Another classic, comic Capampangan story as told by a dear friend at a dinner party last night…
The 80 year-old Capampangan Grandmother was in an upstairs bathroom and — characteristically enough of old people — she slipped. She cried out: “Eh-helf!!! Eh-helf!!! Eh-helf!!!” [ FYI, in Capampangan pronunciation, there is an “h” where there is none, and no “h” where there is, “p” is pronounced as “f” and vice-versa, “v” is pronounced as “b” and vice-versa, and so forth and so on… 😛 ]
Meanwhile, The 55 year-old Capampangan Son, already hard of hearing, was seated at the adjacent upstairs hall, totally absorbed watching the NBA games.
Hours later at nearly midnight, The Son felt the urge to pee so he went inside the adjacent bathroom and found his mother sprawled face down on the floor, seemingly unconscious. He cried out: “Mama!!! Mama!!! What happened to you???!!!” as he cradled his mother’s head. She opened her eyes, grabbed the toilet brush, and repeatedly poked it on her son’s head. “I’ve been here for hours crying out for help and nobody came to help me so I just went to sleep!!!” she complained.
“Well, what were you crying out???” The Son asked.
I was shouting: “Eh-helf!!! Eh-helf!!! Eh-helf!!!” The Grandmother replied irascibly.
“Well, why did you have to scream in English??? Why didn’t you just change to the Tagalog / Capampangan ‘Saklolo!!!’ if nobody was responding??? At least it sounds more urgent!!!” reasoned The Son incredulously.
The Grandmother threw the electric fan at her Son.
Hahahah!!! Just plain ol’ nostalgia… 😛
The Story becomes more vivid when one is told that it happened in the early 1980s but in a late 1940s mansion by Architect Juan Nakpil in the Santa Mesa Heights development of the Gregorio Araneta family. The elegant residence was set in a pretty garden of 5,000 m2; the house was decorated by Rosario “Charing” Luz; the furniture was by Gonzalo Puyat and Sisenando Baluyut; the brass-and-glass chandeliers were from Spain; the household items were from “Aguinaldo’s,” “Oceanic,” “Rustan’s,” “ShoeMart,” and “Sin Kian Heng” along Echague in Quiapo; and the residents, the household staff, the food, and the “a-t-t-i-t-u-d-e” were totally Capampangan. There was always a pile of food for Everyone — local and imported fruits in season, cakes, biscuits, cookies, candies, chocolates, Chinese goodies like “hopia,” “ampao,” “pilipit,” “champoy” / “kiamoy,” “Haw” flakes, etc. — on the dining table, the sideboard, the breakfast table, and the kitchen table; the refrigerators and freezers were bursting with food. And because it was already the early 1980s, The Grandmother was a fan of the soap operas “Dallas,” “Dynasty,” and “Falcon Crest” and was an avid reader of “People” and “National Enquirer” magazines; she always felt as glamorous as “Alexis Carrington-Colby-Dexter” [ played by Joan Collins ] in “Dynasty” and she also insisted that her late “muy guapo” husband looked exactly like “Blake Carrington” [ played by John Forsythe ] when, in fact, he looked like “Pugo” the comedian. And The Son, although married and with children, was an avid reader of “Playboy,” “Penthouse,” “Hustler,” and “Car & Driver” magazines as well as a drooling fan of “Seka” Triple-XXX pornographic movies for which he bought himself a Sony “Betamax” [ then only for the rich at a princely Php 5,000.00/xx 😛 ]. And The Family’s “Biggest Thing” [ a lingering carryover from the “Martial Law” import-restricted days ] was to go to Angeles and Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga to buy their “PX” goods!!!
Those funny and not-at-all funny days before Ninoy Aquino’s assassination on 21 August 1983 changed Everything…