Dog Days and Missed Opportunities


(Summer has passed, and we remember our indulgence when the sun shone hot and rest is not idleness and how effervescent and free we felt.  And we wake up later to find summer is gone and we are a year older until the next summer comes again.)

Surely, anyone in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Region 1 worth his salt isn’t lazy. But then there are times we idle, or are forced to. This happens during hot summer days with the sun scorching unrepentant.

It’s during the month of summer when many feel sluggish or lethargic, short of being indolent. Observers of human nature associate these moments to dog days or dog day afternoons.

Put another way, it is pointed to as those sleepy afternoon when people and the dogs feel disposed to laying around and fanning themselves because, as we put, “nagpudot.” Hot as in hot.

You walk the streets or trek somewhere else during hot summer days and feel like the sun wanting to open your skull and fry your brain.

Beyond question, heat can siphon mental and physical energy. Being under the sun for quite a time can make many lazy and incapable of contemplating about important daily tasks.

Summer heat can play tricks on the mind. It can make many people say things, do things and see things that apparently do not fit with reality.

It can hit relationship, particularly family matters. Try to figure this out, this relationship between a husband and a wife during their heated conversation one dog day afternoon last March.

This couple was about to find out that reality is not always relevant to one’s experience during a long hot day.

Married couples fight sometimes. That is a fact.  Show a married couple who never had any argument in the course of their relationship. These two were trying to patch up their differences.

But whether because of the hot afternoon that played tricks on them, the spat between this couple seemed to have sparked a psycho, logical or illogical tempo.  In the midst of heated argument, their heated conversation turned out this way:

  1. Husband: Sa wakas, diyak maurayen! (At last, I cannot wait!)
  2. Wife: Kayat mo kadi a tumalaw ‘akon? (You want me to leave?)
  3. Husband: Agang-angaw ka. Haan, diyak kayat. (You’re joking. No, I don’t like.)
  4. Wife: Kayat nak ngarud a bisungen? (Would you like to kiss me?)
  5. Husband: Nu adda la’t panawen. (If there is time.)
  6. Wife: Baka pagsangiten nak? (Maybe you like me to cry?)
  7. Husband: Haan. (No.)
  8. Wife: Mapagtalkan ka met laeng? (Are you trusted?)
  9. Husband: Wen ah, met! (Yes, of course!)
  10. Wife: Isukat nak ti sabali? (You want to change me for somebody?)
  11. Husband: Siyempre, saan! (Of course, no!)
  12. Wife: Ay-ayaten nak? (Do you love me?)
  13. Husband: Wen. (Yes.)
  14. 14: Wife: Darling?

Now, go back and re-read the conversation of the couple but this time but reading in the reverse, start from Number 14, 13,12,11,10, etc., going down until you reach Number 1.

Whether it was a dog day afternoon or a missed opportunity for the husband to contemplate profoundly on the way their conversation was going, you decide.

Anybody, feeling sluggish   or lethargic one day or some days will scowl upon himself/herself with a niggling afterthought this isn’t doing any good.

Por favor, kailyan, as you want to rap your head, after all, feeling lethargic or indolent for hours on end never reaps a worthy reputation.

Not only humans or dogs, but other pets as well are affected by summer heat. Heat-induced effects include decrease in energy, lack of appetite and strange behavior, as what   Fortunato Ringor from Region 1 experienced during April’s summer about his pet parrot.

Whenever Fortunato passed by the cage of his parrot, the parrot would say to Fortunato: “Psst! Psst! Pangit! Pangit!”

Fortunato got mad one day and shouted to his parrot,” Mamingsan pay ibagam nga pangit nak, litsunen ka, salbag ka ket di!”

So one day, the parrot, seeing Fortunato pass by said, “Psst!”

Fortunato turned around and said to his parrot, “O, anya ibagam manen?”

His parrot, without blinking an eye, replied, “Ammum lattan ah!!!” (You know what I mean!!!)

Terrible, what dog days can do to innocent pets which can only differentiate fact from false, and the real from the unreal.

Many out there also contemplate whether being lethargic during the summer days amounted to lost opportunities.

But for the farmers in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Region 1, however, it was time for reaping, planting and sowing. For the young, it was time for courting. For the husband, it was time to stand by his wife at the moment of their child’s birth.

For many, the hot days were quite fun, having felt indolent, lethargic or inactive, a reason to lay around and let the hours’ tick away. From late January to June, the dimpled sun shone with extravagance and lavish presence.

For the elders, summer was a respite from aches of the joints that come with aging.  With the onset of the rain, rickety bones will again complain of dull pains that the cold will bring. The dog days of summer have given way to the pelting of the rain.

A dog day afternoon may hold that the certainty people have in their beliefs isn’t a proportion of quality of evidence but rather the coherence of the story the mind manages to make. Meaning, even someone lethargic during a hot summer day can find ways to wiggle out of puzzling question, if only not to be pestered no more.

As what happened to a father in Region 1 who didn’t know the answer to a query of his son. The father was lying in a hammock trying to fan himself from the boredom of the summer heat when his son said, “Tatang, adda assignment mi. . . find the least common denominator. . .Ammum kadi daytoy?

The tatang replied, “Idi elementarya ak ipaspasaludsud da dayta ah. Alla, aginggana tatta, madi da pay nabirukan? Nalaing nga talaga aglemmeng didiay nga salbag a least common denominator.”

Indeed, boredom during summer of the dogs is not only a modifying feeling but an important one – with its interconnected faculties of seclusion, stillness and contemplation. It is part and parcel of living.

No? Then, have you ever seen someone who never got bored with the sun beating down on the person? For even the farmers who stay long in the fields, find ways to seek shade, if for a little respite and the opportunity to contemplate.