Sunday, March 17, 2013

Of Letters W's and J's

I grew up and I identify myself to a small nucleus of Leyteño speaking relatives. And though we can claim a true blue Leyteño identity because our grandparents are pure Leyteño by blood, we are slowly missing a distinct mark of our Leyteñlanguage into homogeneity. We should know that we are distinct from that of another regional variation called Cebuano.

One might say that the difference between Cebuano and Leyteño is not that striking that both languages can be mutually intelligible. True, but there is something distinct about Leyteño that sets it apart from Cebuano.

The differences lie mostly in phonology. One is, when speaking, a pure Leyteño tends to replace the Cebuano letters L with W; and Y with J. Although there are many exceptions to it, this usually happens when letters L or Y is between two vowels.

For example, the Cebuano "bulak" becomes Leyteño "buwak" which both refers the same as flower. Another is the Cebuano "sulayi" turns Leyteño "sulaji" which both means to try. Here some other examples to the best of my knowledge:

pula - puwa (red in color)
ulan - uwan (rain)
bulad - buwad (to dry)
ilalom - ilawom (under or beneath)
bola - bowa (a ball)
sulat - suwat (a letter)
kalot - kawot (to scratch)
tigulang - tiguwang (old)
bulag - buwag (blind)
dula - duwa (to play)

maayo - maajo (good)
buyog - bujog (a bee)
kuyaw - kujaw (amazing)
gayud - gajud (an intensifier)
bayad - bajad (payment)
kuyap - kujap (to faint)
bayi - baji ( a woman)
bayaan - bajaan (to leave)
siya - sija (pronoun he or she)
kabayo - kabajo (a horse)

Fourth or fifth generations like mine would struggle to find these Leyteñwords either by natural inability or sheer laziness. Nowadays when I hear people speaking with W's and J's between vowels, I seem to feel nostalgic. I can hear the voices of my grandparents back the old days talking to me. Yet, nobody, if not a few like me, cares that much to preserve these words.

Leyteño, anyone still speaking?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Honesty: Such a Lonely Word

About 5 months ago, our new schools division superintendent ordered that we revive the golden reminder: Honesty is the best policy. All schools agreeably backed up this idea by making visible signs of the saying in the classrooms and offices, and even in sheds and gates!

In this ultra modern society, it seems that honesty makes value only when there are eyes watching. People around often fail to realize the social ownership and corporate responsibility of the institution called education, which must be the reason why schools are prevalent victims of theft.

One time we were chatting about the recent  cases of lost coins and bills in some classes in our school.

One teacher, looking at the sign, commented: Honesty is the best policy.

Out of the blue, I barely noticed myself segued: And honesty is such a lonely word.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I Hate Margaux

Actually, I am not an avid fan of ABSCBN's teleserye "Ina, Anak, Kapatid" and I am surely past those drama days. I just have a nodding view of this drama series because it is also the time when I sit beside the idiot box to do my blogging stuffs.

What occasionally stops me once a while from writing is when Margaux, played by Maja Salvador, starts to act bad, utterly bad especially with her recent comeback, towards Celine, played by Kim Chui. I simply hate the character of Margaux.

I understand how Margaux was crafted to be a literary villain. I know the importance of effective villains in literature and how boring it would be without them. It is their role to be an obstacle that the protagonists will struggle to outlive. 

So, what really makes me incensed about Margaux?

Margaux and Celine.

Well, it seems that her character is not well developed. There must be a very significant cause that ignited her wicked actions. I know that the complication of their friendship all started when it was known that Celine has a crush on Ethan, the boyfriend of Margaux that time. So, what then? The writers must have thought of something more sensible to start the fire burning.

Moreover, the character of Margaux is just way inconsistent. Like, she was molded as a highly sophisticated girl in the beginning of story, and to think it was just a crush! What an unsound reason to make a mountain out of a molehill right away. The friendship of Margaux with Celine was well put in the story but how sudden and erratic the character of Margaux changed for a realistically shallow event.

And speaking of realism, the transition of the character of Margaux from being good to being bad is not also realistic. When it was revealed that Celine was the real daughter of the same rich couple who adopted Margaux, such event seemed just a reinforcer of the previous "my-boyfriend-is-your-crush" issue rather than an effective turning point for Margaux to become into a villain.

As I have said, I am not really a fan of this drama series. Or am I beginning to? And well, I simply don't like the character of Margaux. Or is her character just effective in pissing me off? For sure, I don't want to think I am being too carried away. Or what do you think my dear friends?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Life of Pi

THE LIFE OF PI was a hauntingly metaphoric film, thanks to the help of my friend who explained to me its symbolism while viewing it I didn't struggled that much as a movie civilian. The story was about an Indian boy named Pi who outlived a shipwreck and stranded in an island with a tiger named Richard Parker.

Okay, let us assume the assignment of animals to the actual human characters in the movie. The tiger and Pi were the last two to survive in the same boat - a faithful vegetarian and a notorious carnivore. The tiger was actually the reflection of Pi, demonstrating his inner struggle. He needed the tiger in order to survive but he needed to tame it to keep himself alive.

The carnivorous island represents our defense mechanism to regress in a place inside ourselves where we feel secured from stress and grief. While it is safe in the island of our content, the danger is when we don't risk finding hope in the outside dimensions of life we will soon be eaten by our own stress or drowned by our own grief. 

There are a lot more metaphors in the film that one can interpret differently, depending on his view. If you want an experience full of depths of life, watch this.

The ending might have been heart breaking but I think it is truly of life to say goodbye to family, to friend, to grief, to sorrow.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Art of Waiting

Hell, I don't like to wait! I hate the long queue in the registrar's office during the enrollment. I detest the long line at the counters in the mall. And at my transition from being a student to being a public teacher, my patience was really tested to the longest stretch before I finally found my stable spot under the sun.

I cannot wholly imagine that I actually grew up waiting for almost all things. I had to wait for: the long summer nights that I was alone in my room during vacations with my grandparents in the province; the long dreadful months that I was wondering if I really did my best at the licensure exam; the long dreary period that I was hoping to bounce back after being broke.

Having said all that, I realized that I am being  unfair by getting impatient with waiting - even for just trivial things like downloading audio for a minute or enduring a scheduled brownout! These are but nothing compared to my life experiences that I waited and have been appropriately rewarded. 

I know I must inherently value the virtue of waiting. God is not trying to make me miserable when he makes me wait. But when I learn to wait patiently on God, He does something inside my soul. This is reinforced with my recent milestones both on my career and study. I learned that when I wait I am not only strengthened but also become faithful in His promises.

As I pondered upon this post, I thought of sharing this phone message about people who had to wait before attaining success. Their stories inspired me so truly and lifted me up during the times when I almost want to give up.

"If Howard Schultz gave up after being turned down by banks 242 times, there  would be no Starbucks. If Walt Disney quit too soon after his theme park concepts were trashed 302 times, there would be no Disneyland. If Thomas Edison, after 999 failed attempts, gave up, there would be no electricity."

In the midst of my paper works, graduation preparations and warming weather, I intend to enjoy each moment by waiting. The most awaited summer vacation will just arrive - soon enough.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Heart Attack

Damn young heart of mine
Feeling just right and fine
But beyond its fair demeanor
Are untold tears and more.

As the memoirs of yesterday
Come back tonight vividly
Oh, this heart aches for thee
It's really insane, you see.

Whatever fusion has Cupid
Cast upon this heart so stupid
That til now it remains a slave
Of a love it can never save.

Damn young heart of mine
It knows it's just wasting time
But it doesn't want to stop
Oh, I'd better wish heart attack.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

'Nosebleed' is Out, 'Epistaxis' is In

Actually, my nose is not dripping with bloody red this moment. This post is about the origin and evolution of two popular Filipino expressions - the "nosebleed" and, if in case you don't know yet, the "epistaxis".

About five years ago, a television advertisement of a sitcom was once a talk in town. The trailer showed Pokwang, a local comedian, having the literal dripping of blood from her nose because she was talking to a guest who was an affectedly genteel person speaking in pure English.

Since then social life was never the same and it abuzzed everywhere with the "nosebleed" expression. The expression became an instant part of the daily parlance of this nation of ingenious people although nobody might remember today how the expression started in that television program.

The expression "nosebleed" in the Filipino context is not a medical condition in itself. The expression is an informal term uttered in response to instances encountering hifalutin words in conversations, usually in English. In campus life, the expression is usually the reaction of most students after a difficult examination. It is also widely used to describe reactions to encounters of complex problems, formal interviews and technical reports.

On the other side of things, two years ago, I was chatting online to a distant relative who is a registered nurse. Our conversation went on something about my work that is associated with etiology of developmental disabilities of the children that I handle. My relative reacted: epistaxis!

The expression "epistaxis" is the exact medical term for the same condition as nosebleed. The expression originated most probably from the realm of nurses and doctors as it is obviously a medical terminology . Although the expression is more known in the medical world, I believe it is slowly creeping  into our daily parlance at present.

For this post, I googled images for "nosebleed" and it showed noses dripping with blood while for "epistaxis" showed the internal causation of such condition. In my own point of view, "epistaxis" is a more technical word and therefore it further intensifies the context of usage.

One time, I was departing from a friend's place and as a twist I used my little knowledge on French language to say goodbye. He replied with the "epistaxis" instead of the "nosebleed" expression. I laughed because I knew it. I replied: You might want to help yourself with some coagulants!