Monday

Tongues, summer, and friends

Traveling is always a great way to experience different ways of life. It opens up your mind to other ways of doing things. You would hear other languages. In my trip I was able to speak different dialects. Once I stepped out of Hongkong airport I had to try my Cantonese a little bit with the locals. I forgot a lot of words that I learned already but I still could understand people talking within my earshot. Maybe not everything, but I did understand some. It was harder to go around and go to the small local stores if you don't speak Cantonese. It was hard for me to buy foods from the small restaurants that has menus written in Chinese. But I was able to get around.

When I was with my family in my hometown I had to speak Ifugao dialect called Tuwali. Of course it's something that I will never forget since it's really my dialect since childhood, my mother tongue. And the very language I speak, when talking to my family.

I find it a great advantage to be able to speak two or more dialects and languages. Going to different regions or provinces in the Philippines, you would be greeted in different dialects. And it's always great to know the dialect. One could always get around speaking Tagalog or even English, but speaking the dialect makes socializing even better and people are delighted that other people would like to learn their own local tongue. Of course if you are in Manila and other surrounding Manila like Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, you would hear a lot of Tagalog languages. As you go down Pangasinan, they speak Pangasinanse, Pampanga, Kapampangan and from Nueva Ecija , Nueva Vizcaya to Isabela and Cagayan, a great portion of people speak Ilocano. Since I grew up around these areas, I learned to speak Ilocano too. Although different towns may have their own accents and intonations, people can communicate. Baguio, they have a Cordilleran Ilocano accent compared to Ilocano from Ilocos or an Ilocano from Isabela. Of course in the Cordillera region, there are a lot of different dialects already. The region of course is composed of about seven provinces, Benguet,Abra,Ifugao, Bontoc, Kalinga, Apayao. And in each provinces the smaller towns may even have their own dialects. It's great learning a lot of dialects and languages. While traveling and going to places especially if one stays for sometime, they could actually assimilate the languages and/or dialects. I have learned so far by going to places.

When in Isabela, I spoke Ilocano, and when I was in Kiangan I spoke Tuwali and when in Manila I spoke Tagalog. It was a bit ackward during the first day, but it all came to me once I warmed up. It' was all stored up within me, I just had to exercise talking the dialect. Of course, I still have to pause and think of some words as my tongue gets rusty when I don't speak that certain dialect. But just like Taglish, I would borrow some words from other dialect mostly in Tagalog and use it if I couldn't remember the words. Ah, don't you hate when you suddenly can't remember the words. Of course I use English words as a remedy whenever I can't think of the word at that very moment.

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Summer heat is here again. I love the spring and fall weather , but when it gets too hot, I don't like to be out there. I tend to wait till it gets cooler to get out into the outdoors. Find a shade or do things in the shade. I would even jog in the shade, opposite to what everyone else is doing which is getting some tan. I already got a great tan and of course if I overdo it, it won't be tan anymore but burned. It's so great to do a lot of outdoor stuff especially when the weather is nice. We had postponed our plan of going camping since it had been pouring the past two weeks. Now that the sun is out, my goodness, it get's up to 95 degrees F. What can I say, it is summer. We did some canoing already which was very enjoyable because the weather was not too hot. Of course we still spend time playing tennis when we get the chance. I would love swimming if we have an access to swimming pools. I went with a friend yesterday, but it was too bad.I didn't have fun at all because all I did was wait and I was the only one in the pool and the people we were waiting for never showed up until I got tired and declared we go home as things were not going as planned. I am trying to revive my gardenning enthusiasm. I got few plants this year. I learned from my past gardens that a lot of the plants die in winter when left outside so I am going for more indoor plants this time. Plants that I could bring in when frost starts.

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What do you look for in a friend? I am not the type that would start a conversation that easy to strangers. I guess it takes a while for me to warm up. I normally don't do very well in a group. I prefer one on one conversations as I am weary about audience. I don't think I have a high standard for friends. I think I am always looking for some kind of satisfaction in a friend relationship. When I say satisfaction it may mean different things like how comfortable I am with that person, how much of me can I disclose to a person without worrying of being judged or critisized. Friends can become close friends in varying degrees. It's how close that matters.There is also the rationality issue, the intellectual side. When I say I want to be satisfied, I would say I would wish we could discuss anything under the sun. I guess two people got to have similar interests which could bring them together. Can and will do things together, if not can exchange interests.

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