In the Jay Leno Show:
angmamangenhinyero: I have a sense of humor.
Jay Leno: Hahahaha, that’s wickedly hilarious! (Background roaring with laughter)…
Life was hard when I was a child. It still is. In order for me to avert lunacy with the mumble and jumble of design work, family, and beautiful women who don’t care when I glance at them is writing and humor, in any way. It works as a good balm and therapy.
Thankfully, I have a gold mine rich with memories of old timers and their jokes. Talking to elderly people had been a comfort for me because of their ability to listen and to share stories that relax the nerves, titillate the intellect, and tickle the funny bones.
My dad calls it the poor man’s humor or the “isturya ti awan ti kwarta na” in the Ilokano dialect. It consists of life’s realities, puns, and green jokes which I will be telling hungry young ears soon.
My story or puns might not be new. Some were born ahead of me or had been circulated for who knows how long. Although it can’t be denied that even old ones are still good that they can even bring back the slightest smile.
I couldn’t help myself laughing even while inside a public utility vehicle when it hits me. I want to share these. Maybe it will ring a bell somewhere:
1. Jaguar – interchanged syllables for gwardiya or security guard. Told by a safety aide called Mang Jess during one lazy night on our water tank project in Antipolo.
2. S.P.O-10 – Get it? While working as a site engineer, a foreman of ours, foreman Jim referred to a security guard in our project site while smirking.
3. Kuanso – someone whose name is unknown and you’re referring to him. Tatay once hired a carpenter to make a cabinet below the kitchen sink and he told me that he was kuanso, because he forgot his name. The name stuck ‘till now. I don’t know how he came up with the word.
4. The King of Spin and the City of Grace – maybe I was 10 years old or below when a close relative told me this story (polluting a young mind? Haha, maybe.)
A small boy bathed with his father and they’re both naked.
“What’s that dad?” the boy asked his dad referring to his genitalia.
“Oh, that’s the king of spin.”
The same boy asked his mother the same question when they took a bath together.
“It’s the city of grace, son.”
One time, the boy caught his father and mother about to “go in for the kill.” The boy shouted, “Hail to the King of Spin entering the City of Grace!”
5. Electrical – another close relative again, holding an electrical socket told me, “this is a female plug” while holding a plug in one hand ”this is a male plug”. My mom quickly butted-in, “What are you telling him?!”
6. The Associate – something I learned from a former boss at a project management company. He told us that when we go for a joint venture with a partner or principal, don’t allow yourself to be called an associate because it’s either you’re the aso (dog) or the shit. Maybe the same reason he left the managing partner because he was the associate partner. Sweet!
7. Awan ti adda – tatay’s cosmic wisdom, which translates to “be content with what you have because we have nothing.” When I was tempted to envy a neighbor because of what they had, tatay would tell me awan ti adda. When I ask him what are we going to have for dinner, he would say, awan ti adda.
8. Tatay: Nanay’s conqueror – tatay would always brag about how he became a conqueror in his own right. He said he conquered the most elusive lady in the world – my nanay. Tatay said that my mom was “super sungit” that other suitors will leave my mom alone and never continue to court her.
But things were different with tatay. He told me that when my mom saw him it was like “kasla nakakita ti salamagi a pakkawen, agas ti tabbelen” (as if my mom saw a ripened tamarind which is totally irresistible) and he would burst out laughing.
Tatay was regularly relating it in the mornings, afternoons, or in the evening while he sips his tea. “Tay, this is the nth time you told me that story,” referring to his monologue. And we would laugh until there were tears in our eyes as we couldn’t stop laughing.
9. Pan de Pira – a bakery acquired by a local hero, Panday Pira, who was acknowledged as “The First Filipino Cannon-maker”. Ok, that’s not part of the country’s history. That came from no other than me! Haha. I was getting hungry one night at the office and I went out foraging for anything edible to fuel me to stand the overtime required for our value-engineering exercises. And lo and behold, with a heavenly light surrounding it, Pan de Manila shines in the corner!
Alright, there you have it. Laugh your heart out. It might be your last – laugh of the hour. Joke!