Salad oh! Init pa!

“Salad oh! Init pa!” Where on earth could you taste a salad served hot? “Ayaw pag strong.” Relax… that is just another popular expression that you can taste only in Cagayan de Oro.

Ever since childhood, I have been hearing so many expressions from my family, relatives, and friends. Whenever I stumble and get wounded, I would often hear “agaga Marilou kaubo!” Oh, how can I forget my sister’s hairstyle that was uniquely”seven seven” and my brothers would tease her “tua!” And in a family, conflict is inevitable. My elder brother Jun and I were best of friends (yeah right) when we were kids. When times get really tough, he would threaten me with his overused statement “sikaran ta ka karon!” As a child, there were times when I talk like an adult. I would get the most common response “murag correct.”

Every time we visit Lagonglong, I often hear my uncles and aunts laugh out loud with a side comment “agka unsa ay man!” Because I was kind of stout, they would call me “botikol.” During meal time, the common response to the most awaited “mangaon na” is “pakals na!” While eating, some would almost hoard everything, eat fast, and “nagbula-bula ang ba-ba!” The consequence? Indigestion leading to “Bangladesh!” Then we go swimming at Sapong Spring and when one go skimpy, you would her someone say “itmigems.”

I got acquainted with more expressions when I entered college. I had classmates who speaks coño and belong to the elite society, the “choco-choco.” There were those who came from the mountainous provinces blessed with filtered soil, the “pula ug tiil.” As an Atenean, speaking bad words was a no no that is why the  following words were formulated; yao ming, lech, pestemel, and sheyt memeng. You know someone gets scolded when he gets an “award” and my favorite radio program then was Awards Night. In this world, there are those who are unafraid, shameless, and gutsy. In short, “bagag lepz.”

Lately, I have been hearing FM stations making “pa-uso” with their expressions. It is no longer a surprise when someone would greet you “morning na mga bestfriend!” When someone gets annoyed with a stupid response? That is equivalent to one dose of “ambot sa kanding na naay bangs!” Life is not always harsh. There are times when things just go smoothly. As you sit in the couch and relax, Tomas would say “ha-ya-hay….”

Expressions have become part of every Kagayanon’s life. They are like cake decorations making communication more colorful, fun, and exciting. They help us express what we truly feel. And for Kagayanons abroad, you know you’re home when you hear the magic word “tsada.” If you don’t agree with me, you could simply say…”pag sure!”