29 August 2007

O, Juday!

My 9year old is into telenovelas these days, particularly the one starring Juday. He reasons the drama series lets him sleep faster. And on top of that, he's brushing up on his Tagalog, something he really needs to improve on since he's having a hard time coping with his Filipino and Sibika subjects.

I don't mean that to sound like he's growing up elitist. We speak Tagalog at home, of course. I even sometimes speak in my proudly Dabawenyo intonation when mindlessly talking with family members (bitaw!).

What Filipino household still make use of the words "maneho" or "barbero" --- evidently simple Tagalog words --- in everyday conversation these days? Hardly, na man no? We don't say "maneho" anymore. We say drive, or dribe, or drayb. We don't say barbero anymore. We say parlor, barber or haircut. It's the same thing, anyway. Who still calls their better half "irog"? I bet even your grandpa doesn't use that word anymore and has taken to calling your boyfriend as "boypren" or sige na nga, "nobyo".

But it's a different thing when my son has to answer homeworks, test papers and quizzes or write theme compositions in Tagalog at school. His books contain words our grandparents or great-grandparents have been accustomed to. And rightfully so. The young ones still need to learn our beautiful language as much as they need to learn and practice old Filipino values.

Anyway, back to my 9year old.... I was actually the one who pushed him to start watching something Tagalog to brush up on his vocabulary. And as much as I know 65%-75% of what is on local TV is trash, (I'm being generous here, my friends claim it's 100% bad, haha!) if I wanted my son to increase his Tagalog vocabulary, it's one way of helping him out. I just hope he doesn't grow up becoming hysterically distressed, which most telenovela characters become. :P

In time, I will try to divert his interest with good old black and white Tagalog movies from the 60's era (Nida Blanca!!!) that sometimes air in Cinema One. Now, those have some deep Tagalog words that even I might have the need to check a Pinoy dictionary myself.

Last night, Juday said "Tiyong" to address an Uncle in the TV Show Ysabella. I asked my son if he knows what that means and naturally he didn't. So I told him it means Uncle and "Tiyang" would have to be the female equivalent.

This morning, he started calling my brother, his uncle, Tiyong [my brother's petname]. And he would snicker every time he'd say it because my brother's petname rhymes with Tiyong. My 9year old found something very amusing in that.

Crazy kid.

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