Hi guys welcome back. Did you go to the Maui Fil-Am Heritage Festival? How about that back-to-back entertainment? Wasn’t it cool? The performers were amazing. How about Halloween, what were you dressing up as? Time flies by so fast, and we are now in November. Thanksgiving is just right around the corner. What’s on the menu this Thanksgiving? For sure, lechon is on the menu at my house. Lechon manok. And what about Black Friday? Where are you shopping this post Thanksgiving dinner? I’ll be at the Lahaina Outlets at midnight so I will see you there if you are going. How about Cyber Monday? Not your thing? Me too.
In last month’s article, Angel had one of the worst mornings and we revealed a secret in her life. If you missed it, go back and get a hold of last month’s issue or read it on facebook at www.facebook.com/letstalkpinoy to catch up. Today, we go back and see what Michael is doing.
As Michael finishes up brushing his teeth, he looks at the mirror, and stares at himself. “Who are you? What are you doing in your life?” He stands there for a minute and started to let the danum (water) run. He was about to wash his mukat (face) when he heard his Nana calling him.
“Michael, kaon na ta! (let’s eat)”
“Ok Nana, umayakon. (I’m coming)”
Michael comes down the stairs. The second to the last step creeks because he used to jump on it everyday so he knows to skip that one.
The kitchen at Nana’s house does not have great natural light but she makes up for it by putting a lot of lamps. The dulang is one of those fancy tables that have detailed carvings all over it. The chairs are now bare but she kept the factory plastic on them for close to twenty years. “I always used to complain that it is sticky. I was such a brat,” Michael whispers.
Michael doesn’t visit Nana much these days. Work has kept him busy but she is always so happy to see him when he does come over. Every morning, Nana cooks breakfast and it is a feast and today is no different.
In the lamesa, there is Tortang Talong which is double eggplant and Michael’s favorite. Tomato and green with scrambled eggs, with just a touch of salt for taste. Magnolia’s red hot dogs with cheese sit next to the sliced spam, always a family favorite. Today, Nana fried some rice. No, it is not your typical fried rice that is rice with peas, carrots, shoyu (soy sauce) and sausage. The Filipino fried rice was simply cooked with oil and garlic topped with a pinch of salt. The bottom of the fried rice is crunchy and it’s the best part. We all used to fight over it. There’s also bagoong (salted fish sauce) with tomato and onion on the side. And Michael’s favorite, Jufran Banana Sauce (Filipino Ketchup).
“There were so many good times that we had as a family here on this very kan’anan,” Michael said to himself.
“We all learned how to pack pork and vegetable lumpia on this lamisaan. I remember dad and I would play cards for hours. Till this day I am still the Pipito champion (Filipino card game) of the house.”
Nana would cook a big almusal (breakfast) for everyone, but she wouldn’t eat much for herself. She is a frail old lady but has energy for days. Today, her almusal is Love’s Sweet bread dipped in her coffee. On the counter, sits three bottles of Sanka.
“Nana, when did you start drinking this stuff,” Michael asks.
“Long time already, Folgers is expensive. You like?” Nana replies.
Nana was born in the Philippines, but she speaks pidgin. Pidgin is Hawai‘i’s special dialect of English. But Nana’s pidgin is with a Filipino accent.
“Sometimes I think it makes her jokes even that much funnier,” Michael says to himself, grinning.
Nana: “Michael, do you have nobya (girlfriend)?”
Michael avoided the question, instead, he replied to her, “Nana, this tortang talong is naimas!”
Nana: “Hoy Michael, I am asking you if you have a nobya. I know that the tortang talong is manyaman!”
Michael smiles, “No Nana, awan pay nobia’k”
With a shocked face Michael turns to his grandmother, “Haha, no! Never!”
Nana: “You know Aunty Jan?”
Michael: “Yah.” (Aunty Jan isn’t really related to Michael but most locals refer to women who are older than they are and around their mother’s age, “Aunty” out of respect.)
Nana: “Aunty Jan’s son has a boyfriend and I thought maybe.”
Michael: “No, no, no Nana, No! I like women! There is this one!” Michael laughs.
Nana: “What’s her name? Malagu?”
Michael, red from ear to ear. “Angel” Michael whispers, turning away in embarrassment. “Very maganda…”
Nana: “Ana’t apelyido (last name) na?” Michael gasps and thinks “Shucks, I didn’t get her last name.”
Michael: “Nana stop. She’s not my nobya yet.”
Nana: “Okay, not your nobia. Tell me her last name. I will find out who is her parents. Let her come to Jayb’s first birthday at Binhi At Ani Tuesday night. All your brothers, sisters, and cousins they are all married, and they will be there. Only you, always bring nothing. It’s so embarrassing. You bring her.”
Michael: “But… ”
Nana: “Don’t talk back to me, it’s only dinner. Just bring her. You tell me her last name, I will tell her parents.”
Michael: “No, please don’t. I am not a kid. I can do it myself. I will visit her lola later.”
Nana: “Who is her lola?”
Michael drops his hands like a child. “Stop.”
Nana hugs and kisses him.
Michael says, “Umuna-ak pay Nana.” (I’m going first.)
Ah, breakfast at grandma’s. You can’t beat it. My Nana used to make this Igado (pork) but without liver and it was so good. My grandpa also made his best caldo (beef soup), unfortunately nobody learned how to do it. How about you? What does your childhood breakfast look like and who prepared it for you? Tell us your story at Fil-Am Voice’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/letstalkpinoy.
Another day comes, and another day goes. Another issue has been completed, and on to the next one. You stay here, I will go first. Your homework is to say “Umuna-ak pay” (I will go first). You say this when you are leaving a get-together of any sort.
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 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 earned her Associate in Arts in Liberal Arts from Maui Community College and her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, specializing in Accounting, from the University of Hawaii – West Oahu. 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 recently became part of the Travel Club of Saladmaster and won an all-expenses paid trip to Cancun, Mexico with the love of her life. Butay recently returned from a trip to Texas as one of the delegates from Island Healthy Solutions, a dealer of Saladmaster here in Maui.