I once performed for an official of the Indian Embassy. Just 10 girls in the audience, plus the mom and the dad.
When she booked the party a few weeks back, the mom said the show would start at 4PM. I arrived at her house around 3:45PM and set up our stuff while the kids were eating pizza. Like clockwork, by 4PM, the mom put us on. By 5PM, my entourage and I were out of the house and driving back home.
The same thing happened when I performed for an official of the French embassy. Also around 10 kids, pizza, and the mom and dad in the audience. No yayas, no titas, no titos, just us. It was not a loud party on account of the few numbers of attendees, but boy, it started exactly on time.
A magic show for Filipino birthday parties are more elaborate and lavish. Most of my clients are in the social stratum where they can afford to throw birthday parties for their children in rented clubhouses, posh restaurants and function rooms of five-star hotels. But always, the parties start at least one-hour behind schedule. Not the fault of the parents. It’s just that guests don’t arrive on time.
When will Pinoy guests learn to arrive at a party on time, I’ll never know. It’s a cultural thing, they say, that has risen from Filipinos’ penchant for Filipino time. The habit is so deeply ingrained now that no amount of magic incantation can break the spell that it has cast over the Philippine populace.
Filipino time is altogether another topic, I’m sure you knew that already. I have some words to write about it, but I have to run now or I’ll be late for my next appointment.