when you did something particularly jologs (though the word didn't enter my lexicon until i started teaching college students), the neighborhood kids in my particular purok of baranggay san roque, zamboanga city had a vile label for you: "de omerloket".
i didn't know what, where, who "de omerloket" was. i was a snotty kid just arrived from the even more provincial hinunangan, southern leyte, frustrated in my struggle to always remember that "ojas" was leaf and "ojos" meant eyes, and keeping the bile down when new friends suggested we cook "atole" because that just meant congee and will not require us to pool our ear waxes in an empty can of alpine and cook it over dead banana leaves.
i eventually learned what "de omerloket" implied. it roughly translates into "from a place called Omerloket." it further implied that the inhabitants of this mythical place were ignorant, hick, uncouth, awkwardly simple, maybe even...dumb.
so if you are from omerloket (de omerloket), you are all of those things i just said.
so we avoided doing anything that would merit the label. thus my ongoing quest for coolness started.
so i was dumbstruck when 30 or so years later, a friend of a friend tells me Omerloket does exists. Its an interior baranggay near Vitali. and it's name is more sophisticated than our childhood phonetic spelling: its actually Merloquet. see, it even sounds faintly French. and the inhabitants, they apparently wear clothes. some even have cellphones. imagine that.
now, it's famous (in fairness to me, not THAT famous) for its waterfalls:
the people you see crouching on the stones are not cave men, they are mountaineers from the lowlands. among them, i think, is the friend of my friend who is now my friend too. her name is suzette. this photo was taken by her co-mountaineer.
if someone calls me "de omerloket" now, i wouldn't mind. with this in your backyard, who would?