Let’s Talk Pinoy!

Whoa! Second month of the year already? That was quick. Ah February, the love month! What are you doing this Valentine’s Day? Are you ready for Valentine’s Day?

Check out these quotes.

Roses are red, sky is blue, my love is true, only for you. Aaahhh, so sweet. How about this. Roses are red, violets are blue, the first time I saw you, I fell in love with you, My heart already knew that it’s you! Wow, I think I’m getting good at this … One more … Roses are red, violets are blue, who needs flowers when I got you? I have to stop because I am getting carried away. But if you need help, contact me and I might be able to help you. Whatever your plans to celebrate, don’t forget to get a flower or bouquet of flowers for your Valentine. It will surely brighten up her day or even bring a smile to her face. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Shout out to our February birthday celebrants: my good friends, Leilani Maglaya Corpuz, Renie Garo Menor, Zina Andrade-Nefalar, Esmeralda “Esmie” Damo and Andre Baguyo. Happy, Happy birthday! Maligayang bati sa inyong kaarawan! (Tagalog) Naimbag nga panagkasangay mo! (Ilokano) Makapagayaya nga aggaw na nikeyana mu! (Ibanag) Masayang kebaitan queca! (Kapampangan) Masadya gid nga adlaw sa imo pagkatawo! (Ilonggo)

Let’s see what’s going on with our story this month and where Michael and Angel will be going next, shall we?

Ray cannot wait so he stands up and asks her, “Did you kill the cop?”

Angel quietly says, “Hindi. (No).”

“Then why is it that it’s you they are saying who killed the cop?” Ray asks irritatedly.

“Indi (no), dili (no), I did not kill the cop. I don’t have a gun or did not do anything to kill that officer,” Angel says sobbing. She covers her mukat (face) with her ima (hands) this time.

“Police Officers escorted us after we landed at the airport. They took us to their car.” Angel explains.

“I realized he was a crooked policeman because we were escorted through the airport and avoided all the proper procedures to enter the US like customs, and the bag checked area,” Angel says in between her cries.

Angel must relive what was supposed to be the start of her “American Dream” but turned out to be the worst day of her life again. She closes her eyes and continues, “He let us ride in a van and when we were driving away, a police car stopped us but the man just kept driving.”

Her first day in Hawai‘i should have been the start to achieve her dreams but turned into a nightmare. She remembered how hot the sun beamed down on her, how it absorbed into her skin after the thirteen-hour flight. She remembered how sticky the leather of the old patrol car felt and the suffocating stench that came from the smoke-soaked upholstery. She remembered how dizzy she felt from the road and the horror she felt when put into that van with all these other girls.

Tears roll down her mata (eyes) and she starts crying again. “I did not do anything wrong. I trusted Billy. My family trusted Billy. My magulang (parents) even borrowed money so I can come here and achieve what they call the American dream. I am a nasingpet (good) person. I listened to my ginikanak (parents) growing up and always respect and obey what they say. I helped my siblings and my neighbors. Why me?”

“How did the officer get killed?” asks Ray, looking at Angel.

“I closed my eyes and covered my head when I was inside the van. I saw the driver that he was going to hit the police officer and I knew we were going to crash. I heard gunshots and I saw the other guy who was sitting on the passenger side, holding a gun. There were loud gunshots inside the van so I just closed my eyes and took cover,” Angel explains between sobs.

Michael rubs her back, giving comfort to her. “We will help you get through this,” he says in a soft voice. He looks at his Uncle Ray, pleading to his uncle to help her.

Ray looks away. He cannot say indi (no) to his only nephew. He treats him like his son. He babysat him when he was a baby, taught him how to ride a bike and even coached him to play soccer and basketball. He wants to say, “Haan (No) Michael, we are not going to do that.” He cannot move his mouth to say it aloud.

Instead, he looks around the room and says, “Where are your nagannak (parents)? You should talk to them and hear what they have to say.” Then he calls them in a loud voice, “Robert! Mila! You should be here talking to us!”

Michael’s magulang (parents) look at each other and do not say anything.

Michael’s mom stands up and starts cleaning up the table. She says “You should go there and talk to them,” pushing Robert away to join them in the living room.

“Me? Why me? I didn’t do anything!” Robert says defensively.

“I didn’t say you did something. I just said to go and give them your two cents,” Michael’s mom says and clears the dishes in front of Robert.

“I have trabaho (work) to do,” Robert says and stands up and walks towards his little office in the balay (house).

As soon as he gets to his little office, he closes the door and locks it.

Robert walks to the secured filing cabinet and unlocks it slowly. He opens the drawer and pulls out an envelope.

He slowly opens it and there it is … the picture of Villamor Lopez also known as Uncle Billy on one sheet and a picture of Angel on another sheet and two more ladies he doesn’t know.

He takes Angel’s picture and says, “Now I can put a name on your picture, Angel. The last piece to the puzzle and I can finally solve this case. You are really an angel.”

He closes the folder slowly, takes a deep breath and puts it back in the file. And he says, “Soon” quietly.

Hmmm … what does Michael’s dad have to do with Angel? Why does he have his own file?

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.