Joy seems to be a national philosophy in the Philippines or at least in Guimaras. In the early evenings before Tatai comes home and gives a sign that everybody can attack the dinner table, everybody gathers around the porch. Sometimes they play cards, other times they listen to music, sway, dance chacha or just tease each other in the sweetest manner. At these times, I usually sit in the rocking chair and just contemplate my host family’s relationships and means of entertainment. I am always amazed by the fact that they only depend on each other to have fun and that’s the beauty of it. No phones, no youtube, no Game of Thrones. Their own reserves of banter and hilarious comments are enough to lighten up the evening mood.
I had mentioned to Nana that I’d like to learn cha-cha. Few minutes later, Bebe was already at the stereo, fixing in the right CD with the latin tunes. Tata was already at the dance floor (aka our living room) showing me into the steps. I got into the rhythm and when I turned around I could see even the little kids swaying next to me. The swing is in the Philippino blood. It’s part of the people here and it can explain a lot about their culture of entertainment and music.
Yesterday we were spontaneously invited to a party at Ricky’s house. The occasion? The first anniversary of somebody’s death. No, that’s not a typo. That’s right! And how do people mourn their relatives who have passed away? Through dance, drinks and most of all- life! As loud and as energetic as it can be. After we danced our hearts out, Ricky’s host mum walked us to the crossroads. The night was as beautiful as always with the trillion stars shining in the deep blue sky. There were some lightnings as well, which we decided to embrace as an artistic surrounding down the way to our house. When we approached the house it finally hit me. I had absolutely forgotten the reason behind our gathering at the house earlier. I could only respect the Philippino approach of coping with one’s loss and appreciate the beauty behind it. Why sob and close into yourself when you can gather all your relatives (and even some random kids coming from Hong Kong) and honor someone’s not passing away but rather someone’s elevation to a better place. With these mild observations I am finishing my guest presence in the WordPress blog. See you on the other side, folks!