Thursday, November 10, 2005

Helehele Bago Kiyere

Sometime in order to kill time I browse a small book by Rosendo Igancio titled Mga Kinamhihasnang Saltitang Tagalog: Tagalog Idioms – Modismos Tagalos. The particular edition I have was published in 1963. I have written about this book before in the book blog and it is an entertaining read. This particular afternoon while I was a waiting for a call I read some of the entries and came across the phrase Helehele bago kiyere. The phrase translates is defined in Tagalog as Nagpatumpik-tumpik, in English it is translated as Saying one thing when he means another, and in Spanish it is said as No dice lo que siente realmente. All of these definitions in one book. As I came across this word a smile broke across my face, followed by a soft chuckle. And I remember a bad case of helehele bago kiyere a few years ago. A friend of mine from college went to the house and seemed distraught. I asked him what was the matter? and my flustered friend just sighed, turned his head to and fro. Clearly he was plunging in the depths of despair and anguish. Was it a problem at home? Or was it something worse? Did fate deal him a card so horrible that he lost his spirit? After a period of silence and melancholy he looked up and said he was hooked. Hooked on what? Had he become an addict? Was he in the spell of a mind-altering substance that gnawed at his pride and self-discipline? I was in the state of bewilderment? What could I do? I was not trained for this. I mean during high school we were sort of trained for counseling but not for this. Even then the only accomplishment we did as councilors was to paint the guidance office with psychedelic paint. This was an improvement from the Audio-Visual Office that had liniment green color. He finally gave in and told me that it looked he was going to get married. What?! Why? Then he told me that his girlfriend was dropping him hints. HINTS! I looked at him deciding whether to drop kick him out of the room or to administer Sergeant Slaughter’s Cobra Clutch. I just turned around and had a good laugh. I knew my friend and I knew the girl. They were both in love and seemed responsible individuals. And it seemed clear at that time they were meant for each other. Ay naku! It was just a case of Helehele bago kiyere. They did marry a few years later and now live happily... well most of the time.


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