If the Filipino advertising agency is to adopt the successful “Share a Coke” campaign done in Australia in 2011, one thing is certain, my name won’t be included. The campaign removed the iconic Coca-cola logo from the bottles’ label and instead replaced it with about 100 different common first names in their country. It was reported that there was about 32% increase in the sales of Coke in the first two weeks when the campaign was launched.
My name Neil won’t be included because here in the Philippines, its inhabitants has the habit of giving nicknames that simply duplicates the same syllable like Nene, Toto, Makmak, Leklek, Tintin, Jojo, Junjun, Lotlot, Maymay, Katkat, Bangbang, Kangkang, Tonton, Em-em, Jay-jay, Bibi, Gigi, Ar-ar, Tata. Believe me. I can go on and on and on.
Not only in terms of nicknaming people but there are other instances that we do it. Here’s a few:
“tiktik” – a name of a sleazy tabloid or it means to investigate
“kiskis” – meaning to polish
“siksik” – which means compacted
“sapsap” – a name of a slipmouth fish
“paspas” – meaning to speed-up
“bolabola” – the name we call a hawker’s fishballs
“labolabo” – meaning chaos or confusion
“major major” – part of the controversial answer of Ms. Philippines in 2010 Ms. Universe pageant which the rest of the world poked fun of
I am not a linguistic anthropologist who could explain this factual phenomenon. But there must be something in the water that makes us do this agglutinative style. We even name the vagina and penis in this manner…
Every night since January 24 of this year, every time I would step out of my veranda buckets of drool would come out of my mouth. This is because from my veranda I could see the Cultural Center of the Philippines lighted up in its full glory welcoming the excited spectators of the fun and global smash hit musical Mama Mia.
But tonight, I stopped drooling because just this afternoon during its matinee run, I, Nengkoy, my elder sister Gaying and nephew Luis had the awesome opportunity to see and watch the spectacular show. Performed no less by the international touring U.K. cast and production.
The show features more than 20 songs of ABBA that is intricately lined-up and positioned together to create a cohesive musical storyline. ABBA is a popular Swedish pop group which I and my siblings grew up listening to during the ‘70s. Because of this, I was literally singing along in every song in the repertoire. “Take A Chance On Me”, “The Winner Takes It All”, “SOS”, “Money, Money, Money”, “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!”, “Super Trouper” and “I Have A Dream” to name a few.
When ABBA smashed global hits in the ‘70s Nengkoy was basically of the same age I am now. Thus, Nengkoy no doubt was also enjoying the pure fun musical. For me, that’s what mattered most, me and Nengkoy enjoying the musical together. Nengkoy was literally dancing on her seat when ala-concert style performance was done on the last 3 songs of the show – “Mama Mia”, “Dancing Queen”, and “Waterloo”.
Add to the popular music are the marvelous ‘70s inspired costumes, excellent stage lighting as well as the impressive revolving stage which makes the musical even more incredibly amazing.
I was swept away at the finale when the female lead character shouted “Thank You Manila!” and asked the audience in Tagalog, “Gusto nyo pa?!!” (You want more?!) in thick British accent. The audience certainly shouted, “Yeah!” in heavy Tagalog accent. She then shouted “Bongga!!!” – a ‘70s Filipino slang meaning fab, groovy and marvelous – and started singing and gyrating along with the rest of the cast to the tune of “Waterloo”.
Mama Mia is no doubt a fun-perfect musical! I love it.