I was doing the groceries last weekend and I saw something that made me grab my chest: Cali shandy. OMG. It’s still alive. And just like back when it was still popular, it comes in two flavors, the regular beer-tasting shandy and the pineapple-flavored one aka Cali Ice.

Cali is such a huge part of my teenage years because during that time, it was the coolest thing to drink. It kind of tasted like beer, so we felt grown up and astig whenever we opened a can or bottle (and even acted drunk although everyone knew it couldn’t really intoxicate you). The best thing was that since it wasn’t actual beer, parents would let us wolf down as many cans as we could.

Somewhere along the way, teenagers stopped drinking it. I’m not sure what happened. Maybe they stopped making it, or maybe coffee (or was it pearl shakes) took over. One day, we just forgot about it.

If there is one thing that Cali reminds me of, it is Kada, one of my most favorite shows on earth. It was a tele-magazine show on ABC 5 every Saturday afternoon, which, I think, started out as a project of some La Sallians. During that time, it was the only teen-oriented program that was fast-paced, cutting edge and undeniably creative. Apart from the usual personality interviews and hangout features, they had creatively executed instructionals, their version of music videos, and a hodgepodge of other audio-visual goodies.

For hosts, they had a bunch of unknowns (although some of them were commercial models): Dois Riego De Dios, the kuya of the group; Caloy Javier, who looked modelish in a grungy, dirty kind of way; Ricky Liboro, the geeky-looking commercial model; Sandy Aloba, the chubby, vivacious band singer; and Mylene Dizon, who, as we all know, ventured into show business after that. Some of them graduated from the show after some episodes and were replaced by Mymy Davao and a pretty girl named Trish or Trisha or Tricia—I don’t really remember.

Watching the show was the highlight of my Saturdays. I would turn down movie dates and other gimmicks with my friends just because I didn’t want to miss the show. I didn’t take naps, afraid that I’d miss even just the opening if I overslept a bit. It was a habit.

One episode though, they suddenly changed the name to generation kada. Sure their new logo looked cool, but I didn’t really like the sound of it. I was ashamed to admit it back then, the big fan that I was, but I think I was a little turned off. One by one, the hosts disappeared (some would just be absent, while others never returned). When they started re-showing old stuff, I knew it was the end.

One Saturday, they just didn’t show it anymore. I was sad. Not really devastated, because I kind of got the feeling that they’d fold soon. But I was heartbroken. And frustrated. Here’s this awesome show. Why did it have to deteriorate and then die?

On the upside, the show’s death gave me back my social life during weekends.

Mylene Dizon (who shaved all her hair for an episode of the show) is now an actress and a mother. I have no idea where the others are right now, but I’ll go check on Facebook.

It’s time for some reminiscing. Let me just get my cold can of Cali Ice.


Okay, okay. I admit I sent them fanmail a couple of times. And that I pogo-sticked like crazy when I got a reply—complete with a photo of all the hosts, and their autographs!!!