4th April 2006
The good folks at D.C.V. threw a farewell party for me my last night in Dumangas.
Farewell Party Number Two
The evening was a lot more laid back than the very formal Pulao goodbye. The only formal part occurred when Capt. Audy - the Captain of Tabucan - presented me with two certificates. The first was a very nice certificate recognizing my help in the community.
The second was a copy of Tabucan's official resolution 2006-09 which was passed unanimously on the 2nd of April, 2006. Resolution 2006-09 recognizes me as an official Son of Tabucan. Very nice gesture. Apparently that means that I am now part Filipino, giving me a license to change my name to Randy and sing karaoke at any time of the day.*
I was asked to say a few words. I've been to many similar ceremonies as other volunteers have come and go. The speeches usually start with something like: "I'm a man of few words", or "I'll keep this short". I assume it's because they're a little nervous talking in front of other people.
Not me. I lurv talking in front of a crowd. I expressed my sadness at leaving, but also my anger at having to be here in the first place. I hope that one day the Philippines foreign debt is written off, their government is no longer corrupt and volunteers are no longer required. I can't see this happening anytime soon.
I also talked about my first days here. How I was living in a house with some Filipino people. I left a home and a family.
The farewell party was not only about goodbyes. It was also about celebrating my time here. So we cranked the music up and danced the night away.
Special mention has to be given to the dancing skills of both Amays, Vincent and Mark. Amay One is only 19. I am unsure whether or not he is old enough to watch his own dancing, which was - quite frankly - pornographic. The dirty dancing was done with other guys. I'm sure they'd get beat up for being gay in New Zealand (they're not gay). Very very funny though. They had people in hysterics.
Like Pulao, people drifted away throughout the evening. The dancing finished up at about one in the morning.
In the morning, I went to see the mayor with all other present volunteers. During the first part of the meeting, I got very angry at the mayor. More about this later.
During the second part of the meeting he was very thankful. He gave me a manly hug and present me with a badge with the Seal of Dumangas on it. Apparently this is usually only given to elected government officials, so it was a big honor. The Mayor also waved his hand and made me an official Son of Dumangas. I'm unsure whether or not the waving of one's hand is enough to make it official, but it was nice nevertheless. So now I am a Son of Tabucan, Pulao and Dumangas. Neat.
The afternoon was relaxed. The most stressful thing was trying to put all the crap in my room into my two backpacks. One of my backpacks is quite big and the other is just a knapsack, so it was quite a challenge.
After that it was just hanging around outside Reza's home and posing for the odd photo.
Before long though it was time to make my final trip in Dumangas. Eden had organized a van and several people and I all headed out to the airport. Leaving on a Jet Plane was sung several times along the way.
My plane was delayed by an hour so we had a few drinks and relaxed.
Finally, it was time to leave. I did the round of tearful hugs. Not much was said. It had all been said already. As many other volunteers have done before me, I made the final walk into the airport by myself.
Was sad to go.
I was glad to be leaving sad though. If I had left indifferent or angry then it would of meant that I hadn't had a great time here and made lots of friends.
One thing I learnt during my mental troubles was that it is always okay to feel emotions, no matter what they are. If you're angry, be angry. If you're happy, be happy. During my many goodbyes people would often say to me: "Don't be sad Malcolm". I generally replied: "Thanks all the same, but this is a normal time to be sad, so I'll just be sad. If I end up crying, then that is okay too."
* Waves to Dr. Robin.
2005 and 2006 Malcolm Trevena.