When I was little, I would perch on the verandah of my grandma’s house, check out and admire the cluster of dangling yellow-greenish fruits from the branches of the much popularly referred to as the balimbing tree.
A few more years when I was able to grasp on branches and climb trees I would go up the balimbing with a handful of salt for dipping. And high up on its branches would eat as much of the fruit to my delight. When I was already of school age, I still was fond of the fruit, it being free and always available about the neighborhood.
During playtime with friends the trees become our bases/fortress the opposing team has to overtake. When occasional disagreement among us occurs, we would call each other “balimbing” when we become halfhearted and change our mind on playing one game for another.
Fast forward to the current times, balimbing is very much around in the neighborhood. The name has also become attached to an unplausible behavior and attitude, more so to adults than the younger ones.
But where can you locate people that can be touted as truly balimbing? I asked my childhood friend of many years and without batting an eye or second thought, he burped with disgust, the Philippine’s house of representatives and the senate. Squeezed for more, he quipped that, much too many personalities survive politics by just being balimbing or turncoat.
(Can you name some?) Governors change their political affiliations, so with congressmen, and mayors, and so on. He went on to say that the trait of being balimbing is being adopted by many politicians from all levels of elective positions hereabout.
Quiet interesting. Indeed, these personalities have never shown enough loyalty to their party. They have shown more loyalty to their ambition, vested interest(s) and political survival. It is this lack of discipline instilled by the party or luck luster discipline adhered to by its members that we may not expect much from their performance henceforth, and as had been.
Political parties have their platforms and ideals, and when a balimbing joins the party, would these bunch of tutti fruitties follow their new parties’ ideals? Hardly. They have only eyes for the coveted committee chairmanships or greasy pork barrel.
The constituents in the province can wait until the next election when they would come back and seek their votes, perhaps donning a campaign shirt of a new political party. Balimbing tastes sour now to me.