NGUYANGOY may come as a very strange word to those not familiar with the Philippine national language, which is Tagalog or Pilipino. Perhaps, even to those familiar with Tagalog, the word may not have a direct meaning. It may only suggest certain Filipino expressions like nguyngoy, for griping and wailing. and nguya, for chewing with mouth open.
So, the word nguyangoy basically came from the two Pilipino terms — nguya and nguyngoy. It was meant to depict the Filipino or Pinoy (the people and not the language) culture of wailing and griping about just anything that runs decades, even centuries.
For example, a lot of Filipinos are wailing and griping about the sorry state of their economy, when they were second to Japan in terms of development and progress just half a century ago. Now, the Philippines is even behind war-ravaged Vietnam, in terms of economic growth and quality of life of the two countries’ peoples.
Another, Filipinos are known the world over to be America’s little brother. For bowing their heads to Uncle Sam and always dreaming the American dream, they only got chocolates, corned beef and other imported items from the Americans, most of which are about to expire. And, of course, doleouts and credit lines, plus a pat in the back. For these, many Filipinos cry out and instead lineup at the US Embassy in Manila for the Big Apple and in pursuit of the Filipino Dream, which is a copycat of the American because it can only be achieved in the land of apple and honey. Others, just wail. And still others, just hold demonstrations and mass actions against Americans in front of their embassy, driven more by their inability to secure visas to the US of A.
Well, there are a lot of issues and concerns Filipinos always cry and wail about most every time. When natural disasters strike, victims shout out loud to their government to give them food, clothing, construction materials to replace their destroyed houses, medicines, and just about anything they can think of as something their government are obliged to provide and help them in the aftermath of every natural calamity. But that is not everything to the wailing and griping, they also find someone to blame for their misery, personal or otherwise. I may probably touch on some of these issues and concerns as I go along posting my observations and experiences.
For now, I am at the end of doing my personal version of nguyangoy, being a journalist of old who’s just not used to the deluge of information available powered by technology.
Gone were the days when reading is all about newspapers, books, magazines and letters. Communication and its availability and delivery is now also at a dizzying pace, using avenues unheard of during my newspaper days. This is a huge and seemingly insurmountable challenge, but not without choices and opportunities.
So, I may have to combine the old with the new and try to write about things that cause whining and griping among Pinoys, hoping that in doing so, I may open some minds and trigger responsive action instead of nguyangoy. (And when I do this, I become one of my own people, also whining and griping about their whining and griping!)
As the conflict raging between the Philippines and China over a group of islands called Spratlys, it puts to the fore the neverending tale of whining and griping between Pinoys and Chinese in the Philippines or Tsinoys.
The fight over the group of islands, situated along the West Philippine Sea (new name for China Sea), has reached near-armed confrontation level, with China sending its mini armada and the Philippines making patrol-bys with one of its more than 25 years old ships. But the emotional involvement of Pinoys and Tsinoys have gone beyond barbershop and coffeeshop talks. I won’t even be surprised if one of the coming days, a Tsinoy may be sprawled on the ground, bleeding from stab wounds, courtesy of an angry Pinoy patriot of questionable intentions
But this conflict on Spratlys is better discussed in related stories between Pinoys and Tsinoys as they exchange nguyangoys that date back from the time Limahong set foot on Philippine soil.
So, it’s not just about us and others, it’s about also about me!