5-year-old Nephew: Chan-chan, hindi na malamig ang ice tea.
3-year-old Nephew: (Touches glass) Tingin. Tingin.
5-year-old Nephew: Kumuha ka ng parisukat na yelo.
Me:(Overhears the exchanges): Ano'ng parisukat na yelo? (After a heartbeat) Ahh! Ice cube.
3-year-old Nephew: Sobrang dami, Tita. Kailangan konti lang. (This after I put all the cubes in the pitcher.)
Where do these kids get their vocabulary?
I don't remember using the word "parisukat" in daily conversation. And at age 5? Is that what they teach in school now? "Parisukat na yelo" instead of ice cubes?
Although, my 3-year-old nephew is not attending school yet, his vocabulary in Filipino will put to shame a lot of old folks. He says "paalam" instead of "goodbye;" "kailangan ko iyan," instead of "gusto ko 'yan."
Most Filipino parents and aunts and uncles are proud if the kids in the house speak English. They have them flaunt it in the mall, in the park, in PUVs, in terminals, wherever.
In our case, we're awed that the kids have a penchant for using the native tongue.
But they can have a really, really sharp tongue. One day from work, I asked my mother for a glass of water, please. And the older nephew butt in, "Tita, Jollibee ba 'to? Bakit humihingi ka ng tubig kay Nanay, pwede naman ikaw ang kumuha?"
OUCH! I swear I could have killed the insolent little devil.