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Batangueño Mystery: Who is Rudy of Suskupô Rudeh!

Just who the devil is Rudy?

If you are from these parts, i.e. Ala Eh Country, then at one time or the other you might have heard of the expression “Suskupô Rudeh!” If you are the sosyalin or uppity type, then your version of the expression will be “My God Rudy!” Or, if you wish to take your kaartehan to another level, you may simply say “OMG Rudy!”

Ala Janella Salvador…

But of course, the expression is Batangueño, so for purposes of authenticity, it has to be said with mucho feeling and with the correct local diction. Rudy is way too Anglicized. It has to be Rudeh!

First of all, the expression is one of annoyance. For instance, an elderly woman may shout at her daughter “Puleh! Magsaing ka na at tanghalî na!” (Polly! Cook the rice it’s late in the day already!)

If, an hour later, Polly still hasn’t moved her buns, the elderly woman may shout in annoyance, “Suskupô Rudeh! Tarak na ang mata sa gutom hindî ka pa nagsasaing!” (My God Rudy! Our eyes are white from hunger and you still haven’t cooked rice!)

Or, if you arranged to meet with a friend and he or she arrives half an hour late, you may scream, “Suskupô Rudeh! May gana pang dumating!” (My God Rudy! And you have the utter gall to actually arrive!)

I first heard the expression back in the mid-nineties from one of the players in my football team. Invariably, the expression was used when a teammate made a mistake and was thus said with utter disdain.

It was contagious enough, which is just my way of saying that I picked it up from my player and from that time on have been wont to use it every now and again.

That the expression was new I was fairly certain; and indeed, I had not heard of it before this player started using it. I asked him where he picked it from and he said from some guys he hung out with.

Years later, hearing the expression used by a colleague, I asked about the origins of the expression. He could not be sure; but he told me that he had heard it said that the expression originated in Mataasnakahoy.

If you are not from these parts, Mataasnakahoy is a small municipality northwest of Fernando Air Base in Lipa City, just 2,210 hectares in size and a population of 29,187 (2015 Philippine Census).

A few weeks back, I was in the municipality and I mentioned to another of my former players (who is from the town) that I’d been told that the expression “Suskupô Rudeh!” was supposed to have originated in his hometown.

“I’ve heard it used once in a while in one of the barangays (villages),” he volunteered. Beyond that, he could tell me no more.

To get back to the mystery, first of all

“Who was Rudy?” and

“What could he have done that annoyed somebody enough to have given birth to an expression that is used fairly frequently around these parts?”

If you know the answers that can solve the mystery, pray tell! Because I haven’t got a clue…

[Footnote:  The question is, of course, rhetorical.  The whole point of the article is to highlight this amusing idiosyncrasy that is so characteristic of the Batangueño of modern times.]