Happy Independence Day! How is your summer so far? Well, I survived our first whole family vacation. Four generations, 21 people in a 6-bedroom 3-story house, we were loud but full of laughter and bickering. We created memories that will last a lifetime. I look forward to more whole family vacations.
Before graduation season ends, I want to extend my warmest congratulations to my nephew, Christian Joshua “CJ” Butay for graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Criminal Justice at Seattle University. I am very proud of you. The family is so proud of your accomplishments and the man you are becoming. We love you and we will always be here for you. We pray you will be safe especially on your first deployment.
It’s half-way through the summer and I hope you did something really cool with your loved ones. We are so lucky to live in Hawai‘i because we are surrounded with danum (water). There are beaches everywhere. Whenever we go to Lahaina with the kids, we see the beaches along our drive.
Speaking of Lahaina, let’s see what’s happening to Michael and Angel.
Sweating bullets, the little man raises to full attention. He nudges her away and fakes an injury. “Ah, Ah, oh cramp,” as he clenches his inner thigh.
Angel leans in and tries to help him. “Nanoyin (What) happened, are you ok?” she asks.
Michael waving his finger, “Hindi, hindi (No, No). I got it. Give me a minute please.”
Angel stands hovering over Michael who is grimacing in fake pain on the bench. People are starting to flock to him to see nanoyin (what) is going on.
“Sir, do you need medical help? Do you need tubig (water)?” someone says from a distance.
Michael rolls to the ground.
Suddenly, someone pushes through the crowd. “I’m a doctor, let me help you.”
“Hindi (No), please! I am okay doc,” as Michael tucks his tuhod (knees) into his body.
“Can I help you sir?” the doctor asks. “Anni (What) happened and sitaw (where) does it hurt?”
Hovering over Michael, the doctor puts his ima (hand) on his buksit (stomach).
“Ow ow ow!” Michael yells. He puts his arm around the doctor and pulls him in, then whispers in his tainga (ear).
The doctor laughs and whispers something back. He then stands up, turns to the crowd. “Ok everyone you can all move on. He just needs some danum (water), he’s just really thirsty. Maybe had a morning glory,” and starts to turn everyone around and herd them away.
As the crowd thins out to leave, Angel and Michael sit on the cold ground of the sidewalk, “Ano (What) is morning glory?” says Angel. She reaches for his phone, “Let’s google it.” Quickly Michael corrals the smartphone and slowly stands while adjusting his pants and limping to the side.
She rushes to help her injured friend walk. Window shopping, she points out a few interesting shirts in one of the retail stores. They reach the corner of Cheeseburger in Paradise and next to the trash can is a man playing a cheap green ‘ukulele with a hat on the ground.
Although the instrument looks like a cheap knock off from the swap meet, the man is playing it masterfully. Glancing into his hat on the ground, they see a few dollars and a few coins. They stand next to him while he strums away. Onlookers peep their heads out from the upper balcony of Cheeseburger and a few approach with their cell phones videoing the performance. When he is done, a half attentive crowd claps and Michael asks “Did you just make that up? It sounded great!”
Angel elbows him on his side. “Gago, he’s playing George Harrison, ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’.” The man chuckles and gives a thumbs up. He bends down, reaches into his bag, pulls out another ‘ukulele and offers it to Michael.
“No, no I don’t play,” Michael says. But the man insists. With Angel egging him on, he grabs the pink ‘ukulele with a painted pineapple on it, clears his throat, turns to Angel. “This is for you.”
He strums the chords and sings “My dog has fleas! My dog has fleas!” he gags and hands the ukulele to Angel. She strums the same chords. “My dog has fleas!” Michael claps his kamut (hands) and laughs, getting a kick out of their performance.
Angel then starts to put together a few notes and then starts to sing. Angel reveals a smooth jazzy voice with a slight rasp. Men are whistling, people are singing along. As soon as you know it, she has a small crowd. And when she hits the chorus, “But I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo,” skillfully singing with sensuality and power, the crowd goes crazy with enough rubber-neckers to create a small traffic jam on Front Street and Lahainaluna Road. Michael stares right in her eyes. “You’re so special, I wish I was special.”
Everything around him blurs and he can only see her. “She is incredible. She is funny. She is sexy. She is matalino (smart). There is so much to learn about her. The more I peel, the stronger the aroma, the deeper I fall. I can’t let her go. I can’t mess this up. I won’t stop until she’s mine.”
Angel finishes her rendition of Creep by Radiohead, still looking straight at Michael. “I don’t belong here.” The crowd erupts with applause, screams and chee-hoos.
Dollar after dollar goes into the hat. The hat now being fully loaded, the man offers half to Angel. She hands back the ‘ukulele and waves her lima (hand). “Uncle you keep it, money can’t buy me what I really want”.
She turns and blows kisses to the crowd, runs to Michael, aha (where) she is greeted with a big gakos (hug). Like one of those yakap (hugs) you see in the movies but this isn’t a movie, it’s a newspaper.
The two run across the street to Ululani’s shave ice. “That was crazy, Anj, I didn’t … ”
Angel: Can I order a shave ice with ice cream in it and a white cap?
Cashier: Ano (What) flavor?
Angel: Flavor? Epic and top it with some savage.
Angel motions the pouring of the syrup.
“Damn right girl! I saw what you did,” as the cashier high-fives her.
Seriously, epic it is. Hani (What) other talents does Angel have? Or shall we say, hani (what) other secrets is still to be discovered? Join us next time for another exciting episode.
It’s Hurricane season in Hawai‘i from June 1 to November 30. Barbara is now an afterthought but onward to the random drizzles and erratic winds along with the staple of summer, the heat. We have been very fortunate to have dodged some bad storms in the past but that really shouldn’t stop us from being better prepared for the future. Do you have your hurricane survival pack ready? Do you have enough food to last you for seven days if needed? Do you know your nearest shelter? Do you have plans for the family just in case not everyone is in the same place? If you don’t know, it’s the time to start getting all that ready. You never know! Tell us what your hurricane kit consists of at www.facebook.com/filamvoice and help others prepare like you do.
Anyways that’s all I have. Keep an eye out for my column each issue. I’m Dulce, helping you to master your Filipino Languages. Like always, let’s laugh, let’s listen, and Let’s Talk Pinoy! Hanggang sa muli! (Until next time!) Ingat! (Take care!).
Dulce Karen Butay was graduated from Maui High School and earned her Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts from Maui Community College and her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, specializing in Accounting, from the University of Hawai‘i—West O‘ahu. She is currently the Administrative Officer at the County of Maui, Department of Finance. Butay is a licensed Resident Producer of Life Insurance with World Financial Group and an Independent Consultant of Saladmaster. She is now part of the Travel Club of Saladmaster and won an all-expenses paid trip to Cancun, Mexico with the love of her life, Paul Manzano. Butay has traveled to Texas, the Philippines and Thailand as one of the delegates from Island Healthy Solutions, a dealer of Saladmaster here on Maui.