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If They Were Pinoy

I was watching the Argentina versus South Korea World Cup game live the other night when I was amused to hear the commentator refer to one of the Argentinian midfielders as Mario Bolatti. Inang… What can I say? I just thought to myself, mabuti hindî ka Pinoy

I mean, everyone has an elementary or high school story about how a name got murdered by one’s classmates. Even if you had a perfectly neutral name, somebody was always bound to invent something totally savage!

Some names are easier to pick on than others. There were those, however, that were just waiting to be ravaged! You know how things are in classroom ukitan!

We had a classmate in high school whose middle initial was “V.” His name was utterly neutral, the sort people in their right minds would not even consider making fun of. But who says high school kids are in their right minds!

Somebody wondered, did the “V” stand for “Vuko?” And that classmate became known as Vuko ever since. Somebody would always scribble the letters V-U-K-O in the four corners of the front blackboard… or the door… or the backboard… It was ridiculous!

Or, if the teacher so much as made any references to coconuts, pandemonium immediately followed! There was an instant chain reaction of cries, “Vuko! Vuko! Vuko!” Followed by insane adolescent laughter…

I don’t even remember if we bothered to find out what the “V” really stood for! And not that it mattered… It was high school life. Everyone made fun of everything!

Now imagine if your classmate had a name like Bolatti… I can imagine somebody quipping, “May kamag-anak ‘yan, Uod ang apelyido…”

In the same Argentine team, one of the goalkeepers is named Diego Pozo. Naku, if he was Pinoy, the tukso would be something like this, “Lagî ‘yang basâ…” Or, he would probably get sick and tired of his classmates asking him every day, “Nag-igib ka na?”

Brazil, one of the hot favorites of the World Cup, has a fullback named Michel Bastos. “Naku, don’t bother teaching him any manners… He will be Bastos for the rest of his life…” Perhaps something totally contradictory: “He can be the most polite person in the world; Bastos pa rin siya!”

Playing for the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon is European Champions League Winner Samuel Eto’o. I could imagine him being asked over and over if he was Pinoy by his classmates, “Nasa’n ka?” To which somebody would laughingly reply, “Eto’o na… Eto’o na ngâ…”

For the Chilean team, there is a goalkeeper named Miguel Pinto. He would probably be voted Door Monitor… You know… The guy whose daily task it would be to get the key and open the classroom doors for the rest of the class.

For Germany, one of the colored strikers is Brazilian-born Cacau. Had he grown up in the Philippines, he would have been given the bansag “Tabliya” or something… Probably kakawate…

Playing for Honduras is a striker named Georgie Welcome. NakuMahirap ipagtabuyan ‘yan… For some reason, he is always Welcome!

One of the stars of the Japanese team is the well-travelled Shunshuke Namakura. Although he started his professional career with a J-League team, he also played for several European club sides, the most famous of which was Glasgow Celtic. Now imagine him in a Pinoy elementary school. “Naku! Nakamura na naman ang syokê!”

For the North Koreans, there is a forward whose name is Jong Tae-See. Inang, if this guy was a Pinoy child, the first thing he would have saved for when he grew up was money to pay a court for a legal change of name.

Then, there is a Slovenian defender by the name of Branko Ilic. In Slovenia, that surname is pronounced I-lich. Now, if he was Pinoy, who would want to sleep next to him. Malakas hum-Ilic!

There is one football player whose name would have been a certain cause of death by suicide had he been Pinoy. His country had not even qualified for this year’s World Cup. His full name is Aboubacar Sidiki Camara. Titi Camara for short!

And that is why he was born in Guinea instead…

[There is no harm, I guess, in writing something completely senseless like this once in a while. LMAO!]

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