Happy New Year! Maligayang Bagong Taon! Naragsak nga Baro a Tawen!
How was your New Year’s celebration? Did you wear polka dots? Did you put money in your pockets? How much did you spend trying to complete your 13 round fruits? Filipinos have a lot of beliefs or rituals on New Year’s day. We didn’t have a chicken dish in our menu. We had spaghetti, red fish, black-eye beans, and ginataan (mochi balls cooked in coconut milk) to name a few. My Mom reminded me not to wash clothes and not to sweep on the first day of the year.
From where we live, you can see aerial fireworks 360 degrees. That is why we didn’t buy any fireworks this year. We thought we will not have time to light it just like last year because we were busy watching the fireworks up above us. But we needed to shoo the bad spirits in our property so I asked my sister Debbie for a few fountains. We lit four fountains for each side of the house. We also lit one under the mango tree so it will shoo the bad spirits and hopefully will bear more fruits. We also lit a fountain under the tangerine tree. Then in the last hour of 2019, we watched aerial fireworks in the sky. You could hear dogs barking, people laughing, and thousands of dollars exploding over our heads. When the clock struck midnight, we jumped up and down, hoping we will grow an inch or two taller. We also had the car engines turned on with the radios playing louder than normal and then we also blew the cars’ horn.
Tell us what beliefs or traditions you and your family do on New Year’s Day. Share it at www.facebook.com/fil-amvoicemaui, we would all love to hear it. We might even include it in ours.
Where was Angel last in our story? Let’s just look and find out!
They head over to the next room. It is past the six stacks of disposable adult diapers. Past the dusty crutches next to the empty fish tank on the ground. As the door creaks open, the room is dark. Angel lifts her kamay (hand) to turn on the light and Jacky grabs her wrist. “No, leave the light off. David doesn’t like the light on.” There is a night light plugged into one of the receptacles. As they slowly move toward the home hospital bed, you can see the silhouette of a man laying down. The dark musky smell of mildew fills the air in this room. As they get closer, the faint bitter smell has turned into a strong urine smell. Once they reach the bedside, Tina says, “David, someone is h …” But before she can finish her sentence, the man abruptly rises and places his kamay (hand) on Jacky’s neck. He screams and she does too. Angel is screaming. jumping up and down and trying to pry the man’s kamut (hand) away from Tina’s neck. At this moment, she can see his mukha (face) next to hers. She faces him saying, “Tigil! Tigil! (Stop! Stop!)” from the top of her lungs and she gets a glimpse of David. A quarter of his nawong (face) is deformed. His eyes, filled with rage and pain. And their eyes connect. Cold blooded fear runs down her spine.
She feels a gamat (hand) brushing up on her ear and down to her neck. She immediately jumps and screams.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa Angel!?!” says Michael.
“Sardeng! sardeng! (Stop, Stop)! Let her go!” Angel screams crying out.
Michael reaches for her, catches her and pulls her into his arms. He rocks her gently while she collapses into his chest. An overwhelming sensation from the pain on Angel’s cry this time leads Michael to feel a sadness and his eyes too begin to water. “Shhh, Shhh, Shhhhh.” Michael says while caressing her ulo (head). He just allows her to sob. Nearby bystanders approach and demand answers.
“What are you doing to her?” one man shouts.
“Leave her alone!” another lady cries.
Michael pays no attention to them for this woman who he just met, who he has begun to develop feelings for is in pain. He can’t help but to share this experience with her.
Eventually she calms a bit and realizes where she is. She looks up and it’s Michael. Clinching on to his neck, she jumps on to him like a child. She is petite and Michael can carry her no problem. He wipes her rupa (face), runs his ima (hands) through her hair.
“What happened? You were just masaya (happy) a second ago.” Michael inquires.
“I’m s … s … sorry …” Angel still not fully composed.
Michael pulls her back in and halik (kisses) her on the cheek. “It’s okay, whatever it is. We will fix it together.”
Angel pushes away to look at him with bloody eyes. “You don’t even know me.”
Michael: I’m getting to know you now.
Angel: The more you know the less you will like me.
Michael: No, the more I know, the more I want.
Angel raises her eyebrow and says, “The more you want what?”
Michael’s eyes widen. “What did I just say?” he says to himself. “Oh no, did I just say something inappropriate? Did I just make myself look like a creeper? Maybe I should tell her what I want? No I can’t!”
Michael: Uh, oh no, um…
Angel raises her eyebrow even higher, “Hmm? The more you want what?”
Michael turns flush red, opening and closing his mouth. He is moving his lips but no words are coming out.
Angel laughs, pats the side of his cheek, Balbalatong. She lowers herself down to the ground. There she confronts the line of people waiting to check on her and as they can see she is ok, they begin to walk off. For the rest still standing and watching, she pahiyum (smiles), clears her voice. Stretches her braso (arms) out and belts “TADA,” then bows to the crowd. While hunched over, she signals for Michael to bow too and he awkwardly does.
The bench that they sat on has two melted shaved ice on the ground. Ooops, Angel says and with a giggle, she pushes Michael to keep walking on Front Street.
Across from Fleetwood’s is a mini boardwalk type of landing. Along the log type rails you can watch the water crash along the short shoreline below. There are trees with concrete benches as well as wooden bench stools and even bike racks for those cyclists. Angel jogs across the road and heads toward the rail while Michael follows behind. Angel leans over and giggles and then turns around just as Michael was about to take another snap shot with his phone. She does her best J-Pop Kawai pose with a peace sign. She signals for him to come to her, grabs his wrist and pulls him next to her at the rail. Taking her phone, she turns on the selfie camera, adjusts her hair and puffs her lips. She takes a couple shots and the whole time Michael is just fixated on her. Her firm body rubbing so close to his. Her touchy feely personality is hard to avoid. She looks to him staring and again he looks away. As she grabs his chin and faces him towards the camera phone, “Kodak” she says. He smiles. “Ah, there you go Mr. Walker, you can ngiti (smile), is that right?”
“One more Kodak,” she says. She lifts her leg and puts his kamay (hand) on her thigh. Michael already boiling over, she places his other kamot (hand) on her hip and places her gamat (hand) on his neck, she closes her eyes and puckers her lips. Michael’s mind is going bonkers. “Whaaaaaaat?! Her lips look so good. I want to. I want to,” as he says to himself, he panics, turns away and presses the shutter button and takes the phone. He lets go of Angel and starts to walk with his kamay (hands) on his ulu (head) taking deep breaths and slow long strides. Angel slowly follows behind him.
Another half a block downward Michael glances behind his shoulder to see if Angel is there. She is but even further back than before. He waits for her in front of the Lahaina Ice Cream Parlor. When she nears, he tries to approach her but she doesn’t respond. Apparently upset, she continues to walk. Michael tries to mutter out a few words but nothing actually initiates a response.
“Oh no, she is mad at me. I don’t know what happened, I freaked out. I don’t know how to deal with a woman like her. She is so open and outgoing. She is fun and maganda (beautiful) and I am….just plain,” he whispered to himself. Sulking and pouting they both approach a tree garden. There are many trees scattered and intertwined together in this tree park. Angel finds an information plaque and it states “Shading almost an acre … this banyan tree is the largest in the United States … There are 16 major trunks in addition to the original trunk in the center.” With Michael leaning over her, he says, “This is the Lahaina Banyan tree. It is one tree with many of its branches rooting itself back into the ground and spawning branches of its own.” Angel responds, “My grandmother used to tell me a banyan tree is like a family. Its core is the ancestors from generations past setting the solid foundation so that its offspring can grow, explore, find its own place to set its roots and set its own foundation for their offspring. This banyan tree is incredible.”
“Miss, I would like you to come with me,” a man tells Angel.
Hmmm… who is this man in Angel’s life? Find out and keep an eye out for my article every issue. I’m Dulce, helping you to master your Filipino Languages.
Like always, let’s laugh, let’s makinig (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.