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Traditional in High-tech


(A Dictionary of Filipino Slang Words & Idioms)

Banig. The woven mat where most Filipinos sleep on. My grandfather used to lay out a banig in the living room when he thought it was about time that my aunt’s suitor had to leave—six pm—when the sun went down.

To my impressionable young mind back in the ‘80s, Filipino movies were corny. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the Filipino obra movies were made in the 1980’s. But of course, being a child then, I can only see the fluff movies. Most of these 1970’s-80’s movies I also see only in tv, not in the moviehouse.

Courtship scenes were, of course, iconic to Pinoy movies (Along with dancing on the beach scenes). Young boy, together with his friends, troop to the fair maiden’s house in the evening to hang out. Young boy and fair maiden make googoo eyes at each other as strict father or mother hover in the background.

Young men serenading a maiden late at night, and these men being doused with liquid stuff from the bed pan (whatever it contains) by the parents is more iconic of ‘60s movies, at least in my head.

What struck me in these '70s to ‘80s movies is that when the night is drawing late, the parent/s have a weird gesture to make the young men leave.

They pull out the sleeping mat (“banig”) to the living room, bring out the pillow and bedsheet and feign preparing to sleep on the living room floor. This is even if they don’t really sleep there and have their own bedroom.

It was the signal that the night is over, thank you, so you can up and bring your butts home, you’re welcome, goodnight.

Cue from the fair maiden: “You should go home now. Father has laid out the banig on the living room floor, getting ready to sleep.”

This is a very Filipino way of being unable to directly ask for anything, especially from visitors. They always imply, but never ask, as they feel it is rude to ask. It also mixes a Pinoy parent’s protectiveness for their daughters.

I guess parents don’t bring out the sleeping mats anymore, unless they really do sleep on the living floor.

- - -

Fast forward to 2008. Kids are crazy over instant messaging over the net. They can go forever (ahem, like adults), even until sun-up, if parents don’t monitor internet use.

It was past 12 year old’s bedtime and he was still chuckling at the messages popping up in his IM.

As always, humor or diplomacy should be put to good use to remind our young people of their right conduct.

To my son, Ahem…

To me, from son : *Ignore*

Past bedtime, you know…




Can you please IM your friend, "my mom said 'You should go home now…

'My mom has laid out the banig on the living room floor…

'… Getting ready to sleep…' "

And I laugh myself silly at my dorkness, since 12 year old obviously doesn’t get what I’m talking about.

Generation gap joke.

It’s my silly laughing that makes him rush the pc shutdown and he runs for cover.

Old lady might share what she’s laughing at.


mrsbear said…
That was funny. We "old ladies" are always laughing at our own jokes, while our children look at us strangely then vanish before we can explain. Thanks for the laugh.

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