BRINJAL patty, that’s what it is in English.

In Ilocano, puki-puki—eggplants charcoal-broiled and skinned, the pulp mashed, then sautéed in olive oil with lots of minced garlic thrown in. Goes well with broiled fish and roast chicken, uh, eggplants have been found to pare down levels of low density lipoproteins—the “bad” cholesterol—in the bloodstream.

Solanum melongena– that’s the Latin name– has been found to be rich in flavonoids with antioxidant activities that combats signs of aging and protects the bone marrow… kaya madalas na pinapakain ng talong ang mga kaliyag at kaliyab.

Too, studies show eggplants “may be of benefit for patients suffering from raised intraocular pressure (glaucoma) and convergence insufficiency.” Kasabihan nga, kalabasa ang gulay na pampalinaw ng mata; talong naman ang pampatirik ng mata… probably if such a veggie, particularly the elongated variety is stuffed… in the proper orifice.

It’s the stuff of language when a babbler—most are in broadcast media and politics—thinks up a sentence in the native tongue, then spits it out in a word-for-word English translation… or the vice goes versa and spawns the hideous stock phrases “kung saan” and “sa pagitan.”

Salpukan sa pagitan ng mga sundalo at rebelde? Salpukan ng mga sundalo at rebelde.

At sinibasib ko ng dila ang dilag sa pagitan ng dalawang hita.

Pumasok sila sa motel kung saan sila nagsukatan ng lalim at haba… pwe!

Pumasok sila sa motel, nagsukatan ng lalim at haba.

Deft usage of a tongue can both titillate and titivate—and we haven’t covered the more interesting topics like giving head or lapping up labia. Meaning? No, moaning.

Uh, we’re not really stuck up on strictures of grammar… but there’s a snap of wit and crack of whiplash wisdom in short sentences. Windbags gibber in long-winded blabber.

Matagal na po akong nagsusulat ng palitang-usapan sa 2-3 wika—and it takes an ear for dialogue to be fiercely good at that. Sabi nga, ex abundancia cordis, os loquitor – mula nilalaman ng puso nangungusap ang bibig. Lapat ang igkas ng mushin— “no-mind” or “instantaneous reflexive action” in martial arts parlance, and literally referring to a full measure (mu, about 666 square meters) of the heart (shin).

Matagal na rin po akong naging premyadong mandudula—at mandidila. Belat!

Nakaladkad nga ang talong sa usapan… kasi may talumpunay, or wild dove brinjal. At mayroon ngang talumpati, which is an amalgam of Filipino and English for a flavorful Ilocano dish, puki-puki.

I hazard a guess. The Chinese version of this humble food fare is something called “double happiness.”

There’s also the possibility that if one talong can turn out as puki-puki, the French would call that ménage à trois. (ai/mtvn)

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