About three months ago, dear readers, I identified and provided my observations on an heretofore unknown element among us. With both NAIA and the newer Clark International air terminals serving more as open gateways, rather than the random traveler’s choke point for entering paradise, I knew that sudden appearances were neither unique nor merely a phenomenon.
I brooded about it for the requisite ticks and tocks of the clock that it merited, then with adult beverage in one hand and delectable cigar in the other, I brushed off my consternation and proceeded to get on with life.
Life during these past three months has been wonderful, fulfilling, and quite busy. There wasn’t much in the way of looking up or looking around that went on. Tax season had started in earnest and, as you well know, your scribe becomes most involved in the spirit and the festivities of this unofficial holiday season.
Business couldn’t be better. A number of you, dear readers, took advantage of my enjoyment – for which I am forever grateful – and sought help with all of the latest twists and turns encased this year in the ever-growing Internal Revenue Code. In short, I was too busy to observe.
Then came Holy Week. Family and friends returning to their “ancestral homes” here in Ilocos Norte. Visitors by the score; old times relived and new ones made. All was right with the world. And then, ……… I observed the world about me another time, and discovered:
They had reappeared. Not the same ones as last time, but a different gaggle of these inscrutable human geese. Once again, my inner harmony and my piece of paradise had been unquieted. I was amongst them once more. Different shapes, sizes, and faces, but the same mannerisms, activities, and prowling I had tried to avoid before.
The 30DP were here. In numbers greater than the “-ber months” and set on cramming every bit of 30DP activity into their month-long break from whatever self-inflicted misery of life away from the islands they had long endured while saving up plane fare.
For you new readers and for those who may have missed that last article, the acronym “30DP” stands for “30-Day Pinoy.”
THIS TIME, IT’S DIFFERENT
Yes, this time around, the presence of so many 30DPs isn’t so earth shattering. I can’t say that I’ve grown accustomed to them and their “Mainland Ways,” but the inner feelings are definitely not the same.
This time, I feel myself leaning towards pity and compassion for the 30-DP’s plight. I remember my own early ventures to the Philippines. Those wonderful trips to true happiness, rationed out to your eager to return and stay scribe years ago.
Each trip dictated by those insidious Western elements like “available vacation time on the books,” “affordability of airfare for more than just one,” “matching vacation times with Baket ko (Asawa ko) [my Wife] who labored through her own trials as an assistant bank branch manager,” &c.
I now realize that the 30DP is really not that much different from your compassionate scribe all those many years ago. It was a time in my life that I gladly put behind me, once we settled into our annual routine of life here in paradise for 7 months, and existence away from home for the remaining 5.
COULD IT BE?
Could it be that my previous rants were merely the resurfacing of the memories of times in my life that I would have much rather remained buried deep within my psyche; having worked so very diligently to stop their ever seeing the light of day with the best mental blocks that I could manage to erect?
Could it be that the waves of the 30DPs now teeming about have burst the now apparently fragile bailiwicks constructed to keep the past in the past?
Could it be that I realize that “there, but for the Grace of God, goes I?
Yes, that must be the answer. We are kindred spirits, the 30DP and me. I’ve walked the path that they now struggle to complete. I’ve been there, suffered through that, and thank The Almighty, I survived and moved on. How much more the agony must be for those who had to leave paradise in earlier years only to return for teasingly short visits while trying to absorb as much of the environment and happiness they left behind.
I should be ashamed of myself. Too, I should be leading the way. I should serve as an example of their goal in life being achieved, and welcome them for the fleeting moments they have back home.
NOT EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT
Being a frail human by nature, my relapse may occur at any time after our beloved visitors and Balikbayans depart for their homes away from home. An adult beverage and a delectable cigar are a couple of the perks of making the long sought transition from 30DP to one who finally can call the shots on the when and where one will be.
Before I reach for that glass and pull out my trusty lighter, I wish them well. MABUHAY! And Godspeed in your journey to return home and enjoy paradise with me.