Tag Archive | language

Not Eyelashes?

Today I discovered what is called a blavatar.

I have just come from understanding what a gravatar is (the term is owned by Gravatar).

They all come from avatar, which used to have a meaning that has to do with a deity being represented, but has now come to also mean an icon (that is, an image) representing a, supposedly, person.

The difference between a gravatar (globally recognized avatar) and a blavatar (blog avatar, I presume), in my understanding, is that the former represents the person in connection to a particular email address — so that s/he can be a blogger of many blogs (for example) and still reflecting the same user-icon-gravatar — whereas the latter represents the specific-blog, which was created by the blogger.

Marvelous. So on my screen I see two icons representing me, one on the upper-right and another on the upper-left. On my right is me, my gravatar. On my left is my blog, my blavatar for this blog.

My blavatar is not an eye with eyelashes. It’s a cropped photograph of a stairwell.

This is the stairwell.voltaire siacor photography   (4)

It is used as among the illustrations on the Wiki page Daku Balay. Since I have not personally gone to this place and so seen it for myself, and since it’s not circular (as stairwells usually are), then I could be wrong and instead it is indeed a staircase, as captioned in that Wiki page. This artistic photograph is by Mr. Voltaire P. Siacor (and another link), whose other works can be seen on my newly composed Photography page. I decided to make this post since a new Page does not count as a new Post, and so my statistics for this month’s Archives/Newest Posts would have been just 2 if not for this addition now, which in reality is my 4th post — but alas, with the lower-case letter P. 😉 The telling of this makes me feel better 😀

voltaire siacor photography   (4)If you don’t want to click that Wiki link then I can tell you a bit about it. Daku (or dako, both accented on the last syllable) means big. Balay means house. Daku Balay is the proper name given to an ancestral house built in the 1930’s by a certain Villanueva family in Bacolod City, Philippines. It is now a showcase of things that have become quaint in the city, where the overwhelming majority of the people are not as concerned with the glories of the past as much as they are with the struggles of the now.

The windows are the eyelashes-look-alike on my blavatar (again, upper-left icon/tiny image), which to me is an eye-look-alike.

voltaire siacor photography   (4)I chose this blavatar (permission granted by Mr. Siacor) because it brings to my mind the representations of fractals, the very word on my header’s subline, “Because life is a fractal”. Please excuse for now the lack of my self-composed information on this, but should you be interested enough I would recommend a video search on it, because unless you know math, I mean the real thing, then words/inscriptions will be of little help to you (as they are to me). The stairs also illustrates the idea of going up, which is the word “saca” in my header (“to go up”). “Dalang” connotes being not specifically aimed at a particular direction, as if searching for something without any idea of its whereabouts, hence the idea of the open eye. (Sacada Lang is explained in my Home Page)

"Knock And It Shall Be Opened" black-and-white, by Voltaire Siacor

“Knock And It Shall Be Opened”
black-and-white, by Voltaire Siacor

As for now I am a bit amazed to discover that there are actually LOTS of very accomplished photographers in this not-so-rich city of Bacolod. There are rich families there, yes, but they are several worlds away from the majority. As far as Neptune from Mercury is, I could say. But that is another topic, for another day.

What I am amazed at is that, here again, is talent and artistry seen blooming amidst an overwhelming lack. It’s the same phenomenon seen that time when laptops were handed out to illiterate children somewhere in Africa and, without giving them a hint on the new strange thing in front of them, after a while they were able to, totally by themselves, use the computers to teach themselves how to read and write. The purpose of that project was actually that, to know to what extent can uninstructed kids figure out using literacy-help software how to, first, figure out if that “thing” can be handled, next, start operating it, and then start benefiting from what it can do. Success. They were able to use the software/computer and days later read and write all by themselves, totally with just the software and each other as the teachers. Ah, but I’m too lazy now to look for links for info on that, so you just have to trust me that indeed I learned of it from somewhere (it was at a television program). I suppose there are millions of examples like this throughout history, illustrating the innate innovativeness of the Homo sapiens sapiens.

What I am about to say now may not be interesting to those who do not speak my mother tongue (Hiligaynon). I would like to comment on the name “Daku Balay”. For me it sounds as if it’s a part of something else, like an appendage or an attribute. Here are examples:

voltaire siacor photography   (4)If I say dako mata (big eye), laba buhok (long hair), gamay ti-il (small foot), I may be speaking of, say, a person who has these characteristics. So, say, I’ll ask, “Can you describe him?”. Then the answer could be, “Dako mata, laba buhok, gamay ti-il.” That itself would suffice, and translated into English that answer would be: He has big eyes, long hair, and small feet.

Daku balay is a phrase that sounds a bit awkward for naming a thing that stands alone by itself, because it sounds as if it’s an attribute. It sounds like baby talk. It should have been daku nga balay, which could be transformed into a proper name Ang Daku nga Balay,  which is equivalently The Big House or That House that is Big. That phrase will then carry with it the sense that is now being attributed to the existing Daku Balay, that what is referred here is especially that house which no-one will question as to its bigness and so everyone will, by the mention of it, understand which house is being referred to.

What I’m trying to say, therefore, is that Balay Daku would have sounded better, where the noun (balay) goes before the adjective (daku). — noun+adj

voltaire siacor photography   (4)However, if someone asks, say, “Where will you pass by?” An answer could be, “Sa laba dalan.” Sa is a preposition (it could be along). Laba is an adjective, long. Dalan is a noun, road. So it’s “Along the long road.” It’s adjective+noun. It will be as okay if it’s a proper noun, Laba Dalan, adj+noun.

So I’m wondering why Daku Balay (adj+noun) as a proper name sounds awkward whereas Laba Dalan (adj+noun) sounds fine? Moreover, “Sa dalan laba” or “Sa Dalan Laba” (noun+adj) will sound equally awkward.

Unless, that the baby-talk sounding name “Daku Balay” becomes excusable on the account that the house is so overwhelmingly big that it exceeds the convention of bigness, as if it was intended to have that characteristic or that such a characteristic be attributed to it. A Mercury-Neptune discrepancy picture. “Laba Dalan” does not need this excuse at all to make it sound easy to the ears. But a road as long as the distance between Mercury and Neptune would, I suspect, be called “Dalan Laba”.voltaire siacor photography   (4)

❤ All Ilonggos who see what I mean, please laugh with me 😀

This is just one of the marvels of my mother tongue, phenomena that will remain wonder-full unless we at home start studying its grammar and syntax on a deeper level. HOW COME WE CAN’T DO IT WHEN WE HAVE BEEN DOING THIS WITH A FOREIGN LANGUAGE EVER SINCE WE WERE SENT TO SCHOOL? 😀 😀 😀 😀 This, too, is a wonder to me. ❤

So, it’s not eyelashes. It’s a staircase, as noted. And the comprehensive syntax for putting together nouns and adjectives in Hiligaynon has yet to be determined, if indeed such exists. voltaire siacor photography   (4)If it does not, then the nuances of Hiligaynon will continue to be learned by ear, like we all who speak it did, like how all other peoples in the globe who have a similar situation to ours did it, while all the time not hampering us from being as logical as the next Homo sapiens sapiens. No, it has not at all.