NEVER expect any work to get done in the Philippines during the last two weeks of December. It’s the Filipino Christmas Shutdown. The Philippines has the longest Christmas season in the world which begins in September, the first “Ber” month, and extends into the beginning of January with Three Kings’ Day. January 6. We have been waiting for an inspector from Guimelco, our so-called utility provider in Guimaras, to check out my brother-in-law Joery’s handiwork at the nipa hut we are building for my father-in-law but it’s been an exercise in futility.
The Guimeleco inspector was scheduled to arrive last week. Joery was at the nipa hut waiting for him on the appointed day when my brother-in-law received a text message stating that it was the power company’s Annual Christmas Party. The reviewer NOW realizes he scheduled his inspection on the day of the Christmas Party? WTF?
(A picture that deserves to be repeated. Happy New Year! Photo Source: www.collegehumor.com and NOT our Guimelco Inspector)
But my brother-in-law was assured that the Guimelco employee would arrive this Monday morning. Monday morning passes. No inspector. My asawa calls and is told that their man would arrive after lunch.
4:15 pm Monday, well after lunch, even for someone on “Filipino Time,” and still no inspector. I call.
“He will hopefully be there, sir” I am advised by the Filipina at the front desk.
“Hopefully?” I echoed, “hopefully, you say? Well, he canceled last week because of your Christmas party and we were told he would be there today, Monday morning. My wife called and was told your man would be there after lunch. And now you say ‘hopefully’ he will be there today. I hope you’re right.”
I knew I had a better chance of becoming the next Miss America then I had of that inspector showing up.
I was right. Yesterday, Jose Rizal Day, another frickin’ Filipino holiday, and I knew no one would be at Guimelco. I sent the following text message:
“Is your inspector looking for a bribe? He does not show up 2x now. 5 years ago at our home in Inday Balbina we waited a month b4 a transformer we needed was installed. Our contractor had to pay a 1,000 peso bribe b4 the installer came. He came the day after the bribe was paid. Should I report this to the Daily Guardian?” (The Daily Guardian is published in nearby Iloilo City and I have submitted material to them in the past which they have published.) Of course, no reply.
Photo Source: The Daily Guardian
I write this post now on Wednesday and my asawa has called our brother-in-law to see if Joery can go to Guimelco and find out what’s going on. Joery informs my spouse that the government has extended the holiday season now and has declared everything is shut down until January 5.
Why do I bother? The Filipino Christmas Shutdown. Coming to a barangay near you.