Saturday, March 31, 2018

Filipino DI

By Carmelo Layugan, Ewa Beach:

With a couple of New night clubs in possible view in the West, a New Filipino DI may emerge. For some wealthy women in the Philippines, "ballroom" dancing has risen from a mere social pastime to being almost a way of sustaining life. The phenomenon has been chronicled in movies for the past 40 years. The lead is always played by a handsome young man who finds easy money working as a DI -- a "ballroom" dance instructor. His prime partners are the affection-starved, cash-rich matrons that Manila has in abundance.

"Social Dancers know that people are not going to dance the way you want them
to dance. They are going to dance the way they want to dance."

One after another, they fall for his charms and ply him with extravagant cash tips and gifts. A few have been doing this in downtown Honolulu for years under the term, - Semi Pro. Afternoon-tea gatherings of the blue bloods of Manila society, known as the "Sparklers," are rich with gossip about the ballroom scene. Which matron has fallen in love with which DI? Which one has bought her DI a new car? Sometimes it is just gossip. Sometimes the ballroom has clearly led to the bedroom. Says a known dance regular: "You can always tell who's having an affair. It's in their eyes and in the way they dance."

"Dahil Sa Yo" by Charmaine

Some are shocked, but not newspaper columnist Barbara "Tweetums" Gonzales. "I'd rather have my mother dancing the night away with her DI and having the time of her life than wasting away on her lonesome." Many Manila hotels offer ballroom dancing. Some hotel DIs are paid a regular salary. On top of that are the "hire charges" -- up to about $60 for an evening -- and tips. "You also have to feed him or her and provide drinks, like someone who drives for you, you feed your DI because they provide a service."

"Social dancers know that they must love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing
solid back, nothing but that those fleeting moments when you felt alive."