By JULLIE Y. DAZA
Julie Y. Daza
Our first lesson for the day is courtesy of Rio Alma, aka Virgilio Almario, foremost exponent of the national language, Filipino. Interviewed on Teleradyo, Rio said the Filipino alphabet, previously known as Abakada, now has two letters more than the 26 of the English alphabet, and these are Ng and Ñ (as in mañanita, popularized in the ‘60s by the Cursillio movement and recently, notoriously revived by a policeman’s birthday party).
With 28 letters in Filipino, we’re keeping C, F, Q, V, X, and Z. Two of those letters are timely, Q as in quarantine and V as in virus, for although they are English words, it’s helpful to us nonexperts to be familiar with their Filipino translation. By now, everyone should know what “quarantine” means, but is there a word for it in our language? On the other hand, “viral” needs to be explained as having nothing to do with a message or image going viral on Facebook and smartphones. We have been on a hundred-day lockdown since March 15, so we might as well ask Rio to help us translate the following words and phrases into Filipino, beginning with “quarantine” and “lockdown”:
Enhanced Community Quarantine. Extreme ECQ. Heightened ECQ. Hard Lockdown. Total Lockdown. Calibrated Lockdown. Special Concern Lockdown. Calibrated and Reasonable Lockdown. Targeted Lockdown. Heavy Street Lockdown. Modified ECQ. General Community Quarantine. Preventive Lockdown.
What I don’t need translating are my Meralco and Manila Water bills. The Meralco bill for three months showed we had used up energy at four times the normal rate. No argument there, March to May representing the height of a long, pitilessly hot summer – I knew exactly where to lay the blame. Airconditioners going at all hours, bright lights for reading, and, the most shameless culprit of all, because it was in the name of nonessential entertainment, Netflix!
Water consumption went up by 35 percent on the average per month. But why not, the man of the house was taking showers three times a day while I was growing more compulsive by the hour, washing hands frequently and cleaning surfaces with water, alcohol, or disinfectant. With everybody staying home 24/7 and cooking, eating and drinking more than their usual share, yes, thankful there was no water shore!
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