How are you surviving with this pandemic that was brought by the coronavirus? Are you washing your hands like you’ve never been before? Are you practicing social distancing? Or are you tired of hearing this coronavirus or COVID-19? I want to take this opportunity to thank our front-liners for all the work that they do. Thanks also to our essential workers who also sacrifice to serve others. A big Mahalo for all the things you do.
May is supposed to be the month of graduation season. But due to COVID-19, students didn’t even have the chance to bid their goodbyes to their fellow students and especially their teachers. I wonder how they feel about that.
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Let’s visit our friends Angel and Michael and see what’s going on with them this month, shall we?
“You can just drop me off in front of the post office,” Angel interrupted his thoughts.
Drop off a maganda (beautiful) lady at a post office? Late at night? “I can drop you to your bale (house).” He offered.
“Indi (No), here is fine,” said Angel who opened the door as soon as the sakyanan (car) stopped. “I had a great time today. Thank you,” and exited the sasakyan (car).
“I’ll wait until you get to your balay (house),” Michael offered but Angel refused.
Instead, Angel waited for Michael to drive away before she walked towards the bale (house) she’s staying in.
Heading to the tahanan (house), she saw that the lights were still on. She slowly and quietly opened the door.
The minute Lydia saw Angel, she started yelling. “Angel, it’s about time you got home. Where did you go the whole day? The dishes are waiting for you. So is the trash. The kitchen is a mess!”
Angel rushed to the kitchen and started cleaning up quietly while the older lady was still yelling at the top of her lungs.
“Where were you? Are you trying to avoid doing chores in this balay (house)? Do I have to remind you that you are lucky you are living here instead of being homeless? Do you want to be homeless again?”
Angel started washing dishes and she said, “Dili (No), Ma’am.”
Lydia: “You always stay out late and go wherever you want. Do you want me to call the deportation office and have them take you away?”
“There’s the threat again,” said Angel in her mind. Angel’s tears flowed down her cheeks. She was actually panicking and afraid. She felt her entire body trembling.
“Hindi (No) ma’am,” she replied to Lydia.
Lydia: “Hurry up and clean the kitchen. You have a lot more things to do. Bukas (Tomorrow) you have to cook breakfast because me and Uncle have an important matter to take care of. I expect that the balay (house) and the yard will be clean ton bigat (tomorrow) when we get back. And dinner should be ready.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Wiping the tears away from her nawong (face).
Lydia drifts towards her bedroom. The name calling doesn’t stop but it becomes distorted as she moves further away.
Suddenly, Lydia pulls her buhok (hair) and Angel almost falls backwards. “Why didn’t you put away the laundry? It’s been a couple days now and my clothes are not yet in my closet.
“Pasensya na (I am sorry), Ma’am. I will put it away now.”
“Pakoman na (I am sorry) again? Every day is sorry! Who do you think you are? You are so useless! You stay out late, probably you are going holoholo (cruising) just to avoid chores! I’m going to pull all your bwak (hair) out. She grabs one side of Angel’s head and clinches even harder.
“Haan (No), please Ma’am, haan (No)!” Angel cries in agonizing pain.
Angel whimpering in sorrow and barely able to speak, “Yes, pakawanen nak (I’m sorry) Ma’am.”
Lydia releases her buok (hair) and walks away.
Meanwhile, Michael drives so slowly. His mind is full of questions about Angel. Why doesn’t she want me to see or know where she lives? What is she hiding from me? Is she living with someone else? What is this girl doing to me?
He reaches home and sits in his car for a long time. He sees the lights are on inside the bale (house) so he knows his inahan (mom) is probably still awake watching her Filipino dramas or teleserye.
He draws a deep sigh and slowly opens his sasakyan (car) door and walks slowly to the front door.
He quietly unlocks the door and tippy-toes in.
“Is that you Michael?’ his nanay (mom) asks.
Michael turns around and sees his nanang (mom) with the remote control. “Oh hi, nanay (mom). Why are you still up this late?”
“I am watching my Filipino shows, Michael. I am your inahan (mother) after all! Why, I cannot watch? You know I work all day and take care of you and your dad after, can I not relax too? Watching my teleserye is my way of relaxing. Why are you asking about me? I am supposed to be asking about you?” He stood there as his yena (mom) lectured him.
Mom: What did you do today?
Michael: Ah, you know … errands for the office.
Mom: Errands for the office until late night?
Michael: Yes, then went out cruising.
Mom: Cruising? By yourself?
Michael: With a kaibigan (friend).
Mom: A girlfriend?
Michael: No, ima (mom). Just a gayyem (friend)… .
Mom: Ah … a kaluguran (friend). A maanyag (beautiful) girl. Yeah, your uncle just told me about it. He saw you with a napintas (beautiful) girl tonight.
Michael turns bright red with embarrassment. He clears his throat and coughs.
Michael: Uncle Ray called you?
Michael reaches for a cup in the drawer.
Mom: Of course, he called me Michael. He told me about your kofun (friend). How would I know about you and a miga (friend) that’s strolling in the park late at night. First Date? I hope you didn’t get in trouble with her parents. Did you drop her home? Where does she live? What is her name? What is her family name? Maybe I know her parents? Maui is a small island. Did you kiss her? Tell your mother. When will I have grandkids! I’m getting old!
Michael drops his plastic cup on the kitchen floor and bumps into the rice dispenser.
Michael: Yes, nanay (mom), I dropped her home … Haan (No), it wasn’t a date. Why so many questions? I have no answers for you.
Michael’s rupa (face) turns red as he rushes to his room.
How is he going to explain to his inahan (mom) that he dropped Angel off in front of Pā‘ia Post Office? He doesn’t know where she lives; how is he going to invite her? He doesn’t have a phone number for her. How is he going to see her again?
Panic overcomes him.
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 Saladmaster dealer here on Maui.