Let’s Talk Pinoy!

How is quarantining treating you? The last time I checked the news, the curve was flattened and we don’t have many new cases of COVID-19 which is why the government is lifting some of the restrictions.

The month of June should have been the month of celebrations especially for the graduates. We made history by having virtual graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020. Congratulations graduates!

Let’s not forget that in June we celebrate Father’s Day! Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads especially to the love of my life, Paul. Thank you for your unconditional love and support for the girls. We love you very much.

Let’s visit our friends Angel and Michael and see what’s going on with them this month, shall we?

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 ginikanan (parents). Did you drop her home? Where does she live? Ano (What) is her name? Anni (What) is her family name? Maybe I know her magulang (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 off Angel in front of the Pā‘ia Post Office? He doesn’t know where she lives, how is she going to invite her? He doesn’t have a phone number for her. How is he going to see her again?

Panic overcomes him.

He turns around and walks towards the hagdanan (stairs) to his room. His mom was still talking but he just continues to walk away. He shuts the door and sits at his study table.

Why did I agree to drop her off by the post office? You’re not a gentleman Michael. It’s night time. Hanni (What) if something happened to her? There are a lot of creepy people in Pā‘ia. A lot of drunken tourists and even some young locals that are looking for trouble. I know the area but not well. A napintas (beautiful) girl walking in the dark by herself? Why did Angel ask her to drop off in front of the post office? She really didn’t want me to know where she lives. Is she hiding something? Does she have a boyfriend? Or a husband maybe? Or maybe a girlfriend? Is she homeless and is ashamed for me to see? There is so much unknown that this makes me uncomfortable.

Michael grabs his phone. Ana (What) do I do now? Michael is pacing in his room. He can’t fall asleep. He keeps on thinking of how to find Angel. Maybe I am thinking too much. I will just rest and look for her tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Angel is busy cleaning the kitchen. After she washes the dishes, she sweeps and goes outside to gather the laundry hanging on the clothesline.

“Itay (Father), I miss you. I used to fold the laundry in your bedroom while I tell you stories about what’s new with your favorite local celebrities. Life was simple and things were easy because we helped one another. I cleaned the house and the yard. Then I prepared your pagkaon (food) and even fed you but it’s all ok. Unlike here, I am the only one who does all of the chores,” Angel whispers while tears fall onto her cheeks. “I’ll try to make it up one of these days.” She looks up and tries to hold her emotions inside.

She brings Lydia’s clothes inside and piles it in the corner quietly. She is scared to wake up the older lady so she tippy toes after she sets it down. If she wakes her up, definitely she’ll be in a pissy mood and will yell at her again.

While laying down in her bed, she can’t help but think of Michael. She had fun hanging out with Michael the whole day today. For once, she forgot about her problems and her worries. “Michael is really a great person. I wonder if he will still be nice to me if he learns about me and the situation that I am in,” she sighs.

“I can’t believe he kain (eats) a lot of Filipino makan (food). He even ate with his hand. He acted like he was brave when we encountered those homeless and drunk men but thank goodness, his uncle came to the rescue,” Angel smiled widely.

In the morning, Michael awoke earlier than usual. He seldomly wakes up at 6 a.m. on the weekend. He normally sleeps in but today, he has a mission. He needs to know where Angel lives.

While brushing his teeth, he looks into the mirror and stares at himself. “Who are you? Nanoyin (What) is this makasta (beautiful) doing to your life?” He stands there for a minute and then thinks of Angel. He had a great time with her yesterday. He likes how she laughs. Her laughter is contagious. It’s music to his ears. Ahhh … her smile … he loves her smile, it’s the sweetest thing. And her figure, sexy is an understatement. She is so bold but gentle and kind at the same time. She’s maganda (beautiful).

Michael: I wonder what she is doing. The more I think of her the more I want to see her.

He reminisces of their day yesterday while he gets ready for the day.

Michael: I better bring another jacket or sweater because Angel is always matugnaw (cold). Yesterday she was malam min (cold) when we were near the Harbor. I got to kinda hug her when I helped her put on my jacket. Ahhh, I got to smell her hair. She’s definitely going to be marimla (cold) again.

Michael closes his eyes and smells his jacket imagining it was Angel. Ahhhh …

Michael: I better get going. I need to alisto (hurry up) and go see her.

Time checked: 6:17 a.m.

Phone: Check.

Keys: Check.

He walks through the hall to the garage where his “baby” sits waiting for his arrival. This is the first car he bought on his own brand new. It’s an odd colored yellowish orange that he had custom painted. So Filipino. The car recently washed and ceramic coated glimmers in the dark. As he turns on the light he can think of the transformer scene where Charlie learns her newly acquired bug is actually a robot named BumbleBee. Michael jumps to scare the car and waits for it to transform but alas, it doesn’t. He shrugs and gets into the Camaro and starts to drive to Pā‘ia.

While driving he reminisces about his teen years. He drove an old Corolla that was handed down from his Uncle Ray and he drove this route to Pā‘ia so many times he could do it in his sleep. He loved that car even though it was more trouble than anything. He probably put $3K into the $800 car keeping it alive throughout his high school days. And even getting him to the first semester of college before the head gasket blew and he had to dump it.

Michael parks his car in front of the Pā‘ia Post Office. Now what?

Now that Michael is where he dropped off Angel, what is he going to do? Visit us on our facebook page and leave us a comment or ideas at www.facebook.com/filamvoicemaui.

Find out and keep an eye out for my column in 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.