Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Talking Bisaya

Someone—I forget who—told me the following (corny) joke a long time ago. He was singing a bastardization of the Bananarama song, Robert DeNiro Is Waiting: “Robert DeNiro is waiting, talking Bisaya (talking Bisaya!)”. It’s supposed to be “Italian”, not “Bisaya”. Anyway, I remembered that joke because of the following incidents.

* * * * *

In Manila and Cebu there are lots of call centers. In our little town of Bilar, Bohol, there is this:

At first my brother and I were wondering what “Cal” meant, until we checked closer. This Center is actually a site that commemorates the coming together of the Baquial and the Cal families. Inside we found a family tree that clearly shows that one member of the Cal family was named Marife, so while it’s possible that most people would call her “Mari Cal”, it’s not too farfetched to assume that she would be more popularly known as “Fe Cal”. Now that’s a shitty name.

* * * * *

At Sunday mass the choir was singing Lift Up Your Hands, the song popularized by Basil Valdez.

“Life is not at all that bad my friend, mmmmm…”

I turned to my sister and said, “It’s been a while since I last heard this song.”

“Ef you beleb in yourself…”

My sister’s eyes widened and I held back a chuckle. I turned to my younger brother and he too was smiling. However, the choir seemed to have recovered from that momentary hiccup, because the song continued without undue incident.

That is, until they got to the chorus.

With full abandon and much feeling, the choir raised their voices as they hit the chorus: “And He said, ‘Cast your bordens upon Me…”

We looked at each other again. “Bordens”? Snicker, snicker, snicker. I turned to my siblings and said, “Watch out for the next mention of ‘burden’ in the chorus!”

And the choir plowed right on through: “For the yoke I will give you is easy, and my burden is light…”

Huh? Whadda—?!

We waited until they repeated the chorus, and true enough they repeated the same mistake (“bordens”) on the first mention but pronounced it correctly (“burden”) on the second mention. The only difference is that the first one is plural while the second one is singular, but I seriously doubt that putting a letter “s” at the end of the word would alter significantly the pronunciation of the letter “u”.

So here’s my theory: the first time the word “burden” is mentioned, the word before that is “your”, while on the second mention of “burden”, the word before that is “my”. Methinks that the “—our” sound of “your” affects the way they pronounce the “u” sound of “burden”. In effect, there is a carry-over of the “—our” sound to the succeeding word.

And that is the choir’s borden.


estan said...

ingon ana jud na pero lingaw lingaw pud paminawon :)

Quentin X said...

Are the members of the choir from Baquial Cal Center?

fried-neurons said...

Hahaha. Gotta love Pinoy (mis)pronunciation, huh?

Sorta related...

Once upon a time, when we were still living in Manila, we had a cat. Mother, boring as she is, named it "Kitty".

Mother worked long hours, while my brother and I were either in school or out with our friends all the time. So the cat spent all of its time with the maids.

Eventually, the cat started responding to a slightly different name: "KEH-TI"


Götterdämmerung said...

Reminds me of that favorite declamation speech in grade school: "Give me leberty, or give me...Deeth!

Ming Meows said...

naalala ko tuloy yung titser ko:

class, penes or not penes?

fried-neurons said...

Ang titser ko naman:

Class, your peeryudic test will be next wik.