When I was a Grade six pupil (or perhaps It was during the fifth grade, I don't exactly remember now), we had lessons about the different parts of the universe: the planets (named after the Roman Gods), the galaxies and, of course, the many constellations with strange names like Hercules, Pegasus, Andromeda and Perseus. It was also by this time that I came across Edith Hamiton's Mythology, although I do not remember how I got hold of that book. Books were so scarce then when I was growing up and no teacher encouraged reading, so I think it must be a copy a classmate must have lent me.
I remember I really loved that book. It had so many wonderful, magical stories about heroes conquering powerful enemies, gods scheming against each other and, of course, love unrequited. When I was a boy, I had a taste for fantasy stories. My favorite komiks were Kuwento and Pinoy Komiks, and every week starting from Grade 2, I would go to the Enaje komiks joint in Balud to read all the komiks there for only ten centavos each. Whenever I walked home from school, I would always pass by the big tree in front of the church and take a peek at the hole on its trunk. And I believed if I religiously look hard enough, a duwende might judge me worthy of friendship, and show himself to me and give me untold riches which I could bring to my parents (I guess I was materialistic as a kid, probably the reason why no duwende bothered with me).
Anyway, for a year or so sometime around grade six, I was mythology-crazy. One day, I would imagine myself Zeus hurling thunderbolts against my classmates. The next day, I would be daydreaming of travelling away riding Pegasus. Sometimes I would like to be just bad and conquer Olympus and take all the gods as my prisoners. It was also during this time that I, together with some friends, began hunting for betamax tapes on mythology. And it was at Chia's video store that I got The Clash of the Titans, about Perseus, his love Andromeda, the flying Pegasus and the deadly Medusa.
I will be watching The Clash of the Titans again at Encinas Pavilion, 7 PM, this Saturday November 19. It is a classic fantasy film I am sure every kid will enjoy, and yes, it is much, much better than its recent remake, which you probably might have seen recently on HBO. You can read more about the film here on Wikipedia.