February 13, 2009
February 11, 2009
HUETENG – a gamble in the Philippines equivalent to sweepstakes or lotto locally drawn three times a day.
Guess what the best formula for Hueteng: mathematics, physics and superstitious beliefs – combine all these and you’ll get the best chance of winning. You can even ask advice from the oldies, middle-aged and even some teens.
This gamble was implanted in our genes, runs through the blood, lived along with the generations and is getting more powerful the more they wanted to stop it. This is the most horrifying culture ever created.
I remember my mother, grandmother and aunties when they have time to see each other in some occasions. They were seriously talking about what was the latest result of hueteng. They have daily records, monthly and even yearly – that’s how organized you must be in this game, they told me so.
When I was young I’m not allowed to disturb my mother when she sat down “for a while” to havethe necessary computation for the next draw otherwise I’ll be punished. She must have a discreet resolution list of answers before the “teacher” (Kubrador) came. That means she must formulate some numbers together to come up with an answer three times in a day. More than a schools’ homework but the fact is it’s just as simple as guessing what will be the resulting combination in each draw.
I’m amazed because they see numbers everywhere – in the fruits, floor, dust, sky – anything that can form into an image of a number. Aside from that, they can calculate dreams, everything in your dreams have numeric value. I remember sometimes that my brothers and I tricked that we’re asleep and we’re talking while sleeping and we mentioned some numbers. When we “woke-up” our grandmother would say what happened while we are sleeping and she play the numbers that we have mentioned. It was such so funny but to our amusement my grandmother won one time! Making our grandma believes on her magic recipe for the game.
The most exciting part that even an expert mathematician cannot figure out is how they come upwith a solution on how the last draw was, especially when they lose the game. I was astonished; they have truly exceptional talent in mathematics.
Their talent in this “remarkable computation” is not valuable indeed. As far as I can see they lose more than what they obtained. It’s a ratio of 10:3 of which 10 is the losing rate. In this case, I would tease them “miscalculation or they forget the formula”. When they heard this they would simply shrug-off their shoulders and say “well it’s okay, it’s just a game”. But when I told them that they’re losing their money, they would say “shut-up, you’re distracting our concentration and luck”.
The word it’s just a game is not true in all aspect, there is something more – an addiction. It’s like cocaine, once you’ve tasted you’ll get used to it and will definitely, and can’t live without nibbling it!!
A game is a pastime, and gamble is indeed a stake. I wrote this not to stop hueteng for I’m nothing against the game, I’m against those people who consider this game as a special element of their life. And of course nobody can stop this game anyway. Most of the people are hooked to it, not to mention those puppeteers who used their puppets to make this game lasting for them to gain more.
Life has changed. Most people now are spending their time in this unbelievable cultural shift. The women, instead of stitching or gardening, they will be delightfully sit down and write to their kodigo (it’s a carton or a notebook for the daily record). The men, instead of planting something edible plants so that they can have fresher and safer foods on their tables or somehow plan ahead on how to improve their lives will definitely wonder how they will spend their winnings (Tama), if they will be lucky enough to win.
I emerged in this planet in the 70’s. Maybe old for the new generations, but I feel older than my age. I’m proud that I have seen and experienced the old times. Times where everything was simple, and there’s obvious respect, trust, care and love with each other.
Whoever invented the best-ever game hueteng, I SALUTE YOU, for you created a hideous monster that slowly devour people’s brain, for them not to think of what is good for them and for the future; for them not to use their brains in more creative ways; not spend most of their times in discovering the best of what they have. But rather they will work to feed the monster and the more they lose the more they wanted to play, until such event that even the money intended for their daily needs will be sacrificed, and will even turned into spontaneous debt.
Who wants to play this game, anyway, ANYONE?