AS far as I know, pusong mamon literally translates to soft-hearted. Puso is heart and mamon is a small chiffon cake roughly the size of a human heart so for those who don’t speak Filipino, you get the idea. Am I writing about colloquialism or baking? Bear with me. This piece is the result of many things but baking is not one of them. Not directly, anyway.
Sam was doing her homework last week and she asked for my help. But she lives three hours away so that’s not possible! you may say. Before someone starts a rumor again that I am making up the whole college thing, Sam and I chat on YM every night. Sometimes, we just mess around and heckle each other but, at other times, we talk about school, her teachers, classmates, lessons and homework. She’s still adjusting with the workload and if she were home, I’d probably be fixing sandwiches for her midnight snack while she finished her homework. But she isn’t home. And the only way I can be there for her is to stay awake so that she knows that I am there right on the other end of the YM cybertube. I’m just a sounding board mostly; she just needs to know that I am there and we are connected.
So, anyway, I was talking about last week and a homework and Sam asking for my help. It was about idioms and kasabihan (sayings). She needed twenty examples of each so I asked for help via Twitter and Facebook (isn’t the internet cool?). Kotsengkuba gave me some links (thank you!) and I found some on my own. So, I pointed Sam to the right places and that would have been the end of it but there were two unexpected developments. First, I found a site with a page entitled Mga Makabagong Kasabihan (Modern Sayings) and I got stuck there reading things like “Aanhin mo ang gwapo kung mas malandi pa sa iyo.” Sorry, I can’t seem to find a translation that gives it justice for all its irreverent humor.
Second, in Facebook, there was a lengthy thread where friends started posting their own versions of idioms and colloquialisms. Examples? From my lawyer friend Ronnie Geron:
- Pwede ba yung mga sayings ni Melanie Marquez? As in: It’s not my problem anymore. It’s your problem anymore.
- Manny Villar: Huwag magbilang ng manok kung ang alaga mo ay itik (Don’t count your chickens if you’re raising ducks).
- You want to have your cake and bake it too?
- Gusto mo legal? Mute and academic. Annulled and void.
- Kung kaya ng iba, ipagawa mo sa kanila (If others can do it, let them).
To make a long story short, it ended up as a laughing trip.
So, where does the colloquial term pusong mamon come in? My daughters describe me as bato, as in having a heart of stone because I rarely cry (I only cry out of sheer anger). When my blogs got wiped out in December 2005 and I had to reconstruct over the Christmas break, Alex who was a month shy of her 12th birthday at the time, told me to cry and get the angst over with but I couldn’t. When I watched P.S. I Love You (Hillary Swank and Gerard Butler, NOT Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion) and I told them it made me cry, they couldn’t believe it.
But it isn’t true that I have a heart of stone. Not with things involving my daughters anyway. Over YM last night, Sam said I should start baking — demanding, actually — (she’s arriving home tonight) and I’m here staring at the amount of reading and writing that I still need to do. But my daughter’s coming home, my hearts melts at the thought, I’m happy that we’re all A(H1N1) virus free so I’m dropping the reading and writing to pick them up another day and gear up for a celebration. Later, people. I have to cook and bake. Standing ribs, mashed potatoes and chocolate cheesecake. Because my baby’s coming home tonight.