In the Philippines, we have this so-called “Filipino Time.” It is when someone arrives way past the scheduled time. Fifteen, thirty, forty minutes late. Or when someone texts you “I’m coming” but in reality that person is still about to take a bath. Or when they say, “Getting ready!” but really, they have just woken up.
When someone points out that “Filipino Time”, it usually implies something funny to most Filipinos. I admit I used to laugh at it because I can totally relate—I was following that “time” and most of the people I know follow it too. Somehow, we find levity when someone points that out.
It has a been a norm in casual occasions that when somebody says meet up at three o’clock, that usually means four o’clock, or if you’re lucky, three thirty. Whenever we have meetings, we always schedule it an hour ahead because we know that our members will arrive an hour late if we set it at the exact time we want to officially start.
It is only lately when I realized that this is not an issue that should just be taken lightly. It is sad—and perhaps, devastating—how this has been a norm in our society. We are amazed when someone actually follows the exact time, and we jokingly praise that person for being, “alert.” That shouldn’t be something so extraordinary, because that’s how it’s supposed to be. When the meet-up is at three, everyone should be there at three—or, the earlier the better.
What I’m trying to say in this post is simple—we should respect each other’s time.
We have priorities, obligations, other appointments—we’re busy people. But even if someone doesn’t have a lot of things planned out for the day, doesn’t mean we should take that for granted and let him or her wait. She could’ve fetched her dog, dropped her laundry, written a blog post, SAVED THE WORLD, instead of waiting for us for thirty-fricking-minutes.
Again, we should respect each other’s time.
Now, I’ll admit. I’m terribly guilty of this. There had been countless of times when I’d arrived very late to meetings and even to just casual meet-ups. And I realized that I’d been a horrible person for wasting their time waiting for me. But it’s not just that as well, I could’ve had missed something important, something life-changing just because I was late. It could’ve had cost me a lot.
I know that we’re not perfect and that we’re bound to break rules, especially when we encounter fortuitous events. And that’s fine. I’m sure our friend or group will understand. We can be late, but we’ll just have to make sure we don’t abuse it and that we’ll make up to our group for it.
All in all, it boils down to self-discipline, proper time-management, and of course our respect to our own time and to other people’s time as well.
In this brand new week, let us start with a smile on our faces, a joyous spirit, and a strong sense of respect to other people’s time. Because truly, TIME IS GOLD.
Anyway, hope you’ll have a great week ahead!
Lots of love from your friendly probinsyana,