Posts Tagged ‘language’

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.


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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!

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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!

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the grand budapest hotel

the grand budapest hotel

Can a film be at the same time funny, exciting, intelligent, poetic, violent, colorful and absurd? The answer can be found in the movie The Grand Budapest Hotel.  It is because all these elements are present in this brilliant movie.

Ralph Fiennes character of Gustave H, the hotel’s superstar Concierge is such a joy to watch. He imbibes sophistication in his acting in which humor, action and drama were all mixed up in such a perfect balance.  Aside from the great Fiennes, the film also boasts of master cameo performances by that of Adrien Brody, Willem Defoe, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, Owen Wilson, Jude Law, Tilda Swinton and a lot more.  Presence of these superstars would definitely elicit giggles from the viewers by their mere simple recognition in the movie.

the visuals were simply brilliant

the visuals were simply brilliant!

Because of the gorgeous colors, the engrossing story, the stunning visuals and the array of actors with bits of roles in the story, the movie feels like I was walking through one fantastic and extraordinary music video.  I was like transported to the eloquent 1930s Europe of a different universe without the jet lag.

Aside from all these elements, what I particularly would like to rave about the movie are the well-crafted sparkling dialogues.  Spoken especially by the engaging Gustave H.  The set of words spoken by Gustave are like pieces of art works hanging in a museum.  He can be very eloquently composed and can also be uproariously agitated.  And because of his difficulty from balancing his temperament he ends up being sophisticatedly hilarious!

To prove my point here is the dialogue, a letter in fact, written by Gustave H to his colleagues of the hotel when he was at the confines of a prison:

My dear and trusted colleagues,

I miss you deeply as I write from the confines of my regrettable and preposterous incarceration.  Until I walk amongst you again as a free man, the Grand Budapest remains in your hands, as does its impeccable reputation.  Keep it spotless, and glorify it.  Take extra-special care of every little bitty bit of it as if I were watching over you like a hawk with a horse-whip in its talons, because I am.  Should I discover a lapse of any variety during my absence, I promise swift and merciless justice will descend upon you.  A great and noble house has been placed under your protection.  Tell Zero if you see any funny business.

Your devoted Monsieur Gustave

The dialogues were so incredibly sharp, rich, witty and completely brilliant.  In fact, because of the clever use of words in the dialogues, this is one of the few movies which would be worthy to be seen with subtitles.

No doubt, the Grand Budapest Hotel is one grand symphony of beauty.  I truly enjoyed it!

May oskar ‘to. Pihado ko.

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As a way of showing huge gratitude to this adorable Canadian (with Greek descent) guy for loving the Philippines so much, let me feature two of his enjoyable videos on my blog.  I have been so captivated by Flip Stavy’s YouTube videos which features his fondness and adoration towards the Filipino language, food and people.

First is a very funny video, which I guess, only Flips can laugh about.  I always find it so cute and hilarious when human beings born of another tongue would utter Filipino expletives.  Stavy looks so innocent and so clueless making this video a riot! And by the way, the genius dichotomization and extraction variations of the invective ‘put*ng in@’ at the latter part of the video is so brilliant.

But here’s a Filipino language vocabulary video of Flip Stavy discussing about family.  I never thought of Filipino genealogy labelling in this very cool manner.  How I wish my Filipino teachers taught me my language in this very refreshing style.

Flip Stavy’s adorable videos would not have been possible without his Filipino buddy whom he calls Pao-Pao.  I hope Pao-Pao would stay as friendly and supportive as he is now to Stavy.  He definitely exemplifies the Filipino’s in-born warmth and hospitality.

‘Tang ‘Nang ‘Yan! Wi lab yu tu Stavy!

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barber's tales movie poster

barber’s tales movie poster

All elements of a good movie seem to be present in the film Barber’s Tales written and directed by Jun Lana.  Everything in the movie though simple in its attack seems mesmeric.  It is so good the viewers at the end of the film could not control from clapping their hands.

It is a quiet movie yet its overall effect encompasses viewers’ expectations of a well-made film: honest-to-goodness directing and storytelling; unpredictable twists and characters; so-true-to-the-character acting performances; skillful use of the Filipino language; unobtrusive and discreet use of music that mixes naturally with the sound of the environment; and, lastly the brilliant use of old and faded colors.

I know there have been heaps of positive reviews and blog posts written about Barber’s Tales highlighting on how good the story is, how cohesive the direction and cinematography was or how impressive the actors were.  Thus with this post, let me honor one aspect of the film that seems to have been slightly neglected.  The production design.

Being a person who grew up in the era on when the story wheeled on, this element of the film truly delighted me.  Thus, for me, Chito Sumera, the production designer of the movie is one of the movie’s superstars.

The movie’s production design brought me back to my pre-school years in Pasay.  I agreed with all the 70’s period props and costumes featured in the movie.  From the prostitutes’ usage of pink plastic rolers (curler tubes) on their hair, the presence of old transistor radio inside the barbershop, the usage of hoary kulambo (mosquito net), the presence of time-consuming ginanchillo (crochet fabric) on top of the rickety-looking tocador (a dresser) and even the old magazine with Margie Moran on its cover were all genuinely amazing to see.  These well-researched props made me further feel the critical sensory-emotional values of the film.

when i was still a kid, i always thought that those batya (laundry tubs) were giant tansan (bottle caps)

when i was still a kid, i always thought that those batya (laundry tubs) were giant tansan (bottle caps)

I actually whispered to Nengkoy while the movie was running if she noticed and still recalls those reliable tin metal batya (laundry tub) which the main character and her best friend were using in one of the beautiful scenes.

These key design elements further elevated the film to be closer to what is the truth and what has existed in the past, thus, making the story so real.

The Barber’s Tales is still showing in few selected cinemas in the metro.  For its ‘true’ aesthetics, this film is definitely a must watch movie.


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miss philippines (ariella arida); 3rd runner up in the miss universe 2013

miss philippines (ariella arida); 3rd runner up in the miss universe 2013

Congratulations to Miss Philippines for being in the top 5 again in the recently concluded Miss Universe Pageant.  This is the 4th consecutive year a beautiful and smart Filipina placed the Top Five.  This definitely sealed the concept that Philippines is a first-rate powerhouse in the world of international beauty pageants.

I am not complaining that it has been four consecutive years that the Philippines almost took the coveted title.  It has been said that our country’s major movers on international pageants already has the correct formula for winning.  But I beg to disagree because there is one ingredient missing in their formula.  And that would be a Pageant Interpreter.

the brilliant philippine senator, miriam defensor santiago

the brilliant senator, miriam defensor santiago

May our candidate possess a sharp and perfect command of the English language or not, we should still have the component called Pageant Interpreter.  It’s the missing element for geeze sakes!  And these brilliant movers must give in to the enduring clamor of the Filipino people that Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago be our candidate’s Pageant Interpreter.


donald trump, owner of ms. universe organization

donald trump

As for this year’s winner, let me extend my warm congratulations!  As for the owner of the Miss Universe Organization, Mr. Donald Trump, let me remind you that would have to shell out more than just what Miss Venezuela has won.  You would now have to add an additional pax in the budget of Miss Universe 2013 for her every trip, meeting, function or social engagement that she would have to attend.  It would be additional expenses for plane tickets, meals, clothing, room accommodations and the likes.  This would obviously be for the essential and necessary Mr. or Ms. Interpreter.

last year, venezuela missed the "translator" element that is why they lose

last year’s venezuela candidate was more stunning than this year’s winner, but they missed the “translator” element that is why she lose

I always believe that a Pageant Interpreter can actually make a beauty contestant sound intelligent.  It has been an accepted fact that a translator’s skill and proficiency in integrating the idea of another person’s thought spoken in a different language through the usage of flowery expressions, momentous terms and big words can make a lot of difference.  Hence, let me also congratulate Mr. Interpreter for also winning the coveted crown!

Si Miriam talaga ang kulang. Pag hindi pa din tayo nanalo papagalitan nun si Donald Trump.

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Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.

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Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.


Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.