Aloha August, welcome September, the first -ber month and you know what it means. It means time will pass by so fast the next thing you know, holidays are coming and the year is gone. For Filipinos, the 1st day of September is the beginning of Christmas season, which makes the Philippines holding the longest running festivity of the Christmas season per Wikipedia. That is why even here in Hawai‘i, Christmas songs are played on the radio station on the 1st of September.
Shout out to all the September babies! We have the most birthdays this month! Do you know why? Because it’s cold in December when they were conceived … . Happy birthday to Keilah and Deja (1st), Mana (6th, our fur baby), Arissa Kira (7th), Justin Dumlao (7th), Lalaine Pasion (10th), my cousin Mando Domion (13th), Ferdinand Cajigal (15th), Debbie and Julia (17th), to my mom, Dolly (21st), and Didi Hamai (22nd). Also, a shout out Happy birthday to our Maui Senator Gil Keith-Agaran! Pada-pada kam nga kumablaaw ti naimbag nga panagkasangay yo amin! (Happy birthday to all!) 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?
Michael’s mom repeats what she said to Angel, “You don’t like the monggo beans, iha?” (“Iha” is a term of endearment.)
Angel replies shyly and says, “I love monggo beans po. I’m just not used to having it with marunggay leaves.”
Michael’s inahan (mother) replies and says, “In Ilocos, we put marunggay leaves on most of other vegetables. We don’t like bittermelon because it makes us bitter and look older.”
And they all laugh at what Michael’s nanay (mother) says.
Knock, knock knock … .
And they all stop laughing together when they hear a loud knock and puzzledly look at each other.
Then the knocking continues … And continues … with urgency this time.
Total silence fills the table.
“Sino (Who) could be coming this late?” says Michael’s mom.
Michael is about to stand up but his mom stops him and stands, “It’s ok, I’ll go and open the pasbul (door).” She stands up and walks towards the front pintuan (door).
Michael’s mom stops in front of the ridaw (door) and takes a deep breath and says, “Sinni (who) is it?”
“Mila, can you please open the ganhaan (door)?” Michael’s dad says softly.
“Robert?! Ano (What) in the world … Hani (What) are you doing outside? You were just at the table eating and the next thing you knew, you are in the front puwerta (door)?” Michael’s mom says scolding him.
She rushes to unlock the lukub (door) for her husband and lets him in.
“I was watering the plants outside and left the keys to the storage and the tools by the fence. I just remembered it when we were eating so I rushed to go out and get it. I left the back pasbul (door) open so I can come back but for some reason, it closed and locked. I was not able to come in,” he explains to his wife.
“Nanoyin (What) are we going to do?” she cuts him off.
“We’re going back to the table to finish our dinner,” Michael’s dad says.
“No, silly. I’m talking about Angel,” Michael’s mom says sarcastically.
“Oh, that? I don’t know. I leave it to you, you are the expert on all areas especially that one,” Michael’s dad says and rushes to sit at the dining table.
Michael’s mom is left speechless. She doesn’t know what to do so she just follows her husband to the dining table.
Michael, Angel and Michael’s dad are laughing when she gets to the table. She sits quietly and looks at Angel.
She quietly eats while the three are laughing so loud. She would ngiti (smile) once in a while as if she was participating in their conversation.
They are talking about celebrities, about food and places they would like to visit. She is just listening to them and not really paying attention.
She isem (smiles) at Angel. Then she looks at Michael, and she timan (smiles). Then she turns to her husband and gives him the “eye.”
Do you know what the “eye” means? Does your mom give you the “eye?” Or your grandma maybe?
Find out or ask the elderly what the “eye” means.
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.