My apologies to Catholics who shun meat on Lent but there really is no better way to describe what I am about to indulge in these next few days. I go home to Bulacan tonight to start my vacation (instead of flying off to Bohol last Saturday as originally planned, but that’s another story). Buhay-baboy usually sets in within the first five minutes of my stepping through the door, when I hug my mother and ask her what’s for dinner (and she tells me that I’m getting so fat already, but that’s yet another story, another rant). The rest of my stay home will consist of a cycle of reading, sleeping, eating, watching tv – usually in that order. Oh I have some well-intentioned tasks lined up: go with my mother to her doctor’s check up, go swimming, try out a pasta recipe, practice my driving, but so far it’s just that. A list of good intentions. And we all know where that road leads.
Buhay-baboy is a pretty beloved concept. A few months ago, our new HR manager was asked to give a presentation to all employees on her plans and projects for HR. Everyone listened politely while she walked us through her slides on job diagnostic surveys, training needs assessments, hiring processes, but it wasn’t until she got to the summer R & R part that people’s interest were really awakened. She presented this concept of the summer outing involving team-building and other activities. Re-living fond memories of the previous Boracay summer outing, somebody piped up, “Ganon, hindi na tayo buhay-baboy?” The HR manager diplomatically explained, “well, team-building exercises are really useful and we need to yada-yada.” A short silence followed her spiel, and then there was this chorus of protesting noises, “Hindi, buhay-baboy pa rin,” “Gusto ko buhay-baboy,” “Anong team building-team building?”
The HR manager left the company after a couple months. That’s probably another story, but I’m just saying. Never mess with people’s buhay-baboy plans.
(Of course, while I’m writing this, my more benevolent side is nagging at me, telling me, shame on you, it’s the Holy Week, you should spend it in prayers, in reflection, in worship. I will do those things, and you should too. Seriously. But I’d be lying to myself if there won’t be huge chunks of buhay-baboy involved too).