Once I shouted “bullshit” to a bunch of kids. That was when I was only a little more than a kid myself, my control on my emotions not as good as expected of adults, and besides my country does not cater to a culture that prevents and frowns on the public display of emotions.
It was actually at a classroom of seventeen or eighteen year-olds, I think, and they have known since they were seven what was expected of them inside the classroom: order, hushed voices if any, and avoidance of chaos MOST ESPECIALLY when a class activity is being conducted. And especially when a person of academic authority is present. They violated the standards of decorum at all counts and I wasn’t able to hold my strong dismay over their lack of respectfulness. So there was silence all at once, they knew that they deserved the strong reproach, they were strongly reminded where the class stands with respect to misbehavior, and they didn’t do it again.
As little kids until adolescents we were taught and expected to stand up and greet a visitor in unison. When a teacher was at our classroom door everything stops in the classroom because we’d all stand up as one and say together, “Good morning, Mrs. Santos.”, or something like that. If we did not know the person’s name we’d say, “Good morning, visitor.” All public primary and secondary schools in the Philippines, and even the private ones, practice this. So when I went to college I felt awkward when we weren’t allowed to do that kind of greeting anymore. I felt that it was disrespectful. But it seems that “adult” education does not expect such standard of respectfulness anymore. I slowly learned to live with the awkwardness and adapted to the non-practice. However, all teachers that I met in campus always got a “good mornig, ma’am” or a “good afternoon, sir” from me and from most of the other students, too.
That was the only time, as far as I can remember, when I spoke a swear word in public. I would remember it because I do not speak swear words at all in the hearing of another person. Not even with my family. Not even with my closest friends. I hardly think with swear words except when I am aggravated and then I can let myself deal with the issue with swear words that are commensurate to the gravity of the disturbance created in me — but all this would be silently and mentally, where only I can hear them being spoken out in my brain. I only “swear to myself”, so to speak.
The complementary set-up to my no-spoken-swearing stand is that I also do not receive swear words from anyone, and that I would take it as a grave insult if anyone swears at me. At home this is easy because nobody speaks swear words in our house. The worst that we would concede to is “gaga” or “gago”, for female or male as the case may be, and this not straight out but instead we modify it to “gagagaga” or to “ogag” to soften the impact to our own ears AND ALL THIS NEVER TO ONE ANOTHER IN THE HOUSE BUT TO SOMEBODY ELSE OF WHOM WE MAY BE ABLE TO CRITICIZE AS SIMPLY A MATTER OF OPINION DUE TO THEIR MANIFESTED ACTIONS AND NEVER DUE TO GOSSIP, AND ABSOLUTELY NEVER TOWARDS A RELATIVE. “Gaga” and “gago” may be best translated as “stupid”. There are families who speak swear words freely to each other, I have friends who use swear words freely, and I have nothing against them. I understand the context of their usage and they don’t swear at me besides. I leave them be and we stay friends. I know many persons who hold similar opinions to mine regarding this matter. There are also many families who are like mine.
However, as it stands now I could hear myself freely speak to my close friends (BUT NOT AT HOME!) this opinion: “Dipuga! Din ka pa kakita prisidente nga parihas sini?!!” This will elicit amused chukles all around because this signals a concession on my part on behalf of a strong conviction as evidenced in the emphatic use of a ‘dirty’ swear word.
Translated into English that will amount to: F**k! Where else can you get a president like this one?!!
Or, that swear word can also be Bu*s*it!
Dipuga is a mellower variant of yudep*ta or of the shorter dep*ta. “Yudep*ta” is the short form of “iho de p*ta”. Those who speak Spanish can see it clearly that it is the adaptation of “hijo de p*ta”, which into English is the common expletive SOB. However, not everyone prefers the length of that expletive even when the end part is modified into “gun!”. Many would ordinarily use the faster-said f**k or b**ch. English speakers know that this expletive, SOB, does not say anything about one’s mother. The expletive is not directed to mothers. The expletive is just an expression that is commensurate to the degree that an emotion is felt. It, or any similar to it (like “damn”), may even be breathed out in times of pleasant surprises.
I do not buy the disdain of the elitists in my country towards the foul mouth of our president. That’s all BS and they can all go to he*l. They can go f**k themselves. If they do not like swear words then so do I. If they have a high standard of abhorrence against swear words then so does my family. They do not even know from what standpoint they are on in their attack against the president’s manner of speaking. If the son of a pastor, and a former pastor, and a friend of a pastor can work closely with our president then I have no problem with their willingness to do so. Their participation speaks volumes about the character of the real Duterte. (If you think that these principled persons surrounding him will condone what is being accused of him (read: “illegal executions”) then there is something wrong with your basis. The head of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), Atty. Acosta, can help you be clarified with this issue. )
Those who just keep on harping (without saying anything else analytical, informative, and substantial) that the president “behave himself” are a bunch of gaga and gago. The executive branch of government has a mountain-load of urgent matters to attend to and all they recommend is that the president soaps out his mouth. These misguided elitists have opinions and preferences that are more blind than a bat. More than being blind they are navigating at a wrong course, and in this instance a bat’s non-sight is not a matter for criticism because bats zero in perfectly towards their aims even without sight.
These elitists in my country (I’m describing those who fit in the description; it does not mean ALL ELITISTS; I concede that there are possibly many exceptions), those who are shoot-high-up-to-the-moon-proud about their prowess in manipulating the English language, they generally know nothing about real life and real poverty and real suffering. (They’re the kind who who have the skills to write in opinion columns of newspapers.) All they know is how to keep their faces smooth and white like porcelain and how to keep their car tires mud free. And how to keep smelling like flowers and cologne the entire day. And how to keep dirt from under their fingernails. They know nothing about having to skip a meal because there simply are no means to get one. If ever they’d skip a meal it would be because they wish to subtract from the fat that’s jiggling in their overfed bodies. Being fat is not the issue here: the picture in this context that I speak of points to the indiferrence to human suffering that’s surrounding these elitists.
Today I heard the president reiterating his purpose of keeping friendly relations with all nations, and this without any exception. We are a small nation and we cannot afford to pick fights with anybody, as the president also says so. If his speeches are, again and again, painted out of context and with colors that feature only one or two hues then the richness of his thoughts are wasted. When he gives speeches (this one that I heard today is for the Philippine Air Force at Villamor Air Base) he is like a professor who is giving a lecture on contemporary governance in the Philippine context against the perspective of recent history. His speeches are extemporaneous and are sourced from his own decades-long observations and conviction as a public servant, aside from being an academician himself. His speeches are for the purpose of putting forth the real picture, the more comprehensive picture, the bigger picture, that part of our national reality that does not get talked about in the mainstream media’s just-bits-and-pieces-commercialized-segments. Of course we can hardly demand more from mainstream media. They are running a business, after all. They have to figure out how to have lots of income.
Our president, for the most part of his speeches, is actually expressing his disagreement in his own authentic way of the so-called ‘educated’ Filipino’s lack of capacity to analyze deeper and wider the implications that their dearly held colonialistic views are continuing to disregard the real issues that are right there before their eyes. There is a severe lack of venues for discussing opinions beyond the simple and safe pat labelling. It is a kind of ‘education’ that has not kept up with the global movements and is continuing on its course of mis-educating the young ones. It is in fact preventing our youth from being empowered, keeping them relatively ignorant against the present global situation. If being modernized means having citizens who are capable of thinking out things for themselves and not to simply depend on cooked-up peddled views, then my country is far from modern. However, there are ‘modern’ nations that are suffering because big range media that started out as an institution for the people have digressed from their noble profession. If you are keeping up with the news then you know what this nation is.
Peace. Stay healthy. Thanks for thinking out with me. I wish you the best in life, in whatever area you wish blessings for. May He-Who-Blesses-All bless us all in His and our own good time.