Buwan ng Wika Special: Spagalog 101

Hindi ko palalampasin ang Buwan ng Wika nang hindi nagsusulat ng blog tungkol sa mga natututunan kong kakaibang bagay tungkol sa wika. Mga 8 months na akong nag-aaral ng Spanish. Mayabang ako, pero hindi pa ako masyadong magaling. Sa katunayan, in moments of greatest testing, ganito ang nangyayari:

“Estoy ninenerbyos, porque tengo una entrevista en español,” bigla akong mapapasigaw, habang nakapila sa Puregold at pinag-iisipan ang (kawalan ng) direksyon ng buhay ko. “¡Qué katakot!”

Tinatawag ko itong Spagalog. (Spanish+Tagalog ang ibig sabihin nito, hindi spaghetti+gambas+itlog.)

Sabi nila pag Pinoy ka daw, hindi ka masyadong mahihirapang matuto ng Espanyol: kasi nga maraming mga salitang mahuhulaan mo ang ibig sabihin, at marunong ka nang mag-English at mag-Filipino, kaya medyo may alam ka na sa pag-aaral ng bagong wika. Totoo naman. Pero nakakalito din talaga.

Sa tinagal-tagal ng mga Kastila sa Pilipinas, napakarami nga naman talagang salitang nagkakatulad, nagkakaiba ng konti, at nakakaloko. I-she-share ko sa inyo ang sampung halimbawa:

1. Kung sa Ingles, tuna ang tawag sa tuna, sa Espanyol, ang tawag nila ay “atun.”

atun

Ngayon alam ko na kung saan natin nakuha ang mga salitang noypi, erpats, todits at repapips.

2. Sa Espanyol, may salitang “demasiado” na ang ibig sabihin ay “masyado.”

In English, “too” or “exceedingly.” O kaya “super.” Use in a sentence: El hombre es demasiado guapo. Translation: Sobrang pogi nung lalaki.

Pero sa Tagalog, pag sinabi mong “‘di masyado”… Di masyadong gwapo, di masyadong matalino. Wag na lang.

3. Sa kanila din galing ang salitang “casilla.” Ang ibig sabihin nito ay “hut.”

Hindi ito lugar kung saan nagna-number 2 ang mga espanyol. Hindi ito plural (casillas), unless dalawa o higit pa ang casillas mo. Kung may maganda kang kubo ka sa beach, casilla ang tawag dito. Hindi ito kadiri.

Ang hula ko, dati kasi jumejebs yung mga tao sa isang hut sa labas ng bahay. Tawag ng mga Kastila, casillas, o hut, at ang tawag ng mga Pinoy, kasilyas, o banyo. Pero Kastila ang salitang baño at ang ibig sabihin nito ay…

banyo.

4. Ang merienda at cena ay dalawang magkaibang bagay.

Ang merienda ay merienda at ang cena ay hapunan. Magkasunod sila pag nilista mo lahat ng kinakain mo sa isang araw, pero hindi iisang bagay na katulad ng paggamit natin ng “merienda cena” dito sa Pilipinas.

5. Kung ang Pilipino nagsasabi ng “pwede,” ang espanyol naman ay may dagdag: “puede ser.” Pareho ang ibig nilang sabihin.

Ang puede ay present tense third person singular ng salitang poder (can, may): it can. Ang ser ay ang Spanish equivalent ng “to be.”

Tao ba ‘to, tao? “Puede ser.” Bagay? Hayop? Pook? “Puede ser.” Gamit sa bahay? “Puede ser.”

Nagalit ang nanay ko dito kasi chauvinist daw. Dapat daw pwede rin (puede ser tambien) ang “puede mam.”

7. Meron namang mga salitang halos kapareho lang ng gamit natin, may ilang pagkakaiba lang sa spelling o accent.

Katulad ng mesa, tenidor, libro, carne, zapatos, coche, guapo, presidente at cerveza. At ang mga paburito (favorito) ko: bigote, barba at calvo.

la foto

8. Merong mga salitang ginagamit natin sa Filipino na may kaunting pagkakaiba ang ibig sabihin sa Espanyol.

Pag sinabi nating graciosa, ibig sabihin ay gracious. Pero sa Espanyol, ang ibig sabihin nito ay witty.

Pag sinabi nating aburido, ibig sabihin troubled o di mapakali. Sa Espanyol, ang aburrido (double r) ay bored o boring.

At ang pinaka-nakakalito sa lahat: ang ibig sabihin ng derecho ay deretso, pero ang derecha ay kanan.

9. Dalawang Mahalagang Tips sa Pagsakay ng Taxi:

Una sa lahat: Wag kang sasakay kung ang taxi ay hindi LIBRE.

taxi libre esp

Isang libreng taxi sa Barcelona, Spain

Isang libreng taxi sa Mexico City

Isang libreng taxi sa Mexico City, Mexico

NGUNIT: Kahit LIBRE ang taxi, kailangan mo pa ring magbayad.

9. Kapag nagkaroon ka ng problema habang nagbi-biyahe sa Espanya (hindi yung Espanya na may baha), at pag kinailangan mo ng tulong, o naligaw ka, dapat kang lumapit sa…

guardia civil

Guardia Civil.

GUARDIA CIVIL.

Oo, Guardia Civil.

Wag kang matakot. Hindi ka nila sasaksakin ng bayoneta (hindi na sila gumagamit nito), ikukulong o gugulpihin pag hindi ka nakapag-pakita ng cedula (maliban na lang sa kung pinunit mo, ibang usapan na yan). May kaibigan nga akong nanghihingi ng direksyon sa Guardia Civil kahit hindi naman siya naliligaw dahil kadalasan, pogi sila.

10. Kapag tumawa ang mga Espanyol sa WhatsApp, Viber, email at Skype, ganito ang tawa nila:

Jejejejejejejejejejejejejejejejejejejejejejejejejejejejeje

Hindi sila jejemon, Espanyol sila.

Isang tumatawang caballo

Isang tumatawang caballo

^^,

I love/hate the internet

Earlier this week, I joined a website called LinkedIn (is that correct–to join a website?) which I’m still figuring out how to use, and it’s freaking me out quite a bit. By this time tomorrow I probably would’ve abandoned it already. I am on WordPress and on Twitter, but in these two sites all they ask of you is to share your thoughts, as opposed to putting your life on display. (Though, admittedly, one can use both Twitter and WordPress to display one’s life just as well if one so desires.)

I write a lot and I do like to talk, but I don’t like to be talked about, whether in actuality or just in my head. Social networks make me severely uncomfortable, though, I realize now, not for the same reasons that I quit a couple of years ago.

For the most part, I think of myself as an ordinary Person 1.0, to borrow from Zadie Smith. In my world, the world that existed before social networks, you met people and sometimes lost touch, when you or they moved to new schools or jobs or countries. If you wanted to remain friends, you had to make a deliberate effort to do so–phone calls, emails, handwritten letters. I’ve kept a good number of friends this way. Granted, social networks make this easier. Sharing pictures and daily updates are less cumbersome than they used to be, and they allow you every so often stumble upon old friends and rekindle old ties. Some of my friends have also made the argument that social networks are best for capitalizing on “weak ties” which lead to more professional opportunities. (Hence my attempt at being more of an adult and joining LinkedIn, but I’ve yet to prove this hypothesis.)

But I am also very well aware that it has taken away certain privileges. Among these is the intentionality of maintaining a friendship: nowadays, instead of expending energy to stay in touch, we only happen to, and this in many cases detracts from the quality of the interaction.

But my beef with it really lies with the converse. This article in New York Magazine laments, in a manner of speaking, the impossibility of cutting ties with one’s exes in an age of social networking. It’s like everyone you ever dated suddenly moved in to the same apartment building and you can be stuck on the same elevator with them on any given day. Before social networks, a Person 1.0 could choose to burn bridges, bridges that would stay burnt except in extraordinary circumstances, and we could live our lives in relative peace and quiet. We were afforded then a privilege we don’t have now: the right to disappear. The right to obscurity, to anonymity, to not having other people know where you are and what you are doing at any given time.

This really happened to me on Facebook.

True story.

It’s not so much an obsession with privacy, which stems from self-centeredness, but a desire for genuine solitude and quiet, which I believe is central to a healthy human life. I think it ought to be an inalienable human right, this right to disappear, but I find it is one that we are only too eager to abdicate.

My relationship with the internet has been characterized by this push and pull. It’s not that I’ve been outdated by the times; I am simply uncomfortable with the idea of being so attached to a virtual life to the point of being unable to abandon it. I’ve quit Facebook, gone on occasional Twitter hiatuses, and kept and completely deleted at least five blogs in my lifetime, just to remind myself that I am still Person 1.0, and not the Person 2.0 which I’ve invented on the internet. I reserve the right to disappear as I please. There is still a real world, outside the virtual realm, in which I exist, and where I feel most at home and most comfortable, where to write still means precisely that: to put pen to paper, to record life with ink and with blood.

Quitting Facebook

Originally published as “The Sosyal Network” in the Manila Bulletin, October 26, 2011

I recently shut down my Facebook account. This is partly for pragmatic reasons: doing so has saved me a lot more time for work and leisure reading. It is partly for security reasons: like most people, I live with an exaggerated sense of self-importance, and am in constant fear of creepy strangers looking at my bikini photos.

I do not regret it. Getting rid of my Facebook account has liberated me from the bondage of constantly keeping up with my peers. I no longer know where everyone else is going and with whom and what they are doing there, and I no longer feel bad or uncool about not being there too. It has also saved me the trouble of trying to find good photos of myself to post, and evaluating my self-worth on the number of likes or comments that it gets, with extra credit if the comment or like is from a really good-looking guy.

I still have friends, still go out and have fun, and occasionally still meet good-looking guys, but I no longer make any public announcements of my activities after the fact. For the most part, life has been made much simpler.

I feel like I have become more myself.

One of my smart friends told me that the lightness I am experiencing is due to the fact that I’ve given up keeping up with our image-obsessed culture—this world we live in that is so saturated in external gestures, performance, branding.

Each gesture has a corresponding label: using an eco-bag makes you an environmentalist, quoting philosophers makes you an intellectual, having 3000 friends on Facebook makes you popular, and wearing a Louis Vuitton purse makes you sosyal (Is there an English equivalent that properly captures the essence of the word?)—even if it means, as the old saying goes, spending money we don’t have, to buy things we don’t need, to please people we don’t even like.

We take all these externals, post them on the internet, and build our identity upon it—when in reality, they are all just projections, speaking volumes about what we do (or try very hard to seem like we do), but little about who we are.

People used to keep photo albums with actual printed photographs, and they would store them and have them accumulate dust and then dust them off and look at them with fresh eyes, because back then it was about the photos, not about the comments people made about them. The value was in the substance of the photos, not in the branding that they provided.

Not so now. The idea of intrinsic value is lost on us; the idea of being is alien to us. We have been reduced to statement shirts and popular (or even indie) music, to Friday nights out in the right places with the right people. And when there are no statement shirts to wear, no popular music to listen to or say bad things about, no clubs and cool company to be with on the weekends, we are nothing. We have no identity apart from the image of ourselves that we project.

20130907-072706.jpg

Even our solitude we post pictures of.

Ours is an impoverished generation that cannot deal with silence or solitude. We do not find value in having photographs and nobody to show them to. We cannot operate without knowing that we are being watched; we affirm our value only insofar as we get attention from an audience. We are incapable of sitting with our naked selves and being comfortable in our own skin.

We are always striving, always projecting, always putting on another layer of externals, always trying to seem smarter or cooler or richer, that at the end of it all, we end up empty, and lost and lonely.