Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ang Balay ni Mayang

Contemporary Bisaya songs are among the few songs that does not only capture the bare scenes of our country life, but also connect to the heart of anyone amidst this music industry that is turning into a gritty business.

ANG BALAY NI MAYANG, by Marianne Dungog and Kyle Wong, is a very simple song, with a genuine meaning; this strummed its way to my head. It offers simplicity but gives depth with poetry, rhythm, harmony, and melody.

Kyle and Marianne: The hearts behind the song.

It is one of the most romantic songs I heard these days about missing somebody. "Anhia ko diri sa balay... Kay gimingaw na ko nimo gamay..." from the first stanza strummed on guitar conveys that feeling humans all yearn - the bitter but sweet feeling of missing that someone who completes our hearts.

The song also utilizes figurative language probably derived from novelty lines so popular nowadays. "Amigason mura ug kamay... Mura ta ug dugo nga dili mamatay..." which roughly means "We will be slinked by ants like sugar... Like blood, our love will never die..." I find it just so sweet.

It sounds very folk with a laid back tandem of voice that makes one believe every word that the couple in the song says. I am sure that the fact that the couple singers behind the song are actually lovers in real life helped in making the song more sincere. 

I just hope we will hear more songs of quality like this - not hardly trying but simply genuine.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Growing Collection of Tillandsia

I love the uniqueness of plants found in arid biomes like desert that my once cactus collection is now growing into a heap of wider array of related varieties. One of them is the rare tillandsia plants.

Tillandsia are ephiphytes, which means they do not need soil in order to grow. They can be hang on a screen or glued to a solid material like dead woods. They absorb nutrients through their specialized leaves.

Although they are not cultivated primarily for their flowers, they bloom once they grow mature. Their flowers are beautiful and come in different colors, depending on the variety.

I bought this as a single plant alone a few month back. After its flowers bloomed and eventually withered, pups came out.

Others, sepecially those have adapted to tropical habitats, could grow on soil. I initially did not classify this one among tillandsia plants until I found it to the collection of an expert gardener.

There are also varieties, like the one above, that can be designed and whipped into a ball using a screen pattern.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Two Sides of Leps Expression

LEPS is a colloquial expression chiefly used by Ilonggo and Cebuano speakers, particularly among those living in Mindanao. The expression, however, varies in meaning among the two linguistic groups.

LEPS the Ilonggo way. Photo credit to

In Ilonggo, it is a shortened form to its word of origin "lipong" that means to faint or simply be out of consciousness. Filipino languages are fond of short cuts, which probably could be the reason. Moreover, the addition of the letter s as suffix to the expression signifies plurality or intensity.

The expression is usually said when one forgets something or does something wrong. In a stronger degree, it may also be harshly said to someone who is dull or slow. For example, when somebody mispronounces a certain word despite correction, a LEPS expression will suffice it all.

On the other hand, when I was in college, the same expression is used in informal conversations among Cebuano speakers, to mean as in "lips" of the human anatomy. The replacement of i to a softer e vowel could be attributed mainly to common blunder of saying the soft one instead of the hard one.

In a figurative context, the expression in Cebuano means being shameless. It is also negatively commented to overconfident people. It is just funny because a year ago, I thought I had the LEPS of an angel in a caption I wrote for an online profile picture where I posed with a pouty lips.

LEPS the Cebuano way. Photo credit to

Now speaking in my Cebuano tongue, I would not know its darker side had I not learned its other meaning from my Ilonggo friends.

LEPS, indeed, either of the two meanings.