January 29, 2023

IN ENGLISH YOU would imagine a ‘deformity of the foot or feet – bent toes inwards, due to: earlier injury or accident, ‘improper footwear’, or ‘in-born’, i.e. from childhood.
IN EARLY YGOLLOTE accounts, these are unlikely causes why the toes appear as such; or why the term is applied to a person who had said queer (but not unsightly) toes. For, most likely:
THE FEET OR foot was Asiwet – because it was never tamed by any kind of footwear. Unlike the Japanese who wear sandals and the Amerindians, the mocassins, from the time they’re able to walk, the Ygollotes didn’t wear any.. note well: in Early or olden times.
SO THE ASIWET toes ‘deformed’ (or better, disformed)– on their own? Our answer is: Exactly! (For this, the main body of Nabalois answer: Owen nete =int “yes, indeed”; but others among them, would except you from forgiveness saying: Nganto mango? =int “what [other] else?” and, as if to further add: “didn’t you know that.. and you’re already old enough? Xxx”). So,
AMONG THEM, WHENEVER they see a man with Asiwet (adj) feet or toes, they can rightly conclude, any or all of the following:
1) He never wore – never tried at all, wearing any footwear – because of choice, or some customary ‘beliefs’ e.g. tear-and-wear feet – ‘unspoiled’ by continuous footwear can climb any tree, precipice, or mountain.. when warranted by emergencies and the like; or
2) His feet, Asiwet, is hereditary (or (genetic?) which means his father.. or grandfather, etc., had feet or toes like those, he hears; ergo, he has them now too. And..
3) If the Asiwet feet or toes were due to accident, granting, it will be a different matter: the community whole knows the story – or, they’ll tell you – prima facie, soon after you notice those.


NOW, IN PRESENT Time, how do people regard/judge/comment on/etc., the Asiwet one?
LET’S START WITH the judicious, benevolent, good-hearted one. His most likely comment when people tease the Asiwet of her ‘irregular-looking’, singen af afil, toes or feet:
“LEAVE HER ALONE. She didn’t wish for that – nobody does anyway. Do something else productive. God forgive your obvious ways!” Next, the hard, near-perfectionist, idolatrous of Self or Selves.
“WHY DOES SHE allow people to know she is Asiwet. It’s time her family or kinsfolk find her some specialists.. for an operation I guess, the earlier the better!” Finally, the acid, unaffected but most tolerant neighbour:
“THESE PEOPLE ARE like Schleirmächer – ‘Makers of Veils’, as early German Thinkers say. They dwell on the Infirmities and Inadequaries of others to advance – meanwhile – their own Interests! I’m almost purgated with their Idle Talk and Vainglory Idealisms, Tsismis at Pamimintas! Ah-ha!”


BUT ASIWET NEED not always be taken in the literal, material-world sense. Rather, it may also apply ‘metaphorically’, as in the ‘Cases’ of:
ASIWET EH TOHA pessing. (Transl: “Unfair is how he does it” [referring for example, to the allocation of small infra-projects – as context]. Or,
ASIWET EH TOHA pan depot. (Transl: “Not normal is how he reports.” [in the Context of a ‘Straight News’ reporter.. not an editor, not a columnist, not a feature writer, et cetera]. Or
[SINGA] ASIWET EH toha pengistodja. (Transl: “[LIKE A BIT] biased” is how he tells the story/version.” [in the Context of a Storyteller, re-narrating a local, celebrated Saga hero/idole]. Or,
ASISIGWET EMMO EH inpangowes to ni kaso (Transl: “Noticeabli tilted I believe was how he decided the Case [in the Context of a Barangay ‘Amicable Settlement’ just concluded. An observer speaking the quoted wordings]. or,
ASIWISIWIT EH TOHA pamodixas ni koston piyan to. (Transl: “Very bently elusive is how he expresses what he really wants.” [further meaning-or implying, that: he is impredictable, non-patterned, etc., in his pronouncements and decisions). In addition,
ASIWIT NETE, TEP: esegpop, khakha-no, tan eman inafil, no mandesisyon! (Transl: “he is indeed Asiwit because [he does so] suddenly, uncompletedly, and changeably, whenever he decides!”).
THERE: ASIWET.. PLUS qualifying words or phrases – to convey: literal bent forward toes and feet; and metaphorical – to signify certain human traits or characteristics.
THE METAPHORICAL ASIWET, we see some few (?) still around, don’t we? But the literal Asiwet.. I last saw one when my mother died in the late 80’s. He was actually my mother’s first-cousin, or MFSS (Mother’s father’s sister’s son) – God rest both their souls (GRbts).
HE STAYED ON – in the old house, until after the completing rituals – because of old, good old, Tradition and Custom. His Asiwet bended toes was also due to these old legacies – not because of other circumstances; for example: his children are highly able, etc., but they so much respected the Asiwet generational toes their father cared for. Ayuhh kha!