Author Archives: dmallari

A Filipino Pun

Context:Context: The informant (NA) is a freshman at USC. He lives in a Filipino household and experiences all of the traditions that a family in the Philippines would have. He heard this joke from both his peers and his family. The piece was performed on an online conference through a Zoom meeting with the interviewer (DM). 

Main piece: 

NA: “Why do Filipinos not like salt”

DM: “Why?”

NA: “Because it’s asin”

This is similar to a pun and the main point of this joke is saying that salt which is asin in Tagalog, is a sin, like doing something wrong.

Thoughts: Personally I am a huge fan of puns and wordplay like this. The joke ties English in with Tagalog and it reflects the focus on religion that many people in the Philippines have. It also could reference the preference of taste with Filipino with the lack of salt which has some truth to it since Filipino dishes use fish sauce as their main source of saltiness. It ties in a common habit in cuisine and cleverly merges it with a play on words and with the stereotype of the religious Filipino community

Filipino Customs with Death

Main Piece: When you bury a person it is custom to put in their hands a broken rosary. It’s because Filipinos believe that cutting the rosary breaks the cycle of death in the family, so no one else in the family dies. I also heard that they do this so that the ghost of the deceased rests easy and doesn’t visit the family.  

Context: The informant lived the majority of her life in the Philippines. She then immigrated to the United States when she was 24. She learned about this tradition from her family.

Thoughts: I have never heard of this before but it seems to show superstition and fear of the dead in the Filipino Community. Religion is strong in the Filipino community and plays a big role in their beliefs. The emphasis on religion is shown by the rosary, which is a religious item in Christianity. The circular nature of the rosary also reflects the life cycle, which is why the informant believed that breaking the cycle would change the outcome. I find it interesting how religion affects common beliefs and values which is emphasized with this tradition.

A Gamer’s Language to Duel

“1v1 me Rust” is a popular saying amongst gamers, primarily ones who play fps (first-person shooter) games. It’s like telling someone to fight you but in a video game. This came from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 when they released a map called Rust. This map was extremely small and was often used for duels and 1v1s which is just like one of those cowboy shootouts. It’s easy to use cheap tricks in shooters like these and people would normally get upset or trash talk. The way to settle the dispute would be a 1v1 on Rust. It makes it clear who the better player is and now the saying is used in other shooter games as well.

Context: The informant identifies as a gamer and has been playing various video games since they were in grade school. He first found out about the saying when he first played the game in its release in 2009. He has also seen the term with popular professional gamers and streamers.

Thoughts: I really like the comparison from the duel to that of an American western shootout. It shows the competitiveness of the gaming community and how certain influencers of the community shape the outcome of a game entirely. It makes sense to have competition such as this to see who is the better player. One on one games have been apparent in almost every competitive setting and it is interesting to see how certain aspects of the game create a whole new saying.

Livermore’s Rockboy

Main Piece: There’s a place near where I live called Livermore. There’s an old highway which is closed now. Apparently there was a boy who sat on the overpass of the tunnel of the highway. He sat there and threw rocks at cars but one day some guy got mad at the kid and murdered him. Now his ghost haunts that overpass called Rockboy. It takes a lot to go to that place. You have to go through many alleys and stuff to get through and to hear Rockboy. What you have to do to see him you have to first go and turn off all electronic devices like your phone, car and anything like that, normally people go with a group cause it’s pretty scary. So once everything is off, everyone who is there has to be connected in some way and then someone has to say something along the lines of “Rockboy we come in peace.” when my friends and I did that I swear that I heard rocks being thrown.

Context: The informant moved to San Ramon in 2007 and heard about the myth from upperclassmen at his highschool. When learning about this ritual, he and a group of friends decided to try it.

Thoughts: This legend seems to be one that reflects the fear and eeriness of the overpass that’s abandoned. With abandoned sites like this, there seems to be a story behind it for why it was abandoned in the first place so that people can have a sense of thrill and excitement in a completely normal place, whether it is real or not.

The Legend of the Tawalis

Main piece: The story was about a naughty boy, named Tawi, who was crossing a lake. He was being chased by something, I can’t remember exactly and the people nearby saw him getting chased so they shouted: “Tawi bilis” which means “Tawi faster.” The boy disappeared and at the same time, a new fish was present in the lake. They then named that new fish after the boy who had to swim faster, Tawilis. This lake was Taal lake and the Tawalis is only found in that lake.

Context: The informant lived the majority of her life in the Philippines. She then immigrated to the United States when she was 24. She learned about the legend of the tawalis from her father who told her the story numerous times.

Thoughts: I find this story pretty interesting. It attributes a certain event to the naming of a fish which shows how superstitious Filipinos could be. It seems as though this could be a scary story when given the right context. It could be used as a scare tactic for kids who are naughty. The naughty element in Tawi could be a possible reason why he was being chased in something but since my informant didn’t know, it is up for speculation.