For most of us Filipinos, it seems normal, even mundane to take a bath every day (well, except on a friday, because our lolas told us it would make us ill :-P ). Well, we do it primarily because of the sticky, humid weather of our country. This is added to the fact that most buildings are not really centralized. Also, there’s the abundance of water seeing as we’re surrounded practically by large seas and oceans.
I always thought this is what all the people in the world do. Apparently, some cultures take baths really infrequently. Well, they may have their own reasons though it’s a little hard for us to comprehend. Now, I am not saying that non-Filipinos are filthy creatures, (nor am I saying Filipinos are the cleanest in the world) I’m just stating this random fact of life. While currently living in a place of more than 30 nationalities, I have taken a little look at how things are. Let’s just say, I’ve ridden taxis that makes a 10 block walk in 53 degree Celsius weather not such a bad idea.
It’s such an important part of everyday life that we even have “ground rules” in order to do it right. Here’s how to (or not to) take a bath, Filipino style!
- Do use a tabo (water dipper) in bathing. Get your water from the timba (pail).
- Do use Rejoice,Palmolive, Clear, Vaseline, Pantene (did I forget a brand?) in sachet. Use half and save some for next time.
- Don’t take a bath on a friday (it will make you ill)
- Don’t sleep after taking a bath (it will make you blind)
- Don’t take a bath at night (it will lower your blood pressure and cause you to have anemia)
- Don’t bathe your feline companions (you will get struck by lightning)
Now there is no scientific explanation for all these stuff. For no 4, however, doctors have discovered that a lukewarm bath before you go to sleep will actually help you sleep sounder. As to the cats and lightning, I can’t seem to connect the dots. But it sure is fun to learn this stuff!
FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW HOW A TABO WORKS: Here’s how you do it. Scoop some water from the “timba” and pour. It’s some sort of an alternative for toilet paper or a bidet. (although most of Philippine CR’s have toilet paper too). And if you don’t get it the first time, don’t worry. Practice makes perfect!
Personally, I distinctly remember bathing at a “poso” (Artesian Well) as a kid growing up in the province. It was a really fun experience, I got to bathe with my cousins as well as a few stray frogs. Yes, frogs!
So, what are your bathtime memories? Have you ever taken a bath at at a poso?