NICOLAS, Paulo Luiz M.
Throughout the generation, one can already make a separate dictionary for the great number of Filipino slang terms created. However one term can definitely catch one’s attention, which is exactly what the term’s meaning is. Have you ever been in a situation where a person has been called epal? What exactly is being epal? Urban Dictionary defines it as ‘a person who goes into a situation wherein his presence is not needed or in a place he does not belong’. The term epal has been derived from the word ‘pumapapel’ or ‘mapapel’ which means someone who intervenes with affairs of others or impedes with the concerns of a group with no relation to him with the intention of trying to become the center of attention. It can be inferred that it is an example of salitang kalye or balbal in Filipino language and has an unclear etymology. Although unclear is its roots, epal is similar to other Filipino slang terms and it is certain that there is a catalyst for these words to be created. Hence, it is not only about using epal as either an insult or a label because it is also an element of language variation. Relevantly, slang terms are codes or “mechanisms” that reflect social awareness or circumstances happening around an individual (Newsome, n.d.) The term can be traced to the culture of the Philippines. Knowing that it is part of our language and culture, it is ought to be elaborated for it allows the discovery of the pattern of formation of words like it and what it has to do with our identity. This one word could even identify the image of Filipino society in the micro-level. The term epal is a proof of the diversity of the Filipino language because of its connotation in the past and present, impact to society and contrasting themes with other similar terms in the Philippines. On account of being a mainstream negative label for someone, the attribute of epal has extended to the usage in the social and political dimension. There are hundreds of situations one can recognize someone as epal. In the social scene, media might use epal as an interesting element in a show. One can imagine a girl with her quickly beating heart, and blushing cheeks that seem like roses blossoming and sparkling eyes hidden and focused on the ground to avert the eyes directed toward her. In an inconspicuous location after school hours, she called this boy full of determination but now it was as though her courage was being drained from her. Presently, she is standing before the man of her dreams and is ready to confess her overflowing emotion. Both are anxious of their presence and what is about to happen. Beginning to explain, she spoke to the boy in a soft-spoken yet determined voice. As soon as she was about to confess her pure and deep love, the whole atmosphere is ruined and the mood is after a teacher appeared. The romance between the princess and the prince is destroyed by the dragon and to what they thought was going to be their happy ending, it ended painfully before it even began. An epal is a person who intervenes with people or thwarts plans. In a political scene, again one can imagine a person walking down the street, and he sees posters everywhere of incompetent politicians declaring their vow to the progress of this country. It was the same vow they made during the previous campaign period where they won, and currently their promises are insubstantial. Completely infuriated by this, he goes home and tries to ease his mind so he turned the television on to watch his favourite show. Giggles and tears were expressed; the person was concentrated veritably on the show for the storyline was reaching its climax. Then, the epal struck once more; a campaign advertisement showed the same shameless politician, who pretended to help the adults and children by giving them goods and smiles at a populated squatter area. At such a premature period, he was already campaigning and promoting his kupal side. An epal...
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