Monday, September 11, 2006

Drunk Filipinos, Dancing Pinoys, Ugly Philippines

Last night, my friend and I went to the bar. The usual: drink, laugh, scream-so-you-can-be-heard talk, dance, drink a little more, say hi to friends (or acquaintances in this case) you haven't seen in a while, meet new people, and drink a little more.

One Adios
M*therf@cker to start. Talk. Smile. Go to second club. One Long Island Iced Tea. Talk. Dance. One more Long Island Iced Tea. Smile. Dance. Dance. Talk. One more Long Island Iced Tea. Whoa! I'm getting buzzed. It's hitting me. Music blares. Beats vibrate. My dancing shoes on the floor. Big smile on my face by now, and I am a social butterfly.

I have not been drunk in a while, but this time, I traded my White Russians for those damn Adios and Iced Teas. Yuck! What a cheap way to get drunk! Note to self: No more alcohol-packed drinks. Nasty. Yuck! Stick to White Russians, please. Be good to body and brain. And soul.

There were a few Pinoys at the club. Of course, we Pinoys are always the best dancers wherever we go. It's in our blood, running through every vein of our bodies. Heck, my Lola dances to every beat. Then there's my mom and my Lola dancing. My aunts, my cousins, my friends. Damn, all of 'em. Where music and Pinoy meets, a dance fiesta occurs. Are you thinking line dancing at the Filipino parties now?

So we're dancing, and a Pinoy comes up to me to start a conversation. You see, the Filipino in the US, they are spread out everywhere, with high concentrations in Hawaii and California. So when a Pinoy meets another, one will get, "So you're a Pinoy too?" greeting, and boom, there's that instant connection. A Pinoy will feel more comfortable seeing another Pinoy in a foreign land. It gives a home a way from home, and that feeling that you're not alone.

I felt differently during my visits to the Philippines in 1999, 2004, and 2005. I saw so many Filipinos everywhere (duh!), yet I felt alone, foreign, and different. True, I was going through some culture shock. I never felt so disconnected from my culture. I began to reject almost everything to the point that I was so stressed out. Whoa! I was supposed to be on vacation, why was I stressing? I just saw so many ugly things that I have never seen before.

Finally, I learned to deal with these ugly things. I learned to continue to embrace the beauty, and accept that these ugly things happen because of ugly people who think they are beautiful. Get it? Let me expound. These graft and corruption and lawlessness and dirty politics and poor economy and poverty and hunger and abuse and suppression and what have you are there because of political cronies who don't belong there and corporate bosses who think they are the kings and queens of the world. Combine that with poor education. Mix in a media that is afraid of politics. Add a dose of nakakabobo and kakadiri showbiz. Whoa! You got the perfect recipe for a Third World.

So last night, I partied too much. No more nasty Long Islands and Adios Mofos. Met with old friends, met new friends. In the past, I probably would not have paid too much attention to another Pinoy saying hello to me. But last night, I said hello, invited him to join the conversation with my friends, and welcomed him to the US as he had just arrived from Quezon City five months ago.


jef said...

If in any case you will visit the country again, hook me up and we'll have a drinking session hehehe!

schumey said...

I may have changed a bit as I got older. Alcohol has been exchanged for a good cup of coffee. Maybe we can have a good conversation over a hot cup when you visit again.

The Philippine society is evolving. The hospitality has been replaced with distrust. With the crime rate up, I cannot blame the people. A round of drinks could turn into a brawl and worse, to homicide.

But still, you will run into Filipinos who has not lost their sense of culture. Hey, the blogsphere is full of them.

Jhed said...

Wow! I am so amazed on how you were able to connect Long Island Iced Tea to Pinoys dancing and finally to politics. Now that's something.. Haha!

Oh, I copied your Philippines Top List and posted it in my blog. I enjoyed it too much, that I have to pirate that post from you.

You know me, a typical Pinoy, always copying the original. But at least I informed you about it. Haha!

Thanks! Oh, and I will link you. :)