I Long To Go Ilonggo

My life is endowed with a timing that is more than convenient, it is omnipotent and God moved me here to Bacolod just in time. A typhoon struck the mainland and much of the Manila metro area has been flooded, some areas with waist high water. Bacolod was hit with storms as well but the most we’ve suffered in our little barangay was 24-hour electric outage. That seems to be par for the course here in the Philippines. Had I not taken that earlier flight, I might very well be somewhere practicing my swimming skills.

I’ve been out and about here in the barangay several times now and my fondness of it is growing. It’s not too busy, it’s not too slow. Minus the roosters, it’s pretty quiet at night. The hospitality, as I’ve seen everywhere, is second to none and the food, as always, is sarap (namit in Ilonggo)! Like much of the Philippines, things could be cleaned up a bit but the distinct community feel is present despite the clutter. On a scale of 1 to 10 I’d give the place a 6.8 but the depth of my opinion is limited to the few places I’ve seen.

Tomorrow I have to tend to my dental issues and visa paperwork. With those matters resolved, I hope to enjoy the town much more than I’ve been able to. The toothache has had me distracted at the very least and a bit incoherent on an occasion or two. As soon as I’m back on my feet, I’ll go out and explore some more.

Hammering away at Tagalog has been a definite asset. There are those occasions where English is insufficient and the Tagalog has helped to bridge the gap. Where the Tagalog fails, a game of international charades is always fun. None the less, the dominant language here in Bacolod is Ilonggo and everyone here seems intent on teaching it to me. That’s ok, I’m intent on learning it (right after I finish Tagalog that is). The differences between the two languages is, in my opinion, minute – it appears to be mostly a vocabulary difference and less a grammar difference. It should be fun to learn but one can easily get lost in the hundreds of dialects here; it makes me wonder if the Tower of Babel was originally in the Philippines.

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