It’s the second half of the year. How are we doing with the almost over pandemic? Are you still going to wear a mask? Are you going to observe social distancing? As for me, I’ll probably wear a mask once in awhile and of course, I will always practice good hygiene to keep myself free from sickness or illnesses.
How was your 4th of July? Did you light fireworks? What was your favorite dish? Did you have an All-American menu like hotdogs, hamburgers and potato chips? Or was it a variety of favorites of family and friends? Well, that’s okay because I myself didn’t bring an American dessert when I went to a BBQ party.
It’s halfway 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 by bodies of water. There are beaches everywhere. We can spend a day at the beach or even camp at the beach during a long weekend. After all, we live in a maganda (beautiful) place on Earth.
Let’s take a look at what is going on with the story of Mikey and Angel.
“Let’s go to my bahay (house) for awhile. Nanay’s (Mom’s) not home yet. I need to grab a few things there,” Michael says firmly and presses the power button on his saken (car).
As they pull out of the driveway and she turns around to look at the balay (house), Lydia’s voice and thoughts of cries and shouts run through Angel’s mind. Not the greatest memories but memories indeed and in a sort of way this horror place is all she knows and has been the closest thing to home in a long time.
Angel turns back to face Michael and smiles. “This quirky man. Here to take me away, huh?” She looks forward blushing, forward to her new future, wherever it leads.
As they turn onto Hāna Highway, a man stands at Lower Pa‘ia restroom snapping camera shots of the lugan (car).
Angel sees him and she adjusts the passenger seat back, feeling creeped out.
Michael looks at her and says, “Ano (What) are you doing?”
Angel: “There’s another man taking photos of either me or you. Maybe you are a celebrity and the paparazzi is following you. Or maybe it’s me because I am wanted by the federal agents.” She covers her makasta (beautiful) face to hide her embarrassment and to keep herself from crying.
Michael: “Just lean the chair back. Don’t worry about the man. Think of a plan so I can concentrate on driving and not get into an accident.”
The car is filled with silence. The windows refuse to let a single noise escape inside the car. Outside the car you can hear car horns blazing, sirens in the distance and angry drivers swearing but it was all muted. Angel sighs and suddenly the silence is shattered.
Michael reaches for her hand and says, “Everything will be okay.”
Angel, with concern on her face answers, “You promise?”
Michael looks straight at the road, doesn’t want to meet Angel’s eye because he is uncertain himself, hani (what) bukas (tomorrow) will bring. He nods and says, “Yes, everything will be okay.”
The car is filled with silence again.
As they drive pass the golf course, Angel peers out the window reminiscing the past. How she similarly gleaned out the window when she first left the Philippines, her heart filled with hope and mind filled with dreams. This is not too far from that. Oh, how she wanted a better life. Could this be it? Is this my time to find importance in this world? Could this man be the one I spend my life with? Where are we going? Anni (What) are we doing? Ano (What) is there for me?
Angel closes her eyes and says a short dasal (prayer). It’s all she can do. She is in the middle of this mess and the only thing she can do is reach out to God. This is the most important lesson her dad taught her. To always aglualo (pray). If she receives a blessing, pangadi (pray) … she’s in trouble, dasal (pray) … pag ampo (pray) everyday … .
Michael pulls into a gated street, presses a button and the gate opens.
Angel opens her eyes, “Wow! You live in a gated community. You really are baknang (rich),” Angel exclaims.
“I am not adunahan (rich). It’s my parent’s bale (house). I live with them,” Michael explains.
He presses another button and the garage opens. “Yes, Nanang (mom) is not yet home,” he says in his mind. “I don’t know how to introduce her to Angel. I am not ready yet.”
“Your bahay (house) is so big. It’s napintas (beautiful)! Only the mayaman (rich) people in the Philippines have this kind of balay (house). Do you have maids too?”
“Sorta. We have a bale (house) cleaner who comes to the bahay (house) just to tidy up a bit every day. We also have a yard man who comes every Wednesday morning. And a handyman who comes in to do some light repairs. Nanay (Mom) sometimes has a cook that comes to the balay (house) to prepare food but she actually loves to bake.”
“In West Philadelphia born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days, Chilling out maxin, relaxing all cool, and shooting some b-ball outside of school,” Angel sings bobbing her head.
“When a couple of guys who were up to no good started making trouble in my neighborhood. I got in one little fight and my Ima (mom) got scared and said, you’re moving in with,” Angel looks at Michael who is grinning ear to ear.
“With your aunty and uncle from Bel-Air!” they both laugh while singing.
“Oh, come on! It’s not like that. Seriously, we are not really manggaranon (rich).”
You know, we have the big maanyag (beautiful) bahay (house), the nice cars and the family reputation status but really we are up to our necks in debt. It’s actually the opposite honestly. Sometimes I wish we acted more like normal people rather than trying to impress the world and keep up with the Joneses.
Keep an eye for the next issue. Please visit us on our Facebook page and leave us a comment or ideas at www.facebook.com/filamvoicemaui.
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 received her Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts from Maui Community College. She earned her Bachelor 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 Saladmaster’s Travel Club and won an all-expenses paid trip to Cancún, Mexico. Butay has traveled to Texas, the Philippines and Thailand as one of the delegates from Island Healthy Solutions, a Saladmaster dealer here on Maui.