Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Anto so Anggapo ed Siak?

by Kankanti

Nakar koy binmisita ed sakey ya Nursing Home. Anengneng kod sukong so sakey ya masiken, mantaon na 90, akayurong ed wheelchair. Walay naaninag ya ermen ed lupa ton awalaan lay dakel ya gulis. Dakel angangko so irap ya apadalan tod bilay to. Diad sayan bektad inkamasiken to, manbokbokor kalamor ed bilay to. Manaayam ed Nursing Home ta anggapo met so kanayon ton malabay ya manasikaso ed sikato. Saya so kultura dia ed America - no alampasan mo lay oras ya walay usar mod bilay; no agka la napinabangan na pamilyam odino sociodad, ibantak da kad Nursing Home tan diman mo la alagaren ya bawien kay Amalsam!

Dinagok ya kinumusta; linmiwawa so mata to tan akaimis na mapitat. Maong met kono so kipapasen tod man balet panpirpirawatan ton nabisita komon met na anak ton walad sananey ya state. Balet say kuanto, agto met natetel imay anak to ta wala lay familya ton dili tan angangko busy ed trabaho. Mala-kapalduay oras kamin nanestoryaan. Nibaga ton sundalo kono nen saman et akakar ed Leyte nen panaon nen McArthur. Abilay so masiken ed pan-eestorya toy experiensiya tod Pilipinas; wala ray akarelasyon ton bibiin Pilipina. Agto amta no walaray atilakan toy bini tan no wala kasi tinmoo. Anggano onya lay edad to, nanengneng nin walay taraki to. Siguro mas lalo ni nen walad kalangweran - indengan na sakey ya palekero!

Diad elekan mid paneestorya, walay sakey ya akulaw ya dinmago. Aktibo ni tan aliwa nin tanto ya kabaw. Akisaw-saw ed estoryaan tan ag nanbayag sikatoy angibangka met la. Say pakalikas ko dakel ni panestoryaan dan dua nen siak so nanpatanir. Narerengel ko ni karakkakan dan dua nen wala ak lad hallway.

Diman so gapuan na inpankaaro ran dua, anggad nagmaliw iran san-inaro. Naynay iran sankaiba tan nanengneng mo iran akasanib ed sukong, aka-egnad lima, manlalakapan, odino puyok-puyokan. Singa awalaan na talos so bilay dan dua tan naikdan iray rason ya ombangon ed dukolan da no kabuasan. No nayari ni komon so manasawa, sikatoy labay dan gawaen. Balet masarag lay puyok-puyok tan karapas-karapas ta diad karakel na tambal ya tutumaren dan dua, amay gawa to may masiken agla anggan ontanger!

Pigay bulan ya lanang iran duan saniba ed antokaman ya laen tan gawaen da. Balet sakey ya agew, aga pinmaway ed kuwarto imay masiken tan agto la akibana diman ed paborito dan sukong. Diad tinmombok iran agew, iiwasan to la imay akulaw. Walay aminsan, agto la pinansin imay akulaw ed pananganan. Binmeleng imay akulaw. Mas lalon asakitan so liknaan to nen sakey ya agew anengneng ton sananey lay kaiba ton may masiken. Sakey met ya akulaw ya aliwan tanton magana, maulimek tan walay sakit ton peyeng-peyeng tan mangiwgiwgiw so gana-gana to. Wadman irad sukong ya datin ayuyang da; maree-reen iran dua. Singa anggapoy nagagawa, anto ah!

Manakis imay akulaw#1 ta say palikna to trinaidor da. Pigaran kutsaran baaw labat so naakan to ta ngalngalin agto nabikler so kakanen to. Kasumpal dan nandem, inmasingger ed samay masiken ta kaukulan ton naantaan no akin et insalat da, tan no akin et aman nin bii. Singa wala lad katre, linmeksab nid datal. Say kuanton mansibek, "Antoy agawam sika? Abaluan ko inanaro moak. Akin et insalat moak ed sikato? Gagawaen ko met so nayarian ko pian napaliket taka, agka la akontento ed siak. Anto so anggapo ed siak ya walad sikato? Mansalita ka!"

Singa akonsensiya imay masiken ta wala met lanti pinagsamahan dan dua. Balet inmebat tan inkuwanto, "Mas labay kon kaiba nen say sika ta walay Parkinson's disease to! Atan so anggapod sika!"

Short Stories of the Heart – Part 3

by Pio “Bering” Beringuella

Prolog III


It’s 1980.

She may be the face I can't forget
The trace of pleasure or regret
Maybe my treasure or the price I have to pay

She may be the song that summer sings
May be the chill that autumn brings
May be a hundred different things 1

It’s May 2nd, 1980. It’s yet another town fiesta. I arrived late that morning from Guam for what I though to be a short uneventful getaway. But, as some would say, love is out there.

It’s the beginning of my journey to the world of uncertainty.

In front of our house is the school where I have to wait for the bell to ring before I leave the house. In front of the school and diagonal to our house is the town plaza where I spent most of my childhood days running after grasshoppers. On that day, the town plaza was transformed into the town fair; one or two Ferris Wheels, a Bingo stand, and those ever present kirit-kirit tables.

I walked the street between the town plaza and school to wonder on what is new in town. The street is lined with centuries old acacia tree, which made it to a leisurely walk. As I walk I noticed a lady walking in the opposite direction. She looked different. She has big curly hairdo. She carries herself so elegantly. She must be also in town only for the town fiesta.

I looked at her. She looked at me. And with the slightest move of her head, I know I am being snubbed. And so I looked at her again. This time my thoughts were, “Yeah right. I am an American.”

That evening was the annual big dance and coronation of the ladies that graces the festivities. My sparring partner and I put on our best dress shirt and went to the auditorium. As we were roaming around looking for ladies to dance, we happen upon a group of ladies who happen to be my high school classmates.

In that group was Zeny, who was still upset with me for not going to the class reunion a few years back. She did not like how I declined the invitation and made sure I remember every time I see her. Also in the group is that lady who snubbed me that afternoon.

I looked at her and no response. So I had to pull Zeny aside and ask her to introduce me to her friend. It turned out she was our classmates in elementary. And I thought it will be the end of our “introduction”.

We went on a group date the following day. Ride a Ferris wheel; play kirit-kirit; and most of all talk. Or precisely listen as I am bashful. The big unknown in the group though we all went to the same school since grade one.

It was the first of many group dates. We all went back to Manila; have lunch at McDonalds and a dinner at Kentucky. And I remember going to a Disco in the University Belt.

Before I went back to Guam, my sparring partner said, “It looks like you will be back here very soon.” “Why would you say that? It may take years before I come back here for another vacation.” “You will see.” “See what?!”

Back in Guam, though it has been years I was still recovering from a failed long distance relationship. I just can’t convince myself that being apart a thousand miles can ever be bridged.

It took two months to make a move as she preoccupies my thoughts every minute. Keeping myself busy by jogging everyday a good five miles on Ypao Beach did not make me forget her. Not even a few cocktails at the Tree Bar at Guam Hilton at the end of my run.

My facial expression turned melancholy as I puffed those cigarettes, as I took back to smoking again. For no reason at all!

And so I wrote her that night.

I went to the florist early the following morning. I may not have been the first customer but I sure did wake up the florist when I said, “I want a dozen long stem red roses deliver to Malacanang in Manila.” “She must be someone special.” I did not answer.

As I was writing her name and address, the florist asked, “What do you want on the card?” “Just a simple ‘Hello’” “Are you sure that is all you wanted to say?” “Yes, a simple ‘hello’ and my first name.”

And this became my weekly routine.

Of course, there is the weekly phone calls and occasional Almond Roca because …

There's something
I must say out loud

You’re once, twice

Three times a lady

Yes you’re once twice

Three times a lady


1 Excerpts from “She” by Elvis Costello
2 Excerpts from “Three Times A Lady” by Lionel Richie

Pang harana ni Bering!

She by Elvis Costello

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Short Stories of the Heart – Part 1

Pio “Bering” Beringuella

Prolog I


It’s 1979.

Or was it? I was just sworn in as Assistant Electrical Engineer after passing the board examination given that fall. Passing the board examinations was what I was looking forward to when I was in college. When I got my license, I knew I have to work but work can wait. I had a few months to spare before I have to go back to Guam. I was after all still a kid then.

Our town was in full swing of preparation for the town fiesta. As with any trip back home I spent most of my time playing basketball in the town plaza.

Sometimes I wonder how I find the time to visit some old friends in high school. I seldom see them after I went to college and never did I hang out with any of them in Manila. I had new set of friends in college. One of them, who eventually became my Best Man when I got married, was with me on that trip.

One late afternoon, we decided to walk down east to visit a friend, whom my classmates and teachers have been pairing with me in high school. My college friend knew she was my girlfriend as they have met before and have heard “the stories”. Such stories were always stretched; limited only by anyone’s imagination. 1

In their house that day is Vicki, her cousin. She was in town for the town fiesta. She must not have heard those stories about her cousin and me as we struck a friendly conversation upon introduction. Friendly enough to go to a group date to the town fair. A date that was no longer considered a group as we spent most of the time together. We laughed as we play, and lost, playing “kirit-kirit” and “pula’t puti”. And scared her by swinging the Ferris wheel, for the only purpose of getting an accidental hug!

I could feel the closeness between the two of us; much like we have known each other for a long time. I must have been given an unusually warm welcome as I am a “foreigner”. Or was I falling in love to feel such way. But then again I knew I was good looking and most of all … charming.

Vicki invited me to visit her at work in Manila so she can test for my blood type. She was so excited and shaking while drawing blood. One of the other nurses, who peek-in, had to draw my blood.

Quite a few of the nurses came in just to say hello. I still remember those muted talks among them. And not so silent giggles that followed. As soon as I heard those giggles, I lost interest. The challenge of pursuit is gone. Completely gone!

The following day and several days thereafter, my friend ribbed me whenever he gets a chance that Vicki and I ignored him all night on that visit. 2

He didn’t know, and I have not told him to today, that I lost interest that night.

It was the last time I saw Vicki. I never called her again. Not even to say good bye as I had to go back to Guam. I never answered her letters when I was sin Guam.

I will always remember her for telling me that I have a Royal Blood.



1 I still hear stories of me and her always alone in the “bahay kubo” in the school grounds; me and her in a “kariton”; and a few more stories that always get interesting after the first glass of Chardonnay. Not a single story I can remember. I was pre-occupied with mathematics in high school as I occasionally was a substitute teacher and I grade all test papers in plane geometry, advanced algebra, and trigonometry. I have no time for a girl friend.

2 Ignoring him was not the reason he was annoyed. He didn’t like Vicki. He thought she is short and ugly. I can’t blame him. He was right. He was returning a favor I did for him a few years before. He dumped his girlfriend after I made a similar comment. At least I waited until they were together.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

sarah rosas na patalan II

manonton dalan

Say imbeneg:

alibit so liknaan nen sarah ed saray apalabas ya bektan anggan siopa ed sikatayo ya akabatak ed sayan kikipasen so walay atilak ya gulis ed pagew tayon mi-ambegya tan manpabli na say tatawagen ya kasumpalay urong o salita ray amputi aping “graduation day.” bangmas walay makapanangnangis iran akalakap ed puso nen sarah wala may kuandan ilalo ya walad dakulap na misteryo... ya singa si walter iimbitaan toy sarah ya ibaan may anak ton manaral ed kolehiyo.

siopa ed sikayo agmakalikna na inawa tan liket lalo no lukasan yuray indederew dan sobri et walay laman ton malaelaem iran tulong. untan met so liliknaen no makapandudupong kayon sangkapamilyaan ya paraburan tan birbiren so maong ya gawa o asumpal na sayan bilay tayo.

sakey ni amay tangawtangaw ya mansisigarilyo agto iimanuen no iner so pangibabantakan toy pongpong, atan dakel lalaingen iray asakitan lapur nibana ya pimmmata ed kahoy kuitis ... manlalbong... kibatiktik ira... dakel so ataltalapos da. say makapabaing walaramay gamet ya mansikwat na agda kayarriyan.

diya tayo met naimatunan so ugali nen sarah ya nepeg tayon itangsit. agton balot ninonot ya nadalaan so amputin kawes to nanunaan so pakatulong tod too.

agagik ira deen kayoy daiset ta iparungtal ko lamet si sarah:

sarah rosas na patalan

palbangon la nen akasempet si sarah. igagayugoy to lay sali to lapud kesaw.insasabit turay rosas ya eberlasting ed altar tan nantalimukor nin angiter na pisasalamat. sikatotay inpabangon nen inato. pinaugip to met laray agagi tod ikamen ya akabilkag ed datal. say ules da so abutawbutaw lapud panguguyuran da no unsabi betel na labi. say danganan da kapes ya inyan ed supot na arena. aliwan tanton anlemek, atukeltukel lad ilol tan linget. saksakeya kuwarto mantatapilan ira o makakawelan ira ya singa bebelek ya unseseksek ya mansoso. say lamparaan da so larak na niyog, ambalbalingit ya no amay impamagan rosas na ilang-ilang et italem yod larak insan sikatoy usaren yod lamparaan.

akaplas na mumukatan nen sarah so adasig iran agagi to ya anggapo ni siwang ya bakatan katekep toy makudrep ya silew.

niya lay sarah:

hmmm ... singa ra manaya sardinas so anak na. aay! daddaiset kolan alingwnan may kawes ko, umpano nanmansa lamay dala. kawalan to kasi may linti ta unnaak ya manburbur na kalamansi ta sikatoy iguragor ko. sikatomay ginawak nen agerger koy gamet ko tan naipuranis kod paldak. agmo nabirbir so mansa sika, balet aya et amputi kanyan italem kod kloroks kasumpal kon pesakan.

ay agi singaak unsasayaw na pandangngo ed silew ya manakar ed leet-leet na sali tan taklay darayan ugugawan. unlaak labat ed sipi ya mananap na linti naupot lay oras. anto kasi no karapasen kola ramay kalamansi, balet no walay uleg ey!

diyad sipi mi walay melag ya tukador ya walay salming ya iparungtal toy itsuram balet umbukutak ta atageyak lan maong no andi say natakiling ko labat et pagew ko anggad sali. aha! sikato manayan say inkuanda maganganaak ... biglan limmarag irayay duara datirati singara labat pantol natan ay agi duaran dakulap kolay sakey walani alabi, ay katawan kon diyos. pangalaan koy isaliw koy manampatot ed saraya. sikato manayan singa umpultak iray matara no manamesak ed angalakan ya akakamisitaak labat. andi bali agdamet naala. pati saray kawes ko abalegan kolara. maong labat pinakerewan dak iramay pilalabadaan mi. sikatoy tatastasen ko insan daiten. balibali ta malaelaem so abel no kulang mangalaak lad saramay retaso sikatoy isuldong ko. pilien komay ag-manarawi-ay kolor.

ay! niya lamay linti. ay! salamat nayari ni. nakaukulan paspasan ko ta alas dos la. singa sisinitey dapan ko, asasyokak walaak ed dalin ya tampol ya manbububur na kalamansi. duga layay walora. inalak may batya. ingaton komay kawes ko insan ko ginusagos na iramay daladala. nan-alagarak na sampluran minutos insan ko inpesak ed sabon ya perla. kasumpal kon binanlawan intalem kod kloroks. aay! salamat asumpalak la. maong lalaingen ta naugip iran amin no andi siguradon disturbuen dak.

simmegepak, nanapak na pasen ya dukulan ko. diyalad gilig na dingding. insabit koy salik ta singa alemay. papasuoten koy laman kon naugip balet tinalikebkebanak na arawin nonot ya pangasi diyos agnapaksot kanyan say nonot koy migagantil ed antukaman tan antukasi, nayari o andibali. balet makmaksil so guyor na agnayari, diman apespes so pagew ko ya singa labay koy unakis o uneyag. atibukel ed nonot ko ya agak mi-asawa manaralak ni ta siguradok ya nayarian kon ipasa anggan antutan. anonotan koni ya wala may agi nen inak ya walad biyektaew umpan napautang toak na panaral ko. say problemad saman amay asawa to et masyadon masiblet tan mankinon. antak nimay telepono ra, say tawagan ko balet samay asawa to.

kimmalmay liknaan koy daiset, manbelat lay talukap na matak. wala met lay imis na aping kon akasingub na baleg ya ilalo. angga man untan managos so luak katekep toy pupukpukan ya sibek. wala ni may tetel kon singa linat no akinet inyanakak ya pobre tan amayamay kami ni. sakey ya buleg ya tua balet masuirti la no mangan kamin mamidua ed sanagew, lallalo natan mablin amina saliwen. agak la miasawa no kasagmakan ko et kaparay bilay ko natan. singa samay baik ya sakey agtola aki-asawa.

kamamantaan akalikna si sarah na unkukurong ed ulpo to. agto anta no uleg, utot, asipet, ikul na pusa o gamayan. paulyanan to komon balet manasinger ed el-el to kanyan.

agi-gi-g-gi-gi... akaluglutot... tan aka eyag –eyag. adepakan to ni dingding ya inkaliing na agagi to ya walay immeyag na.

“kawalay gurabis?” sakey ed sikara so anelsel na lamparaan. amataan day sarah ya gemgem toy lima ton unlalarag. binukay day ules, daganan . anengneng day andukedukey ya gamayan. pinekpek day sinelas. nankakamulsit so kalasianto.

aketket na gamayan, pinadala da insan ginusagus na inasin no walay patis mas maabig. maong lalaengen ta lima aliwan el-el. no andi di ikang-ikang nabuas. anggaman untan ag-makapesak. wala ni atilak ed lirep na agew sakbay ya gantilen toy tanaman tan ayep kanyan amawil iran nilakap lamet so mareen ya bilunget. walay kamaongay ugugaw, aliwa ran mapanonot, basta walay pankanawnawa na painawa, manpainawa ra

pulyanan tiran aksubien day samit na labin malinak pati siak agagik et makakaugipak met la. untan pa komon ta naililiing korayay balikas tayon mandagdaiset ya aakmuney lingwan. no nayaryari komon et mangikurit kayo met ditay kapirit ya singa ikakawey yoray lima yod siak o ikikindat yoratay maaron mata yo. manaroan kayo, say Diyos manuna lawas. salamat ed sikayon amin. ituloy tayo yan tungtung. maksil lawas komon so laman tayon

Monday, November 10, 2008

sarah, rosas na patalan

manonton dalan


abalitaan yola may kangarngaran ko et tetetelen da ed inpakatalo nen juan ed eleksiyon say kuanda ya say antato kuno et say aprika et baley tan mairap ya ibangat maong ya mangawes ... natan bargin lamay salming to tan samay kawes to babawin dala.

amina nababalitaan tayo balet et kunon amin. nepeg ya isekder yoy balangbang yo tan ikinon yo so ginawa to. magangana anggan anton diking so takilingen yo talagan ulandes. atan so sakey ya nanparaan mi.

siak manaya si sarah bimmalegak ed kuladaan tan mantratraysikelak no sabado tan simba, no bilang say bilayo et mipara ed siak et pasensiya kila nibanan saksakey siguro so bakat na kapalaran tayo. sakbay kon igapo so tungtung ko, inum kayo ni kapi atsi. kuya, aging, nana, mama, bai, laki tan arum nira. kapinsan kod pueg si md. sige sirin deen kayon ugugaw. say ag undeen agmakailop na digo.(digoy inlambong ya pukepukel na bakad baguio, mananam ha!) md mangetel kalay ulnos na sili.


maingal so labin kawalan ko balet say liknaan koy mapalpalna. amin iran kaeskuelak et agay lay liket da ta asumpal lay urong tan sakey ni walay ilalo ran unurong ed kolehiyo. siak balet anggapon balot ni kapirit ya ilalo lapor kikipasen na bilay mi. milalabada labat si inak tan mantratraysikel si amak. bangmas walay ermen kon kukupkupen ed pagew agkon balut inpalikas pati saray atatengko.

nen tawagen day ngaran ko agi. agko apukpukan so panterter na luwak. apalaran ko kalamor so mikaliman nansumpal ya ngalngali abuten toy sanlibon eskuela ed atagey ya aralan. pati saray agagik, kakapinsan ko, atateng ko so alay liket da. singa ra akagamor na balitok ya nanpaterter na luwa dad liket.

anggan panon so irap akasaliw met ira kalamor na adeyengdeyeng ya eberlasting ed kindi nana nannette ya managlakoy pisipising ya manlalapud baguio. akasian dani inak ya inpakerew dalay sakey ya masansanting ya rosas ya ambalbalanga. sikatoy angub-anguben kon isasanib kod luwak. agko naantaan naterteran manayay amputin kawes kon inabangan nen inak. nababainganak balet singa sikamin amin et manakis et kaliketan.

manin-inut ya napupunas so baing ko ta dakel iray dimmagup ya pasamanuen daak tan say kuanda, masuwerte ak tan maganganaak kuno. say imis ko labat so naiyebat kod sikara tan emel ya salitan “salamat”. sikatoya la siguro so sangkaliketan kon bekta. datidati agdaak anggan imanuen balet natan agay lay parayew dad siak.mabetbet ya tepetan daak no iner so panaralan ko. say kuanko “diyad abong” say lurey da “diyad linat ka manaral”.agkon balut natatalusan balet imis-imisak labat. anonotan komay asalita na samay managsulat ya nayari ka kunon manaral ed abong basta walay ketab mon bintanam ed kakabatan atan labat mabli. amay “go girl” kuno iparungtal ton amin. andimeta ta sebel so mantakiling ed samay walad nonot yo. marutak!!! .mggk (lol)

saray arum iran kakapinsan ko so angiderew iray sobri, dakel so angiter, nibana ya wala ray akasempet ya walad biyek taew tan abalitaan day kikipasen ko kato siguron, atenyeg so pagew dan mi-ambegya. wala ni simmingger ya kapinsan kod pueg la amo ya kuanto.

“sarah mila kad siak ed manila ta panaralen takay nursing piyan walay kaiba to may anako ya unurong ed sayay untumbok ya urongan” say tawag mid sikato si walter

“katungtung yoy inak no labay ton milaak ed sikayo” inkuanko

diyad aruma imbeneg akilaak ed sikaran manbakasyon kaibak may anak dan si chelo, kaugawan ko man. diyad loob na duay simba singadaak mikaduan anak, masyadoy baing ko balet maong iran mangumpuni na ugaw ya kaparak ya mabaing.

”alagar kayon magano ta unsisingger may kaaring kon si lucing”. ay agi singa lupay kabuki so ginawarad lupa to makapal ya maong so kuliririti to, no aglabat mansalita agkon balot nabirbir. manturattit nin siyansiya. mabetbet so pauraka mi, alaram lay matak tan agko la anta no siopay kaabay kod oraka.

naimanok umbebelat lay tenger kon sasabitan day rosrosas. amay eberlasting so medyo anggatel kanyan inategey koy kuwelyok ya apuyot lay linget. akin met kasi et ibana rad tiagew so kasumpalay eskuela o singa komon diyad arum ya luyag ya wala rad loob wala ni pabetel to. diya balet idasal moy siplog na dagem, wala ni taruk ton angub na darapilan.

kamamantaan walay angiderew ed sikami na halohalo. libri kuno ed saray nansumpal. masyadoy kabaleg kanyan inyapagan kuray agagik, singa kami belek ya miilupan. akasian tokami may sakey ya bisita initdan tokami duara nin halohalo. dinungoak lalaingey pamilyak. atan nan-didilakutan mi.

agko nalilimen aralem lay labi, igapo dalay baili agi. anggapo nimet so kaparehak ta siyak so sanka balegan. inanap komay kapinsan kon anak nen nana nannette ta atagey ya mayapyapis no simplugey dagem et kibangkibang. atan labat kawigin dua so sali to, balibali balet ya unsayaw na yugyugan ta kibangkibang. makapalek no maminsan ta wala ni amoy telek to o ag mangim-imano.

“tony gala ta sikay kaparehak “ nengneng mo, tangay tangay balet untan labat tan sobra amoy silib to, arawin naynay so nonot. atan ya kapinsan ko agton balut ya pinabaingan to ak. unor-unor lam bengat. kerewan koni lapis tan papil. natan agkola nakerewan ta asumpal kami la.

balibali so sayaw mi “lady in red”, wala met lay inkulaney toyan patang aliwan singa samay “junior/ senior prom” agton balot natalusay tugtug. manpapatugay pueg mi tan nagagatinan toy salik. siopa kasi nanbangat ed sikato. sinmublay so yugyugan... ay lasi ka ta makaranting singa manpipiyano so sali to, maarti singa ‘energizer” agbalut nakesawan. manlinglinget pati seklak pati kilikilik maong lalaingen ta ginusagos koy lawer tan pinaterteran koy pabalingit. aay! sigi labat singa ag napaer so likeliket.

maong manaya so sayaw lan sayaw. anonotan ko may kaanakan nen nana auring sikato kunoy anapan tod biyek taew natan dakel so tryasikel dan ipapaupa tan akaispoting no unsempet natakiling moy el-el to tan biglan timmundiris so eleng to pati pagew to limmukso say nengneng to balet walay iya-amot ton ermen.

mabetbet dan patundaey sayaw ta tutuntunen day programa dakel so idadalatdat da. maabig engen piyan makapainawa kami tan makaalmo met iray managlako na inumen, tsiklit, sigarilyo, paypay, bibingka, turon, sirbesa, mani, halohalo, cotton candy tan antokaman ya nanonotan dan ilako. hoy! anggapaoy sirad diya walay pinapaitan, bagisen, puto, pansit, kundandit tan patopat.

kabebekta manlalbong amina sukosukong, kibatiktik iray totoo... nantatabunan irad sukong , narengel moray akis, eyag tan ugaog... singa giyera. anggapoy makaanta no iner so panlalapuay bong bong ... singa ungulis ed dalin so silew insan nalalbong . sikamin sankapamilyaan simmanib kamid akasia. si patang akalakap ed akasia aliling toy tukko. binanok pa aliwaliwan nengnengen makadiskurahi. aramay agagik ya lalaki kimmakalab irad akasia.

aselselan da manaya ramay kuitis. walay mansisigarilyo et aliway adapuay pongpong to kanyan ..bong..bong so labas to. dakel so asakitan ta ataltalapus ira. maong ta wala kamid beneg diyad silong na akasia. simmabi ray pulis, ambulansiya ... amin amon pulis na minusipio so dimmagup. akisalsalukoyak met lan akitulong ed saray agur-gurabis, apileypiley. aramay asugatan panyo o diyariyo lay panpepet mi.

aray managlako nantatabugis iray lako da. mansisingkatan iray ugugaw ya mandudukduk.agmora nabano. narasan ira siguro. wala ni akatamukal na puto ya butbutyog so eges to ed insusukibot ton kundandit. simmabi met may pulis ya walay leweton latiko, sag paminsan balet undukduk met na sigarilyo.

naimanok ya daladalaan la so kawes ko andi bali iguran koy kalamansi o kabelew no unsempetak tan italem kod klorox, umpano nataming balet anto. sayang anto no pabayaran dad siyak iyay kawes. andi bali dakela atulungan ko mikasiak la umpan nayarin milabadaak lad sikara.

...ituloy kuyay tungtung ko magano ta naksawanak ya akisalsalukoy. nalmay iray al-alwas ko. kimmekebet iray gamegamet ko tan malangsi manaya so dalay too, mapekepeket.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


“nen agosto naitdanak na pankanawnawa
ya nanengneng so abong ya ginawa nen amak.
naimatunan ko so tanda na apalabas iran taon”

waryaak ya akatangulaw tan mareen
anonotan koy apalabas ya liga tan ermen
say datin atep ya tatambuley uran
apikpikewet lara lapud pankaindan
untan met iray dingding ya binalkesan
piyan ag-itikyab diyad bagyon kaplesan
say daana takayan magimbitan segepan
singa liman mankawey, ipawil toy nanlapuan

apasikmatan koy latian laran bisagra
ya mangegem na napupungpung lan puerta
ipapanta na ateet tan dabuk, nen lukasan kora
nanpayawar so salan binalegan
masimpit iran sinag manaktakiling
ed apisit iran kampis na bintanan natataming
parehon bintanan samben na lungon nen kuyak
ya singa labat naugip ed uga-ugaw koran matak

say datal alinggis koy gulis mansasangaan
tanday maruksan tabuney ya dimmalan
apasigamak, aliknak so ermen undedenden
lapur mantatabunan ya perdin anengneng
aliknak so talaw ya manakar-akar er sala
tano agko naasigta nakulasbongak ya bigla
singak narerengel to tagtagleey nen inak
diyad pannangis to akaugip lapud irap

saray makalangakang ya kapbang nen amak
sakbay unalis ya umbiyahin mananap bilay
amay berhin maria tan kurus ya bantay
saray bakat na dingding na duaran kuwarto
amay baul ya pinabpablin betang nen inak
radyon angibandoy panakar na unan tood bulan
saray bektan aaligen min panakar dan matantan
tangtangayen mi tawen no natakiling mirad man

samay tukador ya walay salming ton andukey
ipaparungtal toy ganan manlapud sali anggad tagey
walay palimer ya pilalek kon unganaak met kasi
ya singa sarayay mamarikit ya kapara nen atsi
abakbak lay beneg to balet nayari nin isara
anggan saray pananginay kawes anggapulara
wala ni balet iray atilak ya samyon balingit
ya naangub na eleng kon alaktipay simpit

melmelag manaya nen say walad nonot ko
ag-akatulong so ki-anggapoy kusina tan banyo
say dingding na sipin pegley na sala tan kusina
pananginay gangana, tinaloy panaoy ruksa
saray immawet ya babelgam angitir na imis
ed sayan aping ya panguyguyoray panakis
walay belat na pagew kon insaray puerta
ami-amin anggapolara, diyad nonot wadya

niluksok so kasamputan ya balitang
aliknak to liksin nan-in-inut lan abalang
anonotan ko nen ugawak ayoyang koy silong na abong
amot-amot ed drum, diman saray manok manu-ubong
natan sayan daana abong binagbag la, iliing kod dilik
ya say panaon mansasyok mapmaples nen say salik
mapalpalar kamin sigpot, walad sikamin amin
untan pa komon ta magnayon untan met sikayon amin

Balbaleg so pisasalamat ko ed sayan impatalos mo ed sarili tayon dila. Ayan abong mi nen saman so ultimon pakanengnengan mi ya sana-agi na pinan-irapan nen ama min mismo ya impaalagey. Natan ya angapula yan abong, arayan bekta so unsalat ed kanonotan min sana-agi. Salamat.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

pinakalmak so pagew

manonton dalan

saray intilak
mon aron akabekad pagew ko
tan saray ilail
mon manguguligol
na sayan nonot
so amamayuen toak

maruksa kan sigpot
immalis kan agka amatanir
kasumpalan mon sinalog
so ilalok ya panalagar er sika

bang mas ag malaem so oras
ya pinannengnengan ta
alay liket kon naap-aplusan
so lambot na ganam
tan aliknak lalamet
so ampetang iran sibeg
ya kinorkor toy lusuko
tan pinespes toy amina ganaganak,
kalaktip toy terter na linget tan gayaga

anggaman untana
pinisit moy ilalok
intarok moy imanok
ginetel moy samit na imis ko
wala ni unsasalumpapak ya panangaro
ed bektan nanonotan taka

Anto Ni Arum?

by Kankanti

Kinmalmay liknaan kod balikas mon agamuran
Amtak anggapod vokabularyom salitan babarungan
Aralem so pakatalos mo, tanday tuan panangaro,
Anggan masabit so dalan, bataken moy peligro.

Tetepeten mo no akin et amuti so lupak,
Akanengneng ak na anyanyi; agi! atak-takotak!
Agla pankelawan mangiwgiw pati seklak
Agak makagalaw, binmegas so gana-ganak!

Tawagen taka lawari pian siak so pasantigwa
Amtak walay pakayarim ta inaponan ka manaya;
"Gala! Gala!" kuan mod ataktakot, ontonday panpetang da
Mabisay kemkem mo lalo no usaran moy lutda!

Panpirpirawatan iran kemkem, kapigan kasi nagamuran?
Maoyamon ap-aplos na larak ya impat-tang
Makaekal na taktakot tan beblay na lama-laman
Nagugo kan singa belek, labay moy untirakyang!

No sikay manambal ed siak, unabig ak ya magano
Manpat-pataw ed liket, malet so kakaugip ko;
Naakar koy lurem ya kuma-siyam, pati say kuma-samplo
Basta lanang kad diking ko, anto ni arum so anapen ko?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

So This Is America … (II)


Welcome to Santa Maria, California, our new home.

The long drive from LAX did not dampen our anticipation and excitement. We arrived at this subdivision with bungalows that looked the same, except for the paint colors and the cars parked in the driveways. Even the plants and the trees almost looked the same.

The house had four bedrooms, two baths, eat-in kitchen, and a living room. It was huge, considering the size of the house we just left behind in the Philippines. There were fruit trees in the backyard and my oh my, I climbed, I “kalawit” what I couldn’t reach, and I shook the limbs out of frustration to get to plums, apples, oranges, and peaches. Dad had been busy in the yard.

Within the next few days, we did what other “bagong-salta” did: learned how to work the appliances, watched TV, slept, and ate. When Dad got home from work, he would take us to Thrifty and buy ice cream, thirty-five cents for a single or fifty-cents for a double. It was either Vanilla or Chocolate. I was actually limited to what I could pronounce more than anything. Dad gave us change and watched us go in by ourselves. Sylvia, one of my sisters, and I would run around the store first and see all the wonderful array of toys, clothes, and shoes in the aisles before going for the ice cream. When we got to the counter, we’d order chocolate or vanilla and empty our pockets on the counter. The cashier would take what we owed him and gave the rest back. It took us a while to learn the monetary value.

We were very curious and very observant with anything and everything around us. One of my sisters observed how Americans must really love pigeons because of the row of “bahay ng kalapati” in front of each house in every street with even their names and addresses on them! Sylvia also wondered why we always seemed to go when the stoplights were green. And of course, not to be outdone, I stated how amazing it was that those “light bulbs” on the roads do not break even when people drove over them!

Another store Dad took us to was K-Mart, and we thought we died and went to heaven! This store was nothing like we’ve ever seen before. It was huge and full of stuff, all kinds of stuff! I remember buying a pair of yellow bell-bottoms and this red shiny vinyl wallet on our very first trip. And yes, the wallet was a Blue Light Sale item! We also bought rubber work boots and jackets to keep us warm in the middle of summer. I specifically chose a royal blue fuzzy polyester jacket with white trim around the cuffs and around the hood. The louder – the better, back then no one got shot for bad taste.

Dad finally brought us to where he worked. At the sight of strawberries the size of golf balls, we scrambled out of the car and raced to where these berries were dripping to the ground! We ate and picked and ate some more. There were children younger than us picking these berries. Mom was broken in first, then the three kids followed. Sylvia was the skinniest and Dad was convinced the wind would blow her away if she went out to the field, so she stayed home that summer and learned how to make anything-strawberry.

Picking strawberries did not seem like a job. It was actually a lot of fun. I had a little cart and a carton with those flimsy green baskets inside. I would push it ahead of me between rows of strawberries. The red, shiny fruits hung on short vines hugging the ground. I was closer to the ground and didn’t mind crouching most of the time. If I got tired, I’d kneel. I got paid two dollars per box, and in a day, I could fill up at least a dozen boxes. That’s a lot of dollars going in my red, vinyl wallet even after a treat of chocolate or vanilla ice cream, at least, until I discovered burrito. It was actually a family of migrant Mexican workers who introduced this food to me. What got lost in translation was what happened when you ate too much of these. It was catered right out of a mobile kitchen that came twice a day and was inviting enough to stop all activities at hand. Pickers straightened out their backs and would quickly tear gloves, bandannas, and hats, just to dash where this cantina was parked in fear of running out of ... burrito?

But Mom was frugal and she packed recycled margarine tubs with rice and adobo, or rice and pindang, or rice and fried eggs and spam. We were also introduced to Kool-Aid and Jolly Ranchers. Yes, it is possible to outperform the Energizer bunny given this combination.

And then there was Jackie. This Caucasian lady who owned the land and also brought her young kids out in the farm. I was probably the eldest of all the children in that field and all of us spoke our respective languages fluently: English, Spanish, Pangasinan. Half the time we digressed to hand signals, and the other half we drew in the dirt things like beak, mustache, or shovel. And when all else fails, I would repeat or say things slower, sounding out the short vowels in slow motion thinking it might sound like long vowels somehow. The ph, th, and wh sound came and went depending on excitement or anxiety level.

Our conversations were never complicated, never challenging, and certainly never misunderstood. We laughed a lot and nodded in agreement often. We shook our heads vigorously for emergency purposes only. We ran around re-inventing games. We found what games cut through any cultural barriers like kit-kit, sungka, and jak-en-poy and games better left in the memories like shatong, jolenz, and pitik-bulag. Rules were never explained. We shrugged off our disadvantages to no one's advantage. We just played the games, blindly, obligingly, and happily.

We held races on who could fill up the most boxes, or who could outrun the rest when fetching boxes from The Barn. We terrorized each other when it came to entering The Barn, but we also made a pack that no one should enter The Barn alone. We all found out that scary stories and scary sounds transcend to all ages and certainly all cultures. We made up contests, games, and made up words. We made up new and old make-beliefs, but most importantly, we made friends.

Sandy, Linda, Rae Ann, Bong, and I were playmates and coworkers, students and teachers, but most of all ambassadors from our respective countries. And on Fridays, we counted our money and dreamed of our next trip to Thrifty or K-Mart … for that Blue Light Sale.

To be continued … high school in America!

Post Script
Santa Maria, is about two and a half hours away from LA and about three and half hours away from San Francisco. It is about twenty minutes south of Pismo Beach and about half an hour north of Solvang. In the seventies, its population was under twenty thousand and was mostly a mix of Caucasians and Hispanics. A surge of Filipino immigrants started to stake their homestead in the early eighties. But when we first arrived, there was just a handful of Filipinos, mostly from the Ilocos Region: there were the Laras, Sagisis, Ungos, Anchetas, Ramelbs, Veas, Castillos. But for some unknown reason, there were a slew of Manaoag folks who immigrated and congregated to this little valley in Santa Barbara county, namely the Salinas, Remillio, Igros, Pedroche, Quiros, Delin, Soriano, Tucay to name a few.

Employment was limited to farming for the male immigrants and packing shed workers for the females. Lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, artichoke, peas, and strawberries were the main produce. Japanese and Caucasians mostly owned the lands and Mexican migrant workers came and went with the seasons.

Today, Santa Maria, home of Abel Maldonado, has grown to over 90,000 in population. In 1998 it won the prestigious “All America City” award, but its claim to fame, other than the place where Michael Jackson danced on top of a car after being found not guilty of child molestation, has to be the infamous tri-tip barbeque, Santa Maria style!

So, This Is America ...

(Revisited, originally posted on 04/28/08)

My earliest recollection on the realization that I was going places was when Mom herded all four younger kids to get on a bus to Manila for our “physical”. I was twelve and didn’t really have a clue as far as what this meant.

We travelled with my sister-in-law who knew her way around Manila. I could count with one hand the number of times I’ve been to Manila before this trip, four times to be exact and only around MIA. We made it to where we were supposed to have this “physical” and because of my age, I guess I was exempted, but I do remember having my chest x-rayed.

Unfortunately for Mom, two sisters, and a brother, they all had to be seen by a doctor who performed whatever was needed to complete this “physical”. I was told later that it was not a pleasant experience for any of them. After the “physical”, there was also the “interview” process we had to go through, and again I was exempted because of my age. We went home that same day, and all I got out of the whole trip was my first hamburger bought in front of that building we went to.

Within weeks, Mom received a telegram from her lawyer friend informing us that the only thing needed was money for our plane tickets to America. This was May of ’77 in the middle of summer vacation. We wanted to at least say goodbye to our school friends, but there was no time. Everything went a little too fast and part of me wanted to stay and be left behind. Could an aunt just take care of me instead?

I didn’t dare ask Mom though; after all I was also excited to ride in an airplane more so than anything else. Within days we were again on our way to Manila but this time Mom rented a “Sarao” to haul everyone including any relatives who wanted to go along for the ride. We first went to Nayong Filipino for a picnic in the parking lot. Mom went all out and had these same relatives cook all kinds of food. Then we went to check out the little villages spread out in this park like setting emulating what was "Filipino". How ironic it was to be learning about our country and the culture we barely knew when in a few hours, we, ourselves, would be turning our backs to most of the things that defined who we were.

MIA was a blurred vision because of ignorance and innocence within all of us including Mom. It seemed like we were in lines after lines forever. After checking -in, we finally made it on yet another bus! I was beginning to think that this plane ride was not going to happen. But alas, we were dropped-off some distance away from this gigantic plane, a Northwest 747.

Being extra careful with our x-ray plastic bag in one hand, we turned around and blindly waved at the crowd pressed against a stretch of glass windows all along the main building of what was then known as Manila International Airport. As we walked to get to the stairs leading up to the plane, my family must have been a real sight to anyone at the airport that day. Mom was in her long custom made “patadyong” dress, my brother in his beige two-piece suit, and my sisters and I wore the same pantsuits a la Elvis style only in animal print! We could have passed for the younger Aldequer Dancers.

When we got inside the plane, the stewardess was at a loss after noticing that our tickets were labeled “lounge” instead of seat numbers. She led us to the front of the plane, passed first class, and led us up the stairs to the second deck of this 747 right behind the pilots. Certainly not where we expected to be seated and could not be possible for barrio folks like us, but there we were. To this day, we still cannot fathom the turn of events how and why we ended up there only curtains away from the pilots. Dad insisted he paid for regular air fare, after all, he was a mere strawberry farmer in this enchanted land called America.

There were swivel seats and a long sofa, all too luxurious for our taste. Somewhere over the Pacific, after Mom went through her litany of prayers and rosaries, the kids in us got bored and wanted to see the other passengers, so with our broken English we asked to be moved downstairs. The stewardess found available seats for us in the first class cabin where the passengers in this side of the plane wore their Sunday best as well. We felt right at home with our garb.

We were also told that food was free, so each time the stewardess came around with her cart we unanimously said “yes” to any of her question albeit half of what she said, we did not fully comprehend. Mom and my brother had their first taste of champagne, and I feasted on candies and peanuts, while one of my sisters complained why the vegetables used in her salad was not cooked. The following morning the stewardess again came around with what looked like a steaming lumpia, but our hopes for a Pilipino meal was soon dashed as quickly as we realized that it was just a warm face towel to freshen up with and to get rid of any evidence of mukat, laway, and kulangot. We were also given our very own toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste to momog away our morning breath!

Our port of entry was Honolulu, Hawaii. Maneuvering around that airport with four kids in tow and broken English, Mom must have been crazed, but somehow she managed to claim our entire luggage and herded us through endless lines again. The custom officer asked Mom what this white circular, powdery thing was he found in one of our luggage and without even a hint of hesitation, Mom respectfully answered “Bubud sir” in a matter of fact, sure of herself Pangasinense that she is. The man just looked at us, shrugged his shoulders and stuffed it right back.

He took his time scanning and comparing our photos from our Philippine passport to our dazed faces which caused us to almost miss our connecting flight. Again, being very careful not to fold or damage our x-ray plastic bags in one hand, we literally had to run to get to our next gate. How Mom managed to get us out of there without losing a child was amazing!

Our second plane ride turned out uneventful until we arrived at LAX. It had been four years since we last saw Dad. Would he recognize us? I think now that it must have been our outfits that gave us away. After hugs, kisses, and tears, all six of us climbed into a two-door green Cougar with leather upholstery and were quite impressed that Dad actually drove this car. We have seen this car in pictures with my older brother in the USN posing smugly in front. Wow, could I end up driving this car someday, I mused.

Somehow, we managed to stay awake for the next three hours it took to get us to our new home. Us four kids squished in the back seat with our necks strained to catch all the sights we passed by, which turned out to be utterly nothing but miles and miles of empty space. Where are all the tall buildings and those postcard perfect sceneries, we wondered out loud. Each of us, I’m sure, was thinking the same… “so, this is America”.

(to be continued...)