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For the BIEN ALIGTAD souvenir program

Bakting sa panahon ng Facebook at cellphone

DALAWANG kaluluwa ang gumagalugad sa Pambuan (tubo po dito ang aking mahal na ina’t lola), isang bayan sa Gapan—hilahod at gapang sa hirap ang mga Hapones nang upakan sila ng tagarito, kaya tinawag na Gapan, lungsod na po ngayon—sa lalawigan ng Nueva Ecija ng Gitnang Luzon:
1.      


 Ang patrong San Roque na palaging may kasamang aso sa paglalakbay;


Bakting, sintu-sinto na katumbas ng village crier; may hawak na kuliling o munting kampana upang tawagin ang pansin ng madla sa hated niyang kalatas—ang kamatayan ng isa nilang kanayon, kaanak, kaibigan o kakilala; kalian ang libing ng yumao at ilang kuntil-butil hinggil sa namayapa.

Lunas sa karamdaman o kapansanan. O kalutasan sa suliranin ang hatid ni San Roque—sinumang dilaan ng kanyang mahiwagang aso ay magkakamit ng himala. Himala na lulutas o lulunas.

Peryodistang pulpol na naghahatid ng malungkot na balita ang bakting… uuntag, aantig sa luha’t lungkot, hinagpis at hagulgol.

Bakting. Bagting. Magkaugnay ang dalawang kataga. Bagting is string than can conjure a cello, violin, a piano, harp, or guitar, with strings made taut to pluck out strains… purse strings… heart strings… puppets on a string.

Sa mga sinaunang kuwentong bayan, sinasagisag ng San Roque ang Pilipinas na ang populasyon ay pipi, bulag, pilay at bingi—pulos pulubi ang mga diyaske!

Sa’n napunta ang mahiwagang alalay ng San Roque?

Take a closer, lingering look at the map of the Philippines.

There!

The map outlines a dog lazing on its side, its head looking westward. Go figure out if the miraculous dog is about to leap from such a recline, and inflict its fangs, maybe rabies, too, on American beach belles at the eastern seaboard.

Maybe the dog has been told to sit but opted to rest on its side.

Malakas po ang kutob ko ang mahiwagang aso ni San Roque ay nagkakatawang-tao. Paminsan-minsan. Siguro.

Tumataghoy.

Tumatahol.

Sumisinta.

Sumasagpang.

Nagiging bakting.

Daemon est deus inversus.


Or dog spelled backwards is… up to you.

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