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Hot Tub Time Machine

Updated on March 22, 2011

Hot Tub Time Machine Movie Trailer

Time Machines

Don't we all just love time machines!

So let's all jump into the hot tub and go back to the future, I mean go back to the past in, say 1986, more specifically Lent 1986. And even more specificially Manila, Philippines Lent 1986. Perfect timing as we are in Lent right now.

Are you with me?

You have no choice, ready or not we're there now!


Come to think of it, of all my fond memories of Lent in the Philippines, 19861 is probably my most memorable. I mean, it's totally different than all the Lenten Seasons I had before and I could say ever since.

So for all you who are thinking of travelling to the Philippines during Lent or during the Holy Week, I'm not saying you can still experience something like what I would be telling you, but who knows, we really could go back in time and do it all over again right now.

But I mean, gone are those days.

And for you who knows what I'm talking about, you are probably going to shake your head and ask yourself, has it been that long or say yes, those days are long gone.

My Most Unique Lenten Experience

We all know that tourists, foreigners, travellers, sadists, whatever we call them has been trekking to the Philippine every Lent. Why? How would I know?

But for sure many of them go because they really want to see for themselves and experience real "live" people called penitents walking sometimes barefoot around a few towns, hoods over their faces to protect their identities or maybe because they cannot bear the embarassment of what they are doing and why.

They march around under the unforgiving summer sun, they flog themselves in various parts of their bodies, usually in their backs (and fronts), drawing blood, sweat and tears. I wouldn't want to describe to you what they use to inflict pain on themselves but you can still check them out yourselves if you want to, for they still do that sort of things in many areas in the still predominantly Roman Catholic Philippines.

On top of that, they also still do the renactments of Christ's crucifixion. Yes, you heard right, men and women do that year after year after year. Most call that a "panata".

They lie down on two pieces of wood and people hammer down real nails into and through their palms and their feet into the pieces of wood. And then they stand them up to "renact" the death of Jesus on the cross. I know, not for the faint of heart.

Okay, while you can still catch those sights, the sounds, the smells and experiences today. That's up to you guys.

But as I have said, our time machine has brought us back to 1986, just like in that new movie above (did you watch it) but only back to Manila, the chaotic capital city of the Philippines.

Our entire family migrates out of Manila, just like the rest of the millions of people of the capital city during the Holy Week when Lenten Season ends. Normally, just like everyone else, we go to the hometowns of my parents, and normally to my mom's as it it closer. And we stay there the entire Holy Week. It is a National Holiday in the Philippines, you know. No work, no classes, no offices, no businesses, no stores, no arcades, no nothing.

So Manila, like most big cities in the Philippines, is almost like a ghost town during the Holy Week, yes those were the days.

No cable yet back then, so nothing to watch, except, Moses, Samson, David, Noah, Jesus and all the other ancient movies made from the biblical characters.

Most if not all radio stations are out too.

Public transportation are few and far too long in between and you can almost walk in the middle of most streets and it would be perfectly safe.

Those were the days, indeed.

Everything grounds to a halt and time almost feels like it is slowing down, even stopping.

Manila, 1986

And that year is much the same, except me and my siblings who didn't go out of the big city.

I got a phone call from a friend of mine who told me he is bored (what else is new) he is staying in the city too and he tells me to just go out. I mean go out to where.

Anyway, I manage to get to their place. Hang out a bit. Got bored as well, we decided to see if we can go out maybe watch a movie or something. Well in those days, you can only do so much and this being Holy Week, even less, so why not.

We went to Cubao and I'm guessing we saw this one movie theater open and I know it has been closed down for years now but remember this was in the 1980s.

We went to see the movie posters and no surprise, all bible movies. We selected this movie which I forgot the title to but it was like the whole bible.

We got in, it was pitch dark, we saw the trailers, we catch the start of the movie. I remember it was kind of smoky, it was the beginning of the world. And we saw the Garden of Eden. Adam, Eve, the serpent, Cain, Abel, Seth. We went all the way to Noah and the many days inside the ark. And for some reason I couldn't remember anymore. What I do remember was waking up and it was Moses and the Ten Commandments. I couldn't believe it. We watched for almost an hour, we slept for almost and hour and still we are only at the Ten Commandments.

I mean, this is one long movie, and old and grainy too.

So after watching for about thirty more minutes we told ourselves we still have a long day in front of us, so we decided to skip out and eat. We were starving. "Kain, tulog, gala" (Eat, Sleep, Go out) as they call it over there. Yes, that was the life.

When we went outside, the sun was almost down, I remember when we went in the movie house it was just past noon. Yes, it was really that long.

Anyway my friend said that he knows this "Tapsilog" (Beef Steak, Fried Rice and Egg Plate) place who makes the best "Tapa" (Beef Steak) in town which he says is the only open eatery within a 5 mile radius.

You are aware that Lent is a season of Prayer, Meditation, Fasting and Abstinence (specifically red meat) for the Roman Catholics.

But then, what the heck. We travelled over there, nobody in the streets. We ordered our "Tapsilog" Plates. The lone lady who owns, manages, cooks and serves in the place looks at us kind of funny but being as we are the only customers she has, and probably will ever have that Good Friday, she cooked us our Tapas and we ate to our hearts content. We did pray before and after eating, I think. And I forgot we also had "Bulalo" (Beef stew) soup on the side and sodas (regular cokes I believe to wash it all down).

And when we were done, I guess we also had dessert, Filipino rice cakes I believe.

It was now dark, we are walking down the middle of an otherwise busy street, if not crossing back and forth. Yes, like trying to be penitents ourselves, to wash away the food that we ate.

We went back to my friend's house at Kamias, pretty close to Cubao. We probably watched a couple more movies, which I don't remember what now. And by midnight or slightly after that I went back home.

And you should be doing the same thing!

Let's go back to the hot tub and head on back home, yes back to 2010.


1 Give or take a year, my memory isn't as good as it used to, and if you're over 40 you know how it is.

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News Link: Filipinos nailed to the cross in Good Friday rites (2010)

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Submit a Comment

  • J@ps profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Southern California

    Good to know kubth.

    I haven't watched it myself, at least now I wouldn't have to expect much and get disappointed after I do decide to see the movie. Thanks!

  • kubth profile image


    8 years ago from UK

    This was unfortunately one of the worst films I've seen in a long time.


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