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Saturday, August 18, 2012
IT'S days like these when you would blurt out in frustration, “There are 365 days in a year, why do you all have to be in Davao in this one week?"
That's the state you are driven to every Kadayawan Festival when just about every Dabawenyo and their visitors are in town, many of them wanting to see you.
To make life even more frustrating for this year, everyone leaps in joy for a five-day weekend while you grovel to work early in the morning on each of that five-day weekend to make good time and still have a few minutes to spare to attend to important events.
But that's typical Dabawenyo really. The aversion to crowds and too many visitors, I mean. At least among my circle of friends, and that circle is really so huge and round, they all dread Kadayawan.
Maybe it's the same with Cebuanos during Sinulog, except that I've never been to Cebu during Sinulog, the aversion extends even to other places and no way will I voluntarily go to a place where you have to squeeze through people and wait a long time to be served.
Voluntary is the word.
I do remember that one dive trip my friends and I organized to Bohol a few years back, not realizing it was May and that Bol-anons go home in May. It was a crush in the boat and we nearly didn't have the slot had we not bothered a friend up there in CDO to grab the tickets for us while we were still on our way from Davao to CDO.
There was also that time when I had to squeeze in the tightest MRT ride on a Friday rush hour all because my friend was giving me his Scubapro jetfins but that I had to get it myself.
Both instances, I had not much choice, Otherwise, I'd rather hie on up the most quiet mountain or dive where there are no divers and beachgoers to savor the peace that brings relaxation.
I can't wait for Kadayawan to be over, so that I can savor the durian without having to elbow my way through, and when I can sit and eat in a restaurant without feeling rushed.
Imagine, that is just Kadayawan.
At the rate Davao is growing today's Kadayawan crowd can just be a regular sight and I can only shiver, in the same way that I know many of my friends are shivering. Next year, it will be the same. No. I'm wrong. Next year, it will be even busier as this year's celebration had the sun smiling down on us during the day, as if saying, indeed, Davao is blessed.
Greedy me wants to claim that blessed state all to myself as I?m sure many of you would want to as well.
Thus, I remember a friend from Manila who with his wife settled in Davao a few years back after having had enough of Manila.
When asked how it is in Davao and isn't it that it is in a conflict area, he was quick in saying, "Yes."
"We left Manila because we can no longer stand the crowd there, and you expect me to welcome them here? No."
I say, Amen.
Now you know what I will say when somebody asks me whether it's peaceful and beautiful in Davao: It's not.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 19, 2012.