I am a proud promdi (man from the countryside). Where I’m from, mass transportation ends at 7pm and shops close before dinner is served. Neighbors know each other very well and kids stay at home once the sun sets. Even as we speak, most houses still do not have cable TV (including ours) and the only famous store is Dunkin Donuts. There is literally nothing exciting to do aside from gossiping and eating porridge.
During Holy Week (week before Easter), the town takes boring to an extreme level. The townspeople stay at home 80% of the day and most of the shops are also closed for the week. There is nothing but religious shows on TV and Dunkin Donuts isn’t even open. Ironically, this period is one of my most anticipated time of the year. Since Internet and cable aren’t readilly available back in the days, it is the only time when I can sit in front of the tube for hours and have my 7th Heaven fix. I just find the simplicity of country life during that week as the perfect complement to a 90s show about family and values.
Now, even if these doesn’t sound exciting (which they really aren’t), I surprisingly miss the place. In fact, whenever I’m in the Philippines, I make it a point to visit my friends and relatives in the area. Sometimes, I stay there for a couple of days to rekindle my childhood. I go to the river, I walk in the rice fields, I gossip with neighbors, and eat porridge at the town square at night fall. It’s my way of evaluating my life and reflecting about where I came from and where I’m headed to.
Being promdi may not have given me an adventure-filled childhood but I am really proud to be one. Because of my boring town, I appreciate the simplest things, I enjoy technology more, and I strive to be one of the more successfull porridge-eating promdis. Also, if I had a different background, I may not have liked 7th Heaven after all. Living in an era full of soaps and reality tv, who watches shows about values these days anyway?
Being a promdi sucked when it comes to rock. When I was young, I often heard people tagging my choice of music as satanic and ungodly (jeez, it wasn’t even metal). Aside from that, I didn’t have access to live performances and the only bands I’ve embarrassingly seen were the no-names who perform during our town’s annual feast. Though there was an improvement when I was in college (I finally attended concerts of local bands), I didn’t have enough cash to watch foreign artists.
Thus, when I heard that Incubus will be in the Philippines that March (2008), I immediately invited her to watch it with me. Knowing that she’s a fan, there was no way that she was missing this. And decline, she did not. She was as excited as I was and she was already planning how to ask for her family’s approval about it. (it was required).
But then again, life had its way of screwing things up. Apparently, there was this superstition about going out at night that gave her family a reason to not allow her to leave their house. I was fuming when I heard this. All the excitement that I felt quickly changed to frustration. I was devastated.
Fortunately, being a promdi taught me that the most sincere of suitors were the most persistent in times of dating adversities. A ridiculous superstition wasn’t going to stop me from seeing Incubus with her.
The show ended at 12mn. My voice became Bonnie Tyler’s. My phone credits ran out.
Throughout the whole show, we screamed and sang to evey Incubus song. It felt like 7th Heaven.
I managed to bring her with me that night. Well, over the phone, at least.