Monday, October 1, 2007

Variations on a Fat Theme

For many westerners, it is impolite to comment about somebody's weight. "Oh my, you've gained weight," will cost you friends.

Filipinos, however, have no qualms about weight-related issues. Almost always, meeting somebody you haven't seen for quite some time (this is relative, it could mean just a few days to a few years) would elicit instant comments about (1) your weight ("ang taba mo") (2) the color of your skin ("ang puti mo") and (3) the state of your love life ("may asawa ka na ba? wala? why not?").

(3) above is easily defensible: just say the I'll-cross-the-bridge-when-I-get-there bit, or simply claim you're a "workaholic." As for the state of your skin's pigmentation, you can't really comment much about it. When you've been active outdoors swimming, rowing, jogging and biking, you'd turn a shade darker. And then people start comparing you to a construction worker. When it's raining most of the time so you stay indoors, you'd turn a shade paler, and people start likening you to a chick. Then they start suspecting that you're taking Glutathione pills or going to derma clinics for a Diamond Peel.

It is (1) above that a lot of people are most sensitive to mainly because among the three, it is the one closely associated with self-esteem issues (yah, I got this from Oprah).

Ang taba mo is merely a statement of fact that you're fat. But if spoken with emphasis on taba (as in "tabaah"), it could actually mean that "you're HUGE."

Ang taba mo naman seems to suggest that the speaker finds it unfortunate, even distressing at finding you fat.

Ang taba taba mo, by repeating the word twice, suggests that you're excessively fat.

Ang tataba nyo is a collective generalization, almost an accusation that you and the rest of the group love to raid the refrigerator.

Anyway, when I met up with Jun, Jen and Pam over the week-end to swim at Rizal, I realized all of us (yes, myself included) appeared heavier.

After swimming however, we hied off to Amici for a hearty lunch of sun-dried tomato and four-cheese pizzas, seafood pasta and gelato.

Yes, we promptly put back the calories we just burned, and added some more.


self-sufficient parasite said...

Other variations, as asked by Jun to labmate Bambi:

Are you losing your neck?

Jun: I think you forgot to bring something.
Bambi: Ano yun?
Jun: Your waistline.