October 30, 2004


Can you still remember the last time somebody borrowed from you? Did you not feel a bit reluctant to part away with your possession knowing that in our culture, when you say "borrow" it's already the equivalent of asking for that object. It's like saying good-bye already to your precioussss. Perhaps it's our "polite" way of asking that such has become a euphimism for "can I have it?" And since we're a people who have a hard time saying "no", "borrowing" always do the trick.

I mean, it's OK to borrow because that person might really need it, as in really really need it. Books I can understand, Cds can tolerate but DVD players and other non-essentials I consider it taboo. For me, borrowing is not a problem just as long you tell me when you shall return that object in question. That's because the mere fact that one is borrowing means that that person needs it only for a limited span of time, so he or she doesn't need it for eternity. Keeping it forever is indicative of theft and betreyal of trust.

This is where all problems arise. Filipinos are not very good in returning things. You have to prod them incessantly just to return some of your stuff that you may have forgotten already. Stuff like tupperware, kitchenware, cds, programs, books and clothes make the bulk. And sometimes, when they return it, they sport an indignant harrassed look as if you have made a huge social faux pas in asking them to return what they have borrowed. Does it mean that when asked to return our borrowed objects, we tend to lose face? I don't think so. It's a natural tendency to actively retrieve our possessions back- especially from those whose reputation are not that bright in the "return" department.

So, what have you borrowed lately?

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