Monday, December 1, 2008

Filipinos' Little Spanish and More English

Today my mom started renovating her room and we hired a carpenter. The renovation was a call to the modern design of the interiors she saw on magazines and television. We were actually brainstorming and directing all the this and that. As I observe them working, I heard one shouting at his companion “Largo! Largo!” I was surprise and suspecting that it is a Spanish word. How come he was able to use it. I don’t even use that word in usual daily communication. I tried to think deeper the meaning of the word. I waited to the response of the second person. He brought in a long lumber. Then I think “Ahh maybe it means long” as we also called “Pantalon” (Pants) as delargo or de Largo (in proper context). That probably why we use commonly the word delargo to describe the long pants.

There are thousands of Spanish words in Filipino language. You cannot compose a Filipino sentence without a Spanish word on it, maybe not really be a sentence but surely in a paragraph. If you are a spanish speaker you might probably understand what I am trying to say on this Filipino Ilonggo sentence: “Gusto ko ang sapatos nga barato pero alta kalidad” which means “I like cheap shoes but with high quality.” In Spanish: “Me gustan los zapatos baratos pero de alta calidad” If you go to the market and buy something surely you will hear a lot Spanish numbers. If you are going to ask a prize they will answer you using Spanish numbers or English numbers. For example; “How much is the pork?” Possible answer you may hear: “ Cuarenta cada kilo” or they may also say “Forty per Kilo”, then if you ask someone about the time, they may answer you in Spanish or in English. Usually older Filipinos use the Spanish phrases, but if you ask a younger person they will surely use the English phrases.

What is also unique with Filipinos is our names. Usually our first names are in English but our family names are in Spanish. For example; Michael Perez, Christine Lopez, Peter de Leon. Our identity as Filipinos has been totally influence by the western culture. Our names are just a representation of the two foreign dominations, Spain in 1521 and the United States in 1899.

The Philippines (Filipinas) is named after King Philip II of Spain (Rey Filipe II de EspaƱa), and it became a territory of the Viceroyalty of the New Spain which was governed from Mexico City until the early 19th century, when Mexico obtained independence. From the 1820's, the archipelago was ruled directly from Madrid, Spain. The Philippines for 333 years as Spanish province (Provincia del Mar) is not enough to become a total Spanish speakers like Mexico and the rest of Latin America. Well, it is also a good thing that we Filipinos was able to preserve our own native tongue with more than 170 native languages (dialects) all over the archipelago. Somehow, I am also disappointed that the gift of Latinity to the Filipinos by the Spaniards is continually lost in time.

Each region of islands in the Philippines has its own dialect. To be able to communicate with each other Spanish language was being used for three centuries. Spanish is the Philippines’ first national language. Before the American came, Philippines is almost Hispanized through an exchange culture between Spain through Mexico. With the decline of Spain's power over its colony is the time and rise in power of the United States. The Philippines made English as the co-official language. Eventually the Filipino in 1937 realized to seek its own identity. They Established Tagalog (a dialect spoken in Manila, the capital city) being called Filipino as the official language of the Philippines. From then on we got three major languages; Spanish, English, and Filipino. Not until the 1980's when Spanish was officially removed as part of the country's major language.

I am happy to think that until now there are still Spanish creoles left existing in some provinces of the Philippines. Such as in the province of Zamboanga where they speak almost or broken Spanish, being blamed to the Spaniards in history who did not teach the locals well.

The Philippines became a Christian nation because of Spain and having a Democratic government because of the United States of America. The Americans was the first to build public schools in the Philippines with English as medium of instruction. Until now, the Filipinos enjoy this gift as fluent English speakers in Asia and with half to extinct Latinity.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My 2nd Anniversary as a United States Professional

Two years ago I went to Hong Kong to take the National Council Licensure Examination. Lying down my bed this morning mesmerizing the moment I walk around the Chinese soil full of hope to pass the State Board Examination of the United States of America. It seems only yesterday that I tried to lost myself in Queensroad completing my dinner with a hot pot.

Hong Kong is far advanced than Manila, as it is being called an international city. The young people speaks English well and with Chinese accent. The older people barely understand and speaks English. I am totally impressed of its modernity unparalleled to Manila or any Philippine cities. Call me a caveman but the thing that excites me is the scanning system for transportation. The Hong Kongers just placed their cards on the scanning machine when they ride the bus and the subway. Some would place the card on the bottom of their bags and just try to put the whole bag over the scanning machine, or inside the wallet and putting the whole wallet on top of the scanner. I sound so naive and funny writing this things. One thing I hope from this and that is a hope for a modern Philippines. We only have a swipe system for our metro, and we only have few lines. I heard that the Philippine government is planning to add and extend more metro lines. I wish the budget will really be on the project and not on the politicians' pockets.

I feel sad, really sad, when my dad opened my room this morning asking me to drive him to the city to get his plane ticket because he is going back to United States for his work. When will I get my own plane ticket for the U.S. and start working as a professional? I renewed my American license already but I am still here in the exotic islands of the Philippines. When will I start staring at the skyscrapers? I hope next year I will write on my blog my third anniversary wearing thick clothes preparing for the upcoming winter in New York City.

Sigh! I am so disappointed but hopeful.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Old Bad Childish Memory

This morning I was driving my car around my hometown and I passed by the old school where I had my elementary education.

When I was young in my elementary years, I was brought up in a society where the equation of intelligence, wealth, sanguinity, and memorization are paralleled. If you can memorize the Pledge of Allegiance you’ll surely get the highest grade even you do not understand what you are saying. Those kids whose parents are teachers would usually get the highest recognition in every school activities and would get an extra points on their grades. They are the singers, the orators, boy scout leaders, the leaders to sing the national anthem and raise the flag. If you are a son or daughter of a prominent family they would also give you a credit or recognition of such otherwise they can’t get a big donations to renovate the bathroom, exclusively for teachers' use. Unfortunately I am not on those categories, we don’t have richness for them to loot, thank God we don’t have relatives among those crocodile educators, and I don’t memorize things I don’t understand. So I end up as an ordinary student, whose name can only be heard when the teachers checks the attendance. I am just a nobody, and one of those from behind in dark corners.

I don’t like how these people from latrine slime in my community run the public educational system in our town, with guts to believe that the society owes them because they are the so called “Educators of the Future Filipino”. The fancy slogan would only deserve for teachers who teaches with fair, impartiality, and would not send his students in gardening instead of reading books. While she is so busy chit chatting with her fellow stinky colleagues dissecting life of other people. With my gullible mind I am too innocent not to have a liberal thinking that moment to analyze that we are doing is wrong. We are not suppose to do those gardening, we deserve to read books and not to till soil the whole day and looking for white stones at the river to decorate the garden. Every morning they would even ask us to pay for donations of this and that, payments for this and that. Sometimes my money reserved for snacks end up to donations because if you won’t give; "God will punish you, and you might end up in hell because selfishness" as what our teacher’s rhetoric speech would always conclude. I only have five pesos per day that year three pesos in the morning that you can buy a bread and a homemade juice in plastic and straw, and two pesos in the afternoon and I can only buy a gum or a candy. Some children were even given more than enough by their parents and they could buy more than what I have. I live my life so innocent that I don't even complain of what I have nor compare with how much my classmates have.

I thank my mother because after finishing elementary, she sent me to a private and big university in the city, for my high school. There, I would not live tilling the soil and spend the entire educational term in gardening. Unfortunately I had to leave home and would stay for several months away. I love that university because it is has wider campus world class library and it inculcates talent on every students. That is where I was coming out from my shell to share some God's programmed talent. It was the only time that I was able to perform oratorical speeches in competition in an elegant University Auditorium. I won several contests. As compared to that slime filthy stage of my elementary school where the usual people and usual names are performing, I have gone far from them.

I passed far from the main gate. I was searching for some good memories in my elementary but I can only remember my old good classmates. I never had an inspiration from teachers.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How Blind is Love to Make Us Stupid ?

This morning as I entered the English Academy where I am working, with headphones on at highest volume, listening to a Spanish crash course, one of my colleague asked me, "Do you know how to speak Chinese?" I answered, "Well just the basic one". I then discovered a young Chinese lady at the couch looking for her lost boyfriend (yeah, this is real! sounded like a TV drama eh). She lost in contact with her Korean boyfriend who had been studying English here in the Philippines. His boyfriend was our student in this academy a month ago, but after that he went out to find an independent tutor. Actually I saw her boyfriend few days past at one of the bar here in the city. We had a few chat and he is doing well and enjoying being a freelance learner, so I told her about that. She waited for the manager (a Korean) of our academy and ask for help where she can find her boyfriend. She lost in contact with him for almost three weeks and there was this speculations I heard that they already broke up, the reason why the guy probably changed his phone number. So what the hell is she doing here? Spending money to fly from China to the Philippines just to find her lost boyfriend? Yet in fact uncertain if her guy still loves her. Is love blind or just so stupid to be blinded? Today she went to the place where she can possibly find him, showing a picture of her boyfriend to anyone if they know him. Well, good luck to her!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Separation Anxiety

Every time my students said goodbye I also wanted to say goodbye to the academy where I am working. (Sigh... I am again dramtic, sorry! hehe) At first I tried to be heartless and cold because I know they come and go. At times when I sat in my cubicle the voices, footsteps, and laughter of my former students phantoms me. I know this is called separation anxiety, in effect every time I have a new student I tried to create a barrier and tried to be unfriendly. Now, maybe this is a realization that some teachers are cranky and distant. It is so sad because these students of mine are not just students but they are good friends. We went out for Friday nights and a lot of funny experiences. I never expected that I can jive to the Korean culture, a lot of them in the Philippines nowadays mushrooming every cities, but they were labeled as a close culture, which means they rarely blend to the mainstream culture. The notion is totally a hoax, once you get in touch with them they'll drag you to be like them, I actually more inclined to the Spanish and Chinese culture because I am studying these languages and not Korean, but all of a sudden I started eating "Kim Chi" (one of the Korean famous side dish), and started greeting "Anyong Haseo!" Positive effect called stockroom syndrome, the more you are exposed to it you'll becoming like them.

Now, I want to resign because of the separation anxiety, I want to leave first than seeing them leaving. hahaha funny! Of course I have other personal reasons of resigning. clue? just a career flow, I want to earn more.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Uncertainty of Life

Recently, China was devastated by a sudden earthquake. The province of Sichuan was greatly affected as it was where the epicenter of the earthquake. The number of deaths is more than 20,000 and still increasing. It is so sad to imagine loosing a special people in our lives. Surely at the moment, the affected are grieving and asking the questions in different forms of why? This sad event could happen to any place at any country in the world. We do not know when and how. That is why every moment we have for our beloved family and friends should be cherished, because it might be the last moment we could hug them and see them smiling.

The strongest earthquake I experience in my entire life is when I was in the third grade. I hid myself under my teacher’s table just to protect myself from any falling objects, while my teacher is shouting not to leave the building. Eventually I realized that my teacher’s strategy was wrong. Since we were at the first floor, we were supposed to run in an open space so we can be safer in case the whole building will collapse. Maybe if that building did collapse, I may not be here today. There is always a reason why some special people died in an instant and others still lives. For those who were saved, our journey in life still continuous and we may not even so sure when will be our last moment. Make everyday a special day, as it may be the last day, maybe this our last day to hear our parents voices, or hear our brothers and sisters laughter. We may not see the dusk and the dawn again, but we surely accept that life is temporary and just a privilege.

I had two friends in Chengdu the capital city of Sichuan province, I had been contacting them through MSN, but still I’m not so sure if they were safe. Maybe the internet is down at the moment due to a severe damage. I wanted to contact them through their phone but it may block the communication in case they were trap somewhere.

Sometimes I also realize that having an account here in the cyberworld would bring an everlasting memory so long as the internet stands, that what we are posting and writing makes it immortal. That we may even finished our journey on earth, we will still remain in the memory of our friends. What we wrote here are our treasures, the people whom we shared some simple events in our life would keep the story of who we are.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Random Thoughts

One morning I was walking going to work. I felt disappointed with no clear reasons. I feel gloomy while the sun shining with excitement. Mesmerizing the past into a kaleidoscope of ambivalence. Randomly confused.

After I graduate in College I passed all the licensure examinations not just in the Philippines but also in the United States. With no intention to brag but just a random thinking at this spur moment. I passed those examinations with outstanding results, God is always kind. Now, I am taking my masters degree at the University of the Philippines. Randomly thankful.

I felt I am losing myself, decaying my mental potency, and loosing the brilliance of blessings. 2005 and 2006 was my best year. The perfect year that God gave me. It all reached the boiling point that stunned me to halt dreaming and achieving. There might be missing in me right now that my decisions went erratic. Randomly feeling something.

Maybe I need to reflect more to fixed this erroneous circuitry in my synapses. I have to find myself and re-path my way. Walking straight forward to the right destination. To finish what I had started, and end it with a purpose. As much as possible I don't want to be a looser twisting my dream into a crap. Randomly lost.

To dream is freedom, to believe is a chance, to survive is a choice. Randomly thinking.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Wrong Intelligence

There are people who easily stereotype things, places, and even people. What's wrong with stereotyping? If you stereotype, you usually judge or label anything without an actual and thorough research. Instead of arriving into a correct conclusion. Our decision has been affected by the misleading information, which eventually makes us a poor decision maker. It is so easy to stereotype, usually these people remain in a nutshell of ignorance. Ignorance that sometimes can harm others, their own self, or could also an affirmation how stupid they are.

If I may experience it within my sphere, I might silently react. It's not my fault that he or she is so ignorant, rather it will always reflect the kind person he/she is. I never bother catching their attention. Sooner or later, they may wonder how they arrive into a fallacious result because of their illogical and blind premises. Life experiences will always had their own way to reprimand them.

Thus, if I were to recommend, I would categorize it as an extreme recommendation, that we should be cautious of how, what, where, and when to decide. We might not know, that the answers to our questions, are just on the dark corner we just failed to analyze.

I was once a perpetrator, believe me, I regret much because it's a wrong intelligence.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Universal Valentine

Another hearts day had passed, another month of love, another year that cupid was missing. Valentines Day is the most exciting day for the lovers. The most cherished one by the growing lovers. Yet it’s another blank celebration for me, just one of the ordinary day. Maybe it’s a wonderful feeling if you had a special person in your heart when this moment is celebrated. Maybe it is something that excite you both.

Every year, the world’s population is increasing, could be said that the number of lovers does increase. But sadly there had been tension between nations , clashing each other from the teachings they were brought up. Personally, I believe religion is good, but somehow too much fanaticism with it can also cause misunderstanding, conflict, and to the most extent, war. If each religion teaches love, why do we have to hate? Do we have to hate first before we realize the love? Or let the love be first and forget about the hate?

Love has no boundaries, you are free to express it. Love is blind, because you can love with anyone spontaneously. Love conquers all, because you will do anything out of love. Love is special because it bears good things. Love is good because it does not hate.

In any form of love inspires us all, to grow and appreciate the beauty of life. No matter how I say, I am loveless because I don’t have my special one today, it is still the universal love that I can celebrate.