July 22, 2024

We had hand-cut, well-seasoned quality-grilled rib eye beef at the snooty Cru Steakhouse at Marriot, Newport the other night with two of our more loyal friends. The pièce de résistance of the five-star restaurant was its elegant open-themed kitchen where different parts of the bovine (cow) hang, akin to those roadside cafes in Ampusongan or Km. 102 in Benguet. Only here, someone ordered “ambiance,” as Erap would say.

They call it dry aging – a unique method that involves hanging the meat in a refrigerated cooler or kinuday in Pinsao. The meat is kept at a specific temperature and humidity for 10 to 28 days and comes out with a new array of flavor and depth. Dinner and the Chardonnay were simply divine as the rib eye was delectably tender and juicy but the small talk, tsismis, and company made it juicier. The bill of course makes one fall off his chair, as it amounted to the entry level pay of a policeman. Good thing when lawyers and clients dine, the clients pay.

As we were about to finish, a group of diners appeared and I thought I recognized, unless I was mistaken or too tipsy or both, the YouTube personality “Pambansang Kolokoy” who, next to Jokoy, is one of the top Fil-Am comedians. One could relate to a lot of posts he makes because these are mainly in Filipino and Iloko.

As his page reveals, Joel Villanueva Mondina was born in La Union and moved to the U.S. in 1994 where he worked as a sales representative for Core-Mark International, a leading distributor of fresh food and packaged goods across the U.S. and Canada. He started making videos in 2015 and has now over one million followers.

In three of his videos, he translates phrases in English to Iloko and with all the sham and drudgery in our world, it might be good to share them. So here goes:

1. Don’t cry: Agtalna ka kunak ni. Nu di ka agtalna tipakek ngiwat mo

2. Mind your own business: Sikan a ti syak, ta syak ti sika.

3. I don’t have money: Ayna uray nu labusan nak, awan kwartak.

4. Don’t ask me for money: Ayna uray labusan nak, awan nga talaga kwartak.

5. Faster: Inya, ur-urayem ngay? Pumuraw tun ti uwak ken awan ka pay laeng.

6. Selfish to give food: Inya met imut mun. Maaltutan ka kuma!

7. Wake up: Uy agriing kan. Narunaw ti mukat mun.

8. Wake up: Ay agriing kan. Bimtak payen ti sara ti nuwang. Uray dagidyay baknang nakariing dan.

9. Overcooked food: Uy dyay lutlutwem. Nakseten.

10. Flirt: Nah, sumayet. Gumarampingat!

11. Welcome back balikbayan: Ni adda ka met gayam. Dyay sarabuk ngay padre.

12. Take a bath: Agdigos ka met. Timmangken ta kabkab mun.

13. I am sick: Ayna apo, matayak san!

14. Finish your food: Adu haan nga mangmangan, ibusem ta labay mu.

15. Go home: Agyan ka ditan.

16. Study hard: Na ngina ti tuition. Haan nga dayta ag-boy boyfren ti ar-aramidem.

17. Don’t do that, you might get hurt: Sige padasem tanu makitan ti di mo makitkita.

18. Wait for me: Sige umuna kayun. Kasta kayu met!

19. What are you saying?: Nagadu ammum. Nagadu lab labidem.

20. Crazy: Awan manen nalipatam manen agtumar agas mun.

21. Mirienda time: Ag-kilabban tayu pay!

22. Don’t do that: Aramidem amin ta kaykayat mun. Maka ammu ka ta biag mu.

23. Happy birthday: Ni bertdeym gayam. Agpa-shot ka ngaruden.

24. It’s right in front of you: Imulagat mu ti matam a. Nu kappit kuma dayta, sinippit na kan.

25. Glutton: Ni, di met malagto ti pinggan mun.

26. Request for discount: Awan tawar nan? Kissayam met bassiten a.

27. New haircut: Sinu nangpukis kanyam? Nabiag pay?

28. Stop singing: Ayna pangaasim. Isardeng mu ta ni awan payong ko.

29. I know you: Ay agaammu tayu idi pay panahon ti kopong-kopong.

30. Faster: Ni anya ngay ur-urayem, Paskua?

31. I will strangle you: Animal ka. Bekkel bekkelen ka kunam man.

32. Give water to a dizzy person: Mangala kayu bulung parya iabla-ablat yo diay agong na. Amangan nu na-am-amlingan lang dayta. Naka kablaawan sa pay, pekke-pekkelen yu a.

33. When a dog is chasing a man: Kagatem ti dilam. Haan ka agkutkuti.

34. Stop fighting: Ni kuskusilapan naka ni. Nu syak kanyam, ipungut-pungut ko dayta. Tumpaem ketdin.

35. Guys, we’re late: Partaken yo. Naladaw tayu dyay pakilatanen. Maibusan tayu manen ti igado dan.

Reminds me of the elections.

Are you running: Adda kwartam? Sigh!