Thursday, November 29, 2018

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Friday, February 22, 2013

Monday, February 04, 2008

Filipino Plastic

When a Loan word enters a language, it loses almost all of its nuances in the original language and assumes only one meaning, sometimes acquired.

This happened in the transformation of "stand by" to "istambay". The sense of loafing or lolling about is not in "stand by", which carries a sense of getting ready for an operation, or of being loyal. The corner istambay is not getting ready, nor is he manifesting loyalty by just standing about or sitting around. "Stand by" was Filipinized into istambay, and in the process it has come to express one very Filipino sociological phenomenon.

Plastik manifests a similar indigenization process. Plastik is a by-product of producing gasoline from crude oil, as are nylon, vinyl, rayon. It has become a cheap substitute for more expensive cloths and metals. In the Third World especially, plastic connotes something cheap: plastic slippers, plastic shoes, plastic watch bands, etc. It used to have that meaning too in Filipino: " Naku, mura lang 'yang platong iyan. Plastic kasi." It was a cheap substitute for breakable drinking glasses, leather shoes, leather watch bands and the like.

However, that nuance of being a substitute, 'yung pagkahindi tunay --- not really glass, not really leather---entered Tagalog and seems to have nudged out " balat- kayo," or the act, thought, feeling, sense of hypocrisy. More specifically, it dislodged "doble-kara", which describes a person's hypocrisy: saying one thing but not really meaning it; acting friendly although one really carries smoldering hatred; showing concern, love and affection although one is really just interested in the person's bankbook. It runs the gamut of situations. Plastik in Filipino now captures that behavior (thought, act, feeling) which is quite the opposite of what one truly feels. It carries more than the sense of being not just "not really," but more --- it also signifies " not truly".

About four decades ago the word "genuine" was current. Right after the war there was a thriving black market and our metal currency or coins were undergoing change, so the real goods were described as "jinwayn". The opposite was waiting in the shadows: "peyk". Jinwayn lost currency; peyk became mod for a while. Mass production and mass copying, as well as the opening of our ports and airports to international traffic, made us distinction of what is true from what is false.

Now plastic carries different meanings in English. It could be the material sometimes called synthetic rubber, as in plastic cards or credit cards. As an adjective, it could signify creative, pliant, pliable, malleable, adaptable. Plastic arts, for instance. In English it does not carry the nuance of falsity or non-genuineness. In Filipino it does: " Hoy, hindi ako plastik, ha!" or " Napakaplastik niya. Paiyak-iyak pa. 'Yun pala, nakaburol pa lang ang asawa niya nakikipagkita na sa iba." To be plastik carries a derogatory meaning.

We thus added a new pliancy to plastic. Or we made it mean something else. In Filipino it acquires a new meaning. This is how indigenization takes place. We take a word from its foreign setting and make it occupy a slot in our linguistic world. In time it becomes like an original word, i.e. it can be made into a verb; it can be conjugated. But once it is lodged in that slot it loses all its resonance in its original, foreign setting. It acquires new resonance; it begins to mean in its new environment. And that meaning often is only one, as in istambay.

The process is not simply a changing of clothes, it is one of changing personality. We Filipinized plastic into plastik, and the Westerner can no longer recognize it. But we can. Easily. For it is now one of our own.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Six ways to Make People Like you

Rule 1: Become genuinely interested in other people.

Rule 2: Smile

Rule 3: Remember that a man's name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

Rule 4: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

Rule 5. Talk in terms of the other man's interest.

Rule 6: Make other feel important-- and do it sincerely.

The Privilege of Growing ( Joshua Liebman)

The great thing about life is that as long as we live, we have the privilege of growing. We can learn mew skills, engage in new kinds of work, devote ourselves to new causes, make new friends, if only we will exercise a little initiative and refuse to become fixed, rigid... before our time.
Let us then learn how to accept ourselves-- accept the truth that we are capable in some directions and limited in others, that genius is rare, that mediocrity is the portion of almost all of us, but that all of us can contribute from the storehouse of our skills to the enrichment of our common life.
Let us accept our emotional frailties, knowing that every person has some phobia lurking within his mind and that the normal person is he who is willing to accept life with its limititions and its opportunities joyfully and courageously.
Not only must we accept ourselves, but we must also change ourselves. Until the day of our death we can change, we can tap hidden resources in our make-up. we can discipline ourselves to turn from the morbid circle of useless self-pity or enslavement to childish frustrations and begin to give our energy to other people, to a cause, a movement, a great social enterprise. In such service we can find freedom from ourselves and liberty from our fears.

Tips on how to overcome common personality problems

1. Oversensitivity-
Thin-skinned people cry easily, often feel they are the butt of jokes or think they meet up with more than their share of rude, insulting people. To overcome oversensitivity don't suffer in silence-- express your true feelings. When some comment hurts you, say, "ouch, I didn't appreciate that remark."
Most people will immediately apologize, since they never meant to offend you, or else they will be eager to explain any misunderstanding, And after this happens again and again, you'll be far less quick to take ofense, for you'll have found out how seldom an insult was intended.
2. Resentfulness-
The resentful person has never learned to handle envy and jealousy.
The answer to overcome this characteristic is to improve your own capabilities, so you can get the things you want through your own efforts. Develop a 'can do' attitude- you 'can' take adult education courses, you 'can' improve your appearance, you 'can' do anything you want if you quit being renstful.
3. Irritability-
Those wgho are easily annoyed and find fault with many little things generally have something else that's bugging them. The irritability is merely a signal that some not-so-obvious problem needs resolving and fast. Find out what's really bothering you, face the problem and act on it- and you won't be so irritable.
4. Suspiciousness-
Those who suspect other of misdeeds are usually seeing their own failings in others. Thus, you must learn to trust yourself before you can trust others. Curb your own tendencies to treat other people badly, and you'll soon find you have little cause to be suspicious of them.
5. Being overly critical-
Expecting perfection from yourself and those around you makes everybody miserable, because your expectations are impossibly high.
Set more realistic goals for yourself. Realize that perfection is out of reach and relax and take life as it comes. Experience the joy of appreciating things as they are, rather than striving for something that can never be.