By Karen Flores, abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines - Fair-skinned and well-groomed Bern Josep Persia may be the new face of the gay-speaking community, being the self-proclaimed bekimon president in the country. A photographer and a tech support representative, Persia plays different roles (from a call center agent to a newscaster) in a series of videos about bekimons, defined as people who are "hard-core users" of gay language -- whether they are homosexuals or not. Most of the terms that bekimons commonly use are alterations of basic Filipino and English words such as workibells (work), kalurkey (kaloka or crazy), teh (ate or sister), anekwaboom (ano or what) and heller (hello). Others are totally unique -- from the popular jowa (spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend) to names of showbiz figures such as Carmi Martin (a term used to refer to karma). The term bekimon (beki is a colloquial word for "gay") took off from the growing popularity of the jejemon subculture, which refers to those who deliberately exaggerate ordinary words by adding or subtracting letters, or by using a mixture of upper-case and lower-case letters, in written communication. On Monday, jejemon was chosen as Salita ng Taon (Word of the Year) in the Sawikaan 2010, an academic conference organized by the Filipinas Institute of Translation Inc.
Bekimons may not be as talked-about as jejemons yet, but it can't be denied that the new term is starting to create a buzz in the online community. The Bekimon Facebook page, for one, is slowly gaining fans at more than 2,500, with comments flooding the site each day. On top of these are a number of news articles as well as several discussions about the new subculture in social networks, blogs and online fora. Persia's YouTube page, which is home to over 40 bekimon videos, is said to be the 85th most viewed channel under the Comedians category last month. The future of bekimons
Gay lingo has been prevalent...