This month marks the 2nd year of the global pandemic coronavirus known as COVID-19. How are you doing so far? Are you used to wearing a mask wherever you go or are you tired of it? Does your skin get dry because of hand sanitizers and frequent washing? The COVID-19 pandemic has changed and affected our life in so many ways. From our personal hygiene to how we interact with others and from work to telework. This pandemic has taught me a lot of lessons but the two most important ones are: self-care and family. Taking care of yourself should be a priority and necessity. You cannot pour from an empty cup if you yourself are empty. Then there’s family, who will always be there for you no matter how different your opinions or your attitudes are. You have one purpose and that is to have each other’s back no matter what. What did you learn from this pandemic? Don’t forget those lessons.
Shout out to our March birthday celebrants: my niece Sharmaine Jolleen Butay and my good friend Jovy Baguyo. Happy, Happy birthday! Maligayang bati sa inyong kaarawan!
Let’s see what’s going on with our story this month and where Michael and Angel will be going next, shall we?
“Do you think so? I am in trouble?” Angel shrieks as they stand next to each other.
Michael walks her to the passenger side of the Hummer. Holding onto the back of her ulo (head) and kissing through her worn out headband, he whispers, “Everything will be ok.”
Angel lets out a cry. A cry that is years of pain and suffering rolled into a few consecutive gasps of air as she unravels herself into Michael’s braso (arms).
“I don’t know what’s going on yet but we will figure it out when we get there,” Michael continues and holds her kamay (hand) tight.
Angel continues to cry.
“Ok?” Michael says.
Michael continues to comfort her, rocking her back and forth, resting in his gamat (arms).
Slowly the cry turns into a pant and then fades away.
Michael slowly rest her buntuk (head) on the headrest. Slowly enough so he doesn’t wake her up.
Michael looks at Angel. “This girl has so much pain inside. She looks the part when she is laughing and magayaya (happy) but there is a storm inside her. Whenever something doesn’t go right, even just a little, she begins to cry uncontrollably. One day she will open up to me.”
Michael stares at the moon. “I too have so much pain inside. We are so much alike even though we come from such different cultures. My Tatay (father) was never home and always treated me like an employee rather than like a son. My Nanay (mother) was always busy at home and so stressed that she was never any fun. I never really had any good kaluguran (friends) or family to turn to. She is alone and I will be there for her as long as she lets me. One day, she will be happy and so will I. But for now, we just have each other and that’s just fine by me.”
He softly hammers his fist on the hood of the truck and gets into the driver’s seat.
He runs his fingers on the bottom of the steering wheel.
He extends his gamat (hand) forward under the steering column.
“One, two, three…..”
Left kamay (hand) going to the left.
With his index finger he plunges it forward.
There, hanging in the corner of the carpet was a little ribbon.
“Yes, now I remember.”
He pulls on it, and pops out a susi (key).
Celebrating in the lugan (car) but quiet enough not to wake up Angel.
He stumbles to put the yabe (key) in the ignition.
“Yeah, yeah… I know. I can’t get it in. Geez,” he mumbles, staring at the sky.
Rah … Rah … Rah … Rah …
Kotse (car) sputters.
“Dang it!” Michael exclaims.
He tries again and again but the sasakyan (car) dies.
Sooooo many sakyanan (car) problems!
First, it’s my tire, now it’s the Hummer.
He opens the hood.
“Oh man, I didn’t take any auto body classes in high school. I took art. Grrr.” He is mad at himself.
He stares into oblivion not knowing what he’s looking at inside his engine.
He opens his phone and clicks on YouTube as he types “Lugan (car) doesn’t work.”
A huge list of videos come out.
“Ahhhhh … .”
Why so many?
He revises his search to “Sasakyan (car) won’t start.”
He begins to watch video after video.
“How to start your saken (car) with a troubled starter.”
He shines his light and begins to hit what he thinks is the starter.
He tries again but the kotse (car) still doesn’t start.
“How to check for a bad battery.”
He checks all the connections and notices one connection is loose.
He searches the back seat and finds a small wrench to tighten the bolt.
Rah … rah … rah …
He tries again.
Rah … Rah … rah … then suddenly, boom! the sasakyan (car) comes alive.
Yes! As Michael jumps out of the lugan (car) and begins his TikTok dance the kotse (car) dies again.
“Nooooooo … !”
What do you do when you have a car problem? Do you watch YouTube and attempt to fix it yourself? Do you call a shop and schedule to have your car fixed? Or do you call a friend who knows someone to do it?
Anyways that’s all I have. 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 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.