OY/YO a Symbol of NYC Multi-Lingualism

I fulfilled my personal promise that I would go around Brooklyn in case I would return to New York.  Brooklyn was the dynamic and remarkable borough I failed to visit the first time I toured NYC.

One goal out of this fulfilment was to check on the chic and chichi Brooklyn Museum, one of the largest and oldest museums in the United States.  But prior to entering the fine-looking museum, one would have to inescapably notice two giant letters.  It is unavoidably apparent because the figure is about 8 feet in height, 17 feet wide and it is flamboyantly bright yellow in color.

Entitled “OY/YO” by artist Deborah Kass is a giant pop-art sculpture that is part of the public art display of the Brooklyn Museum.  And everybody who got to step into the Brooklyn Museum for the first time, for sure, has a photo with this iconic sculpture.  I of course had mine!

Let me then relay my rumination about this piece of art.  OY/YO for me presents the onlooker with an abundance of meaning.  This seemingly simple yet humongous sculpture can resonate in different languages.  It can speak to onlookers may they have differing cultural, linguistic, social and ethnic background. 

Spanish speakers for one may read it as “I am” since YO is the Spanish word for I am.  But people from Portugal and Brazil may perceive it as saying “Hi” since OY is the Portuguese word for “hi”.  While Americans (especially African Americans) may see it differently because YO has evolved as a common and informal salutation among these people.  Yes, yes, Yo!

i admit, filipinos can sometimes be so american…

i prefer this one… because it got angst in the filipino tongue

In Somali OY is a word meaning vote!  Lithuanians and Yiddish speaking folks on the other hand may regard it as OY since Oy is the word they use for expressing disappointment and annoyance.  OY in Armenian, Uzbek and Azerbaijani according to Google translate is the English word for month. 

But for me, as a Filipino, OY/YO the sculpture would speak in both ways.  It is acceptable in both forms, as Oy and as Yo.  Similar to the American salutation, Filipino folks especially the hip-hop and rapper class would also use YO as an informal salutation.  It is like saying “Hey” in a friendly manner.

But once upset, irritated and wants to confront someone, Filipinos (may they belong to hip-hop, pop, disco, techno or other freaking genre) would address that someone as OY.  Oy is also like saying “Hey” but in an ill-mannered cheeky tone. And once Oy is uttered to you several times by a Filipino in a crude and threatening tone like Oy! Oy! Oy! Oy! Oy! This would mean you must have been caught from some kind of trouble and needs to pay for the repercussions that you seem to have done.

So it is just but fitting for OY/YO to actually be placed and exhibited in NYC, Brooklyn Museum in particular.  It is because NYC is considered the cultural melting pot of the planet.  Everybody in NYC seem to know and speak a second language. And OY/YO the sculpture can symbolize the multi-linguistic representation of everyone in NYC.  I am so fortunate to have bumped into such a vivacious kind of a sculpture.

And if OY/YO would have the opportunity to visit Manila, this sculpture would definitely be a big talk of the town because it has meanings and can definitely resonate something to a Filipino like me.

Yes, yes, yo! Oy, oy, oy!

Language of Planet Ketosis

It’s been exactly 24 days that I have been doing myself a ketogenic diet.  And since this high-fat, adequate protein and very low carb diet is new to my being, I have to do a massive research and study so as to keep myself from being under ketosis and prevent being kicked out from it.

Through the days of my research, I discovered that there are words that exists which I never use or even encountered prior to my being on keto.  It seems that there is a totally different set of language that exists because of this diet.  It was like I was transported to a different planet and was exposed to a totally different language.

with nengkoy and my sister joie (who’s been my patient buddy every time i need to do a keto grocery shopping)

 Where on earth would you encounter the words keto flu, ketosis and medium-chain triglycerides? How on ordinary earth would you bump into words like ketones, hypoglycemia and gluconeogenesis?  A cheese is a cheese is a cheese. But now I have to care about its containing conjugated linoleic acid

And since I got the sweetest tooth, I have to come across with aspartame, erythritol, tagatose and monk fruit.  Even my computer’s spelling-check feature could not ascertain if some of these words really exists!

The keto language even have homonyms for sugar!  To the tune of glucose, sucrose and fructose.  Prior to keto diet the only 3-same sounding words I knew that are related to each other were the nephews of Donald Duck! Huey, Dewey and Louie!

Hahaha! The only bulletproof I know is a vest.  Now I have to be familiar with a bulletproof coffee! Macros is short for macronutrients.  May it be shortened nor lengthened, I both never knew it prior to ketosis.  If my two favorite Disney villains were Flotsam and Jetsam of The Little Mermaid, now my two favorites – not villains but fats – are MUFA and PUFA! Go google it!

O sha na.. at baka magka-ketoacidosis pa ako sa inyo!

Bitter Gourd Monologues is so Me

It’s been uncounted number of years since the time I last finished reading a book written in my native language, Filipino.  This long streak of non-sense convention is finally over.  And I am glad to announce that the Filipino-language book I finished is sooo me.  Its entitled Ampalaya Monologues written by “spoken word” genius, Mark Ghosn.

Ampalaya Monologues is so me!  Ampalaya for those who don’t know is Bitter Gourd in the Filipino language or metaphorically defined as “bitter”.  There are 27 characters in the book that features varying idiosyncrasies of heartaches, heartbreaks, eccentric longing, quirky hopes, emotional struggles and of course romanticized bitterness.

This I guess would be the very first book written in Filipino that made me cry and laugh out loud at the same time.  I literally was laughing at a lot of lines and thoughts in this book for I am so bitter, I can totally relate. Here’s the top six monologues I loved and totally enjoyed!   

 

I haven’t see or talked to the writer yet Ampalaya Monologues seem to have entered into my realm.  It was as if Mark Ghosn has entered my cranium and cerebral cortex and wrote what he has seen inside.

According to some write ups, Ampalaya Monologues (like The Vagina Monologues popularized in the past in the western side of the planet) are actually staged and performed by actors in front of big audiences.  But I guess reading the book would be a totally different experience.  It was as if the character was merely talking to the reader and no one else like in a big crowd.  Thus, reading the book I guess would be more intense and can definitely hit you right at your very core.

I love every piece of the chapters/monologues yet the last part was actually the most fitting for it makes you realize that for every tear, every heartache and bitterness a reader felt and experienced in the past, such sufferings will eventually make a person fervently mature and emotionally stronger.  I believe in the ultimate message of the book and that is for bitter people like us, there is still a chance to move on and some freaking flicker of hope is awaiting for all of us. 

Ang sabi nga sa libro, mas mabuting maging bitter kesa fake!

Major Major Major

Strange yet true, the Filipino language is one of the unique languages on the planet that duplicates the same syllables so as to produce a word or a name.  I am so used to knowing a person with the following appelations: Cheche, Ging Ging, Gly Gly, Ton Ton, Lotlot and Jon Jon.  And I am not a bit surprise to hear and use these Filipino words: hakahaka (speculation), singsing (ring), guniguni (hallucinations), gabigabi (nightly) bubukaka (will spread the legs widely) or lokoloko (loony).

Looney_1

this post is like this, baliwbaliwan at ang saya-saya!

Other Filipino duplicated-syllable words that I don’t intend to translate are pekpek, titi, kiki and bulbul! For those people who don’t speak the Filipino language you would just have to google the translation.  While for the Filipinos, I’m pretty sure they are now laughing out loud while reading this.

From my readings, one reason why my Filipino language is so used to duplicating syllables to create a meaningful word is because Filipino language as a whole seem to be composed of only simple and uncomplicated phonologies.  Also, my Filipino language lacks the composition of 3-lettered consonant clusters (like using str or psy in the beginning of a word and the use of gth or rch to end a word) to make it somewhat complicated.  Because of these limitations and to compensate so as to broaden the language, Filipinos unconsciously decided to duplicate simple utter-able syllables so as to create different words and meanings.

Filipinos are so accustomed to duplicating syllables as words it unconsciously spills out from our train of thought when we even speak the English language. Remember Ms. Philippines (Venus Raj) during the final Q&A round of the Ms. Universe pageant who replied that she never had any “major major” problem that she has done in her life during the 21 years of her existence.  This was a top trending topic then in the twitter world during that time.

I myself would sometime unintentionally utter doubled/repeated English words as if I am suffering from palilalia especially when I am so so very very happy!

20170730_065729

smiling though i am so na-wiwi-wiwi-na!

But what is even more strange is that Filipino language does not only duplicate syllables, it even triplicates it so as to even relay a different meaning for such usage of syllables.  Filipino words with triplicated syllables are actually words in future tense form.  Take these as examples:

  • Lalala (will worsen)
  • Dadada (going to spread a word or spill the beans)
  • Bababa (will descend)
  • Nanana (going to develop into a pus)
  • Papapa (will eat)
  • Yayaya (will invite)
  • Dododo (will suck from a nipple of a baby bottle)
  • Pupupu (gonna defecate)
  • Wiwiwi (gonna urinate)
  • Nganganga (will wide open a person’s mouth)

I was about to type hahaha which means laughing out loud! Hahaha!

Kakaloka!

Sexy & Romantic Portuguese

There will come a point in our lives that we would fall in love with a song in which the lyrics are written in a foreign language not familiar to us.  I have been feeling this for the past weeks.  I have fallen in love not with one but with three songs.  And what is so consistent with these songs is that these are all sang in Portuguese language.

There must be something special in the Portuguese language when sung.  I don’t understand a single word of Portuguese but the emotion and sentiment of this language evokes something special.  It’s romantic, it’s amorous, it’s passionate!

The expressive phonology, the sensual structure of words, the voluptuous syntaxes and the almost nostalgic vowels accentuates the feelings of passion and romance.  Apaixono, cafune and saudade are examples of quixotic-ly structured kind of Portuguese words!  People say that the unrestrictive airflow of spoken Portuguese words makes it ideal for singing songs of love and longing.  Maybe these are the reasons why I easily fell in love with the following songs…

  • My nephew Luis was dancing to this tune the first time he heard it.  Efemera by Tulipa

  • I first heard this song in a superb Brazilian movie. Vagalumes Cegos by Cicero

  • The 2017 Eurovision winner from Portugal. Amar Pelos Dois by Salvador Sobral

These are the only foreign language songs in my Spotify playlist.  Some say its French, others say its Spanish, but for me Portuguese is the sexiest and most romantic language on the planet. Obrigado!

Bakit kasi walang letrang X sa wikang Pinoy? Ayan tuloy di tayo kaseksihan.

The Word for Today is Kafkaesque

Our word for the day is ‘Kafkaesque’.  Meriam-Webster defines this adjective as “having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre or illogical quality”.  And still according to Meriam-Webster, this word is “often applied to bizarre and impersonal administrative situations where the individual feels powerless to understand or control what is happening”.

The feeling of being Kafkaesque is what I believe is what majority of the Filipinos are at in the present time.  This is most specifically exact with regards to the socio-political environment of the Philippines now that Rodrigo “The Punisher” Duterte, the president-elect, is about to head the country.  The Pinoy populace has gone Kafkaesque despite the fact that the incoming head of state has:

  • cursed and condemned the United Nations during his most recent press conference
  • called the Pope a son of a whore during its 2015 visit in the country
  • ridiculed Mexicans in front of the Mexican Ambassador
  • uttered misogynistic comments and called himself a womanizer
  • talked about his libido and sexual prowess during his campaign trails
  • pronounced that he could not live without Viagra
  • admitted to have permitted vigilante justice
  • joked about wanting to be the first to rape a brutally murdered Australian missionary
  • threatens to abolish the Congress if it plans to impeach him
  • voiced out that he is to pardon himself to mass murders
  • admitted his involvement with death squads
  • catcalled on a respectable lady journalist during a press conference
  • so used to using the Filipino-Tagalog term for “son of a bitch” as if it is one conventional and tolerable expression
kafkaesque ang peg natin dito kay manong

kafkaesque ang peg natin dito kay manong

I don’t want to analyze and justify why he won the country’s presidential election and continues to be so loved and be so popular in this country despite all those atrocious and despicable rhetoric.  And I know that my not trying to analyze and justify does not make things better.  Maybe it is because like the majority of the Filipinos, I myself has gone Kafkaesque.

Mind you, the use of the word Kafkaesque is not the first time in this blog.  I have utilized this word in one of my blog posts some three and a half years ago.  Click this LINK (kafkaesque) to find out…

But seriously – as if the enumerated speechifying by Duterte are nothing but light, easy and cheery – the reason why I chose the word Kafkaesque is because of a recent video posted by New York Magazine in its Facebook page.

Watch this and be amazed by this stunning piece of art which commemorates Franz Kafka, the dude whose surname was the origin of the word of the day…

Parang pang sosyal naman yang word na yan!

Christmas Greetings and Wishes 2014

merry christmas!!!

merry christmas!!!

Nengkoy and I would like to express – through the general parts of speech – our one of a kind 2014 Yuletide greetings and wishes to everyone!

Our wish is for you to possess your most wanted adjective, fulfill your most yearned verb, experience your dream adverb and express nothing but delightful interjections.   Nengkoy and I both hope that all these shall be in conjunction with the fulfillment of your dream to be with your most desired noun and pronoun in whatever preposition you may be this Christmas Season.

Merry Christmas!

Yeba! Maligayang Pasko sa ‘yo!