BUGS & BYTES, In Bigger Prints

Table of Contents


Section I

1 The Egg

2 Hatsing! (Bless Me)

3 Arthropodic Wisdom

4 Dear Decision Maker

5 Letters To The World

6   A Pain In My Head

7 Something Happened On My Way To School
8   A Discourse on The Grand Laws of the Universe

9 Black or White

10 Bayanihan in Jeddah

11 Chair of The Interim Board

12 Breakaway Telephonic Existence

13 The 'R' in Mrs. Regis

14 One City, One School

15 Eggs Breaking

16 PESJ History

17 The Chicken Fence

18 Believing The Man

19   My Own Version of The Jolo-Caust

20 My Sister's Version

21 The Rifle Guitar

22   Cat Stevens Unplugged

23  Landing on D-Day

24 The Great O-O-Os of the Late 20th Century

25 He Kept On Stumbling Over Chickens And Eggs

26   The Renaissance of Tilapia Farming And The Likes

27   The Saga Continues

28   The Pigeons In Our Lives

29 The Essence of Education

30   A School Is A Home

31  Gentle Fire From The Qur'an

32  At The Threshold

33  A Brief Discourse On Dancing

34  Being First

35   At The Edge of Light-Blue Metallic

36   Grappling With The Colossus


Section II
In Bigger Prints

The Power To Be
Excerpts from B & B Vol. 1 # 1

Of Crabs & Men
Excerpts from B & B Vol. 2 # 2

Excerpts from B & B Vol. 2 # 2

An Inability To Understand
Excerpts from A Speech by Prince Charles,
B & B Vol. Vol. 3 # 1

'Educating Miriam'
Excerpts from A Case Study of A Philippine School,
B & B Vol 3 # 2


Section III

A millennial short story


A Glossary of Pilipino
(& Near-Pilipino) Terms
Wondering what iklog is?

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Glossary of Pilipino (& Near-Pilipino) Terms
Unabridged, in fact, expanded from that of the book version

Disclaimer: The author is not an expert in Linguistics and the definitions presented here should be taken only in the context of this book and must not, I repeat, must not, be used in Philippine schools. Readers are meanwhile invited to help me further develop my vocabulary. Feel free -- and by this I mean really free, take no money, nada fulos  -- to e-mail me your own definitions of anything that you think is relevant to the world of BUGS & BYTES.


Al Baik
Not a Pilipino term. But this is the name of a popular chain of fastfood chicken restaurants in Jeddah, rivalling the best of Kentucky Fried Chicken, maybe even better! Ask any Filipino in Jeddah.

Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao

Moro nation, something like the elusive Shangri-La

Filipino trademark of active community group service, assistance and cooperation, usually applied to the effort to move a structure, a nipa hut maybe, from one location to another by carrying it over the shoulders of men while women prepare the feast. This is known to be practiced by Filipinos more in small, rural areas (where nipa huts are prevalent), but not in the frantic metro-cities where skycrapers dominate. But this spirit has not been totally abandoned in the cities: my heart still fills up with warmth at the sight of people pushing a stalled car, or jeepney, or even a bus, to the roadside.


An easier way of saying the tongue-twister: Charter Changes to the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines

Department of Education, Culture & Sports

Department of Foreign Affairs

Department of Labor & Employment

Epifanio de los Santos Avenue; anything that conjures up the image of traffic gridlock, including a people power excursion

Term of endearment used by Joseph Estrada to reinforce his wrist-band mentality

Fernando Poe, Jr.
That other Filipino pro-poor, pro-weak, macho movie legend, and a lot superior than Joseph Estrada for not going into politics

A Filipino sneeze (bless you)

Huwag niyo akong subukan!
Do not try me!, or archaically, Try me not!

Tausug vernacular for egg; itlog, in conventional Pilipino

Saudi residence card, very much in the lingo of Filipinos now

Ito Ang Tunay Na Pilipino!
This Is The Real Pilipino!, a Pilipino raising a San Miguel bottle with his right hand or his left hand (depending on what you think is right or left on a TV screen) but not with both hands

Kapit sa patalim
Romancing the dagger

Kaya Natin Ito!
We Can Do This! [This phrase was so abused by many that some wise guy eventually got so impatient, he finally blurted out: Just Do It! That guy, I heard, is called Nike and he is not a Filipino.]

A godmother of one's child (masculine: kumpadre, e.g. Erap is the Father Of All Kumpadres)

Kung hindi tayo kikilos, sino ang kikilos? Kung hindi ngayon, kailan pa?
If we do not act, who will act? If not now, when yet?, a classic battlecry in the league of  Huwag niyo akong subukan!

The half of a coconut husk used for scrubbing the floor; the act of scrubbing the floor with the lampaso

A fragrant Philippine flower, or so I thought, until I was l told that it has something to do with a flowering or shining (like bukang-liwayway, the budding of dawn), but definitely not a flower. Meanwhile, I am still on the lookout to discover a heretofore un-named fragrant flower that I can call liwayway, preferably growing in the forests of Mindanao.

Official residence of the President of the Philippines, reportedly with a master’s bed that is too low one cannot hide underneath it to evade hostile elements such as the press


Manila Electric Company

Mga hinayupak na yan!
The battlecry of Jun Credo and Ibrahim Bahjin, roughly translating to ‘Those lower forms!’ but better

Magandang Gabi Bayan
Good Night Country

Moro Islamic Liberation Front

Moro National Liberation Front

Natives of the Mindanao islands who tormented the Spaniards and the subjugated Indios from the 16th to the 19th Century, then the Americans in the early 20th Century and now the Filipinos in the late 20th Century; like Fidel Ramos, Moros generally have a can-do attitude, even when they are already biting the dust

A cultural stage play where the Spaniards usually win and rule over the Moros, often held in public places especially during the Philippine Hispanic period. [I prefer to think of this book as a modern moro-moro where, finally, the Moro rules.]

National Power Corporation

Overseas Contract Worker; the modern-day proverbial milking cow

Overseas Filipino Worker; the modern-day Filipino hero

Salted egg

Perico ambuta
Nothing in particular. I do not know the meaning of it myself (let me know if you do)

Dr. Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines, who wrote two consequential books El Filibusterismo and Noli Me Tangere in the second half of the 19th Century

Sapagkat tayo ay tao lamang
Because we are only human, the title of a popular song in the Philippines; its popularity largely explains why Filipinos could not conquer the world

A legendary, large, colorful fowl in Muslim Mindanao folklore, some saying as large as peacocks, but will always fit into your satellite TV screens

Islamic Law

Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development; more popularly known as TCTNW, The Council That Never Was

Qur’anic Chapter, very much in the lingo of Filipinos who converted to Islam while working in the Middle East

The Filipino Channel

Also known as Tilapia Cichlidae; a fish

Not a Pilipino term. It refers to a broiled Pakistani spicy dish. Personally, I like it very much, but one chicken tikka restaurant near my residence in Jeddah recently closed down.

An Arabic term commonly used by Muslims in Mindanao to refer to their Muslim brothers and sisters living elsewhere around the globe. Peculiarly, a lot of Muslims belonging to the various tribes in Mindanao look at their own selves as less than an ummah.

University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, MetroManila, Philippines; a valiant attempt at being succinct, like Harvard!, or Yale!


(Note: Readers are invited to help me further develop my vocabulary. Feel free to e-mail me your own definitions of anything that you think is relevant to the world of BUGS & BYTES.) 


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