Original Script: “Ubos-ubos biyaya, bukas nakatunganga”
Transliteration: oo-boss oo-boss bee-yah-yah, boo-kas nah-kah-too-nga-nga
Literal Translation: Finish finish gift, tomorrow staring
Smooth Translation: Finish your gifts too quickly, tomorrow you’ll be staring emptily.
Background: This proverb was often told to the informant, who was raised to be careful and wise about how she distributed eating her special treats on the rare occasions that she received them. If she was finishing her “carefully doled out goodies” too quickly, she would be cautioned being so hasty with finishing up her blessings.
Context: This proverb was shared to me through a Facebook Messenger call later in the day with an informant who had previously spoken to me at our weekly Sunday luncheons.
This proverb says a lot about the informant’s family values, especially in regard to special gifts and abundance. While this proverb was mostly used when the informant was a child and it was usually in reference to inconsequential things such as candy or food, it is indicative of deeper values that ran in her family. In using this proverb, children learn to value more extended gratification and taking their blessings in small “bites” instead of ravenously expending all that they have. Because if they do, they will simply have nothing to do later on but stare emptily when they could have had more of the blessing then if they had been more prudent about going through what they had.