Raymond Angelo is the Exoticoption.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

They thought I didn't know what they were talking about but I did.

Since coming to Singapore at the year 1997, I've shed a lot of the things which make me Filipino. I still remember clearly the gallons of patriotism I felt as I left the country, vowing to myself that one day, I'll come back. Many years on, I've come to a point where I'm more Singaporean than I am Filipino, even to the extent that Filipinos themselves can't tell I'm one of them; many think I'm some weird hybrid.

I speak English without the all-too-familiar accent, I don't dress like the local Filipino expatriates...the only thing which makes me Filipino is probably the blood flowing through my veins. That, and my mother tongue. I never lost touch with the Filipino language, primarily because that's what I speak at home, and even what I use when I'm messaging my family members.

So put the Filipino's blissful disawareness of my heritage together with my retained mother tongue and you get hilariously strange results such as what happened this afternoon.

I was jogging (all part of yet another get-fit-quick scheme) around a nearby field, and I found myself trailing behind this Filipino guy; I could tell from his jersey which bore his surname (Agha), which is too cool to be any other surname than a Filipino surname. My instinct to overtake another male specimen of the human species attempted to kick in, but I kept it in control, because, like I told myself over and over, I was there to get fitter, not to show off.

As we jogged, we managed to maintain a stable distance of no more than 3 metres and then we approached this woman who was waddling along. Then, out of nowhere, the guy smacks this woman's ass! HE FREAKING SMACKED HER ASS! I'm not kidding, I saw it, and I heard it when he said "Hello, 'ganda," and she replied "Hi, pogi," and the guy continued to run.

'Ganda is short for maganda which means beautiful, and pogi means handsome.

After getting over the shock of seeing such raw public smackdown, I resumed my run and ran past the chick. She then screamed "Oi! May humahabol! Bilisan mo!", which means "There's a guy chasing you! Hurry up!" And the guy sped up, but not before saying in perfect tag-lish "Walang problem-o!" where "walang" means "no".

I'm like...WHAT THE CRAP! They're talking about me so openly! Incensed, I ran past the guy without breaking a sweat. "Tang ina," said the guy way too loudly, and I don't want to translate that ever.

I passed the couple a couple more times and then proceeded to the fitness corner to do pull-ups, dips and other nonsense. And then the Filipino couple (I established that they are) goes to the fitness corner too. The dude, eager to recover from his earlier fall from grace, did sit-ups, and as he was doing his sit-ups, the chick said something which...was ballsy.

"Patingin nga nang itlog mo," which means "Let me see your eggs," Obviously, she didn't mean eggs literally, but to divulge what she really mean here would be too eggsplicit. She then says more stuff which is disgusting even when left untranslated. Let's just say I was blushing on their behalf.

Hastily, I left the fitness corner, and they got fitter together, I think.

So my point is...and I'm not just addressing Filipinos, but people in general, is that just because the person doesn't look like he/she understand you, doesn't mean that he/she doesn't. This have happened to me countless times. There was this time I was at Coffee Bean a few months back, and then this two malay girls start chattering in malay about me and something about getting my number. My grasp of malay maybe scarce, but I can tell...fangirlism in any language.

That'll be it for me today! Hope I made up quantity with quality!


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