What’s this niggling notion bandied about Filipino time, that pre-supposes things will be done whenever they get done? That’s a little bit unsettling, to say the least.
But many highlanders and lowlanders who are punctual and worth their salt won’t take this impression sitting down. They are who take charge of their day-to-day affairs and whose individual practices ultimately determines the scale of what they do.
A lot have been scribbled about such attitude, that when it’s time to skedaddle, it’s met with a murmur of “Aguray pay, saan pay oras,” (Wait, not yet time.”) or “Dam-dama pay,” (Later).
Habitual procrastination, forces a loyal friend, Daniel Bolhayon, president of pocket miners in Itogon, Benguet, to dissect it can be the manifestation of missed deadlines, failed relationship, lost opportunities and even money loss, incurred due to a pesky habit of delaying things off until it’s too late.
Mama Mia, when we are tardy, we care less when we screw up schedules of others who are punctual, as we bask in our happiness, if we follow the explanation of Valian Samonte, from Aringay, La Union.
Befuddled Ah Kong thinks happiness is a gratifying sensation arising from musing over the misery of others in waiting.
In short, Bolhayon wants to impart, time waits for nobody.
Another friend, Dr. Andrew Martin of the Department of Health – Cordillera Administrative Region (DOH-CAR) impishly winks and intimates that delaying or procrastinating has been around ever since Adam and Eve were born.
True, readily agrees Abe Pawid, formerly a newsman, known in Baguio City and mentor of Ah Kong. Abe grumbles no end that he has yet to read the proof in the bible of Adam and Eve having worked, farmed or planted. Instead, Abe muses, they dawdled lazily around the Garden of Eden, running stark naked.
Anyhow, Bolhayon deems delay can also result to successful relationship. Probably correct.
As what occurred to Igmo Bolti-ing, from Mountain Province who, because of delaying tactics heaped on him, he was ensnared outright and comfortably into marriage.
It happened in 2015, a bachelor and courting, Corita, his wife now. Back then, however, Igmo couldn’t cobble the right words to win a lady. As Benguets say, “Shay ma-ngo” (shy).
Corita strongly felt then their relation was stuck in the mud, like a road construction delayed and likened Igmo to a “slow man at work.”
So Corita turned the tables on Igmo and wittily played her delaying tactics. It happened this way, as Igmo related it:
Corita: “Ehem, Igmo, adda nadammag ko maipagapo kenka.” (Heard something about you.)
Igmo: “La ket din, Corita. . .” (You don’t say…)
Corita: “Wen kadi, ibagag, ken addu ti mangibaga.” (Yes, indeed, I say and a lot of many say it, too.)
Igmo: “La ket din, aya, anya dayta.” (What is it anyway?).
Corita: “Ay na, apo, saan ko maibaga.” (Oh dear, can’t tell you). Corita turning away her head.
Igmo: “Sigin kadi, ibagam, pangaasim.” (Do, please tell).
Corita: “Al-la, nagkulit ka!” (You do pester a body so!).
Igmo: “La ket din, panga-asim.” (Please, tell me).
Corita: “Nadamag ko nga, (Then she coyly batted her eyelashes at Igmo) inbagam iti kaadwan nga ag asawa tan tun. Ala ket umanugot nak ah!” (Heard you tell everybody that we’re getting married, what can I say but yes!).
“So what happened?” Ah asked Igmo.
“Op kors, I jumped at the opportunity of getting married. Apay kapoy! (slowpoke)” Igmo answered.
“But then you were the kapoy,” Ah countered.
Igmo growled and said, “Shut up your ugly mouth, Ah, you mindless anito.” (spirit).
It goes to show that another friend, Sam Kit Chan, from Easter School, Baguio City is right in her belief of “do not delay your happiness, be glad in the moment, seize it.”
Deranged Ah’s understanding of delay is simply a gentle and acceptable exercise for intellectual pondering.
People with a tendency for tardiness like to stop by the wayside and smell the flowers.
Try discerning this in the happily accepted delay of the old – our elders. They never seem in a hurry. Probably, they have figured out a way of biding their time that being a minute late matters not all.
We learn from our elders, that there’s also virtue in delay. Like, there’s a time to sing. Or not to. In English, it means stop singing, In Pilipino, “Tumigil ka sa pagkanta.” In Ilokano, “Pangaasim ta saan mo pagtuduen ta awan ti payong ko.”
Notice that old folks who are tardy are often happier than those who have to wait, while late comers banter about their lateness, saying, “C’mon now, my dear, nothing is too late, until the merry heart stops to palpitate, eh?”
There’s this good to time to delay keeping one’s mouth shut when one made one hell of a ruckus and is in deep trouble. Conversely, it’s a hasty time without delay to express you’re really sorry for your foolishness, with nooo excuses, whatsoever.
But here is an example of dawdling that definitely gains disapproval. Ah has a gambler friend who, (Sorry, friend, Ah won’t give the due of mentioning your name here until your gambling ways are mended. Hope you understand.) whenever he’s told to stop gambling, always says, “Manipod tatta, isardeng kon ti agsugal. No di kayo mamati, uray man pusta-anen.”
It’s said there are two kinds of delay: Not- so- ok Tardiness and Okay Tardiness.
In Ok- Tardiness, it’s when the late person doesn’t necessarily affect an event, like birthday, wedding, get-together, thanksgiving, clan re-union, baptism, miting de avance, political parties and the like.
In Not-so-okay tardiness, it’s when the late person greatly affects progress or outcome of the event, like two or more persons’ formal discussion, council session, board or executive meeting, conferences, trainings, symposia, command conference, and the like.
Clearly, not-so-okay tardiness hinges on punctuality, which you may simply want to describe as taking action at the right time and properly.
Trouble with punctuality is, you arrive first, only to discover you cool your heels, fret and twiddle your thumbs and speculate what time the other you are to meet, will come.
Punctuality is an attitude of arriving on time, only to find your blood pressure shooting up because of the tardiness of the other party.
One good thing about being punctual. We test ability of keeping our wit, patience and controlling the urge of biting the late person’s ear when he/she arrives.
If at all, many highlanders and lowlanders in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and in Region 1 are delighted to know nobody can ever claim he/she was late one time or another.
Like Father Time, He and we sometimes think yesterday has disappeared in obscurity of the past and tomorrow has not yet emerged from the future.
Like Father Time, He and we, find an intermediate space, a spot where we think nobody is watching, sit down by the wayside and take a breather.