Filipino 101: The F Words

Back in my Multiply days, I started a series that I called Filipino 101. It was short-lived because, for some reason, I got side-tracked. It was fun, though, and I think it is high-time I restart that.

In How to Spell the Ancient Filipino Way, I touched on Philippine history. There, I mentioned that for nearly 400 years, we were colonized by Spain. I did not mention much about language, however. But if you have ever heard a conversation or read exchanges between Filipinos, you’d probably be thinking, “Wait a minute. Was that Spanish?” Chances are, you’re right.

Becoming (Sort of) Spanish

Hard as they could, the Spaniards denied teaching their language to the Filipinos. But 400 hundred years is quite a long time to keep everything exclusively. The indios who were more well-to-do were able to afford an education denied to the lower class. That was how they learned Spanish or Español/Kastila.

Meanwhile, many Spanish terms and phrases used for everyday-things became normal everyday-terms, like the following:

Cómo estás? – “How are you?”, but we say “Kumusta?/Kamusta?” or “Kumusta ka?”

mesa/la mesa – table

cubiertos – utensils (“kubyertos”)

ventana – window (“bintana”)

silla – chair (“silya”); the local word is “upuan” or seat since “upo” means sit, so it’s a thing to sit on

pero – but

escuela or escuelas – school (“eskwela” or “eskwelahan”); the local word is “paaralan”, from the root word “aral” or study, so it’s a place for studying

para – for or to be able to (“para”/“para sa”); the local word is “upang”, but hardly anyone uses that in normal conversations

compadre – usually used for a male friend or companion (“kumpadre”/“kumpare”), especially when one is godfather to another man’s child, making them “co-fathers”

“Pare” is the most commonly used version to refer to or call a male friend, although sometimes, that can be used also to address a male stranger in a friendly manner (ex. Pare, could you tell me where the mall is at? I’m new to this place.”), or in a sarcastic/annoyed tone (ex. “Pare, are you kidding me?”)

Comare/comadre  or “kumare” is the female version BUT, online dictionaries say it is either Italian or Portuguese

camiseta – shirt (“kamiseta”), but in the Philippines, it’s usually a sleeveless and collarless shirt worn especially if it’s hot

Those are just some examples of Kastila words we have come to consider as Filipino ones. In fact, it has been so long that many of us don’t know or realize they are not ours. That explains, though, why many of us are able to pronounce Spanish well (at least those who do mind how to say it). We are used to the sounds. In some parts of the country, they can even speak the language well enough.

Meanwhile, when the parents of today’s middle-aged went to school, long after the Spaniards were gone, learning Spanish was a requirement. It isn’t now, that is why Filipinos can’t normally converse in that language.

Nosebleed because of Spokening Dollars

If you hear “spokening dollars” anywhere here, it refers to any English speaker. Yes, we love to coin amusing words and phrases like that. Speak in direct English and they may jokingly exclaim, “Nosebleed!” That means, “Oh my goodness! I can’t understand you. You’re making my nose bleed!” Sometimes, it’s a pure joke, sometimes, it’s really their way of letting you know they can’t understand you.

Today, English is the requirement in school and remains our second language. We learned this from the Americans after they helped drive away the Japanese during World War II. That is why many who grew up until the ’90s are good in American English. What happened to the next generations is another story.

Similar to the Spanish language, we have taken to using many English terms. We count in English, sometimes curse in English (the F- and S-bombs, especially the latter), even address the Christian god in English (“Lord”) when we pray.

Here are several English words we use:

Hello — “Hi” is common enough, but is less used

Good morning/afternoon — “Good evening” is known, but also less used; “Good day” is hardly used except by English speakers

Okay

Sorry

Of course!

Please

appear – It doesn’t mean what you think. Here, when someone says “Apir!”, you high-five (don’t ask me why)

chocolate

toothbrush, toothpaste

refrigerator

Many words sound too old-fashioned that we prefer the foreign ones, or they have no direct translations at all, like “refrigerator”.

In our ancient alphabet called baybayin, which we now try to revive, there are no characters that represent the following: C, F, J, Q, V, X and Z. Therefore, characters that sound the nearest to them are used when writing, though it depends on the words being written. In addition, we have the character “Ng”.

Our long-accepted modern-day alphabet does not have those, too. We used to call our ABC the ABaKaDa. (If you’ll play that vid above, you’ll hear how we read and pronounce words, especially “Ng”, which always baffles foreigners). Around two decades ago, they created the new Filipino alphabet and incorporated the English letters.

For me, personally, I thought that was stupid. Why? Because they were trying to fix something that was not broken. They said it’s because we now use words that make use of the English letters. But that’s because they’re just English words we’ve come to accept, and silly coined words that either do not mean anything or are bastardized versions of otherwise legit terms. I find it as some kind of dumbing down the people more. We used to be Pilipinos and our language, Pilipino, but somebody got the brilliant idea to use F instead.

That said,…

The ABaKaDa: A, B, K, D, E, G, H, I, L, M, N, Ng, O, P, R, S, T, U, W, Y

Ang Makabagong Alpabeto (The New Alphabet): A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, Ṅ, Ng, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

Da Ep, Fee, Bee en Bee

When it comes to the Filipino’s English accent, diction and pronunciation, that’s where you’ll most probably have a problem. So it’s better to know now.

Many of us understand very simple English. Some speak it very well. Some write it well but are too shy to converse with it. And there are those, shy or not, who have the Ep and Fee Syndrome–you tend to unintentionally get your Fs and Ps mixed up. (“It’s a nown pact dat feefol will olways rimember.”)  And many of us do not see the difference between the B and the V when we speak. (“Da bidyo is berry good, Beronica.”)

I’ll let Pinoy Boy Mikey Bustos show you how it’s “done” with the very first viral video that made him famous to Filipinos.

Alright, I’ve shared a lot already. Next time I do Filipino 101, expect some basic vocabulary lessons. Meanwhile, I leave you with this other vid which is funny, but very true of Filipino parents 🙂

Hanggang sa muli!!! (Until then!!!)

Vlogging #atozchallenge2017

Vlog is the new blog. Well, at least, an off-shoot. Like it or not, it is most probably here to stay, if not take on a much newer form. After all, there was a time that vlogging was considered almost synonymous to doing podcasts until distinctions were made. YouTube became all the more popular. There are a few other platforms for this purpose, but no one can argue that YouTube takes much of the cake. Just count the people who have become viral and famous.

“Vlogging”, for the still uninitiated, is short for video blogging. Why not? “Blogging” is just short for web logging, so the principle is the same. Actually, if we were to be strict about it, it should be video logging, but probably no one except me cares. Vlogging is basically posting about something through a different medium, through the audio-visual form. Often, it’s a selfie kind of thing. Basically, you vlog/blog to share yourself and things to the world. It could be for fun and expression, for sharing relevant information, and/or for business-related purposes.

Much of the vlogging we see are done impromptu, in real-time. This is not to say, however, that it does not involve any writing. Not really. After all, there are more than one kind of vlogs. Many of them do incorporate writing. Let me mention my own observations.

INTRO/OUTRO

Most YouTube channels I’ve visited have created their own intros and outros. Well, a lot of them are simple–could even be so simple like just the unimaginative “Hi”–but there are those who have taken time to create spiels to use on a regular basis. They create their unique, hopefully recall-worthy introductions and farewell spiels.

As an example, the reactions channel HugKnucklesTV has its own intro and own outro (starts at 17:27)

TOPICS

If there are travel bloggers, food critics, life hack gurus, product reviewers, and others who love to blog, there are also similar people who choose video as their medium or (literally) channel of communication. Therefore, they don’t just pick up a camera and hit on the record button. The better ones plan well what they want to show.

BuzzFeed likes to create different types of videos that inform, entertain or both. This one is a tips video which contents are based on what the adviser says onscreen.

I definitely appreciate that.

One of my fave kinds of vids to watch lately, however, are mukbangs. Believe me, until more than a month ago, I think, I never knew what a mukbang was. It is…

“…a uniquely Korean trend of people getting paid to eat large meals in front of a webcam for a live-streaming broadcast. Mukbang is a portmanteau word that combines the Korean word for ‘eat’ (muok-da) with the word for ‘broadcast’ (bang song).” (QZ.com)

These days, a mukbang means a food review (in line with the reaction videos trend) and does not necessarily mean a reviewer/reactor gets paid for it. Well, usually. I like watching  Maximum Munchies, which reaction video for a fastfood chain I shared in Contents with All the Feels.

One of the best mukbang channels worth watching, though, is The Thien Le Eating Show. Others have said it and I am going to say it: I never thought I’d watch a whole video just to see someone EAT!!! Wow, that guy could really eat for a whole family! Without gaining weight, too, it seems! (He did explain how he stays slim)

It’s not just about the amount of food he consumes in one seating, it’s the way he eats that makes you love him. Oh, how he loves his food. Believe me, you don’t want to be watching him way past midnight with no food around to grab. Avoid the torture.

If you want to see what I mean…

Sometimes, he does a “cookbang”. Which is great because my sister and I used to watch cooking shows when I was a kid. Of course, I love Thien most for featuring Filipino food (I’m biased much!!!). And, of course, here’s a sample of his “cookbang” (just so we all can watch him eat, he he).

SCRIPTED CONTENTS

There are really lots of scripted vlog posts out there. It should not be a surprise. But rather than just go all “gung ho” and shoot, they plan their actual contents. It’s not all-visuals. Sometimes, even much research is done to come up with a credible vlog post.

For instance, here’s a how-to video that still involved writing pre-shoot and behind the scenes, for sure:

Two very good examples of scripted vids are those from the ERB or EpicRapBattles channel of Epic Lloyd and Nice Peter, who are not afraid to spoof themselves, and Whitney Avalon‘s channel that brings the Princess Rap Battles, some parody songs and comedy shorts. I have shared various samples from them before, but who’s counting?

So, for your viewing pleasure…

Artists vs. Turtles! (This would have been really epic if they made it longer and added more raps, but…)

This next one is not a rap battle, but I love that Whitney does original songs (like the Anna Song), she’s got a nice voice, and it’s about comic con!

What amazes me is the amount of time, effort, even ingenuity they bring to create their videos. First, they actually create original rap battles, and I am pretty sure some can take an amount of research as well. Second, the actors are generally actually very capable rap artists. Third, they use elaborate settings and effects for presentations that are often TV- or movie-worthy…Don’t tell me those do not take an awful lot of writing.

When we say script, though, what immediately comes to mind is dialogue. There are really funny “real-life” skits like the next ones (they do have some things to promote at the end, so feel free to ignore). Tripp and Tyler do comedy skits so well. Yes, so well that I couldn’t decide which one of three vids to leave out. So guess what.

 

All these are just a few samples of thousands of videos that make it on our screens. If you have worthy vlogs to share, just let us know 😉

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April is gone and I am obviously not done with my letters. Why is something I’ll reserve in my reflections post. So right now, I’ll concentrate on finishing the challenge.

V is for “Vlogging”

This piece serves as my Letter V post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.

For my previous posts, kindly visit my A to Z Challenge 2017 page.