September 26, 2023

IN TODAY’S MODERN Filipino homes, when someone brings home, accords, or gives an unexpected – but especially procured, prepared, delivered gift e.g. food, dry goods, souvenir item(s), others ‘special’, the one receiving usually exclaims: “(the gift item), nag-abala ka pa!/or, hindi ka na sana nag abala!” For example:
ROSAS, HINDI KA n asana nag abala! (Lit. “Roses, you shouldn’t have troubled yourself!”) Then just the same, the recipient follows up saying: “but, oh, I love them.. roses, they’re my weakness.. how did you know?” xxx”
THE LEAST YOU can get from the Discourse is: the giver – by Virtue of the Gesture (giving) implies, “I give you this; especially sought, found, and (hand) carried for you.. alone.. xxx” And the recipient replies – or, may too imply:
‘HOW SO NICE, thoughtful, and wonderful, etc., of you to have done this.. for me.. thanks, oh thanks, so much..!xxx And so forth (cf. our example Supra.)
IF THOSE WERE all that are meant in the parallel Expression (EXPR) of the Nabalois, which is: Beninbintoyan mo ngo di y ~ (cf. our title), we would have stopped there outright and said:
ETC. IS ‘the same’ EXPR as the Filipino or Tagalog Nag abala ka pa.. or, to that Tune. But no, they’re not the same. Let’s cite instances and see the ‘dissimilarities’, baga.
BY ETYMOLOGY, BENINBINTOYAN.. is the Past Tense, Active (even Passive!) form of the verb, bebtoyan = int “to specially seek or find, prepare or produce, have delivered or personally hand-carry, etc., something precious, valuable, lasting, or memorable, to a target recipient – be he/she a relative, or otherwise.”
‘CARING FOR’ THE item – from conception to actual delivery.., is vital to the Meaning or Interpretation(s) of bebtoyan. So
WHEN THE PAST Tense i.e. beninbintoyan is used, the meaning meant, implied, and understood is that: a lot or great amount of care, thought, and handling had been spent by the ‘giver’, before the item(s)’ actual delivery. Now, to some instances specific:
A GRAND-MOTHER – NEIGHBOUR to us, has a grand-daughter who has just come home from the Middle East not long before this month. And, the story goes:
HER GRANDMA WAS perhaps expecting the usual gifts/pasalubongs she had had before: sashes, mufflers, shoes, etcetera.
AFTER THE GRAND-DAUGHTER’S arrival and meals and all the niceties and greetings in the family, she looked lovingly at her grandma and said:
“LOLA, I HAVE something for you.. I hope you’ll like it..” and she handed the item – a box, rectangle almost, not so heavy but carefully-packed and handled with cool encasers.. these
HER LOLA FOUND out as she carefully opened the gift box.. and lo! seeing what’s there, she almost kneeled to embrace her smiling grand-daughter saying:
“WHY, CHOCOLATES! AND.. with a.l.m.o.n.d.s! how thoughtful and caring of you.. I’ve been thinking of these for years! And now
“HERE THEY ARE.. nicely, carefully kept fresh along the way, beninbintoyan mo ngo di y a shokolett! Thanks, apo k! [].
ANOTHER INSTANCE-EXAMPLE, by Informant Mauchi Sanggoi. (Still remember him in our articles previous about his Agro-farm-narratives, after typhoon Ondoy?). His story is now on the Beninbintoyan.. EXPR. He was the recipient of a special ‘gift’. He said,
“I WAS IN my 2nd year PhD course when I went to visit my late father’s sister down deep in Barangay Biruk, Dupax del Sur, Nueva Vizcaya, not so long time ago.
“ON THE SECOND or third day of my Stay there, my cousins and relatives were teasing me of my pimples.. saying some like:
“THEY SAY PIMPLES grow because one is in-love!!; Must be your mother’s line where you got those pimples.. look at us: your father’s kin.. all our faces are smooth.. xxx” Laughters..
“BUT MY COUSIN Viola (Father’s sister’s daughter or FSD) – God rest her soul (GRHS) was not laughing with them. And she spoke:
“HERE, EVERYBODY, INCLUDING my children, are freed from the pimples. Your mother’s line/relatives don’t have as much pimples. Maybe, in fact, it is our line which is prone to pimples.. though if you look around now, most have none. Listen.
“OUR OLD FOLKS here agree with our neighbours: pimples can be rid off by eating monkey meat.. you want to try?” [I nodded, but she said]:
“THEM MONKEYS ARE wild and it’s so hard to get them. Besides, people here do not butcher domesticated monkeys for food.. maybe later on, when you’ll come back to visit us.. xxx”
“AFTER SOME YEARS, she died; but I was still having some pimples. One day, I was surprised to see my nephew – Jaime “Makabayo” Binay-an, by the University gates.
“HE SMILED AND he handed me what he was holding saying: ‘agas mo huno’ (Lit. “your medicine they say”).
“I SAID MY Thanks(!) and firmly stated: ‘ara, beninbintoyan mo ngo di! xxx’ and he replied:
“YES, MY UNCLE, We got it when we went hunting in the mountains of Kanabo! Good Luck!”

“I GOT THAT smoke-dried meat ‘gift’, sliced and cooked an inch long each time I felt like taking.. and behold me! A year after that.. up to this time: no pimples, no worries!”