Not as sweet as you think

One of the challenges of being an Ilongga in a non-ilonggo speaking region is forcing myself not to be offended when people greet me with profanities in a forced ilonggo accent. And one of the most enduring mysteries I have ever encountered in life is how most people react when they are introduced to an Ilonggo.

In my experience, it doesn’t matter where you are and what background the person you are talking to came from, they mostly react the same way. The moment they find out what language you speak they respond with variations of, “So, Ilongga ka? Ay yudiputa, ka linti guid!” What baffles me is they usually do this proudly, like they are so proud to show us how good they are in cursing a person they just met. Correct me if I am wrong but I believe in a civilized society, this is considered rude. Imagine that you’ve only known that person and in less than five minutes you are already calling his mother a bitch. *insert slow clap here*

Hiligaynon is a sweet language.There is more to it than profanities. Our vocabulary is not limited to cursing, we are civilized people. Besides, cursing in hiligaynon doesn’t really give you the badass appeal you probably aim to acheive. Ilonggos are known for being sweet not because we really are but because of how we speak and how we sound when we speak.

I used to think that when people talk about how deceptive our accent is, it is nothing more than a stereotype. Having lived for sometime in a non-ilonggo speaking region and being exposed to different accents, I realized how true this is. Hiligaynon and the Ilonggo accent really do sound sweet. When we speak in our language, we sound so non-threatening even when we are angry.

Don’t take this as a permission to offend us though. We may sound sweet but we are still very much capable of hitting you in the face when it calls for it.

If you really want to learn the language, do it with respect. Don’t make fun of the accent and stop using words you don’t understand. Greeting us with profanities doesn’t impress us. You only succeed in showing us how rude you are.

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*I apologize for any spelling or grammatical errors. Proofreading via mobile is a challenge for me.*


Life lessons: Of Reaching Summits, Hiking and True Love

If you are going to ask me why I love hiking, I will not be able to answer. I honestly don’t know. It is not the most comfortable activity in the world and yet here I am pining for it like a lover. It is exhausting, uncomfortable, risky, and way out of my comfort zone and yet I love it. I don’t know why, I just do.

Some people are drawn to the sea, some are drawn to other people. I am drawn to the mountain. I have always been.

Nothing makes me happier than walking underneath a canopy of trees, smelling the sweet smell of earth and feeling the gentle breeze brushing my arms. I get giddy with happiness when I see lush green forests. I can’t stop grinning like an idiot at the prospect of seeing one. And when I get to the summit, I just sit there and contentedly look at the world around me, silently (or not) hiding my amazement and staring at everything as far as my eyes can see.

Reaching the summit always gives me a mixture of pride and contentment. Despite my proclivity to outdoor activities, I am not the healthiest person in the world. Ascents are a challenge for me and there are moments when I want to give up and go home. Sometimes, my legs are moving out of sheer force of will and my whole body felt mechanical. The trail is not always easy, the pack is heavy and all my muscles are screaming yet I continue walking because oddly enough, despite all that, I feel happy.

When I reach the summit, when I reach the goal, I forget everything. All I can think of is how great it feels to be up there and looking at the world below me. All I can think of is how beautiful the world is and how happy I am to be there.

Hiking taught me a lot of things. I never learned to truly trust the people around me until I started hiking with my friends. I learned to be resourceful. I learned to appreciate the world around me. I learned not to give up when things go wrong and life seemed so difficult. Most of all, I learned to believe in myself. Truly believe in myself and what I can achieve if I put my heart and mind into it.

Hiking may not be the most comfortable thing to do in the world but it is something that I love.

You know how people say, “I love you, because…” Well, this love story doesn’t have a “because”. It has no rhyme or reason. It is a love pure and untainted. It doesn’t have any ulterior motives, no hidden agenda, no expectations. It is a love affair that makes me a stronger and better person. It has its hardships but it is a love affair I cannot live without.

Admit it, my love affair with the mountain is a better love story than what most people have.

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*I apologize for any spelling or grammatical errors. Proofreading via mobile is a challenge for me.*

11 Things I Do My Best To Live By

Ever heard of the 11 General Orders?
It’s something like that.

1. I will protect my family at all cost. I will do my best to act in the best interest of my family. I will always keep in mind that my actions will affect not only me but also the those that I love.

2. I will strive to be the best version of myself. I will do my best to live life with integrity and to live a life with dignity. I will not let my arrogance blind me from seeing when I need to change so I can become a better person. I will always do my best in whatever endeavour no matter how small my part is.

3. I will do my best to be a positive influence to people. I will be a responsible role model to my younger cousins and to the world at large. I am not big enough to change the whole world, but I will do my best to make as much positive change as I can.

4. I will not let my fear get in the way of my dreams and my happiness.

5. I will work hard to achieve my dreams. I will not let myself rely on people to give me the things that I want and provide for my needs. I will not let myself become dependent on the assistance that people gives me. I will not let myself forget that nobody has any obligation to help me or provide for my needs; that if they do, it is because they want to and it is my responsibility to make sure I can stand on my own.

6. I will be happy but not at the expense of other people. I will always make sure that my happiness doesn’t hurt others. I will not be selfish and will be sensitive enough to know when I am already causing pain to others.

7. I will love the same way I was loved and the only way I know: unconditionally. I will love without buts or ifs. I will only give a love that is honest and whole for people’s hearts are not playthings that can be replaced when it breaks. Everyone deserves to be loved unconditionally and wholeheartedly and for as long as I live, this is the only kind of love I will strive to give.

8. I will not let myself forget that I am human and I am not superior to anyone. I will be confident with what I can do but I will not be arrogant to think that I am better than everyone else.

9. I will be open-minded especially in learning new things. It is not possible for one human to hold all the knowledge in the universe, therefore I must always acknowledge that I still have so much to learn. I will respect people’s beliefs, culture and  tradition. I will seek to understand people’s choices and lifestyle and respect them for it.

10. I will keep the promise I made to God that I will keep myself pure until He gives me that one person He reserved for me. My body is my responsibility and I will make sure I will live my life protecting that promise until it can be fulfilled.

11. I will cast my burden to God for He knows what is in my heart and what is best for me. I will not let despair drag me down. I will not let frustrations lead me astray. I will let God guide me and let His will be done.

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*I apologize for any spelling or grammatical errors. Proofreading via mobile is a challenge for me.*