Filipino Time

05Nov09

November is a time for holiday-themed houses, holiday movies, Undas, Bonifacio Day, and Christmas shopping however, not many people know that November is actually a special month. On October 8, 2008 Gloria Macapagal Arroyo issued Proclamation No. 1638, declaring that November as the National Consciousness Month for Punctuality and Civility as advised by the Organized Response for the Advancement of Society, Inc. (ORAS)

Ponder on the bold and italic texts once more. Punctuality, a strict observance in keeping engagements; promptness. That is a quality not all Filipinos have. Ask a friend, “Pare what time ka darating?”, he’ll probably answer,”Siguro mga 8 or 9am”. See? You must know what I mean right? Saying “mga” before a given time, what does that really mean? You’ll get there 5 minutes late? 10 minutes late? 20 minutes late? You can arrive a minute before the hour for all I care, no sense of clarity, absolutely not punctual.  

I have a friend that scheduled a basketball game at 7pm, he told us that the schedule was 6pm just so that people wouldn’t be late. What kind of people are we to have to be tricked into arriving early? It’s a mentality that is clear within our culture, think about it; crowded commutes during rush hour, concerts that start 2 hours later than the given time, people rushing and pushing to get into LRT/MRT trains because everyone’s late. We can’t always blame traffic on our way to work or school that’s a given.

Filipino time, a label that has been given to every single one of us. When I was growing up in the states, dad used to joke around what time my aunt would come, “Filipino time? or American time?” (If you were going to ask, my dad is American) I used to wonder what that meant now as an adult, I understand it completely. We need to develop a respect for time, as apart of our lives and a part of business. Think about highly developed countries, think of a characteristic they have in common. Punctuality, and a discipline to uphold that, every movement is precise and systematic, every minute is efficient and productive. If every Filipino would get this into their system a better Philippines would be over the horizon.

Lets practice this kind of mentality even if it’s just for November, try waking up earlier to beat morning traffic, lets be all precise and get to where we are going on time. Lets respect time in our lives and in a business sense. Don’t realize this fact before your time runs out.

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