Remembering My Late Paternal Grandma And Chinese Entertainment!

I guess even after she's long gone due to her old age, I still can't forget her, can I? Well I would like to recall the time my paternal grandmother would borrow Betamax at a local video store every week by the bundle. I would remember the fond memory of going there to borrow cartoons while she watched Chinese films. Chinese entertainment was something very foreign to me considering that I didn't take interest in the subject back then.

If I can recall my memory correctly, she would be borrowing mostly Wuxia shows. I didn't know who Andy Lau and Idy Chan were back then so I didn't really care. What was funny was that when I first saw Magic Kitchen at the age of 19 then a couple of Andy Lau movies, I was able to recognize Andy Lau's face because I saw him while my my paternal grandma watched those videos. It was that old fashioned TV set, betamax and me not being particularly interested in them but a part of them burned into my mind. I also remembered some of them featured Brigitte Lin's Wuxia movies which later, I would mistake "Return of Condor Heroes" as shown on GMA-7 to be one of the old videos, because I can't deny Liu Yifei really has similarities to 70s actress Brigitte Lin.

The other one that she watched where Qiong Yao series starring Qin Han and Liu Xue Hua. My late paternal aunt who went ahead of her later compared Jerry Yan and Barbie Xu's chemistry in Meteor Garden to be in the same level as Qin Han and Liu Xuehua. Back then, I really didn't care too much but what I can remember was a scene of somebody getting run over by a car while it rains, somebody slapping another, the evil mother-in-law, etc. all the stereotypes in weepy dramas. I don't remember seeing any of them from start to end. What I can only remember is Liu Xuehua can really cry so well but I had no idea who she was back then.

Years later, I would enter into the world of Chinese entertainment whether it was from People's Republic of China or the Republic of China (Taiwan). It started because ABS-CBN aired Meteor Garden, GMA-7 aired My MVP Valentine. When I first saw Meteor Garden with the Chinese subs intact during the dub, I really had to open my eyes wider. I thought it was my paternal grandma's videos when they weren't. I didn't get interested too much but the story was really interesting plus the Jerry Yan and Barbie Xu chemistry even attracted my aunts. What was ironic was that I didn't really take much interest in Chinese entertainment before, I ended up liking it and in a way, followed my paternal grandma's footsteps.

While watching Meteor Garden, it was just something like when my late eldest paternal aunt would say that Jerry and Barbie had that chemistry found in the older shows. My mom would later try to watch some of Qin Han's older videos calling him "Jerry Yan Sr." When it came to Barbie Xu's crying scenes, I always felt her and a faint flashback enters into my head with Liu Xuehua's crying scenes in the Betamax. Jerry is so debonair and he's the only actor IMO who has Qin Han's appeal which I think makes him rather popular to the older audience. Chemistry-wise, they had the best on-screen chemistry which made me think they should have become cast into Qiong Yao series after Meteor Garden II. For one, Jerry and Barbie would really have made a stronger Shuhuan and Yipingsince Barbie could cry more beautifully than Vicki Zhao and Jerry is far more debonair than Leo Ku.

Later on, I would also end up watching more Wuxia series produced from 2000 up to present. I'll admit that after getting some glimpses of The Chinese Ghost Story on ABS-CBN, I ended up watching Dolphin Bay which told part of my life in the character of Xiaogang. So I guess in a way, by watching some Chinese films and series, I still keep my late paternal grandmother's memory alive within myself even when she's gone.


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