Tag Archives: cousins

Namnam

27 Jun

No, this isn’t about Lucky Me.

Following the Girls’ Night In tradition of our younger years, I finally got around to watching A Little Thing Called Love with my cousins AJ and Erika. AJ is still having a giggling fit as I type this. She even pretended to get a text message from the cute male lead declaring his undying love for her. I’ve known the girl all her life, but I only discovered tonight that a hyperactive imagination is among her strongest suits. That, and her firm resolve and even firmer bladder. To illustrate —

AJ: Kanina pa ko naiihi pero hindi ko magawa kasi nakakaputol ng kiliiiig!
Me: Sana kasi sinabi mo sakin, pwede naman i-pause diba?

Remember, kids -- the next time you want to impress your crush, go easy on the turmeric body scrub.

In one way or another, we could all relate to — and thus root for — awkward Nam (Pimchanok Leuwisetpaiboon) and her somekindofanotsosecret crush Shone (Mario Maurer), both of whom come to terms with insecurities, missed opportunities, trade-offs and that perpetual tug of war between love and loss, for better or for worse.

Product placement also figures in the movie.

Granted, the film is not without points for contention, chief among them Nam’s abrupt transformation from bespectacled, dark-skinned, metalmouth ugly duckling to long-haired and fair swan princess. This could serve to reinforce the notion, particularly among Filipinos and others from the Asian tropics, that only fair is beautiful. Second, Nam studied in the US after high school and became a celebrated big-shot after returning to her home country — two details that bring to mind and to the big screen strains of postcolonialist thought in Thailand. Transitions could have been more inventive too (really now, just a generic fade for a climactic moment?).

Compare.

But who am I kidding? I enjoyed the movie despite its misgivings, and even its inclinations for in-your-face comedy. As a matter of fact, AJ and Erika agreed that the comic figure Teacher Inn (Sudarat Budtporm) bore an uncanny resemblance to local comedienne Pokwang. The girls gushed that A Little Thing is something they could watch over and over again and not tire of.

Equal parts sweet, saucy and bitter, A Little Thing, like its protagonist Nam, isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself and the prepubescent experience of infatuation.  This must be why it has people gushing (and perhaps, as in the case of my cousin, waiting with bated breath and controlled bladder) the world over.

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Of children and the darndest things they say

9 May

Today, I taught my younger cousins AJ (15), Erika (12) and Bea (8) the concepts of biological sex, sexual orientation and gender expression and the misconceptions surrounding them. (Because I try to be a responsible ate like that.) This involved telling them about LGBTs and what the acronym stood for.

Me: Ang problema kasi sa Tagalog, eni-eni lang ang paggamit natin sa mga salitang bakla at bading. Samantalang sa English, may iba-ibang termino para diyan. Ang taong pinanganak na lalaki na hitsurang lalaki at may gusto sa ibang lalaki, ang tawag dun —

Cousins: Gay.

Me:  Tama! Tapos, ang taong pinanganak na lalaki na hitsurang babae at may gusto sa lalaki, ang tawag dun, transgender o transsexual.

Bea: Ah. Eh ‘di ang tawag  po diyan, ate, transport gender?

Me: *tumbling*

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Me: O, pag nag-birthday ako ngayong taon, lahat tayo kailangan naka-dress!

Bea: Yay! Ate, turuan mo naman kami kung paano magpapayat.

Me: Alam mo , kailangan kumain ka nang mga nutritious na, nakakabusog pa.

AJ: Oo nga. Paano ka naman papayat kung puro taba tsaka balat yung kinakain mo?

Me: Matuto ka kasi kumain ng gulay.

Bea: Kumakain naman ako ng gulay eh! Kumakain nga ako ng kangkong.

AJ: Ilang kangkong?

Bea: Minsan, kumakain akong dalawang piraso.

AJ: Tapos sasabayan mo ng balat ng fried chicken tsaka dalawang kanin? Iba ka din eh.

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Bea to our cousin Ian (14): Ang dami mo nang atraso sakin, pangit ka!

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Auntie B: Alam mo, Bea, lahi tayo ng mga magaganda.

Bea: Eh bakit si Auntie S?

Mama: Bey, bakit mo naman inaaway si Auntie S, siya na nga lang kakampi mo eh!

Auntie S: Minsan nga tinanong ko sa bunso ko kung maganda ako. Sabi niya sakin, “Oo, Mama, maganda. Maganda ang iyong kalooban!”