Posts

Showing posts from April, 2021

Is the "Ay" Marker in Tagalog the Same as the English Verb "To be"?

One of the most common markers in the Tagalog language is ay. It may appear as if ay  is the equivalent of the English verb "to be", because, for example, the literal translation of a phrase like ako ay Pilipino is "I am  Filipino". However, in reality, far from being a verb, let alone the verb "to be", which doesn't really exist in Tagalog, the function of ay is simply to invert the order of a phrase, and in the example above ako ay Pilipino is merely the inverted form of Pilipino ako. In other words, because in Tagalog there is no such thing as the verb "to be", such phrases as "I am Italian", "she is beautiful" or "Mario is a doctor" in Tagalog have no verb and are literally rendered as "Italian I" ("Italiano ako"), "beautiful she" ("maganda siya") and "doctor Mario" ("doktor si Mario"). The "ay" marker simply switches the order of such phr

General Gregorio Del Pilar & General Del "Pilay"

Image
The famous Filipino general Gregorio Del Pilar was born in the province of Bulacan. My wife was also born in the province of Bulacan, so I am half Bulaquenyo. Now, because last November I stumbled and fell very badly and, as a result, had a 5th metatarsal fracture in my right foot and had to spend 5 weeks at home, unable to go anywhere, I became "general" Gregorio Del "pilay". Pilay is a Tagalog term for "lame" and, because I have experienced what it is like to be "pilay", I am Gregorio Del Pilay, the bayani ng biak na "buto", a play of words for the "Biak na Bato" National Park in San Miguel, Bulacan. While in Bulacan I visited the famous "Biak na Bato", a historic place where another bayani, general Aguinaldo, hid in the "kuweba ni Aguinaldo". So I have become another Bulaquenyong "bayani", si Heneral Del Pilay from "Biak na Buto", because biak na biak ang aking buto....at masakit pa..

The Filipino Woman

Image
I am writing this post from the perspective of a foreigner married to a Filipina. What does the quote-unquote "typical" Filipina look like and what does marrying the stereotype Filipina entail? (Obviously there is a lot of Filipinas whom I know who have little to do with this "stereotype", but many definitely fall into the category I will be discussing in this article). DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TYPICAL FILIPINA AND THE TYPICAL WESTERN WOMAN Traditionally a Filipina is raised with the idea that she shoud lean toward becoming like the stereotype known as ‘Maria Clara’, the image of a woman who is defined as follows: "shy, demure, modest, self-effacing and loyal to the end. The openly provocative, sexually aggressive female who is frequently associated with the American female image is still comparatively rare in the Filipino culture". There are some Filipinas who join Facebook groups for Westerners looking for a potential Filipino wife who do post sexuall

Why Filipinos are Coping with the Pandemic Better than Others

Image
I live in a country that has completely been turned upside down by the pandemic. Millions of people are mesmerized and immobilized by the pandemic and its destructive effects on the economy. Much of Italy hinges on tourism and entire regions of the country rely almost exclusively on it. For example in the area my parents are from, the Amalfi Coast, the bulk of the working population works in hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, travel agencies and the like and, right now, all of that is almost dead. But, apart from the businesses that are directly or indirectly linked to tourism, a lot of other activities have been heavily affected by the pandemic. What about Filipinos? How are they coping? An expression that I like to use to describe them is: "kahit bumabagsak ang mundo ang mga Pilipino ay lagi nakatayo". Yes, Filipinos are bulletproof and fireproof and "even if the entire world around them collapses they figure out ways to remain standing". But why is that? Mental flexi