YES! (Philippines) - - In This Issue - by jose f. la­caba

SE­NA­TOR Vi­cente Sotto III, aka Eat Bu­laga! co-host Tito Sotto, aka Tito Sen, is back in the news.

Nearly half a decade ago, he got panned for de­liv­er­ing speeches that con­tained pas­sages copy-pasted or Ta­gal­ized from other sources, with­out at­tri­bu­tion—in short, pla­gia­rized. That boo-boo episode in his real-life dram­edy gave rise to a num­ber of boo­ing buzz­words, in­clud­ing sot­to­copy, sinotto, and sot­to­ism. And now comes… the sot­tose­quel! On May 3, 2017, for­mer univer­sity pro­fes­sor Judy Tagui­walo ap­peared at a bi­cam­eral hear­ing of the Com­mis­sion on Ap­point­ments, which would give the thumbs up or thumbs down to her ap­point­ment as Sec­re­tary of the De­part­ment of So­cial Wel­fare and De­vel­op­ment (DSWD). To­wards the end of the hear­ing, Tito Sen raised ques­tions—“on the lighter side,” he said— about Sec Judy’s per­sonal life.

She con­firmed that she’s the mother of two daugh­ters, and that she’s sin­gle. But she pointed out that her life had “never been a nor­mal one,” since she had gone un­der­ground dur­ing the mar­tiallaw dic­ta­tor­ship and had later spent time in prison.

That was when Tito Sen came up with a new sot­to­ism. News re­ports quoted him as say­ing: “In the street lan­guage, when you have chil­dren and you are sin­gle, ang tawag diyan ‘na-ano lang.’”

(Si­de­note: Na-ano, hy­phen­ated, is how the word is spelled in news re­ports. If a Ta­ga­log gram­mar po­lice or brigada balar­ila were around, it would do away with the hy­phen, since that isn’t re­ally re­quired when the pre­fix na- is at­tached to a verb, as in naasar,

nai­nis, naokray. Hence, naano. But back to Tito Sen.) The se­na­tor’s one-liner re­port­edly got a laugh from peo­ple at the hear­ing. But it wasn’t long be­fore he got dissed for be­ing sex­ist and misog­y­nist. And why was that?

In reg­u­lar par­lance, ano is a pro­noun that lit­er­ally means “what,” and naano is a past-tense verb that func­tions like the spo­ken word like in cur­rent English—“used when you pause while you are think­ing what to say next,” the Macmil­lan Dic­tionary ex­plains.

The same goes for naano. Let’s imag­ine a di­a­logue be­tween a dad and a mom where, like, naano can be seen as a “syn­tac­ti­cal oral hic­cup,” to use a term ap­par­ently coined by Wash­ing­ton Post book critic Michael Dirda. She: “Naku, nahu­log sa hag­dan ang anak natin.” he: “Na­balian ba?” She: “Hindi. Naano lang… na­galu­san.” That’s in reg­u­lar par­lance. But in Tito Sen’s street lan­guage, naano lang has an en­tirely dif­fer­ent def­i­ni­tion or con­no­ta­tion. “Ang ibig sabi­hin ng ‘na-ano lang’ ay nabun­tis o naanakan,” the on­line Philip­pine En­ter­tain­ment Por­tal ( pointed out.

“Na-ano is a loaded word,” Norma P. Dol­laga of the Ka­p­ati­rang Sim­ba­han para sa Bayan, Kasim­bayan Women’s Col­lec­tive, wrote in a let­ter to the editor of the Philip­pine Daily In­quirer. “It sug­gests that one has been ‘used’ for sex or had ca­sual and accidental sex.

Na-ano de­val­ues sex­ual in­ti­macy. By na-ano, the se­na­tor im­plied that Tagui­walo got into a sex­ual act, but not in ex­pres­sion of mu­tual love and with­out thought of any re­spon­si­bil­ity. This is why the word

na-ano is of­fen­sive.” The taga­ web­site, us­ing the un­hy­phen­ated spell­ing of naano lang, ex­plained: “A col­lo­quial trans­la­tion of this phrase in Amer­i­can English would be, ‘She got knocked up.’ The word ano (more com­monly used as the ques­tion word ‘what’) is of­ten used in Ta­ga­log as a sub­sti­tute word for an un­men­tion­able topic.”

Hay naku! Nakakaano ang anong ito!

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