the hosts of a local cebu (di ba redundant?) show were speaking in tagalog as they have guest hosts from the manila. i was amazed to find the cebu hosts were not bad with their tagalog. for my standards, they’re fluent enough. and, to those who said cebu people can’t do tagalog — eat your hear out. =) until one cebu male host, after his long speech, said something like, ‘ano ba ang tagalog ng ‘audience’? nahihirapan na akong mag tagalog,’ right in front of everybody and it’s live. there goes my hope of being able to prove that cebu people can speak tagalog well.

before, i always thought that speaking tagalog was easy. i thought it’s not really far from cebuano. not until, i was confronted with true blue tagalog speaking people. my tongue seems to get stuck.

following were 2 of my unforgettable funny experiences with tagalog-speaking moment:

1. this was a long time ago. we were in tagaytay. i bought 1 piattos (i think), and was about to pay for it. so i wanted to know how much it was.
me: ilan?
saleslady: isa.
i thought she did not get my question so again i said: ilan?
saleslady: isa.
i kept telling her ‘ilan,’ and also she would keep saying back ‘isa.’ it took me some time to realize that ‘ilan’means ‘how many.’ i wanted to know how much. at that moment, my mind was like racing hell looking for the appropriate tagalog word for ‘how much.’ until,
me, happily: ay, magkano diay, miss?
saleslady finally, gave me the price, and said smilingly, ‘bisaya?’
— this is the incident that made me realize the sad state of my tagalog. and, i was already in college at this time.

2. this happened in cebu. inside a jeepney bound to colon. a tagalog guy came on board from turtle’s nest in lahug. then, he asked where metro gaisano is in tagalog. as expected from cebuanos, nobody answered his back. in pity, i just told him that i’ll tell the driver to drop him off at metro gaisano in my best tagalog. when we got to robinsons, he told me to tell him if it’s gaisano metro already. i told him i’d be off ahead of you so i would no longer be there to tell you so i assured him that manong driver would drop him off at the place. then, he asked me for directions. and, my mind stuck.
me with matching hand signals: dederecho ka, and then gaganyan (with my hand turning right) ka, baba ka dyan. (i was trying to tell him, that you’d go straight then the jeepney will turn right, that’s when you go down.)
somehow, he did not get what i was trying to say. so i told him again, dedercho ka, then ‘tutuyok’ ka, dyan na yan.