Hanging out-A A +A
Saturday, September 1, 2012
SEE you, don’t miss it!”
This isn’t about a boy-girl date but a word and two for co-workers or the gang in your part of town, and not about a birthday party but the usual weekend drinking spree or tagay.
The gang looks forward to it; tagay is part of the country scene.
A drinking spree is a drinking bout, a binge and, to many men in the towns, it’s the best part of the day at sundown and through the night—hanging out with the boys (or also with a drinking girl or two).
A friend comes from a small community in Samar where guys drink or else they aren’t seen as true men. She would watch in their house in Quezon city the friends of her husband sit in a drinking spree on a Saturday night till morning. In the early morning, she’d find them all asleep in the sala, drunken dead. They’d wake up in the late morning to drive out for home, until the next binge.
Her husband had stopped the years of drinking with his Samareño gang when he left the Visayas for a job with Renault Philippines in Manila. But he’s a true-blue friend, he’d play host during weekends to the old gang already also now living in Manila, without joining in the drink. He got a good job and knew he would have to do things sober and right.
His excuse for refusing to join the guys in their alcohol indulgence was his “pushy” wife who, he tells them, dictates him. The guys called him weak and this was their subject of conversation with which to begin the session, something that the Urban dictionary calls “going the night out, blowing all your cash on booze.”
How much do we lose in a drinking spree, not to mention threat to health?
I came across a news item about the Office of the Ombudsman warning government officials and employees against activities like drinking sprees during team-building seminars which are in the agencies’ human resource development programs. These are usually held out of town during summer. While the atmosphere is about seminars on bonding of employees for effectiveness at work, it’s usually also time for what Filipino boys consider part of life—drinking sprees.
And drinking sprees are team-building, at least in the first hours, not only in offices but even in communities, except in moments later and deep into the night when tempers are lost, ending up in killings, in team-breaking.
It occurred to me one time that deaths hit the news oftener in that week and the common words used and re-used to best describe the murderer was that he (with the boys) was on a “drinking spree.”
But something must be done, not just in government offices. Should some learning on it be seriously taught in school, or/and by parents? I can imagine growing kids in the towns looking forward to the time when they’re “old enough” or in an age “allowed” to drink with the guys.
But the news is taken as something usual.
A man was shot dead on his way home last night by a drunken stranger, a newsbit could go this way. Try and read the news carefully in one week and not miss a news or two—within a stretch of only a couple of days—of murders committed by drunken friends during drinking sprees.
The latest news I read is about three men deep in a drinking spree in Barangay Bulacao, Pardo stabbing a neighbor who refused to join them.
But it could be worse, like in the case of a drunken Philippine marine who killed 11 people, five of whom were from one family.
Some months ago in Davao del Sur, a man was hacked to death by his own brother during a drinking spree.
Add to this the news about a police man drinking with neighbors who were also mostly soldiers. Then he got into an argument with someone in the group. Armed “with a 45-caliber pistol, (he) killed five of his companions….went home, fetched an M-16 rifle…” killed four more and wounded two children.
There was a time when alcohol and the singing of a song called “My Way” in videoke turned some drunken mates into murderers, as a check on the right way the song is supposed to be sung. And people think it’s funny getting killed for a song.
Shall we keep taking this matter lightly in our society?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 02, 2012.