The ilonggo in my son


At 57 I’ve lived longer in Metro Manila than I have in negros, the province of my birth. Yet somehow when I start talking I’m more often than not asked if I am Ilonggo. The accent is just too pronounced.

my son, meanwhile speaks Tagalog and English mostly, but can understand many ilonggo words and can speak with an ilonggo accent. He succeeds with the accent but his vocabulary is limited.

Tonight I deliberately spoke to him in ilonggo and he tried to answer me in my dialect. At one point I used the word “ga lagatok” [that’s an onomatopeic word – say it and imagine hearing your bones seemingly crack[ and he used it in a sentence thus: “ga lagatok ang buto Ko.” I said “tul-an, indi buto” [what I meant was , use the ilonggo word tul-an which, like buto, means bones] . He seriously challenged “Ha? Ang tul-an iya sang manok”. [when we eat chicken, we sometimes ask, “May tul-an pa ni?” does this still have bones?] I laughed so loud and he laughed with me prompting the snoring husband to interject “Ka gahod sa inyo.” [You’re so noisy] But husband wasn’t seriously peeved, we’d like to think. Serves him right for sleeping too early? I think he was actually listening to us.

Oh what fun!

****

Sorry for the initial version of this post which was fraught with errors. I was lying on my side in bed, using my phone for the post- anxious I’d forget some details if I postponed writing it to the next day.

******

 

Tul-an sang manok = buto ng manok = chicken bones (image from this site)

Screen shot 2013-10-11 at 7.56.31 AM

 

 

Tul-an sang tawo = buto ng tao = human bones (image from this site)
Screen shot 2013-10-11 at 7.59.55 AMA rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

A bone by any other name would still be a bone.

A poet I will never be.

 

 

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