Visayas State University: The Day After Yolanda


VSU Eco-park: a showcase of native tree species.

Typhoon Yolanda was a very frightening experience even at Visayas State University (VSU) in Baybay City, Leyte. That's about 109 kilometers from Tacloban City. My family endured Yolanda's wrath for 4 hours -- from 5 A.M. to 9 A.M. on November 8, 2013 -- and we thought we experienced the worst of the super-typhoon.

While the world saw what Visayas went through on that particular day, we had no idea about the extent of the devastation caused by Yolanda in other parts of the region.  Telecommunications were down and VSU was without electricity.  There was no way for us to get news about and from the outside world. It was a very depressing situation. I was worried for my parents and for my relatives in Samar, a nearby island. No matter how desperate I was to hear from them, I had no other choice but to wait for things to go back to their normal state. For how long, I had no idea.

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The Other Meaning of Kubkob



Today, 28 October 2013, I will exercise my right to suffrage. Like many Filipinos, I still believe that any electoral process can do wonders for this country.  I have always claimed that right -- to choose the leaders who I think are capable, qualified, and committed to serve their constituents -- since I turned 18. However, this is not the only reason why I always look forward to the Election Day. There is one aspect of elections that has piqued my interest since the day I was able to vote: the Waray vocabulary associated with elections. Number one on my list is the word kubkob.
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No Country For Old Women -- A Film Review


Never before has the double standard that exists for aging men versus aging women been exemplified so well as in the film "No Country for Old Women." This avant-garde cinema masterpiece follows the love lives of 24 celebrities - twelve men and twelve women. Their respective spouses/significant others are shown chronologically side by side, and interviews with "the man on the street" are shown to support the biases inherent in this gender-based double standard.

As the male celebrities transition into middle age and beyond, they become "suave and debonair," while the female celebrities of the same ages are considered "obscene" or "crazies in full blown clown make up," with their significant others being gigolos of course. The older male celebs were excused for having younger women than themselves because "hey, they're guys, right? It's expected."

Apparently, major film studios have shunned having anything to do with this movie due not only to the controversial nature of the film's content, but fearing the ensuing litigation from the famous celebrities themselves when they see the contexts in which they are presented. You will be shocked speechless when you see what celebrities were used for this film!

Obviously, the film's financing was done privately, hence the "very limited showing," so don't bother trying to find it on IMDB, but if you ever get the chance to see this film, do so. You'll laugh so hard that you might just pee your pants!!!






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Search Engine Traffic for Low Ranking Blogs

This guest post is from Raju Dinesh of Interesting Things blog, who had earlier written at Triond and achieved 2 Million views badge. More insights can also be found at his other blog.

I have been observing how the search engine results are evolving recently. The current scenario has evolved to a point where for any topic or keyword, the high ranking websites are taking first positions in search engine results. So if you have a low ranking website or blog, you will have a lot of difficulty in overcoming tough competition from high ranking sites. These high ranking sites might have taken a long time to establish themselves, but it feels unfair especially when they can easily rank up for any topic relative to your low ranking site even if you feel that you have better wisdom or content to share. This has become a natural problem for many bloggers now. It is even worse for those who target hottest trending topics of today.

The Effect of Competition

I will go into the details of how exactly the competition is affecting a low ranking blog.

Just few years ago, it was plain easy to write an article on trending keywords of the day and get some traffic if not much. Six (6) years ago, there was almost nil competition. Although it was there, it wasn't organized by Google. The world-wide-web has presented plenty of scope for targeting a variety of keywords which weren't then well exploited by webmasters. Year after year instead of following better practices, many webmasters tried to game the ranking algorithms of Google. Google too evolved over the years. As webmasters were busy playing games, this presented an opportunity for genuine webmasters. They are the same webmasters that you see today as those running established high ranking websites. All those who tried to exploit loop holes in search engine algorithms were washed down the ranking list of Google search results.

While this was happening, many people who have genuine content to share have found a great opportunity. All those have increased the content on the web and increased the competition. The recession played a pivotal role after this. More competition came from all quarters. As a result, even a genuine blogger has less chance of attracting search engine traffic. It's as though there is an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) mafia out there who take all the share of the pie leaving you little or nothing.

The problem is two-fold. First, you have competition from high ranking sites. You target any keyword, you will rank lower than the established sites in case they also targeted that keyword already. Second, you have competition from low ranking sites like your own. The web is growing in a boundless manner. It is because everyone can become a blogger and share their ideas on the same topic that everybody else also does. These result in a stiff competition for an upcoming blogger. Today, it has even become more difficult to establish your site among the high ranking ones. It is now more of luck despite putting genuine effort.

The Solution is in Volume and Unique Content

From my experience I have come up with a solution for this problem. But then it has its own compromises. If you think something is better than nothing, you can go ahead reading.

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The Months of the Year in Waray


Hello. I'm making this quick post for those who are looking for this particular information -- the months of the year in Waray language. (Yes, I got your feedback.) Hope this helps.

January
Enero
February
Pebrero
March
Marso
April
Abril
May
Mayo
June
Hunyo
July
Hulyo
August
Agosto
September
Septembre/Setyembre
October
Oktubre
November                  
Nobyembre
December
Disyembre

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Kinalasan Waray Style VS. Kinalasan Baybay Style


The first time I heard the word "kinalasan" in Baybay, I thought it was similar to our "kinalasan" in Waray. But I was wrong. Baybayanons (the people of Baybay, Leyte), by the way, speak Cebuano. AWKWARD -- that was what I thought of the way my friends used the word. For example:
Kinalasan ko sa amo nga mga magsuon. 
Kinalasan ko nga ning-abot.
Kinalasan ko nga ninghatag sa ako amot. 
Kinalasan ko nga contestant.

At the time, I only knew the most basic Cebuano terms and this was how I interpreted the sentences:
I was startled about us (my siblings and me).  
I was startled as I arrived (at the venue).
I was startled as I gave my contribution.
I was the contestant who was startled. 
They did not make any sense to me. But I persevered: I studied the sense of each sentence.  Finally, I noticed a pattern  and I figured out how to translate them correctly. I realized that they sounded awkward to me only because I was mixing Cebuano and Waray while trying to understand the following sentences:
I am the youngest in the family. 
I was the last to arrive.
I was the last to give a contribution. 
I am/was the last contestant.  

What is kinalasan in Waray? It means "to be startled"; hence, my translation of the above-mentioned sentences. On the other hand, kinalasan in Baybay is the result of combining the Cebuano prefix kina, the English word "last", and the Cebuano suffix an:  kina + last + an. The letter "t" is, however, dropped to give way to the newly-coined word, kinalasan.

What is kinalasan in Baybay? Apparently, there is an attempt at making a superlative adjective out of the superlative "last"; hence, the last of the last.

P.S.
Would you like to read this blog post in Waray? Here's Kinalasan sa Baybay (A Waray Post)Best Blogger Tips

Here's Another Way of Saying "Not Yet" in Waray

"Ayaw anay" can be loosely translated as "Don't do it yet" in English.  "Anay" as used in this expression has its Waray equivalent in Northern Samar -- it's "ngon-a".  "Ngon-a" can be considered a clitic, i.e., it is a word that cannot stand alone but depends on another word or phrase. Below are Waray expressions containing ngon-a:



Ayaw ngon-a. (Don't do it yet.)
Ayaw ngon-a pagpalit. (Don't buy anything.)
Ayaw ngon-a palita. (Don't buy it yet.)
Ayaw ngon-a pagkaon. (Don't eat yet.)
Diri ko ngon-a papaliton. (I'm not buying it now.)
Diri ngon-a yana. (Not now.)
Paghulat ngon-a. (Please wait.)
Waray pa ngon-a. (Nothing as of now.)
Waray ngon-a mauli. (No one's going home now.)

Ngon-a may be replaced with anay and the meaning is still be the same.




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Binglad is Here

Binglad (palay)
Binglad is one of the frequently searched Waray songs according to my Google Analytics data. Incidentally, it is also one of my favorite Waray songs. I'm lucky because my APO (Alpha Phi Omega) brother, Kevin Rebadulla, granted my request to sing Binglad for me. I told him that I'll be posting the video on my blog. His brother, Raul, another APO brother, sings with him in this video. Both Kevin and Raul are nephews of  Atty. Pablo Rebadulla of Catubig/Catarman, Northern Samar.  Atty Rebadulla composed Binglad.

To my fellow Warays, this is for you. So far, this is the coolest rendition of Binglad I have ever heard.






BINGLAD

An tawo sugad san binglad
Diri dayuday an kamutangan
Tinitipon, tinatatag
Mahibawbaw, mahiilarum naman.

Ayaw tapod san im hibawbaw
Kay an Diyos gud la an madadayaw
Sugad san binglad mahibawbaw naman
Sugad san binglad mahiilarum naman.

Anhon ta man kay an palad burobaliskad
Diri mapugngan an limbag-limbag
Inuukay an ngatanan nga kapalaran
Basi an tawo waray indigay

Mao na daw sa kalibutan
Diri dayuday an kamutangan
An masurub-on, magtatawa naman
An malipayon, magtatangis naman.

Inuukay an ngatanan nga kapalaran
Basi an tawo waray indigay

Mao na daw sa kalibutan
Diri dayuday an kamutangan
An masurub-on, magtatawa naman
An malipayon, magtatangis naman.

An tawo sugad san binglad.
--------
A note to the non-Waray readers:

Binglad is a Waray term for palay (unhusked rice). The song talks about the impermanence of life: man is like palay spread out on a flat surface to dry in the sun. "Sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down" (Mahibawbaw, mahiilarum naman), says the song. If there is one important message that touches my heart -- it is of humility.

New Post:
Lyrics of Pikahi, Birahi, ngan Pakido-kido: A Waray Cha-Cha Song

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Introducing enGráy: Your English-Waray Translator


Finally, there's this machine translator called enGráy (short for English-Waráy) that translates Waray sentences to English and vice-versa. I was able to try it and I was happy with what I discovered: enGráy works like Google Translate. The good thing about enGráy is that it is specific to the Waray language --  something that Google Translate cannot do at present.

This machine translator was developed by Maureen Lyndel C. Lauron, a 19-year old Waray speaker from Brgy. Pagsulhugon, Babatngon, Leyte. Maureen graduated Cum Laude at Visayas State University, Baybay City, Leyte, Philippines where she finished BS in Computer Science.
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What to Expect at a Waray Social Gathering


Never attend a Waray gathering if you're not ready to perform the Kuratsa, a traditional Filipino dance of courtship. This is something that every Waray understands. Some even think that it is an insult if a visitor is not requested to dance the Kuratsa during a fiesta celebration or during a wedding.
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Lyrics of a Waray Song: Bahal Nga Tuba


I.
Sikat nga irimnon an bahal nga tuba
Kon pinapadisan kinilaw ngan sinugba
Higupan hin sabaw manok nga linaga
An imo pag-abat, natikarasa la.
Sige an hugada ngada hit kaaga
Kay haros ngatanan mag-aram manganta
Ngan magkarit liwat iton gitarista
Kay bisan natikwi, nakakakumpanya.
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Kinalasan Sa Baybay


Una ko pala pakabati sa "kinalasan" sa Baybay, kasabot ko nga pareho la siya sa "kinalasan" sa Waray. Diri ngay-an. (Cebuano an paglata sa Baybay.) DIRI NAANGAY -- mao ini an ako hunahuna pakabati ko sa kanra. Pananglitan:
Kinalasan ko sa amo nga mga magsuon. 
Kinalasan ko nga ning-abot.
Kinalasan ko nga ninghatag sa ako amot. 
Kinalasan ko nga contestant.

Diri pa gud ak sadto maupay mag-Cebuano sanglit mao ini an ako pagsabot:
Kinalasan ak sa am nga magburugto.
Kinalasan ak pag-abot ko. 
Kinalasan ak paghatag ko san ak amot.
Ako adto nga contestant nga kinalasan. 

Para sa ak, malain ko gud talaga sira pamatian. Pero naniguro ak nga masabtan ko kon nano an kanira karuyag sidngon. Nakuha ko gihapon kon gin-aanano nira. Nakakita ak san pattern ngan na-translate ko sira sin maupay. Malain la ngay-an siya (kinalasan) sadto pamation kay ako ginsasalakot an Cebuano ug an Waray samtang naniniguro ak nga masabtan iton nga mga sentence. Yadi an tama nga pag-translate:
Gimamanghuri ak sa am nga magburugto. 
Giuurhi-i ak nga inabot.
Giuurhi-i ak nga nag-amot. 
Giuurhi-i ak nga contestant.  

An kanira ngay-an kinalasan diri ngay-an an ato kinalasan nga nahingaratan. Kanira gindudurugtong an kina + "last" + an. Gintanggal la nira an "t" sa "last", yaon na sira dayon bag-o nga word = kinalasan.

Nano man kon sugad an kinalasan sa Baybay? Para igpakita nga waray na gud tipirdi o makakatupong, gin-ura-ura gud nira  an ideya sa pagka-urihi; sanglit, giuurhi-i sa mga urihi.

P.S.

Do you need an English translation for this blog post? Here's the English version for you.Best Blogger Tips

What is Kalamay Pa?

Kalamay from Bohol
According to a Wikipedia article: "Kalamay is a sticky sweet delicacy that is popular in many regions of the Philippines. It is made of coconut milk, brown sugar, and ground glutinous rice. It can be eaten alone but is usually used as a sweetener for a number of Filipino desserts and beverages."

There is also another kalamay that's popular among us, the Waray speakers of Northern Samar. To be exact, it's "Kalamay pa."   Our kalamay is different from the kalamay of Bohol. Whenever a Waray speaker says "Kalamay pa", it doesn't always mean "More kalamay, please."  Ours is neither tangible nor   edible. Ours is an expression that is used when one is exasperated, disappointed, hurt, or excited.

This is our version of kalamay:
Kalamay pa, kabuwaon mo. 
Oh please, you're such a liar.
Kalamay pa, karasa sini!           
Oh my gosh! This is so delicious!
Kalamay pa, late ka inabot.
Gosh, I can't believe you're late.
Kalamay pa, kabaltok mo.
I am so amazed at how smart you are.  
"Kalamay pa" has no exact English translation. I have no idea for how long our kalamay has been in existence. All I know is that, this kalamay is part of our everyday life; of our everyday language.

Kalamay pa, binabasa mo ini! (OMG, I can't believe you're reading this blog!)

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Philippineblogs.com is Down

Today, I'm paying tribute to one Filipino website that recently closed down. What could have been the possible reason/s for its exit from the world wide web? We probably will never know unless we hear from its webmasters. 

The site looked perfectly OK prior to its shutting down -- it had 687 backlinks according to Alexa and it had a Google PageRank of 4/10.


Philippineblogs.com was registered on January 14, 2011. Expiration date was January 14, 2013.  Meanwhile, this is what the website DomainTools says about its current status:
"Status: RENEWAL HOLD
Note: This Domain Name has expired. The status of this domain name is inactive. This domain name will be activated once it is renewed. The Owner of this domain can renew this domain name from their control panel. If this domain name is not renewed by 13-Feb-2013, it will be permanently deleted."




The demise of this site is a big loss for the Filipino bloggers. We lost one backlink from the site and at the same time we lost a directory of blogs/websites for the Filipinos. I will surely miss its homepage as well as its logo on my blog. 



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Waray Words that Start with the Letter K

Kahataas sini nga kahoy. (This tree is tall.)
Antipolo (Artocarpus blancoi)
kaalo
shame
kabutlaw (katanglay, N. Samar)
weariness; tiredness
kadarako
big
(may) kaditu-ditoan or (may) kadituy-ditoyan (N. Samar)
mentally unstable; psychologically sick
kagahusan
bold; unafraid; audacious
kagutiay (kaditoy, N. Samar)
small
kakuri 
difficult
kalo
hat
kamahal 
expensive
kamutangan
condition; circumstance; situation
kulang (N. Samar, stress on the second syllable)
toilet
For a more comprehensive list of Waray words, you may visit this blog's Waray dictionary.

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Waray Words that Start with the Letter A

"Aladaw" is a Waray word that functions as a transitional device, specifically, a subordinating conjunction.  It is used to introduce a subordinate clause and cannot stand on its own.  I guess there is no exact English translation for this word. "Instead" is the closest word that I can think of at this moment.

"Aladaw" may be dropped when a Waray sentence is translated into English. For example:
"Nagkikinaturog ka la; aladaw, panhugasi ito mga hugasan." 
"You just keep on taking a nap, why don't you do the dishes?"
--------------------------------------------------------------------
WARAY WORDS STARTING WITH "A" 
agap
early 
agwanta                
to suffer; to endure; to bear
Agwantaha.
Endure it.
angot
spinster
aprita
to force; to insist
areglado
well-planned; accomplished; fixed
arima
to get ready; to prepare
asa 
to rely; to depend
ataman
to take care
atubang
opposite; accross 
Atubanga. 
Face it./ Face him/her. 
Note: The "NG" in angot is pronounced like the "NG" in suffering.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
 Let's have another example:
"Ayaw pag-inayara im kwarta; aladaw, ibutang sa bangko."
"Don't hoard your money. Put it in the bank instead." 
or
 "Put your money in the bank instead of hoarding it."
A Waray subordinate clause that starts with "aladaw" cannot be placed in front of a main clause. Simply put, "aladaw" is usually never placed at the beginning of a sentence.

For a more comprehensive list of Waray words, you may visit this blog's Waray dictionary. Thanks! :-)


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Ready for Waray Tongue Twisters?

Try these:

Tongue Twister No.1

Sangkay mo, sangkay ko
Sangkay nga gisasangkayi
Sangkay mo, sangkay ko
Sangkay nga gisasangkayi
Sangkay mo, sangkay ko
Sangkay nga gisasangkayi
(Your friend, my friend
My very best friend)

Tongue Twister No. 2



Rapadapa nga girarapadapahi
Rapadapa nga girarapadapahi
Rapadapa nga girarapadapahi
Rapadapa nga girarapadapahi
(a real sole) 

Tongue Twister No. 3

Tarukitok nga gitarukituki
Tarukitok nga gitarukituki
Tarukitok nga gitarukituki
Tarukitok nga gitarukitoki.
(a real tarukitok)
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5 Things this Blog Accomplished in 2012

Warayblogger.com may be one of the more inactive blogs in the blogosphere, but it still managed to do five (5) great things in 2012.


This site got its domain name in January, 2012.  At the time, I wasn't sure if I would be able to keep up with the demands of maintaining a website.  I'm glad I made that decision because the act of shelling out a few dollars led to my utter dislike of failing as a part-time blogger. (It's great to have my own dot.com and I will hold on to it as long as I can.)

It finally got a 6-digit Alexa traffic rank (TR).  Initially, this site had a 27,000,000+  Alexa TR. Getting a 6-digit rank was, in other words, a very elusive dream for me. I read, studied, and visited every blog that talked about the Alexa TR. I did what other bloggers suggested and was soon giving tips on how to improve a blog's Alexa statistics. As of this writing, Warayblogger has a three-month global Alexa traffic  rank of  746,766. Elusive dream? Not anymore.




Got back the Google PageRank (PR) in May.  When this site's URL changed, it also lost its Google PR. Majority, if not all, of the webmasters worldwide at one point in time go gaga over Google PR. Some say that chasing this Google thing is like having your own Holy Grail quest. I don't think I'm up for this challenge; hence, I'll stop running after it. That green bar is enough to make me a happy blogger.

More blog posts were written this year.  I once read an article titled, "How to make your blog look old." It had such a compelling content (said blog is, however, unavailable at the moment) that I followed the blogger's advice -- I reviewed my blog and  wrote some posts for those months where I had no entries.  For example, the Waray dictionary can be found in last year's archive. It was, in reality, written in April, 2012. I'm admitting it now: the blog posts that appear to be written about a year ago were actually written recently.

This blog is starting to be self-sufficient through its passive income. I may not have been your typical prolific blogger, but this blog was quietly doing something for itself.  As a result, I'll have funds for the domain renewal come January 30, 2013 which means I'll be able to continue serving those who come to this site searching for some information. Life is great, isn't it? There is hope for this site and I'm looking forward to bigger and better things ahead of me.











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