Monday, January 21, 2013

Philosophical Quips at the Grassroots

Dr Abe V Rotor

• Old man to young man: “I have eaten more rice than you had.” (Meaning the old man is more knowledgeable by experience.)

• Old man to young boy: “Amoy gatas ka pa lang, hijo.” (“You smell of milk, child,” a sarcasm comparing ignorance with the innocence of a child.)

• “Isang sigarilyo lang ang layo.” (It’s only a cigarette away - the distance covered by smoking a stick of cigarette.)

• “Pumurao ton’ diay uwak.” (Ilk) Literally, “The black crow will turn white.” You cannot wait for the impossible.

• “Hindi mo magising ang gising.” You can’t wake up one who is already awake.

• “Agannad ka no saan mo nga kayat ti agtangad ti barsanga.” This is a cold warning on the face, which literally means “Beware if you don’t like to look up at the grass.” (barsanga is sedge, a relative of the grass growing on open field).

• “Saan nga napan no saanna nga nayon.” (“It’s not there if it’s not part of it.” - referring for example, fly maggots in fermenting fish sauce or bagoong.)

• “Di ka pay la nakuret.” (Better if you had died of kuret, a tiny poisonous crab that resides in the gills of big fish.)

• “Matira matibay” It refers to Darwinian concept of “survival of the fittest.”

• Nothing goes up that does not go down. This phrase refers to one who has reached the pinnacle of wealth or power.

• “Aramid ti saan nga agdigdigos.” (“It a work of a hippie or bum.”)

• “Balat sibuyas.” (An expression that refers to one who easily gets peeved.)

I invite the reader to continue this initial search of man’s way of thinking in the remote past.
Grassroots’ philosophy? It is Folk Wisdom. It is indigenous - the kind of knowledge tempered and aged into wisdom. It is the greatest tool that enabled humankind to survive and to live well. Folk wisdom links history with our postmodern world, it is the foundation of the university, and the beacon of our hope and faith in a higher principle.~

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