Sunday, September 22, 2013

What Is Pork Barrel?

I know that this recent public washing of linen all boils down into a thing called PORK BARREL, but I really wonder about the literal reference of this phrase. I asked a few people around who might be able to suffice my nosiness before it all became a dirty slogan among the protesters and a sickening headline among the news. While I scratched my head hard, they neither really know the answer.

The recently scandalized term pork barrel is also known as Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF in our country. It is a monetary budget allocated for each congressman to spend on projects or any matter where it is due without going through budgetary process. If you are a teacher, you would surely relate it to Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses or MOOE of a school.

I browsed some articles and here are some highlights of the things that I learned with regard to the origin of the term. They are really eye opener.

The term originated from the time when refrigeration was not yet a household thing for keeping pork and it was preserved in big wooden barrel of brine. The political usage may have been taken from the distribution of ration of salt pork to slaves in the plantation.  

A journalist C. C. Maxey commented that oftentimes the eagerness of slaves would result to rush upon pork barrel in which every slave would strive to grab for himself. Our modern day politicians, in their eagerness to take their local appropriation items, behaved so much the same as the slaves would for pork in the barrel.

Moreover, a barrel of pork is also used in the olden times as a measure of social status of a family. An eighteen hundreds literary document, for example, J. S. Cooper once wrote "I hold a family to be in a desperate way, when the mother can see the bottom of the pork barrel."

As I write and read this post, the picture that came in my mind from the metaphor above is that of a bunch of greedy politicians wearing a decent barong but in the middle of a stampede in the court with the others who are equally hungry, although not every one, to take the money of the people into their own pockets and cases.

I wonder how these same money we pay as our taxes could have helped so many needy people in our country if our politicians were just honest at all times. It's really a dirty business in a race of dogs, and a really dirty picture I can visualize.

How about you?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Origin of Filipino Lolo and Lola

A happy grandparents day to my grandparents and to all the grandparents around. I am not fond of celebrating this special day, but if my own grandparents are still alive today, I would have told them how well they brought me into this world, having lived a part of my childhood life with them. However, as what the title of this post intends to discuss, this is not a time to get sentimental.

LOLO and LOLA are Filipino kinship titles used before name of elderly persons to imply status of being grandfather and grandmother. The terms are also used to any male or female acquaintance generally over sixty years old regardless of affinity. In the Filipino culture, it is considered as a sign of respect to the old ones.

I believe that the Filipino kinship terms for grandfather and grandmother were derived from the final syllable of Spanish words abuelo and abuela.This is the same case for other Filipino kinship terms such as manong and manang which are obviously adapted from Spanish hermano and hermana, meaning uncle and aunt.

From the original Spanish abuelo and abuela, the words probably evolved when children cannot pronounce the entire words that are,  as a matter of fact, foreign to the local tongue. So, the parents of the olden times must have used a motherese language to simplify the terms for the struggling children, making it into lo and la.

So, how did they evolve into lolo and lola? Reduplication is a common feature of the Filipino language and other local languages in the country. Hence, over time, the Filipino speakers must have turned the shorter namesake into sweeter endearment called lolo and lola.

My Lolo Gunding and Lola Tina.

So, once again, a meaningful day to my grandparents and all the grandparents out there. Thank you for everything that you do to make the world a lovelier and happier place to live.

*Disclaimer: Not for scholarly purpose. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Drawing Inspirations

Last month, I did not really feel the holidays because of work commitments. I must say that, as a domino effect, I was stuck in a  sort of uninspired blogging. But slowly I am looking again at the brighter side of everything, which I think is more important than staying at the mundane. And I would just like to share some of my random inspirations for this.

A beam of inspiration she is. And candid at that take.

I have this growing likeness to this pretty lady who I can only describe as a fresh breath of air. Her name is Mutya Johanna Datul, a beauty queen wearing the Philippine sash at the Miss Supranational 2013 being held in Belarus. She simply has this genuine smile radiating through her whole personality that judges chose her in preliminary contest. The pageant is being shown at these hours but I don't have access, so the final result will be the first thing I am going to make inspiration tomorrow when I wake up.

After assuming that it will be the prelude of a season that ducks will hate, the rain poured tonight. It is from this that I get inspiration to definitely put my two bare hands in the garden tomorrow. I am going to transfer my hibiscus plants in the ground after they rarely bloomed in their pots and sometimes I noticed some "nipped in the bud" literally. I think they really need a favorable spot where their roots can spread wide and can thrive more healthy.

On the academic side, I am still thinking of what topic I am going to take with the action research I am planning to conduct, so tomorrow will be a welcome relief for this inkling in mind to come true. I have initially thought of something that would relate to the implementation of mother tongue as a curriculum subject in schools or to the reading difficulties that many early grade learners experience. You know, these stuffs that only weird people would throw much inspiration nowadays.

And lastly, I was notified days ago that that I have a letter at the community hall. I was back to the grinds for the whole week and I would only claim the letter not until Monday. Gone were the penpal days and a very few of my friends abroad would send letter these days, so I am understandably inspired at this point that I can only wildly guess. Could it be from someone I love or just from the bank? A letter from none of these two choices would really pull surprise but I am hoping to receive from the former.

So, this is how I am going to make some twists and turns this weekend from my rut.