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FLIPINO


MAS mahal pa ang ragiwdiw—a hardy type of water weed-- kaysa bigas sa Bikol. Pinatutuyo, hinahabi, tinitirintas… sa malikhain at masinop na kamay, nagiging kaakit-akit na sapin sa paa… sandalyas, sapatos, tsinelas. Nakabili noon ng ilang pares sa palengke ng Naga City sa Camarines Sur—pasalubong sa misis at anak na babae.

Hindi lang naman ragiwdiw ang nagagawang sangkap para makalikha ng sapin sa paa— may karagumoy, abaka, saluyot, uway, tilad na kawayan, pinokpok o panloob na balat ng puno, bunot ng niyog, nito, samut-saring hibla na mahahagilap, matutukoy, mahahango sa parang at dawag na lawak ng lupain.

Sabi nga’y low technology lang ang mga likhang kamay mula sa mga mahahagilap na sangkap sa paligid.

Sabi nga’y (1) teknolohiya, (2) kaalaman at (3) katangian ng tao ang tatlong sangkap na kailangan sa paglago at pagsulong… at pinakamatibay na haligi ng kaunlaran ang katangian ng tao—hindi umaasenso ang gunggong na, batugan pa.

Kaya nang udyukan ng isang katoto upang mag-ambag ng kahit konting halaga, pambili raw nila ng kung ilang dosenang pares ng tsinelas, ipamimigay sa mga yapak na paslit sa ilang liblib na lunan sa Sierra Madre… hindi naging madamot sa simangot.

Nakarating na rin ako sa mga naturang lupalop, nakilala ang isang matandang babae, pandalas sa usal-dasal tuwing angelus or vespers hour, naglalala, bumubuo ng bilao-- flat basket for winnowing rice-- mula tinistis na kawayan, naititingi daw ng P100 isa… at wala sa lukbutan ang pag-agos ng kita, bumubukal mula masinop at malikhaing diwa. Sabi nga ni Cicero, “Omnia mea mecum porto”— dala ko lahat ng taglay ko, dunong ang aking yaman.

Kapag isinalang ang ganoong isipan, inilapat ang mga kamay sa pagbuo ng sapin sa paa mula samut-saring hibla at sangkap sa paligid… will that kindly soul likely turn up weapons of mass destruction? Ah, Creator expects creature to be creative.

Kaya hagalpak ng tawa tuwing makikita ang mga tagpo sa telebisyon ng pamimigay tsinelas ng TV celebrity sa mga nakayapak na musmos sa iba’t ibang lunan sa kapuluan. Parang nagpalimos ng iilang isda sa mga paslit na nakalublob sa palaisdaan.

Uh, necessity in puris naturalibus isn’t exactly the mother of creation… necessity, she’s not exactly drop dead gorgeous and mendicant thoughts, say it again, mendicant thoughts… again, mendicant thoughts… such thoughts obscene hardly ever get a rise and do some serious business of fucking.

Eh, mauugat nga pala ang tsinelas sa katagang chela—na mula sa Latin na ang katuturan ay sipit ng talangka at mga kauri nito, aba’y talagang umaangkop sa utak-talangka… nag-ugat rin sa katagang Hindi, cela na hango mula Sanskrit na ceta—na ang kahulugan ay “alipin” o “alila.”

Mas uso na ngayon ang flip-flops.

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