Monday, January 18, 2016

Joross, Pia and me

Everybody seems to be talking about that Joross video scandal. I pity the guy. It turns out to be a 4-year video that somehow surfaced. A friend of mine shared one particular comment from Direk Joey Reyes: "Well, at least... Very good and grammatically correct English, di ba?"

I can't help but laugh. It was also the "other" thing that I remember from that video, his 'very Pinoy' way of speaking English, grammatically correct yet very Pinoy. I recall Pia Alonzo-Wurtzbach's Miss Universe Q&A's and all the interviews that followed. It was also distinctly Pinoy.

I am proud of their correct use of English AND that they speak English without having to 'adapt' an American slang or British stiff upper lip. I didn't use to feel this way. I used to think that one needed to speak English as a native English speaker, accents and all.

I have a sister who has spent more than half her life in the U.S. She has managed to retain Pinoy-accented English, with all the nuances that come with it. I used to laugh about that, or even be embarrassed, but not anymore.

In my last trip to the U.S., I was alone in a small cafe in the little New Jersey township. The waiter, cute and young, was taking my order. I followed it up, and asked for water. He came back with all my orders and chatted a bit with me.

"You must be Filipino. You said 'wa-Ter' " he mentioned matter-of-factly, emphazing that I didn't slide my 'T' as Americans would. I nodded and smiled though I was asking myself whether I have just been insulted.

"I'm half-Filipino. My father is from Olo-ngapo." I laughed and talked to him a bit more.

Afterwards, I was still mulling over how I said "water.' I never thought I pronounced it differently. But rather than be insulted, I thought I shouldn't make a fuss over it. It's about time I 'embrace' my Filipino-ness, even in speech. Other nationalities don't care about how their accents when they speak English. Why should I? As long as I am grammatically correct, I shouldn't have to change the way speak and be ashamed of it.

Yes, another glass of waTer, please. Thank you.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, January 1, 2016

Hello 2016

I haven't experienced a rainy New Year (at exactly 12am) in a long time (I actually can't recall any.) It was actually quite a spoiler. But it didn't keep the neighbors, nor me, from lighting up those sparklers and some fireworks.

I used to do much preparation for a new year: haircut, new clothes, having all those round shapes in the house. I didn't do anything special at all this year. Maybe it's the age. Maybe because whether I prepare or not, how the year turns out is totally unrelated to that. That is the very definition of superstition, I suppose.

2015 is over, and I'm all the better for it. I was just so hopeful when 2015 came. But as the months passed, I became less and less enthusiastic. It was a difficult year for me. My folks' medical challenges returned (after a 2014 hiatus). Even the challenges at work were worse than before. Again, it's all over.

The bright spot is that my relationship with c3 is wonderful and stable. He is a beautiful person (confidently beautiful) with a good heart (not just a heart). I am blessed by his love and support.

I'm turning golden this year. Yes, I am preparing for that. I feel that is still a milestone that needs to be celebrated.

Hello 2016. Hello from the other side.