up with a contrived nostalgia trip, the memories will flow more naturally—more like old friends at a high school reunion. Not a forced, stiff family gathering.