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DURING the early 80s, the late evening news in one particular television station always started with “the time now is 10 o’clock, do you know where your children are?”

On several occasions (when I wasn’t out drinking or whatnot), I would watch the.national news with my mom, and joke she needn’t worry.

At that time also, almost all of the TV news centered around Manila, and I thought perhaps that concern might just have been for the parents there.

After all, the night scene in the rest of the country outside the post-Marcos MetroManila might not have been on the same intensity and level as yet.

For one, Davao city, while it had its fair share of restobars, and entertainment venues, the partying and drinking night rituals among yuppies, the rich kids and the d.o.m.s never really extended after midnight, or till 4am like metro manila.

As for that poser regarding where were the children were at ten o’clock, how was one to know? Unless you actually went out and looked for them, there was just simply no way to know, that is, until they came home and sneaked back inside your front gates. Or if you sneaked to check their bedroom.

Now, with the advent of modern technology, which slowly evolved here starting with cellular phones in the late 90s, other innovations and developments such as GPS, online chat, you-name-it, have finally simplified everything to the finest bit. With all these available on your phone, the question of wanting to know where their kids are would definitely be a back- to-the-future experience, if one were to transport a person from the 80s here now.

Back then, the effectiveness of alibis were only proven once one got home. Nowadays, how they hold up against scrutiny during real-time grilling, with you still in the bar (or wherever you say you are), is the reality and often the norm. You can’t even lie where you are because google can locate you.

The “Where were you?” of decades ago, cracking like a whip, as you arrive home in your drunken state can now be beamed live down your phone, and it is present time, mind you. The curt question of merely three letters, all in capitals, cuts like a small knife, and is deadpan in its arrival to your good time. WRU?

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