Swear Words are Difficult to Translate

Jonas’s family decided to hold a service every year to commemorate his disappearance. They would not believe him dead; but with every passing day, week, month, year … the chance that he may still be alive was growing slimmer and slimmer.

They were in a limbo. Which was worse than being in hell, actually.

That year, Alice found herself sharing a cup of coffee with Jonas’s older sister, Marianne.

***

Alice’s Monologue from Marianne’s POV

The  following passages are difficult for me to translate, so I would beg readers to bear with me in my inadequacy to put into English words that, I can only surmise, have been buried far too deep and far too long.

I used to have an aunt who was also an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker). She failed to attend the funeral of her dad because she was in America with no green card yet, so she couldn’t come home for the services. Grandfather was buried without her even seeing him.

Alice, somehow, reminds me of her.

***

Sa totoo lang, Mary, ang gusto kong inumin ngayon, beer. Naiinggit nga ako sa mga uncle mo, ayan sa labas, naka-Ginebra.

Actually, hindi talaga ako umiinom. Si Jonas hindi rin mahilig sa alak diba? Bait nga ng kapatid mo. Sa aming dalawa, ako ang demonyita.

‘Tang ina nila Mary, ano ginawa nila kay Jonas? Nung bago ako umalis, galit yan sa akin. Nag-propose ba naman e, sabi ko, sorry huwag muna. See, demonyita nga ako! Paano naman, gusto ko rin matapos yung Masteral ko. Pero sana nagpaka-dalagang Pilipina na lang ako ‘no, at hindi na umalis. Alukin ka ng kasal, mag-yes na lang diba? E gaga ako.

‘Tang ina nila Mary. Sabi ko naman sa kapatid mo mag-ingat e. Masyadong nagpapaka-bayani! Yan nga ang pinag-aawayan namin dati. Sinasabi ko sa kanya na ang mga Ninoy Aquino at Jose Rizal, maagang kamatayan ang hantungan nyan. No exceptions. Sabi naman nya, kaysa naman daw mabuhay ng walang karangalan, walang paglaya, walang prinsipyo. Sabi ko, bullshit! Ano ba yun! Male ego ba?!

‘Tang ina nila Mary. Kahit ganyan yan, mahal ko yan. Mahal ko kapatid mo. ‘Tang ina, bakit ba ako nagmumura?

‘Putsa kasi, sa US hindi ako makapag-mura ng Tagalog. Na-miss ko siguro.

Nang umalis ako, inihatid pa nya ako sa airport. Heavy drama kami! Parang sine nga. Akala ko galit talaga sya. Akala ko maghahanap na ng iba.

E nag-email ako. Aba sumagot! So yun, email. LDR daw, pero officially hindi kami.

Isu-surprise ko sana sya e. Binibiro ko sya na merong Alex Pettyfer look-alike sa faculty ng department sa Yale na type ko. Hindi kumagat ang lolo mo! Ang sabi sa ‘kin, kung para daw kami sa isa’t isa, wala daw makakapigil kahit pa si Alex Pettyfer. Ang tatag din ng kumpiyansa sa sarili nyang kapatid mo, hindi man lang na-threaten na papalitan ko!

‘Tang ina Mary. May karibal kasi ako sa kanya e. Sana babae nga, wish ko lang! Kaya lang, ang karibal e Inang Bayan! Sino ba naman ang makaka-compete? Ha? Sabihin  mo nga?!

‘Tang ina nya .. ‘tang ina nila …

Leonor Rivera was Jose Rizal's girlfriend (sort of) before he went to Spain. She was supposedly the model for "Maria Clara", a female character in the novel "Noli Me Tangere". Maria Clara is supposedly the model that Filipinas are supposed to emulate. Alice just said, fuck them!  Photo from Wikipedia.

Leonor Rivera was Jose Rizal’s girlfriend (sort of) before he went to Spain. She was supposedly the model for “Maria Clara”, a female character in the novel “Noli Me Tangere”. Maria Clara is supposedly the model that Filipinas are supposed to emulate. Alice just said, fuck them!
Photo from Wikipedia.

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