The Sunday Currently Vol. 3

How is this photo relevant to my post? It's not.

I tried my best to steer clear from writing anything that has something to do with politics but there's already too much drama happening and I couldn't help it.


Facebook posts, comments, and anything related to Duterte, the pressing issues regarding the anomalies in the Bureau of Customs, the INC rally that caused inconvenience to many, and Aldub - yeah, I didn't believe such atrocity exists. Hehe. Just Kidding. No hate here #Aldub fans, just love. :)

this blog post and my opinion about Duterte running for Presidency. Okay, don't get me wrong. I believe he'd be a great leader given that he wins. But for him to carry the burden of this country, I think, would be too much to ask for a 70-year old who is supposed to be retiring and having the time of his life with his grandkids.

Am I Not Filipino Enough?

To my non-Filipino friends: this post has a lot of Filipino words that I did not bother to translate. You may proceed or read my other posts instead. :)

I am not Filipino enough.

Case I:
I had the opportunity to join Google Translate-a-thon as part of the Buwan ng Wika (National Language Month) celebration. It would have been great to give up one day to help improve Google's translation in Filipino. But one thing stopped me... I am bad at using the Filipino language. Okay, I'm not really that bad. But I would have a hard time translating English into pure Filipino words without sounding archaic.

Case II:
Back in high school, we were required to read Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. I have had several attempts finishing it but I just couldn't get past fifty pages, especially with those lengthy tagalog words. I was just skimming the entire time taking notes on what I think are important points that will come out in the quiz. No offense meant to Jose Rizal but those books proved to be a difficult read. Not until I read the entirety of it in English.

Case III:
Right now, I have a few drafts on my blog. I am hesitant to publish them because they are not good enough. I actually wrote an article about the killing of "Pamana", a Philippine Eagle - which as many do not know, is critically endangered. I was quite enraged so I thought of writing my sentiments about it. But I just couldn't cut it because the English language seems so soft for something this heartbreaking and I want it to hurt. I couldn't write without cussing. Alam nyo na, yung maisulat mo yung malulutong na. "Putang ina mo! Mamatay ka rin sana hinayupak ka!". But I couldn't write the entire article in straight Filipino that sounds natural as well. So it ended up as just a mere draft.

Case IV:
A cousin asked me to write a 300-word essay regarding the importance of your Mother Tongue (or tongue ina mo. Haha. Joke. Baka makulong ako nito) in Filipino. After organizing and agonizing my thoughts an hour later, I found myself writing this blog instead.

Case V:
You're a Filipino, so why don't you write in Filipino?

(I didn't know what to say)

Am I not Filipino enough?
I was raised in a Tagalog-speaking home by Ilocano parents, grew up in Davao City where Bisaya is the main language, and I am surrounded with cousins who are Ilonggo. So yeah, aside from Tagalog, I speak three other languages quite well. Speaking and conversing casually in bisaya or tagalog can come as naturally as breathing. Reading or writing it, however, is another story. Hindi sa nagmamayabang ako. Inuulit ko, hindi ako nagmamayabang. But honestly, I feel more comfortable writing and reading the English language.

First and foremost, English was the medium of instruction back in the schools I have attended to, not to mention, all the books we used were printed in English. Second, I fully recognize the value of being able to know the English language. We already use our native language everyday in our lives. I think it would be better if we would also practice and learn the English language because we use it to communicate with the rest of the world, and considering the ability to speak and write English provides one an edge to be competitive in the global market.

Just because I don't write in Filipino, does not mean I am unpatriotic. Before someone would direct Gat Jose Rizal's (who is, by the way, a polyglot, and wrote most of his writings in Spanish) words, "Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika, ay higit pa sa mabaho at malansang isda" straight to my face and tell me I'm arrogant, let me ask you one question: how do we actually show love for our own language? Do we really have to use it every second of every minute of every hour of every day when we speak or write? I don't think so.

Being misunderstood can be unpleasant sometimes. And many times I have been misunderstood and labeled arrogant just because I use the English language (especially when using social media and replying to comments on Facebook) more frequently than my native language. Okay, let's put it this way, I am born Ilocano and I grew up as a Davaoeño, which "native tongue" should I use/love? Ilocano? Bisaya? Or the legislatively-imposed Tagalog which is now known as Filipino? Or should I just use the English language which is the de facto lingua franca?

Language is a great tool to communicate. And it pays to know more than just one tool. And it pays better to know which tool to use and how to use it properly in any given situation. Yes, I am up for preserving our native languages, that's why I use it whenever I converse with a fellow Filipino too. But the world is moving and so should we. This is where English will come into the picture. And this is something that should be accepted and understood, the English language is not foreign for us anymore. So I hope you don't mind if I use English to express and write my thoughts because that's what I am comfortable with, and I assure you, it doesn't make me less of a Filipino. #JustSaying

P.S. I still despise broken English or conyo language (if there's such thing) propagated by the likes of people who love to order overpriced coffee and make tambay in some overrated coffeshops. Like, oh my gosh! They're so annoying talaga

Here's something you may find interesting. This is Baybayin, an ancient (and lost) Filipino script. Now, I think it would be better if our country preserved this and reuse it in writing our language. Don't you think?
It says Ako ay Pilipino (if my memory serves me right). Surprisingly, I still know a little bit of this. :D

Aliwagwag Falls, Cateel

There is something about waterfalls that draws me to it. Perhaps it's the sound the raging waters create as water drops from above, releasing "feel good" mists when you're close to it. Or simply because waterfalls - no matter how small or big they are - are powerful, majestic, and beautiful. I have the same reaction to the sea as well - the sound of the waves resonates positive vibes. Nature indeed has wonderful ways of removing negative energies from within. And this is why despite the conveniences and comforts the city life brings, my body will always seek refuge in communing with nature no matter how inconvenient or uncomfortable it can become.
Aliwagwag Falls
This is the beautiful Aliwagwag Falls, located in Cateel, Davao Oriental. Deemed as the highest waterfalls in the Philippines, this photo has not even shown its full glory. I took this photo right after I had a little accident. I was walking up the bridge to get a better view and angle. I was so mesmerized by the cascading beauty that without a warning my foot slipped into a water drainage and I fell over. I got up immediately, took this shot like nothing happened before I realized I was bleeding. That small mishap left me with a nasty scraped shin about four inches big - not as big as the memories I have in this place though. Charaught! Haha. But really, I ought to be extra careful next time.

Dahican Beach, Mati

Kadayawan Festival was a blast. And I'm sure of that even though I wasn't actually there to witness it. I grew up celebrating Kadayawan Festival in Davao City and it has always been great. Not that I'm not proud of it, but for a change, Jan and I decided to escape the crowd and took a 5-hour ride to Mati, Davao Oriental instead.

After all the stress from work last week, I believe we deserve this much needed break. Well, what can I say? I think I left my heart in Mati - home of the famous Dahican Beach. It is by far the best beach I've ever been. I love how it remains underdeveloped, unspoiled, and untamed. And despite the number of tourists, skimboarders and surfers around, there was a sense of tranquility.

I couldn't count the number of times I've told Jan how the beach took my breath away. The turquoise waters, white sand, the big and playful waves, plus the sunny weather just made everything perfect. When we decided (out of impulse) to go to Mati, I didn't know we were in for a treat!
Dahican Beach, Mati City, Davao Oriental

The Perils of Living in the Age of Social Media

Funny how we allow social media to open our lives to public scrutiny. We announce just every effin' thing we do. We show them what we eat, what we wore, where we went, what we feel. Kulang na lang umabot sa ganito: 
We tell the whole world about our upset stomach, a throbbing headache, or a snotty runny nose. We rant pretty much about anything from crowded streets to long queues to heavy traffic to the smelly armpits of the person sitting next to us on the way home. I've heard in a jeepney once, "They just broke up." "What? How'd you know?" "Saw it on Facebook." Don't you think it's kind of disturbing when everyone knows the score when couples fight over Facebook? And funny how we hate it so much when we get an unsolicited advice after airing our dirty laundry online. (Do I sound like a hater yet?)