Let’s Talk Pinoy!

We celebrate Filipino-American History Month in October to commemorate the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the US. On October 3, 2022, a flag ceremony was held at the Mayor’s Office to start the celebration. It rained that day but it didn’t stop us from doing so.

October is the month of Halloween. In America, we dress up in costumes and knock on neighbors’ doors to get candy; it’s called trick or treating. What are you doing for Halloween? What are you dressing up as? Whatever it is, be safe out there, take precautions and never drive drunk.

Shout out to our October Birthday celebrants: Daphne Butay and Melissa Domingo who both celebrated their birthdays on October 7. Zion Jesse Butay who will be celebrating his birthday on October 30th. Happy, Happy birthday to you! (Tagalog) Maligayang bati sa inyong kaarawan! (Ilokano) Naimbag nga panagkasangay mo! (Ibanag) Makapagayaya nga aggaw na nikeyana mu! (Kapampangan) Masayang kebaitan queca! (Ilonggo) Masadya gid nga adlaw sa imo pagkatawo!

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

“Hello? It’s Friday. Remember we told Aunty Lumen we will man the registration desk?” said Florie.

“Registration desk?” Angel repeated.

“The festival …” Florie responded.

Just as Angel’s brain finally finished loading, “Oh that’s right!” she yelled. Panicked, she grabbed a Jacket from off the hanger.

“Tsk tsk tsk, You are getting old Angel,” joked Florie.

“Oh, look ninoymi (who) is talking. You are two months older than me.”

“Hayst … Nganong (Why) do you have to say that?” Florie pouted. “But I’m still cute.”

“Whatever, let’s go,” Angel said.

They hurried to the courtyard. The courtyard is a community gathering place for all Barangay 47 to host birthday parties, celebrations, community dance or art, government informational meetings and ceremonies.

Tonight was their monthly fiesta, where every neighboring home brought a dish to share and had a representative to help setup and breakdown. Angel and Florie were assigned to sit at the informational booth but really there is no new information. They were there to show their faces, eat and socialize.

They finally reached the table and sat down, then they got back up to grab some food. Angel glanced around the courtyard. Yes, the same set up, the same chairs, the same lighting. The same people singing.

“Ah, I love it,” she sighed.

Right now it’s Evelyn, who lives on the other side of the river bank from Angel, who is singing “Ikaw”. As sick and tired as everyone hears it, she is not. She is actually getting better with her range every month. In the corner of her eye, she could see the man from earlier talking to Tito Victor. But as soon as she caught a glimpse, Boom!

“Whats up, cuz? I’m so hungry.” It’s her cousin Raffie as he took her fork and started to poke one of her bibingka and lifted it to his mouth.

She turned to him, ngiti (smiled) and slapped his shoulder. “Hayyysssst …

“Your Nanay (mother) was looking for you.”

“Oh yeah, ano (what) about?” Raffie asked while chewing.

“You never went to see her yet?” Angel asked and took back her fork from him.

“No. Hani (What) about? I just got here,” Raffie answered.

“She was saying that you have been absent lately and aren’t even helping around anymore,” Angel explained.

“Yeah, I’ve been with Mary Fe.” He grabbed the form back and shoved another bibingka into his cheek even though he had barely chewed the last piece.

“Yes, that’s what I told her too,” Angel said reluctantly.

Raffie choked and gagged. Bibingka parts went flying as he got up and backed away, clinching his mouth.

“Hey, what the heck?” Angel said as she flicked chewed pieces off the tables. “That’s kadiri (gross)! You are naaryek (gross)!”

“Ana? (What?) Bakit (Why) did you tell her that?” Raffie questioned her.

“Duuuuh?! It’s because she asked me,” Angel said, smiling.

“Nooooo … Cousin, she is going to kill me …” Raffie said worriedly.

“Good … because she nearly killed Florie and I.” Angel rolled her eyes.

“Yeah, my butt still hurts.” Florie said as she pointed to her glutes.

Raffie stumbled away in pain and asked, “Nganong (why) did you tell my inahan (mom)? I thought you got my back?”

“Hoy, you owe me 100 pesos from last week. Nasaan (Where’s) my money? I need it. Next time you want to keep secrets, my price is 10 pesos for one month,” Angel told him.

“OMG, scammer!” was all Raffie could say.

“Well, you might as well tell your yena (mother). She is going to find out anyways. This place is too small to keep secrets,” Angel said.

An older lady passes Angel a piece of paper and then she went to the front of the stage and got the microphone.

“Hello, magandang gabi (good evening), naimbag a rabii (good evening), maayong gabi (good evening). We have some announcements. Pastor Joseph is holding a fundraising event this Sunday after mass. Please stop by the parish and help. The profits will go to Kuya Benito, who you all know is still in the hospital from last week. Wednesday we’ll have a basketball tournament for ages five to eleven. Please see Ate Frances to register. The winning team will get a ribbon, 50 pesos each, a picture in the weekly flyer and ice candy, hahaha, from the most wonderful person, Me.” Chuckles and comments in the crowd. “I’m also accepting donations, Charot.” (Charot is a street word for ‘I’m just kidding.’)

As the night moved on and people are drunk, the music still played and some people fell asleep while others played cards as the smell of cigarettes filled the air. Angel’s nanang (mom) got to the table.

“Anak…(child) “

“Nanay! (Mom!) Sitaw (Where) have you been? I never saw you all day,” Angel asked her mom.

“I have been helping Auntie Daya cook for her market tomorrow, anak,” her nanay (mom) explained.

“Yes, ima (mom). I have something to ask. Remember now that tatay (father) is sick. And we have so many bills to pay right now. Inahan (Mother), I know, I applied at the mall last week but they haven’t called me yet. I am thinking about selling lumpia at the school tomorrow,” she told her mom.

“No, anak. We have an answer. I don’t know if you met him yet but Uncle Victor has a friend from Hawai‘i. He is here. And he can get you a trabaho (job) with good pay. Anak, I already told him you will do it. Please?!” her nanay (mother) pleaded.

The man approached from behind her nanang (mother). “Kababayan, you are maganda (beautiful). Your daughter is also napintas (beautiful),” he told Angel’s mom. Then he turned to Angel and said, “Hi Angel. I heard your amahan (father) is not well. Your nanay (mother) tells me you are looking for ubra (job). That’s good because I need workers. My name is Uncle Billy,” as he extended his hand for a shake.

Uncle Billy. You guys know him, right? He was in our previous columns. And I bet you already know what he did but if not, then wait for it. 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 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.