Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cebu, Philippines: Language, Hendri, Larry, April on a Sunday Afternoon

This visit to Cebu has made me realize that the saying "Language is a living thing" is true.

Case No. 1:  I shopped in a supermarket and at the checkout decided to ask the cashier to break a one thousand peso bill.  I told her, "Day, hatagi ug 'change'." She had a blank look so I tried again, "Hatagi ug cambio."  -- which translates into, "Miss, give me change."  

I might as well have been speaking in Chinese; she had no idea what I meant. I had to give her the bill and point at her cash register before she understood me. I muttered something like, "What is wrong with you, you don't understand Cebuano?"

It later occurred to me that I was the one whose Cebuano had turned bad.
Case No. 2:  Very early yesterday morning, Hendri Go and I chatted via Facebook and agreed to meet for lunch at the East West cafe-restaurant at the IT Park, a fairly new development which I don't frequent. I asked Hendri what directions I should tell the taxi driver exactly.  He typed:

IT Park 

I later told the taxi driver to take me to the East West Cafe-Restaurant, IT Park, M-C-D-O (I enunciated each letter carefully). The taxi driver didn't know what I was talking about, so I told him to go to the IT Park and we'll ask the guard.  When we got there the security guard looked just as baffled. He suggested I go to East West Bank.  I said, "No, not the bank.It's a cafe-restaurant, M-C-D-O."

The guard finally phoned someone and was able to direct me to the East West Cafe.  

I told Hendri what happened and he almost fell off his chair.  What he had meant was "McDonald's"which is abbreviated in the Philippines as "McDo." (Pronouce this as "MacDo" with a heavy accent in the last syllable.)

That's how out of touch I have become with this living language of Cebuano.  I speak it. I get by. But I'm afraid my Cebuano now sounds archaic or fractured.

In any case, I spent most of Sunday afternoon with the produer/director Hendri Go, writer Larry Ypil and actress April Anne Moncada. There was much to talk about literature, plays, writers, producers, the Cebu Lit Fest that just passed, as well as future possible projects.

We stopped by Amelia's Cafe in the Parian Historic District, but it was closed. If I'm not mistaken, Amelia's is a Peace Corps project. My Peace Corps Volunteer friend Susan Brooks had told me about it.

I will visit this place and blog about it soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, Its early Monday morning in Cebu or Ubec. Good news, I slept through the night, meaning I must be over my jet lag!

Have a great week, dear Readers.

Top picture l-r: Larry Ypil, Cecilia Brainard, Hendri Go
Next l-r: Hendri Go, Cecilia Brainard
Next: High rise in IT Park
Next l-r: Hendri Go, April Anne Moncada
Next l-r: April, Cecilia
the last hotos were taken at the IT Park near M-C-D-O

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This is all for now,

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