Something else. I’ve been trying to find its English equivalent but failed. It’s close to flirting but without the sexual connotation. It shares shades of meaning with courting but is less formal and doesn’t mean that the person wants to go steady with the object of the iring-iring.
My kumpare and colleague Myke Obenieta says there isn’t an equivalent English word for iring-iring. Myke will launch his book “Iring-iring sa tingbitay sa iro” on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. in Kahayag Cafe.
Now, tingbitay sa iro is a curious phrase. It literally means “the time to hang dogs.” It means hard times. Cebuanos now just say “tingbitay” to describe hard times. I suspect, and Myke says this is the case, that Cebuanos of old slaughtered their dogs for food during hard times. Maybe they hang the dogs to kill them or to prepare the meat for cooking, I don’t know.
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I love Umberto Eco‘s Foucault’s Pendulum. I’ve re-read it five times. I’ve been meaning to read it again and relive how Belbo, Causubon and Diotallevi spun a tale of global conspiracy to hide the Knights Templars’ closely guarded secret – a source of tremendous power.
The urge to re-read the book came with the approach of the anniversary of the Martial Law declaration. I asked myself: what if I’ve been of the right age during Martial Law? Would I have had the courage to fight the dictatorship? I then thought to myself that I was behaving like Belbo – who was tortured by a similar question. He kept asking himself, had he been of the right age during the war, would he have sided with the fascists or the rebels?
Deadlines and other concerns pushed my mental note to re-read the book out of my mind until I saw this posted near our office:
I have to re-read the book again. Eco uses words like metempsychosis, for help here’s a concordance of the words from the book.