Tamang Panahon

Tin Bartolome

Posted at Oct 30 2015 12:20 AM

“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come” attributed to Victor Hugo who, experts say, never uttered nor wrote this sentence. This famous quote in English was paraphrased from a line, written in French that appeared in the last chapter of Histoire d’un Crime or The History of a Crime, his account of the 1851 French coup d’etat. In Filipino, we say “tamang panahon” – meaning, perfect timing, at the right time.

Cooking and baking require perfect timing. Overcooked eggs, vegetables, even steak and other meats are not as appetizing. Fruits that are “hinog sa puno”—those that mature before they are picked are more delicious than the “kinalburo” or “hinog sa pilit”. Along with “bubot”, the latter term is also used by old folk to describe those who marry too early.

After all, there are reasons why parental consent and later, advice, are required by law as requisites for marriage. The same is true for movies that portray sex and violence, tackle controversial topics or themes. There are also age requirements for certain positions in government, age limits set for hiring workers for certain positions.

Even schools have age requirements for those enrolling for the first time.

This is because a child has to be both intellectually and physically mature. This means that even if a child can understand concepts and ideas at an early age, he or she may not possess the motor skills other kids of the same age already have. To exaggerate, you cannot have a baby who can already add two and two lying on his back to learn multiplication!

And speaking of babies, being born too soon carries with it great risk because all the organs have to be developed enough to function properly after birth. Again, “tamang panahon” is important.

So what is wrong with “tamang panahon”? Well, apart from the long wait we need to endure, it is often inevitable—but sometimes too brief that we lose the chance to take advantage of it. And for those who resist, here is what Victor Hugo really said: “On resiste a l’invasion des armees; on ne resiste pas a l’invasion des idees”

It did not lose its meaning entirely, since the line, directly translated, means, “One can resist the invasion of armies; one cannot resist the invasion of ideas.”

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.