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&#@*24%!!! Swearword

I suppose, even before everything else, the moral to this story really ought to be that one should never swear.

Except, I just happen to be Batangueño born and bred; and sometimes, swearing seems just about as natural as breathing. Just to illustrate the point, I was in a jeepney a couple of weeks back and of the group of rambunctious young men who were already seated when I boarded, one said the P-word every now and again. Each time, ah-ah, lagutok na.

The swearing was, perhaps, a little bit on the over side. I was, momentarily, tempted to advise the lad to gargle with alcohol. However, nobody else in the jeepney seemed even in the least disturbed; so I paid the foul-mouth no more attention.

As a young kid, I was not really into swearing. Ah-ah, baka masungalngal ng Mommy! Swearing – or tungayaw, as Mom used to call it – was just not tolerated.

Besides, the Sister Madre in school used to warn us that swearing was a venial sin... Who wanted to spend solitary confinement in Purgatory?

I suppose I really started to learn to swear when I transferred to an all-boys’ school. There, everyone swore, so that one just naturally picked the habit up to the point one was not even aware one was swearing.

There was nothing to it, really. It was no more than an expletive; an expression.

Occasionally, some hot heads would get into fist-fights on the pretext of something as ho-hum as this: “Murahin mo na ako pero 'wag mong idamay ang ina ko!”


First of all, the one who swore probably never even thought of the other one’s mother. Second, the offended party had probably been as guilty of having said the same thing to others many times over. These hot heads just probably wanted a fight whichever way it got started. Except that the reason was top choice for the Kababawan Award.

These days, I do not swear as much as I used to. I dunno... Maybe it was just one of those things brought on by the sigalpot ng dugô of youth. This is not to say, though, that I have lost the ability to dish out a colorful at kapit na kapit invective. Au contraire... What is needed is just the right motivation!

Let me conclude this by telling this rather comical story that happened back when I still worked with Discipline back in the early nineties. There used to be a wash room twenty yards outside the office.

One of the other Discipline Officers and I used to play pranks on one another by turning the light off – the switch was outside – when the other was taking a pee. One just sort of assumed that the other was nangungulit.

There was this one morning, though, when I thought while I was pee-ing that somebody outside drawled in a soft, low-toned voice, “Anybody in?” But, I was – like – sarap na sarap sa pag-ihî and did not bother to respond. I mean, I was not even sure there was anybody there!

Suddenly, the light went off. Thinking it was my colleague playing the usual prank, I immediately swore, “&¥@§!”

A voice outside, this time louder, admonished me, “Hey, watch your language!”

Inang! Ingles... I was certain it was not my colleague anymore!

I hurriedly finished pee-ing, zipped up with equal speed and rushed outside to chase after the voice. When I turned the corner...

Inang ulit... Si Brother...

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