Love comes in all forms. Some express it as an endearment, a material gifts, quality time, or physical touch. For others, it could be as simple as a hatid-sundo. But what’s special about this?
Raised by hatid-sundo
I became familiar with this term because of my mama. She’d drop me at school and pick me up when it is uwian. This had been our routine until I reached junior high school. Maybe mama was just protective since I was still a minor. My classmates often teased me because I was old enough to be treated like this.
Why would I mind them though? At least I felt the safest when we were together. She treated me with meryenda before we went home. Most importantly, I had someone to talk to about how my day went—someone was willing to listen to all my whines.
The act seen from others
Same goes for friends. Because I’m not good with directions and afraid to commute on my own, they offer to just fetch me so I won’t be lost. If it is time to go home, they’ll walk me to the sakayan and wait until the jeepney I got into to go. During the waiting game, we’ll talk some more before the jeep leaves. These are just small gestures but it brings relief to me.
Hatid-sundo goes beyond lovers as well. It is an unwritten rule for boyfriends to consistently pick their girlfriends up either at school, the workplace, or basically anywhere. I have observed this in my sister wherein her partner regularly drives her to and from work, or else my sister will make a fuss about it.
This is also a common scene at airports. Families and even friends gather to send off a loved one who is about to depart. Meanwhile, others are patiently waiting to welcome their relative who will arrive back home. Simply, hatid-sundo is a family affair to us Filipinos.
Hatid-Sundo as a love language
The act of hatid-sundo seemed unusual compared to other expressions of love. From my standpoint, I don’t underestimate this gesture, and I believe it is equally special.
Paghahatid or sending someone off is one of the best ways to show your affection to someone who will leave, especially if they are dear to us. Before we bid our goodbyes, we also send off our ‘take care’ remarks and last-minute reminders. These include updating us when they arrive at their destination. We hope for them to have a safe and sound journey.
On the other hand, pagsusundo means the excitement of seeing someone finally back. It is the opportunity to welcome them and express the longing for a tight embrace with whispers of ‘I miss you’.
These events always make paghahatid and pagsusundo remarkable for me. There is warmth and sweetness attached to it. When someone does it for me, my heart can’t help but swell.
In spite of being regarded as a small favor compared to blunt love expressions, there is a special thing about hatid-sundo. This simple gesture is a way to express our concern for someone and how we cherish the moment of parting from each other. Does it have the same meaning for you?
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