Have you been to a babel lately?
Have you been to Babel?
Have you seen Babel?
Sidebar: On English lexicon, the word “babel” has been defined as “a confused noise; a scene or place of noisy confusion”. So a flea market or a Divisoria-type of market can be considered as a “babel”. On the bible, well we all know that tower on the plains of Shinar. And for the movie-buffs, it’s the 2006 flicks of Brad Pitt, Kate Blanchett, and of course who can forget Rinko Kikuchi (the Japanese deaf chick)!
Before we build ourselves our own Babel of thought-bricks, let see first what really is this “Babel”? I was on grade school when I first heard Babel. It was on our Religion class with Madam Fely (Lyzius’ mom) that also introduces us to Jonah who has been swallowed by the big fish, to Samson and the deceitful Delilah (told you, man are simply man… and women seems to take advantage of that weakness), and of course the tale of the Great Flood, complete with soundtrack…
Bumuhos ang ulan at bumaha
Bumuhos ang ulan at bumaha
Noe! Noe! Pasakay naman!
Ang sabi ni Noe, “Hindi puede!”
Ang arko’y sarado na…
Ulan, ulan, umaalon-alon
Ulan, ulan, umaalon-alon
Ang arko’y palutang-lutang
Balik sa Babel.
Back on those days, it was really easy to communicate with other people. People can sit and talk about plans, have a healthy discussions or simply debates on the issues that affect the whole community. People from the east, west, southern and northern hemisphere can meet at the middle and just talk. On those days, the term “language barrier” is not yet part of the lexicon. Humanity back then speaks of the same tongue. Though its not mention what language they are speaking on those days, but it was clear that they have one language. “Now, the whole world had one language and a common speech.” (Genesis 11:1)
Babel was a name of the tower built by Noah’s descendants on the plain of Shinar in Babylon, an ancient city, known to us now as Iraq. The Tower of Babel was constructed so as to reach and maybe touch the heavens, to quote “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:3).
Unfortunately, it seems that that idea is not as too pleasing to their creator, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible to them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” And from that moment, Tagalog, Visaya, Ilocano, Mekeni, Panggalatok, Waray, French, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Urdo, Hindi, Latin, German, Greek, Aramaic, English, Spanish, Italian and I can go on for hours and hours for the list of the world languages.
Sidebar: There are at least than 6,800 languages (and counting, still) unevenly distributed around the globe, not to mention those languages that has been long considered “dead”. Out of that 6,800 there are no less than 50 languages that are commonly used in our modern world.
So I guess it’s quite logical and biblical, that by nature, human beings are not created to understand each other at ease, each should exert an effort to understand each other. Just wondering, how easily would it be to achieve the so called “World Peace”, if we’re speaking on the same tongue; like it or not, same language is the common denominator for a two person to understand and unite peacefully.
Napunta sa babel ang usapang ito dahil sa pagkikita namin ng bago kong dentista. Nasa bakasyon ‘yong dati kong dentista, so no choice ako, kundi maglipat, magkatapat lang naman ang clinic nila eh.
Medyo, optimistic ako sa dentista ko bago ko pa sya ma-meet, kasi babae, though di ko pa alam kung anong nationality, ang sigurado ko lang eh hindi Pilipino. ‘Yong kasing Egyptian dentist ko before eh lalaki, at medyo walang paki-alam kung maihi ka sa pantalon sa sobrang sakit. Para bang kung lalake dapat mataas ‘yong tolerance mo sa sakit. So this time, babae ‘to, so syempre kahit naman siguro papaano eh me dental serive ‘to with TLC, hindi tomato, lettuce, and cheese, kundi tender, love, and care service.
Pagpasok ko ng clinic, mukhang ok naman. Naka-head scarf si doktora.
Doctora: Shismo? (name?)
Hanap nya ‘yong file ko, tapos itinuro na nya ‘yong upuan, at sa mga turuang ‘yon nag-umpisa ang pasthan naming senyasan at tanguan lang. Sana nga pede sanang i-drawing nalang para magkaintindihan kami.
Ilang saglit pa nga eh nag-umpisa na ang kanyang “drilling” work. Sabi nya lang para pangangahin ako eh, “Aahhh”, sabay tingin sa loob ng bibig ko. May sinasabi sya, siguro Arabic ‘yon pero di ko maintindihan. Buti nalang at pumasok ‘yong Pilipinong dental assistant nya.
Dental Assistant: Kabayan, ano ba raw ang gagawin sa ipin mo?
Me: Ano pa eh ‘di ‘yong sira? Isa lang naman ang obsyut na obsyut na may sira eh, e’di ‘yon.
Buti nalang talaga at dumating si kabayan, kasi baka maulit na naman ‘yong nangyari noong huling punta ko ng dentista; akalain mo ba namang sa halip na ‘yong sirang ipen ang i-root canal nya eh ‘yong katabing ipen ang trinabaho. Kaya pala during the process eh sinasabi nyan buti raw hindi pa sumasakit (natural kasi maayos pa ‘yong ipen na dini-drill nya). After the procedure, doon ko nalang nalaman na nandoon pa rin ‘yong sirang ipen, at ‘yong katabing ipen na na-root canal. Haaayy…
Balik ulit kay doctora.
So, nag-umpisa nang ang drilling. Si kabayan nilagay lang sa bibig ko ‘yong tubong sumisip-sip ng tubig tas umalis na rin, so kami nalang ulit ni doctora ang naiwan. Siguro tumagal ng mga lima hanggang pitong minuto ‘yong pag-di-drill nya sa ipen ko. Medyo nanibago ako, kasi on the process of drilling di nya man lang ako pina mumug ng tubig, whereas sa ibang dentista naman eh halos maya-maya ang mumug.
At nang pamumugin na nya ako, itinuro nya lang ‘yong katabing lavatory, tingin naman ako, ahhh.. doon ko na lang ulit naintindihan na kailangan ko na palang mag-mumug.
Pasok ulit si kabayan, naghahalo ng simentong itatapal sa ipen ko. Ilang saglit pa nga at pinalitadahan na ang ipen ko, at sa bandang huli eh meron na naman syang sini-senyas sa akin.
Ahhh.. kagat daw pala.
Ilang minuto pa ang lumipas, natapos rin sa wakas..
Hanggang sa lumabas ako ng hospital eh kagat-kagat ko pa rin ‘yong bulak. Wala naman kasing sinenyas na tanggalin ko na eh, eh masunurin ako.. he he he..
Hhhaaayy… kung iisa nga lang siguro ang wika ng mga tao eh di sana naging maiga-igaya ang aking karanasan sa mga dentista dito. Madali sana kaming nagkakaintindihan.
Ganoonpaman, eh kailangan nga raw ng extra effort para magkaintindihan.