Filipinos are playful and creative by nature, especially when it comes to coming up with children or shop names. Combination of several names with “h” thrown in between the letters or a parody of a controversial personality or issue, and even brand names is one of the favorite techniques.
This playful naming game applies to the specific Philippine ethnic groups too… each stereotyped with a name based on the common characteristics of the people who belong to that society.
Here’s few examples to illustrate:
Ilocanos are known for being stingy (a.k.a. kuripot).
There must be a grain of truth to it but I can confirm that not all are like that. My Kapampangan, Ilonggo, Pangasinense, and Cebuano friends are pretty good with their finances and do not shop all the time. Some of them are even thrifty! For my Ilocano friends, some like to splurge on branded clothing, handbags, and jewelry.
Let’s face it, not all people are the same. Whatever ethnic group or country you belong and whatever “name” you are known for… your own principle and belief still rules out! :p
For me, I’m a practical spender. The question that I ask myself when I need to purchase something is, “Is it a luxury or a necessity?”. If it’s a luxury, then no go. However, if it’s a necessity, no matter how expensive that is… it’s definitely a go.
By the way, I’m an Ilocano and proud to be one! 😀 Ta ta for now! 🙂
We stopped by in Pacific Place, an Asian mall, for lunch as well as to buy a vinegar (“sukang Iloko) from Northern Luzon, Philippines. I ordered sashimi and sushi, my favorite Japanese food, for the main course and halo-halo, a Filipino dessert, for my sweet treat.
While I was waiting for my halo-halo order, I was able to sales talk a Chinese guy in buying a kare-kare, a Filipino dish, in that food stall. At first, he was hesitant because it’s beef, but he can’t seem to resist it because he kept asking me if it’s really good. Eventually, he gave in.
When he saw the halo halo that I bought, he also ordered three cups. Ha! I should have asked for a commission from the owner eh?
Anyhow, my nephew, Rhajz sat four tables away from us because the table that we were currently occupying was too small. I was eyeing the chicken feet he bought and when I was about to join him,when we saw a pretty lady shared the table with him. To give them privacy, I stay put on my sit.
His mom and I kept laughing because Rhajz was blushing tremendously and he can’t seem to eat properly because of the pretty lady. True enough, when he joined our table, the one serving of chicken feet was left untouched. He said he was too shy to eat it in front of the pretty lady.
And the clincher? The pretty lady is pregnant. Ha! Too bad.. so sad.. for Rhajz.
Arnel phoned to inform us (Juvy and I) that he needed to pick up first his “lady friend” before going to our hotel to fetch us. He further mentioned that his college friends will be joining us in our night out (a.k.a. gimik).
Gimik Venue: Metrowalk (Ortigas, Philippines)
Arnel, Reyn, Juvy (the “Singaporean”), NoliPogi, Deo, Cynthia, Rosvie, Elma and I met up in Metrowalk. It was Reyn and Juvy who were the lovely guests in our gimik because majority of us graduated from Lorma Colleges so in a way, we all know each other either by name or by face.
Elma was late and was mumbling unintelligible excuse when she arrived. By that time, the early birds were already enjoying a “kilometric” babble and exchange of demure smiles. Little did we know that Elma will become the “star” of the night.
She practically stole the limelight with a “thunderous lightning strike” (if there is such thing). L How? See for yourself. Below is the excerpt of the group’s powwow with the unconventional and spontaneous remarks of the “star”:
Elma:(Looking at Juvy) How do you find the Philippines?
Deo, NoliPogi, Arnel, Cynthia, Rosvie, Reyn, Juvy and I exchanged confused glances for few seconds and then we instantly realized that Elma assumed that Juvy is a Singaporean (I came from Singapore at that time and Elma concluded that I brought Juvy “the Singaporean” with me.)
Juvy just smiled sheepishly. (Then she looked at me and we exchange knowing looks. )
Elma: (Speaking in Ilocano, a language used in Northern Luzon (Ilocos Region), Philippines) Apay haan na ammo ag English? (Translation: She doesn’t know how to speak English?)
Cynthia: (Speaking with certainty) Juvy can speak English, she’s a bit shy. She’s the daughter of TheCuriousme’s boss.
Elma: (Turning to Juvy) I went to Singapore last year. It’s a very beautiful country. I saw the Merlion. You know the half fish, half lion.
Juvy: (Smiling) Philippines is also a beautiful country.
Elma: (Speaking in Ilocano) Hayna! Agparigatak nga ag English! Nose bleed**! (Translation: Geez! It’s so difficult to speak in English!)
**Nosebleed is an expression in the Philippines. It’s normally blurted out when you’re talking to a foreigner or any English-speaking person and you’re running out or pretending to run out of English vocabulary.
Looking at Elma’s expression, we can’t help but let go of hearty laughters that we have been trying so hard to suppress.
Elma: There were so many Indians in Singapore. Give them “tawas”*** as a gift when you go home. They will absolutely love it. (Speaking in Ilokano) Hayna! Pirmi met ngatan ti “banglo” da. (Looking at Juvy) Baka met maka awat Ilokano datoy.
(Translation: Geez! They really smell “good” (referring to Indians in general). Maybe she can understand Ilocano.) TheCuriousMe Note: No Pun Intended ***Tawas is a white powder used as deodorant.
Cynthia whispered something to Juvy. Shhhhhh… Apparently, Elma’s ex boyfriend was an Indian.
Juvy: (Taking the cue from Cynthia) That’s perfect! Can you accompany me tomorrow? I’m going to buy an enormous amount and give to my boyfriend. He’s an Indian.
This elicited an ear piercing chuckle from the group.
Elma: (Looking alarmed) Oh! Don’t do that. Don’t tell that to your boyfriend. (Speaking in Ilokano) Hala! Kasatnu ngayen data. Baka agapa da. (Translation: Oh no! What should I do. What if they will end up fighting?)
Juvy: But why? You said Indians love “tawas”?
Elma: (Looking so helpless and worried) No. Please don’t. Ignore what I’ve said earlier.
Oppzie! Let’s end it now. This is becoming a “novel” (as usual). :p
I have no idea how the conversation was diverted into different mirthful topics and the “tawas” issue soon became a thing of the past. One thing is certain though, the exchange of banter and Elma’s facetious rejoinder tickled our funny bones to the maximum level! She really made our night memorable. Ha!
Up to the moment when we bid goodbye, Elma was still in the dark on the real “identity” of Juvy. By now, Cynthia and Rosvie must have told her. I wonder what her reaction was? 😀
Way to go Elma! You’re such a great sport! Until next time… Remember, don’t be late. See yeah!