Monday, February 20, 2017

May hugot daw...

The cashier at the checkout counter looks inquiringly at an item I'd decided not to buy at the last minute.

"Kasi habang tumatagal, nare-realize kong di ko pala siya kailangan," I feel compelled to explain. 

What I really mean to say is that in the time it has taken me to reach the checkout counter, it has dawned on me that I really do not need the item. But since the Tagalog pronoun "siya" is not gender-specific, what I said could be taken to mean that "Over time, I have realized that I don't really need him."

She smiles and says, "May hugot ba yan (Is that coming from deep inside), ma'am?" 


Thursday, February 2, 2017

I miss my Sinulog

One of my earliest memories of the Sinulog Festival is of a well-dressed young woman brandishing her umbrella at two young men in an attempt to prevent them from putting grease on her face. It must have been in the early years of what is now branded as the “Mother of all Festivals” in the country. These days, no one wears a white sleeveless blouse tucked into a black pencil skirt and black pumps while walking along Mango Avenue on the day of the Grand Parade.

Everyone now dresses to brave the heat,
crowd and long hours of walking during
the Sinulog Grand Parade.
I was still a high school student when the City of Cebu started holding the Sinulog in 1980. I got to dance in the street when spectators could still join the parade, but never as part of a contingent since St. Theresa’s College was not among the participating schools. My sister, though, was among those in the University of San Carlos contingent and I remember her boyfriend joining the group as a “watcher”, although it was apparent that the only one he was interested in watching was my sister, who he zealously guarded from would-be hecklers. Security was not tight at the time and anyone could come up to anyone and dirty their face with grease, usually taken from cars parked nearby and God knows where else.