I don’t know why when I decided to become a writer, I decided that I will write in English. No, scratch that, I never decided. I never even questioned the thought that if I wanted to be a writer, I had to write in English. Now, when I try in Filipino, I feel my brain slowing down, translating.
Sobrang traffic na sa Maynila these days na minsan bumababa ako ng bus at naglalakad. Tapos, mas mabilis pa ang lakad ko kaysa sa takbo ng bus. Sa mga sitwasyong ito, makikita ko na maraming tao din ang bumaba sa bus at nagproprosisyon kami together sa kalye.
Kaya minsan nag-wiwish ako na sana may bike rentals sa mga kalyeng ganito para magbibike nalang ko hanggang sa dulo ng kalye, tapos puwede mo iwanan doon sa dulo na hindi na traffic or hanggang makarating ka sa MRT.
Parang scarce resource na yata ang kurtina sa bus. Na-experience mo na ba ito: ang init ng araw kaya hahatakin mo yung kurtina, pero yung taong nasa harap mo hahatakin rin. Away na ito! Naka-aircon bus ka nga pero wa-epek naman ito kasi nakaupo ka sa may bintana at sobrang lakas ng araw.
Dati naman may kurtina ang lahat ng bintana sa bus. Bakit ngayon parang kulang-kulang? Minsan pa nga, walang kurtina yung boung bus. Good luck nalang sa init!
As an art reporter, I spend a lot of time commuting, and it’s becoming a pain in the ass. Yesterday, I was stuck in a 5-hour traffic jam, and I was just traveling inside Manila. The thing I’m most bitter about is I left at 6:30AM. I thought that was early enough to not get stuck in traffic, but Manila just says “Fuck you, there’s no escaping my misery”.
Through this experience, I came up with a way to lessen my traffic-related stress. This kind of stress is becoming an inevitable part of my life, and will continue to be an inevitable part of my life unless I stop being a journalist or our politicians get their shit together and build a network of trains for Manila. Ok, so what I started doing is I began setting give up points.
Kalachuchi flowers symbolize death, but that’s not what I see when I’m looking at these white, yellow, or pink fragrant flowers. Instead, they trigger memories of my childhood. I loved climbing the Kalachuchi trees because unlike the coconut tree, they had branches, and unlike the mango tree, they don’t grow that high and the branches are not too thick, and unlike the kamias tree, they only had a few ants instead of a thousand.
*In an elevator in the Philippines*
Elevator operator: Bababa ba?
Foreigner: What the hell is this language?
The humor of this joke relies on seemingly simple structure of the Filipino language, but what the foreigner in the joke didn’t understand is that those two sentences are more complex than he or she has perceived.
If you hear video game gun shots in the middle of the road, don’t worry you’re just in Manila. In this city, jeeps aren’t normal vehicles with honking horns. Instead, there’s the “Fire! Fire!” horn, the “Ahahahaha!” gay-laugh horn, and more.