“Tata”

img_0201Tata.  That was how he was introduced to me. In Ilocano, he would be “Balong.”  In Cebuano, he would be “Dodong.”  He is an Ilonggo from South Cotabato. “Tata” literally means “little child.”  When I first met him, he was 27 years old, married, and had a baby of his own named “Toto,” “little boy.” Tata and I speak the same dialect. His parents were from Negros Occidental, the province whose name to me often evokes nostalgia.

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