People who are not so close to me are always confronted with curiousity and ignorance everytime they see the tattoo on my right hand.

Curiousity when they start to ask questions about the "meaning" of the print, which I often abort by telling them that it is like my chastity belt--meaning: I am still a virgin and that it means I am not lying. Curiousity when they start to ask what's the prominent number three standing for. And, curiousity when they ask whether it hurt me or not and why did I get the tattoo in the first place.

Ignorance comes when they start to ask "saang selda ka dati?"

This happened to me during the recent trip to Sibulan in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur to witness a ritual not-so-often observed by the Bagobo-Tagabawa in Tudaya Falls.

While walking back to the village from the long exhausting trek, I opted to stop by a community tub for a quick bath with a number of friends.

Just before I could get myself in to the washing area, two villagers arrived, with them a torched dog--eyes void of anything but blood clots; mouth agape that exposed broken teeth an a swollen but hardened tongue; and a slashed, bloodstained neck.

One of the men, who was very much like the dog with his broken teeth, engaged us. He was kind of reeking of alcohol and that bizarre burnt flesh smell. Sure he smelled burnt because he was the one who physically carried the butchered dog to the washing area.

Sensing that something was kind of wrong with the man, I excused myself and headed straight to the tub for the quick wash, shirt off, another tattoo on the back exposed. Lorraine, one of my friends, followed--her breast proud against the gloomy afternoon--shirt on or the breast would be saying "hello".

After washing up and some very fast self-fixing, the man approached me. Grinning...eyes drooping.

Man: Pare, kami kahit taga-bundok lang, dapat nirerespeto. Bakit naman hindi ka nagpaalam at umalis ka kaagad kanina habang kinakausap ka pa namin?

Bananas: (Nairita) Ha? Kinakausap mo ba ako? Na-offend kita (syempre narealize ko agad na hindi naman niya naintindihan ang salitang 'offend'). Saka, bakit naman ako magpapaalam eh, maliligo lang naman ako.

Man: Kahit na. Pero, pare, anong trabaho mo?

Bananas: Nagsusulat.

Man: Eh, kasi kanina, nong nakita kita, nasabi ko na agad na baka kasama kita dati sa loob. Aling selda ka ba?

Bananas: (Nagulat. Naiinis. Natatawa. Sindi ng yosi) Hindi ako ex-convict. Journalist ako.

Man: Pahingi naman ng yosi. (Ngiti habang sinisindihan ang yosing bigay ni banana)

Bananas: (Sensing na nalansi ng kaunti ang lalaking ulol, biglang baling sa mga kasama at nagyayang umalis na.) Tara!


(Few minutes after. Few meters away)

Bananas: Ponyetang lalaki yon! Hindi ako kriminal! Nasan na ang alkohol ko...nangangamoy sunog na aso ako!!!


c(@_@)a .............................................................................

With that and a looming libel case to be filed agaisnt me and the loads and loads of reports needed to be finished, I just want to have a rest. And while I am grabbing life, you guys, those who have missed reading it on the paper, might as well want to read it here.

11 comments:

MANDAYA MOORE: Ang bayot sa bukid said...

kriminal ka! alam ko yan.

libel? kasi naman kasi...

Lyka Bergen said...

Deny mo pa! Ni-rape ka na ng lalaking yun sa loob! Diva? Diva?

ie said...

ngayon ko lang nalaman na journalist ka pala. mataas ang respeto ko sa mga journalists. astig.

and goodluck dun sa libel. kaya yan.

Jerome aka Bridget Jones said...

buti ka pa you have a tattoo. just like donning a shaved head, there is a stereotype which is very appealing and sexy. i've been mustering strength to get one. henna is for sissies.

i read your article. i dont see anything libelous about it given the citation of facts. sigh. i'm with you, my friend.

ituloy angsulong said...

hello! just blog hopping! care to ex links?

bananas said...

mandaya naman. yon lang ang masasabi ko.

lyka, kapatid, wish ko lang ma-rape ako. pero ayoko ng aso.

ie, journalist nga ba ako? salamat ie.

jerome, sistah, sinabi mo pa. pero, hindi yan yong article na subject ng libel. iba pa.

salamat sa mga bumisita.

* diday kampupot * said...

oh wow, ur a journalist? :)

eh ano ba kasi ang itsura ng tattoo mo at napapagkamalan kang ex-con?

btw, i lurv the new look! :)

tin-tin said...

hahaha. sabi ko na ikaw yung kasama ko sa selda dati. hahaha :)

Billycoy said...

gusto ko ring magpatattoo, kaso kapag nagpalagay ako nun kailangang isipin ko na permanent at di ganun kadali ang pagtanggal nun. stick na lang ako sa henna!

wow journalist ka pala. gleng-gleng naman.

kung sakaling hatulan ka ng pagkabilanggo (na huwag naman sana) dahil sa libel dun ka palang magiging ganap na kriminal! hehehe

meganhahaha said...

Ay! Ganyan kaya ang tipikal na reaksyon ng mga gurang... Kaya yung utol ko na gustong magpatatoo, hindi makabira kasi nga yun nga, yung mga gurang...
Yung erpat ko nga (na hippie-hippie noong binata sya) e ayaw din ng tatoo... pag may nagpatatoo daw samin buburahin nya ng plantsa! Kumusta naman!
Mahilig ka sa tatoo? Watch kang Miami Ink sa Discovery Travel and Living, Sunday, 11pm. :D

Anonymous said...

hello,

from the upper torso....
just read the post,
bad tweep, talaga ang part ng trip na yun....
oh well anyways, hindi ka journalist kung wala kang libel....

guess who posted this comment....