Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Kerikite Bayanihan

It still happens folks! At least on the island of Kerikite!

While still with the kids, I noticed adults (men & women) kept darting in/out of the barangay multipurpose hall. Noticeably, the womenfolk were in some kind of a panic mode, while males were in their usual ‘coolness’ness! When anyone of them would talk, it seemed like the topic was food – so I understood. That is always the case when women prepare food anyway, right?! As if everything is a disaster, as if all is late, as if something is always missing, as if something is out of order. And if anyone asked what the problem is, with a smile you women actually say “nothing really”, right? Very!

Curious at the usual womanly commotion that is really not, I went back inside the multipurpose hall to watch them. All very obviously went into that ‘prim, proper and very well collected’ mode hehehe. As if I don’t know. I have been a customer service trainer, mystery shopper, quality auditor, project manager, process engineer and a  self-proclaimed behaviorist (aka tsismoso) since 1989 ‘noh?! But I did not say anything, I just sat there pretending I was reviewing my pictures and videos hahaha! It turns out, I discovered a still-authentic mode of “bayanihan” in what they were doing.

Yeah yeah, cooeprativism, cooperative endeavor, not just with actions but even with material resources – and without regard as to the quantity or monetary value anyone was putting in. I absorbed this, all by observing them and listening to their conversations. In this Americanized capitalist mentality that we all are in, I can consider their actions really touchingly rare. Here are some of what I remember (translated to English):

is this kalinayan already enough? I can still cook rice, just in case.”

haaay, good that my husband went out to sea last night

here’s cooked bananas, did anyone cook cassava?”

a kid came with ripe mangoes… “nanay told me to bring these here

good that Maning txtd early, I almost sold all of my puto

Ah women, always crazy fun when they take charge of things. One time I heard a lady shriek saying “mineral, an mineraaal hain na? ice, ice! mahagkot na an sopdrinks?”. A man said “kalma la, ready na”!

Then another man came carrying a big shell - probably a foot tall and a foot wide, or more. Pardon my ‘tourist mentality’ but I really (at first) thought he was coming in to sell that souvenir to us the ‘visitors’ - yeah, shame on me! My eyes really grew widest when he talked not to me but to the women saying “iya adi tilang” and all of them rejoiced, some clapping, some saying “wooooow”!

That "tilang" is my next topic! So keep watch folks!

For a chronology of this trip's stories, click these numbers:
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10


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