June 10, 2023

WITH OUTSTRECHED HANDS and wanting to tenderly, tinily touch the cheeks of her days-old grandchild, the grandma was heard saying: “cute, cute.. nagpintas met nga agpayso daytoy apok.. karkarupak pay.. [but pauses a while and backtracks somewhat:] karkarupa ni ina na! Ayuh, Ayuh!” (Free translation: “Cute [how] Cute.. really is this grandchild of mine.. [she] even looks like me.. the look-alike of her mother! EXPR. EXPR!”].
KARKARUPA, KAMUKHA, DUPLICATE – in Iluko, Pilipino, and [Philippine] English ‘versions’, you’ll hear these said as one comments on the close resemblance of one referred-to individual – with or in close reminder to an alter.
IF YOU READ the older books of earlier Times, you’ll encounter the constant mention of karkarupa and like terms – mostly dovetailing from the then ‘Universal’ Latin concept of Idem faciem – literally translating as “the same face”.
[P.A.U.S.E.. WAS NOT King Solomon the ‘close image’ of his own father? Or was it, that some of his children closely – very closely, in fact: resembled his fine features? If you need more of this special treat, let me refer you with permission to Prof. Romano Bulatao – a seasoned one in the descriptions of the loading figures of the Bible]. Not just in the West – as you know.
[GENGHIS KHAN, THE greatest of the c. 12th century Mongols, was reputed to have sons ‘much like him’ – not only in looks but also in temper and determination. It is said – or it is written, that his ‘favourite’ was his first-born (from wife Bhourthai) Jughi; but
WHEN THIS SON of his died, another younger, look-alike son, Mangu, continued the conquest and overran Persia, and so on]. But so, and now, how do you feel when some people say – or comment that you’re the ‘look-alike’ – or idem faciem, of your own father, sibling, cousin, or kin?
AND SUPPOSE THEY liken your looks or features with a non-relative; or somebody unknown to you; or maybe with a renowned or famous one, ‘idolized’ by many?
I HAD AN Experience when I was in High School. There was a ‘Junior’ (3rd year HS) player of Basketball. He was liked by many girls and he sang well. His name I recall was Bernard Awingan, GRhs (God Rests his soul). Each time he saw me pass by (I was a classmate and peer of his younger brother, Patrick, and we were then ‘Freshmen’ (1st year HS)), he’d say:
“HELLO, MARLON BRANDO! Say hello to my friends and classmates!” [And Patrick and I would bow and respectfully be on our way, et cetera). Encountering him again one time singing, he momentarily stopped and explained – with his circle of admirers listening.
“THIS YOUNG MAN who’s like a brother to me looks like my favourite movie star – Marlon Brando. Of course, that star is Caucasian.. but remove that and the features come closest to this man! Ain’t that right, fellows? Karuprupa da nga agpayso! (Transl: “They’re idem faciem verily!). While I bowed in silence, I caught sight of his circle of friends nodding. And years later,
DURING MY UNDERGRAD years after I came up to study in Baguio, my Tublay peers, babarkada– boys or girls, would often refer to, or address me as Jess Lapid [note: they were referring to the father, Jess Lapid Sr. You probably are more familiar with the son, Jess Lapid Jr.] Both of them were great and successful movie stars – in their own respective rights; in their own respective times or eras. My highest respects to both of them). And you, dear Reader:
HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED being likened to someone not your kin or close relative? According to experts on this special studies, everybody that is:
‘EACH ONE OF us is the look-alike or idem faciem of six(6) other individuals in this world.’ Interested to prove/disprove/or someway find out? Try locating some Idem faciems of your own, first: in your ‘immediate’ vicinity; then, expanding, extending. Might be the lightest, less effortless fun you’ve been wishing for all along! Yahoo and ayuhh!