In this mall car accessories shop in Lipa, as customers went around examining the items on the shelves, one of the salespersons tripped and nearly somersaulted onto the floor. As she struggled to balance herself, out went the expletive which she screamed for all inside the small shop to hear.
Of course there were smirks all around the place. The young lady was pretty, looked educated, was neatly dressed and, but for the unexpected swearword, was otherwise demure.
Such an expletive would have not been out of place in some obscure little bukir; but in a mall shop?
But being in Batangas, however, the customers — mostly men — were amused briefly but no more than that. It was not as though women shouting private parts for all and sundry to hear was totally unknown.
Back in the sixties, there was this plump old lady in the western Batangas town of Nasugbu who, if she tripped or jumped at – say – the door suddenly slamming because of the wind, would let rip with a resounding, “Ut#n!!!”
It was not at all like she would just quietly mutter this to herself. Instead, she would shout this out for the entire neighborhood to hear!
It was also contagious, this penchant for swearing, to the youngsters in particular.
A young girl who lived in that same woman’s neighborhood, to her mother’s horror, apparently picked up the nasty habit and even expounded on it, “Ut#n-b*y*g!!!”
Imagine a girl of 5 or 6 shouting that!
Those not from these parts will probably be shocked to hear such intimate parts of the anatomy used so liberally in a verbal sense. However, locals are wont to be more amused than shocked. It is just one of those little idiosyncratic behaviors that make life in this province so colorful!
Men in similar situations will probably just swear conventionally; i.e. with the PI.
“P#ta!!” or “P#tang-ina” are common enough — and there are some whose normal conversation is laced with these invectives after every few words. Suffice it to say that there are foul-mouthed men who do not find it less than masculine to scream, “P@ke!” when it suits their fancy.
The demure old ladies, will choose something less graphic.
“Pusô!!!” is something you will hear older ladies sometimes scream; although when they do, everyone knows they probably just stopped short of saying something more profane.
Why it always has to be the intimate parts of the anatomy remains to be the sixty-four dollar question! When you come to think about it, what is stopping people from screaming out something less contentious like “paa!” or “kili-kili?”
The more contemporary have evolved their own versions. Sometimes, the youngsters let out “potek” or “putik.”
Or even the preposterous “shootix.”
As to that young lady at the mall whose shameless expletive had everyone in the shop smirking, she was not even for one moment apologetic at all.
More amusing than anything, really. Just a Batangueño thing.
Notes and references:Image credit: Clipart Library