The hero is flawed, this is what I realized yesterday.

One of the vagaries of doing field research unintentionally is the serendipitous encounter with the unutterable, the ineffable, the inexpressible, especially when one is assaulted by the events that were narrated and re-narrated along a certain political line, and then all of a sudden, you are given a new information about the opposite of what is fed to the public mind.

With family in tow, I went to our favorite hair saloon by the Highway Inn in Waipahu where there, a parrotlike talker of a non-Ilokano is the madam boss, and half of the workers are Ilokanos paid on a piecemeal.

In the beginning--like some two years ago--these Ilokano hair stylists did not even accept that they were Ilokanos.

In Hawaii, as soon as some Ilokanos get into the Honolulu Airport, they get into a Hawaii mode and psyche themselves up and say, 'Hawaii ditoyen, dangnga!' Or, 'Hawaii ditoyen, gunggong a mutit!'

Of course, I have my way of catching those rrrrrrss, and even if one Ilokano tried hard to deny, like Peter denying that he knew Jesus Christ, and he did this three times, I could figure out whether that person is lying or not.

Yes, there is such as thing 'agraraman nga Ilokano' phenom in Hawaii. Some notorious Ilokano call this phenom as 'kasla nakaraman a baed.'

Somewhere, in an FB post, one brilliant maestro and poet of the Ilokano people once remarked about them fellow Ilokanos making all those postura by talking about their trophy achievements in Hawaii: their big homes, their cars, and all their material wealth in the world.

Awayano--that is his name, that perceptive, keen observer of the intellectual and intelligent Ilokano type--had to make that 'al-aludoy' to get out of the situation of these Ilokanos making all the 'hambugero' stance in the world.

But that is another story.

There is this couple--the man was going though his hair-dyeing ceremony while the woman, all smiles--left her bag on the chair, beside the only vacant chair.

So I had to call the attention of the manager, and I said: I am going to sit down and I am NOT going to do so if this bag remains open beside me! I see all the wealth of the owner here in this bag!

And so the woman, from another part of the saloon, ran fast to where her open signature bag was.

The man was all smiles.

He was guffawing, catching perhaps the vagary of vagaries of people who sport designer bags bought from the outlets on Waikele.

So you are from Santa Cruz, I say to the man. The woman makes sampitaw, as if telling me, in subtext that Yes, they are from Santa Cruz, and Yes, she was the one who petitioned the man, a fisherman, to come here to Hawaii and enjoy the good life of someone who can afford to have his hair dyed in a saloon.

Yes, he says.

So you know this X. I am referring to a dead hero of the most recent revolution in the countryside, him a man the subject of a long narrative poem of another excellent poet of the Ilokano people.

Ah, yes, he says.

He was killed during Martial Law. I offered him the information.


Who took him down?

His own nephew.

Some people said the Marcos soldiers did him in.

No, his nephew. He looks at me, and he tells me of the information with a certain assuredness of a witness on a witness stand without having been coached by a lying lawyer.

You are sure? That is me doing my disjunctive syllogism and coupling it with the style of Bocardo.


And why so?

Wen ta putotanna met amin a nakapalda a makitana, kabsatko aya! Ken maysa pay, daydi pimmatay a kaanakanna, nagiteresanna metten daydi pirak nga adda iti ulo daydi a tao.

Ah, so much for the Ilokano hero. Flawed. Corrupt. Corrupting too.

12 Jan 2013

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