Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ten Filipino Buzzwords

I coined these while stuck in the Holiday traffic.

1) Culture of puniness: akin to “culture of impunity” but instead of being callous, this term goes to the root. “Puny” does not only mean “small” or “tiny” like President Gloria M. Arroyo (PGMA) but also the smallness of empathy, conscience and integrity of the people in the government which allows the killing of people who point out this fault.

2) Friendsterism: I’ve been using this term a long time ago. Why do Filipinos use “friendster” over other social networking sites like Facebook, mySpace etc? Because we want to be direct. We love abstract words. We use “friendster” because we want to make friends. We invented “love virus” because we know that people just want to be loved.

3) Pratsfall: (from Camille Prats) You are a cute mestiza. In Pinoy showbiz, that’s enough to make you a starlet. So you have youth, fame, commercial endorsements, movies. Then you got pregnant. Her PR friends tried to make a game of who the father is but people don't care. That’s the end of your fame, dahling. No second act.

4) Bossanian empiricism: (from Bozanian empire) The tendency of Filipino music heads to cash in on “bossa nova.” Sitti Navarro, she with the outrageous diction, started it all. Then we have Sophia, Cinderella bossa, VST bossa, religious bossa, Ilocano bossa. After all, it’s not that hard to do. Even in circa 1970’s Yamaha organs, bossa is just one flick of the switch.

5) CBCPal bull (also H-scad): The tendency of mainstream media to treat all “pastoral letters” from the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines as the argument to end all arguments, similar to the papal bull. Politicians know this. When PGMA was tagged as the most corrupt president Philippines ever had, the Inquirer took a photo of her beside a picture of Christ with the flaming heart. Context: I may be corrupt but God is with me so sorry ka na lang (you’re the Lucita Soriano, sore loser) H-scad means “highly scandalous acts against decency” which is the term used in the House of Representatives, of all people, for their new bill imposing higher penalties against H-scad.

6) Call-centeredness: You are a fresh graduate. You are made to train to speak in an American drawl. Then you get to talk at midnight to Americans as you guide them on the wonderful tedious world of computer or telephone operation. You have this notion that you are talking to a very important American who has more important things to do other than learning how to operate the computer. You are teaching God’s chosen people! Sometimes they bawl you out. That’s OK. Sometimes you have a feeling you are talking to illiterates but that’s OK. You are here guiding those who will save the whole world. If only...

7) Dedma texting: From dedma and texting, of course. This explains the rising number of vehicular accidents in the country because the motorists and pedestrians are busy texting. No wonder, this term was coined from “dead man walking.”

8) Political Korectonism: During the past elections, the only wonderful result was that many showbiz people lost in the elections. Maybe the voters are becoming politically savvy (good luck!). Sen. Ralph Recto knew this. Throughout his married life, he was referred to as “Mr. Vilma Santos” and he used this tag in gaining his first senatorial term. Then in his second run, he thought: Hey, I am the apo of Claro M. Recto, one of the country’s most brilliant and respected statesman. So he changed his motto from “Mr. Vilma” to “Ko-Recto.” Nice shift. He lost. Vilma won.

9) Sinigangstah: “Sinigang” is Pinoy’s favorite food (fish broth soured by tamarind or Knorr Sinigang Mix) but sinigangstah is actually a combination of “sine” and “gangstah.” This is highlighted by Jim Libiran’s “Tribu” which is a story of the many gangs in Tondo. It’s a tragedy because everybody died in the end but it won the Cinemalaya and is now reaping awards abroad. Expect many more movies of the sinigangstah genre. No bittersweet endings only sourness to the hilt.

10)Trillaness: The name has become a condition. Hey, he could not have become a senator if no one voted for him so there must be a lot out there who thought he was the savior out to clean government. But all these coup attempts is getting into our nerves. “Trillanes” is becoming just a “trill” or a “Thrillah” which is all spectacle. Many of us realized that change of government using the military may not be the solution but to some sad people, there’s no other way. Also “Barbarias at the Gate” which refers to “OA attempts to quash Trillaness.”

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