Let’s Talk Pinoy!

The month of May is a busy month. May 1st is Lei Day in Hawai‘i, Mother’s Day is celebrated almost the whole world and Memorial Day is also celebrated to honor those who lost their lives while defending our country. It is also graduation season in Hawai‘i and high school seniors receive their high school diplomas.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Nanay, Inang, Inay, Yena, Ima, especially to my mom, Dolly Butay. Happy Mother’s Day to my sisters Daisy, Dianne and Debbie and to my daughter, Vanessa Kate Erin.

Let’s practice thanking our mother and saying “I love you” to them.

To Mom: Thank you for loving and caring for me. I love you.

In Ilokano: Agyamanak iti pinangipateg ken pinangdunggom kanyak. Ay-ayaten ka.

In Tagalog: Salamat sa pagmamahal at pag-aaruga sa akin. Mahal kita.

In Ilonggo: Madamo gid nga salamat sa pagpalangga kag paghalong sa akon. Palangga gid taka.

In Cebuano: Daghang salamat sa paghigugma ug pagpalangga nimo sa akoa. Gihigugma taka.

Let’s also give a shout out to our May birthday celebrants: May-Anne Alibin, Jeslie Butay, Melen Agcolicol, Shane Hayen, Roberta Dumlao, Alfredo Evangelista, Christian Joshua Butay, Jared Hedani, Eleonor Carlos-Galapon, Jowy Langaman and Brian Hayen. Happy, Happy birthday to you! (Tagalog) Maligayang bati sa iyong 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 take a look at what the story is this month, shall we?

Michael opens the pintuan (door) and enters the balay (house).

He thinks Angel is behind him but when he turns around, the ridaw (door) is still open and she is still standing outside.

Angel feels like her feet are planted in the ground. She cannot move her feet. She is scared to go inside because Michael’s Inahan (mother) is there. She does not know what she will do to her, thinking Angel is getting her son in trouble.

“Michael is that you?” a voice says and they both freeze.

Michael doesn’t respond. He walks towards the lukub (door) instead, to check on Angel.

He looks at her and gives her an “it’s going to be ok” look but Angel doesn’t move a muscle.

He moves closer to her to assist her so they can walk in the ganhaan (door) together when they hear heavy footsteps.

They look at each other and do not say anything. They just stand there by the puwerta (door) and wait for those footsteps to come closer to them. Her mukha (face) shows she is scared.

“Michael!” his yena (mother) says, “are you just going to stand by the pasbul (door)?”

“Nanay (Mom)” whispers Michael, “this is Angel” his voice is so low you could barely hear it.

His mom walks towards the pintuan (door) and looks at Angel.

“Magandang Gabi (Good evening), Ma’am,” Angel says in a soft voice as she looks down to her feet. She cannot show her rupa (face). She feels so small and ashamed, but most of all, she feels so scared of what Michael’s mom could say to or do to her.

“Maayong gabi (Good evening). Pasok ka (Come in), dumanun ka (come in), iha.” Michael’s mom walks towards Angel, takes her hand and leads her into the house. “You are so napintas (beautiful). Ray was right when he said you are malagu (beautiful)” she continues. “Speaking of Ray … .”

Michael cuts off his nanay (mother) and says, “Can we talk first before calling Uncle Ray?”

His ima (mother) ignores him and continues walking with Angel taking her into the kitchen. “She is maanyag (beautiful) Michael,” she tells him instead.

“Did you eat yet, iha? Are you hungry? I should heat up this pork adobo that I cooked, it’s the best. Well, it was what Big Mike and Mickey here said to me whenever I cook it.”

They turn from the hall and reach the kitchen. “And the pinakbet, it’s Ilocano pakbet,” she continues. “I don’t put karabasa (pumpkin) in it. I cook the karabasa separately and add pork belly to it. It’s actually Mickey’s favorite Filipino food, karabasa with sauteed pork belly. Do you know how to cook, iha?” she asks Angel.

Angel’s tears roll down across her nawong (face). She didn’t even notice she was getting teary as she was walking with Michael’s mom towards the kitchen.

“Yes, po, I know how to cook,” she answers feeling like she was choking.

“That’s good, iha. I like it when girls can cook good pagkaon (food). They would make a good wife to their husbands.”

“Mom!” exclaims Michael. “We still have to talk and discuss some important matters,” Michael says seriously.

“I know, Michael, I know. You are not off the hook yet. But first things first. You must eat. It is not good to skip meals or eat late. You will have an ulcer and you will die,” she says to scare Michael.

Angel feels nervous when she hears what Michael’s mom says. She doesn’t know what to do or say. She just keeps silent.

She helps Michael’s mom set up the table; the plates and makan (food). She feels this is her last day. She is being well-fed first then thrown to jail. “It’s ok, I know it’s my fault anyway, for staying here without proper documentation, I need to be punished or be deported. I wish I would just go home and be with my family,” Angel thinks to herself. “Oh, how I miss my family. I hope my Tatay is doing okay. I haven’t talked to him for a long time.” Then her tears start to roll down her eyes.

She doesn’t know Michael’s mom is watching her.

“Angel? Angel? Angel, are you ok?” she asks.

Angel can’t find her voice she hugs her and starts crying on her shoulder.

Anyways that’s all I have. 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.