MAGANES: My ‘ balikbayan’ friends

January 26, 2015 at 12:55 am Leave a comment

There are friends with whom we could not rub elbows for years because they have already migrated to other countries as residents or workers. These friends whom we haven’t seen for several years only go back to their places of birth during Christmas seasons , town fiestas or other occasions needing their presence.
Balikbayan refers to overseas Filipinos, including overseas Filipino workers and the emigrants who come back home to the Philippines after staying in foreign countries.
Overseas Filipinos come home and stay for up to several months to spend time with their loved ones, since Filipinos are known to be a family-centered.  They usually come home during the Christmas holiday or for important family celebrations. The OFWs’ homecoming is usually at the end of their work contract. The family prepares a feast for the homecoming of the balikbayan. The feast usually includes Filipino dishes, especially the balikbayan’s  favorite. The family invite their neighbors and a huge celebration takes place. Due to the culture  of hiya, a huge celebration would be necessary. Filipinos have the notion that when a family has one of its members working or living abroad, they have a lot of money with the amount that one earns outside the Philippines. (Wikipedia)
 Thank God for the Villasis Town Fiesta 2015 that institutionalized a day for the festival a ” Coronation and Balikbayan Night”.  That was a night’s affair for all “balikbayans” to convene and converge and to meet their old friends and acquaintances to exchange pleasantries and stories.
  Last January 17 during the Coronation and Balikbayan Night, I was able to meet old friends whom I have not seen for almost three decades. It was a nostalgic night because upon seeing them, the old flames of friendships lighted anew. The night was also full of revelry as we recalled the days when we were still younger. Though Facebook is already a vogue these days, there are still those who have not used the social network to correspond with old friends. The mystery and the excitement of seeing them again penetrated the soul as if there’s a new brand of friendship that was rekindled.
There are still  many friends in different countries whom we have not seen. There are friends whom we want to see because of the shared bonding many years back, but they have no time to come home. They will , however, remain as friends as time passes by because of their impact in our lives, in good times and bad times.
To those old friends I have seen and met during that wonderful evening of “Balikbayan Night”, thank you for your presence. The friendship was once again rebuilt and I hope it will be like that forever.
I would like to greet my balikbayan friends who made their time to be with the Villasis Town Fiesta 2015. Thank you Emmanuel Rabut of Caramutan village, who is a seaman and now residing in Bulacan, Nilo Jimenez of Bacag village who is already residing in Italy, Abraham “Abe ” Lopez of San Blas Village who is now a resident of New York, USA, Thess Bebot Marcos of Zone I who is now a resident of London, United Kingdom and Tess Perez Evangelista of Capulaan village who is now a resident of California, USA. My greetings also go to my barangay mates Delia Basconcillo Obedoza of New York, USA, Luzviminda Mondala of Canada and Nida Mira Millano of London, United Kingdom. Thanks a lot for the great time we shared during the Barangay Night last January 14.
That night was also an event of meeting new friends in the like of Manong Frank Tomines of Barraca village who is based in Canada and Manny Manantan of Zone II now a resident of New York, USA.
 Friendship is a thing we could not do away with. Our friends will brighten up our days especially when we are reminiscing the past- of yesterdays bonding and sharing the spirit of camaraderie.
Amid the gaiety of the Coronation and Balikbayan Night, a friend approached me and shared his observations in Villasis, particularly the tricycle operations whom he said was not providing good service to commuters. This friend said many tricycle drivers are not following the laws,  such as driving without license and not proper attired while conveying passengers. They seemed to have gotten off from farm work, he said. He suggested the crafting of an ordinance to discipline the tricycle drivers because they pose hazards to the commuting public.
 Through this column I would like to get the attention of Councilor Richie Cacapit, chair of committee on transportation and public utilities, to look into this observation. Personally, I agree with my friend. There were times that tricycle drivers will not convey passengers especially when there are checkpoints of the Land Transportation Office (LTO). The reason is either the drivers have no drivers’ license or the tricycles have not been registered and have no municipal permits to operate.

Councilor Cacapit, please let us look into this problem.
(For comments, email me at Visit my blog The Roving Pen at Listen to my rdio program at Bombo Radyo Dagupan- Gising Pangasinan at 5:30-6:00 AM, Mondays to Saturdays)

Entry filed under: News.

Killed, arrested hired guns former body guards of Indian trader  Kimi, Mark laud Villasis’ ‘balikbayans’

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