‘Istambying’ Can Court Arrest?

Oho, Gentle Daily Laborer readers: You’ve’ seen it on TV, read it in newspapers and heard it on radio.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) was given marching orders by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to arrest anybody seen “istambying.”

But what the heck’s “istambying?”

If we’re to follow understanding of this bearded fool, it may mean, loitering and doing nothing or doing things frowned upon, or, doing for nothing, by loitering.

Last week, a group composed of youth, middle-aged and elders tracked down this daily laborer with a demented mind and demanded he writes a satire to tickle the funny bone, about “istambay,” or else. . .,” the group warned.

This group demanded the story be reverse-psychology which, if it won’t get the attention of the “istamby,” then this group believed nothing ever will get the attention of the “istambay.”

Poor guy, dis bearded Ah Kong. People making life difficult for him, demanding from him to writ dis or dat, with the two words, “or else,” hanging forever like a Damocles sword on his head, should he fail to heed their command.

Pros and cons erupted as to the presidential directive. Pros and cons also erupted as to what really constitutes “istambying.” Many have taken sides and trying to defend the position of the side they have taken.

As for this bearded dimwit, he refuses to be lured whatsoever into any debate about “istambying.”

On the other hand, this fool will try his best to satisfy the demand of the group that wanted him to pen about “istambying.”

So last Friday, off went this incompetent laborer to see a good friend, Fargo Sagay, an ermitanyo (hermit) living along the foothills between Atok and Buguias municipalities, in Benguet, for advice.

Sagay, sitting on a stool, lit his pipe silently, then explained, that in many instances, the desire of wanting to be known or popular ticks loudly in the minds of many of our kababayan – mostly the young – that the decency of the means to achieving popularity often borders on doing nothing, or just being idle, or in Ilokano, as “sadot.”

Many want to be known as “siga,” or “tigas” in their barangay, and they want to achieve this by being seen by many, “istambying” idly, hours every day.

Being mean, or “siga” or “tigas,” is a medal to a “tambay,” but whose reverse is insolence, says Sagay.

Or, it’s said bad company makes the good wicked, and the wicked – worse, Sagay further lamented.

Now, as it’s impossible to become known or popular, unless we learn to excel in some particular pursuit, this bearded hobo would like to see these “istambay” how far it be possible for them to excel in idleness.

If this bearded moron can succeed in reducing idleness to science, then op kors naman, he might be – just might be – mentioned in a teeny-weeny corner in posterity’s page as checking the untimely growth and arresting progress of this mischievous habit known as “istambying.”

Siyempre, as these “istambay” often follow a succession of idling hours anytime of a day, this daily laborer wishes them nothing more than for them to become excellently useless.

For next to the exquisite idleness is that of doing nothing at all.

For those who regularly spend their hours “istambying,” Sagay describes them as “Naragsak da nga agtambay-tambay.” (Oh, happiness! Where shall I seek thee. In what dark sequestered corner of the earth has thou hidden thyself?)

So, here’s help for those who love to do nothing and being “istambay.”

Mebbeso you, reader, wants to help this bearded loco create an organization of “tambay,” eh?

It will be created for express purpose of having no purpose at all.

After which we’ll convince these “tambay” the repugnance of not attending meetings of their organization so that no one will attend at all and the organization will achieve 100 percent non-attendance. A perfect record.

Their motto of not attending will be, “too idle to go,” or “contented idleness.”

We’ll also create a labor union for “istambays.”  Think about it. This way, “istambays can go on the street, wage a demonstration and ask government to help defray their “do-nothing” activities.

You ask a guy whose fun of “istambying,” why he/she regularly does it and such guy defends, saying, “It may look I’m doing nothing. But in my head, I’m extremely busy.”

Oy! Task of educating a “tambay’ isn’t easy. But, as Sagay says, it’s the most prudent a responsible person can engage in, and ought therefore to be attended to by all who undertake it, with energy of the mind.

Everyday should have its allotted business, and its allotted pleasures. It’s necessary to lay down the premises, and inflexibly to abide by them, a conclusion every “tambay” can draw for himself/herself.

Sagay bluntly says admonishes “tambay” must be made to understand that the more hours one consumes in doing something productive, the fewer hours there will be for just moping around.

On the other hand, Sagay has something special to say about retirees and elders.

Sagay says for us to “mind not” elders and retirees, for they toiled hard during their strong days, and now have the pleasure of idling their remaining days.

“They earned their keep. We owe it to them (the elders, retirees and other daily laborers) to have their idle hours,” Sagay emphatically said.

This daily laborer bidded Sagay goodbye after their talks and started for home in Baguio City.

Heading for home, it was on the white Benguet Lily, on the brow of Loo Valley, Buguias, he saw last Friday’s beautiful gleam.

The soft, gay and delightful Friday morning’s gleam kissed the whiteness of the Benguet lily, mixed it with her smile and laughed the season with us.

As if the Friday morning was saying, “Rise early, people of Buguias and other surrounding areas, rise with your souls that inform your hearts, and smile lovelier, too, than the morning in her blushes, more modestly than the rifled Benguet Lily, when weeping in the morning dews.”

Loo, pride of Buguias, looks serene in the morning. And one can smell the richness of wild honey wafted by the winds, like one can taste it with the lips while the breath exhales sweets like the Balanggoy (Lemon grass.)

Rise early, people of Buguias and other surrounding areas, for the sprightly beam of the sun descends to kiss all.

The farmers will pick the vegetables from the lofty or low fields, and let the soil rest for a while, while wild berries   will redden as lips under the sunbeam and mothers breastfeeding their babies will be blessed milky as the fluid of love in the bridal bosom.

Oh, morning! Cheerful of all smiles smile, her exuberance penetrates Buguias’s moss grown caves and gaze upon the pine stands in the woods.

And come afternoon, it leaves again, while telling the beauty of the Buguias land to the passing winds and lulling the Loo valley to slumber.

Yes, morning comes, like summer is, to the children, and we always welcome the morning’s steps for these are, to our views, the herald of sight to the eye of darkness of being a “sadot” or an “istambay.”


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