Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Systems should make things easier, not complicate things

Commission on Filipinos Overseas.

"Hindi ko maintindihan lahat ng prosesong ito (I don't understand these processes)," she said. "I am already a resident of another country, pero kailangan ko daw ma-orient kung paano mamuhay sa bansa kung saan na ako nakatira ngayon (but I was told I have to be oriented on how to live in the country where I actually reside now)."

"How do you feel about this?"

She sighed. "Nakakainis (It's annoying)." Then after another deep breath: "Kaya kukunin ko na ang anak ko (This is why I'm already taking my son with me). Systems should make things easier, not complicate things."

source: Speak Carabao

Friday, December 12, 2014

"Taon na rin (It's been years) since I started selling pizzas," said this long-haired guy, who serves as the truck driver cum vendor of the pizza truck parked in front of De La Salle University-Taft.

"10:00 to 7:00 kami (We work from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM).

" "Is it a difficult job?"

"Sanayan lang (You get used to it)," he said.

"And you sell a lot?"

"Minsan (At times). But that's business for you."

"It's not your business though..."

"Yeah," he smiled. "Wish ko lang (I just wish it was)..."

source: Speak Carabao

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A street sweeper's tale

"My job isn't all that hard," Fran said. "We just sweep the streets a few hours in the morning, and then again in the afternoon."

"How much do you earn?" I asked her.

"Okay lang (It's just okay). But at least walang boss. Compared sa janitor na may monitor; sa amin, after ng work mo, puwede ka rumampa (I don't have someone looking over my shoulders. Compared with a janitor who is monitored, with us, after you do your do your work, you can go gallivanting)," she laughs.

source: Speak Carabao

Sunday, November 2, 2014

What is smile in the eye of a child?


"You like the masks?"

I asked the little girl playing with miniature masks for sale.

"No, I think they like me," she smiled.

"How did you know?" Shyly: "Because they're all smiling."

source: Speak Carabao

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Don't fall for a straight man who'd just leave you.

Joan Dioso, almost 50, originally came from Cebu Province. He's been working as a beautician in Makati City for as long as he cares to remember. He was around five when he was given the name Joan (legal name: Nemecio Jr.).

"Ambot ngano Joan (I don't know why they called me Joan)!" he laughs.

If he can share a life lesson, it is to "enjoy to the max!" he says.

"Ayaw ka-gugma sa laki kay biyaan lang ka. Mas ayos kung enjoy-enjoy ka lang. Mas mu-guwapa ka, mas guwapa pud ang life (Don't fall for a straight man who'd just leave you. You're better off just having fun. You'd be more beautiful that way, and your life will be more beautiful too)!"

source: Speak Carabao

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Kalsada is place where gays truly belong.

Mark, 23, laughed with his friends when they teased him how – as a young gay boy – his father used to palo (hit) him.

“Concerned lang siya sa akin (He’s just concerned with me),” he justified, adding that he feels no bitterness towards his father now as an adult. In fact, having graduated from college already, he wants to find employment overseas “so I can look after my parents.”

“Is it hard having strict parents?” he was asked.

He was quiet for a while. Then: “Hindi ako masyadong gala (I choose not to go out often),” he said, thinking his choosing not to leave the house won’t aggravate his parents.

“Pero dito sa kalsada, naging siya siya (But here in the streets, he becomes the real him),” a neighbor butted in.

Mark laughed again, and then said: “True!”

source: Speak Carabao

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Konduktura's Tale

Dasma Bayan.

"We moved here from Cebu," she said in her vernacular. "Abi namo sayon lang diri (We thought it was gonna be easy here)..."

To make a living now, she helps her husband by serving as his "konduktora" (barker/money collector and changer), as he drives the jeepney from Dasmarinas to Baclaran and vice versa.

"The night is ours," she said, "as we leave the kids at home to sleep as we try to make a living."

Yes, she admitted that it could be tiring, and "delikado pud (it could be dangerous)," but "wala man ta mahimo (it's not like there's anything more we can do..."

source: Speak Carabao

Monday, October 6, 2014

Age doesn't matter when you're starving.

Diesel St., Palanan, Makati. - "Dalawang taon na akong nagbibenta ng tinapay (I've been selling bread for two years now)," Chris said. "Pero dati, panadero ako; ako gumagawa ng binebenta (But before, I was a baker; I made what's being sold)."

"Malakas ba ang benta (You earn well)?" "Ayos lang;

kahit paano may napapadala ako sa magulang ko sa probinsiya (It's okay; at least I am able to send money to my parents in the province)." Then, as he was wrapping bread for a buyer: "Onse pa kapatid ko; dose kami magkakapatid; pang-anim ako. Kailangan tumulong (I have 11 siblings; there are 12 of us; I'm the sixth. I need to help out)."

"Teka, ilang taon ka na ba (Wait, how old are you again)?" he was asked.


"Ang bata mo pa pala (You are still very young)!"

He smirked. "Walang bata sa gutom. Kaya kayod lang nang kayod (Age doesn't matter when you're starving. So just work)." source: Speak Carabao

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Note From a Lesbian

Kyle, 23, is a lesbian who works as a waitress in Makati City. Originally from Bacolod, the eldest of four siblings sends whatever she can to help her family in the province. She’s been in Manila since 2011, and “life has not always been easy,” she says in her vernacular.

But then smiles as she shares that she has “a special someone” in Bacolod (“My fourth girlfriend,” she laughs). “Being away from each other is difficult, but it’s needed. Kailangan talaga eh (It's really needed),” she says. If there's a "consolation" for Kyle, it's that "at least we’re accepted by our families; what we have is known by our families, and they’re okay with it.”

And so, while life throws challenges her way, in that acceptance, life is easier. And with that acceptance, there’s happiness, Kyle says.

source: Speak Carabao

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Young, Wild and Free...

Apple was 10 when she came out. "Nag-cross-dress ako; inipon ko allowance ko, tapos bumibili ako ng blouse (I wore women's clothes; I saved my allowance to buy these clothes)," she said.

Even when she was young, her dad never reprimanded her for being "iba (different)." "Nagagalit siya hindi dahil trans ako, kundi dahil sa ginagawa ko (He never got angry because I'm transgender, but because of what I do)," she said. "Tulad ng pag-uwi ng gabing-gabi, di nag-aaral (Like going home really late, or not studying)..."

Now as a lady of 23, if there's an advice she can give, it is this: "Be yourself. Huwag pipigilan ang sarili. Mahirap ang magpigil. Mas masarap na bata ka pa at alam mo namang bakla ka pala, magrampa ka na (Don't deny yourself. It's hard to deny yourself. It's better if while still young and you already know you're gay anyway, you should already come out)."

She looked at the older gay men around her. "Minsan ka lang sariwa. Kaya dapat, while young pa, out na (You're only fresh once. So while still young, come out already)!"

source: Speak Carabao

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Star on 50.

"Over 50 na rin ako (I'm already over 50)," she said, "but I still look after everyone - me and my husband, three children, and the family of one of my children. I don't think I've had rest since I started working... maybe in the early 1980s, if I remember right."

"At their age, shouldn't your children already be looking after you?" she was asked. "Or at least look after themselves!"

She just shrugged. "Hayaan mo na. Mag-enjoy sila hangga't buhay pa ako. Kung wala na ako, malalaman din nila ang ibig sabihin ng paghihirap (We just let them be. Let them enjoy life's comforts while I'm alive. When I'm dead and gone, then they'll realize the meaning of suffering)."

source: Speak Carabao

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Life in a Cup of Coffee

"I would have worked in Starbucks... pero dito napadpad eh (but this is where I ended up)," said Jimmy, smiling broadly (albeit shyly) while making brewed kapeng Barako (coffee that makes use of Batangas' coffee beans) in Chinatown.

"And how is this work?"

"Mahirap, masaya (It can be hard, but it can be happy doing this)..."

"Is that so?"

He smiled again, just as he handed out mugs to older Tsinoys (Chinese Filipinos) who frequent their venue for the "mean, mean coffee" - or, as one friend mischievously teased him, "maybe just see Jimmy." "Well... kailangan maghanapbuhay (I have to make a living)," he just said with a shrug. And then with another smile, he turned and started making a new batch of the brewed coffee.
source:Speak Carabao