March 1st marked my 8th month here in Baguio. Yay! I'm really loving the country life but I've been pretty busy lately. I've got a few (a few?!) friends who came up for the Panagbenga Festival (a.k.a Flower Festival) in my new haven. I was on 'tour guide' mode, haha, even though I haven't really memorized the streets or roads here by heart.
It's pretty easy to go around though, you can take jeepneys or you can take a cab if you wanna go somewhere. First of all, there are NO TRICYCLES nor public pedicabs here! Yeah, it's really different from Manila. Second, you can totally forget about road rage here! You can almost never find a hot-tempered driver around here. You might not believe me but drivers here have no problem giving way for other motorists. I've been seeing this scene way too often; nobody cuts in and they would really stop for a few seconds figuring out which vehicle should go first when there's an intersection. They are too polite to go first. Should you wish to take a cab, they won't rip you off! In Manila, if you take a cab, the drivers would ask for a semi-mandatory additional P10 or P20. I never understood what that shit is for!
Anyway, as long as you are being polite and you use the word 'manong' (kuya/older brother) when you ask how to get somewhere, you'll be fine! They speak Tagalog here but they're more comfortable talking in Ilocano and English. So, I've been practicing simple sentences in Ilocano, haha! But my friend who lives here kept on laughing at my accent.
Kasat nu apan jay __________? = How do I go to ___________?
Ayin na jay _________? = Where is _________?
The longer I stay here, the more I realize that Tagalog is not that useful. So, I really have to learn Ilocano. Whenever I accidentally say a deep Tagalog word, people would have a huge question mark above their head. And it's a bit embarrassing, really! I know that people trust you more if you speak their language/dialect. I'm not losing my hope, if I learned survival Mandarin, I will learn this dialect too.