Tuesday, January 27, 2009


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?


  1. this is funny ma'am yen. =D memories.

    my mom used to say that i shouldn't act like someone "de merloquet". meaning (ignorant) people from the mountains.

    and RB Bandiola used to say "de merloquet ba 'yo" whenever he can't relate to some of the techie things we used to talk about. LOL

  2. ram, it is, no?

    emillene, that is exactly what i mean. de zamboanga gane gayot etu.

  3. syet. that last sentence to emillene makes me cringe. i really hate to hear and read myself in chavacano.

  4. "i really hate to hear and read myself in chavacano."

    hahaha, why?

    Funny how I converse with mom in English and Ilonggo, dad, sisters, friends and work in english then when I’m home in zamboanga visiting our farm in Cabaluay I totally transform into someone from the boondocks “daw de alya alya gayot” haha ok this is pretty embarrassing, I even said “ no ya tu man problema anda na pueblo cay yo ya bahala man HATUT contigo” hahaha HATUT instead of HATUD…ugh

  5. buddha, a mug i wanted to buy last month at pueblo had the warning "slide damage" handwritten on the tag.

    baka de tukbungan el ya escribi. or, for that matter, de omerloket.

    i bet non-zamboanguenos would have a hard time figuring that kind of damage out.

  6. hahahahahahaha what the hell..where at? El Barato?

    Baka de tuktukalaw ahaha

  7. big v's department store. it's a new one. i think owned by the verars that also own the mag v and marcian hotel. it is between oro wonder drug and the fire station.

  8. Oh, I like that place. It's Karinas favorite shopping place haha

  9. hi ate yen... ara lng yo ste ya pwed le.. enchanted gayot el picture nu.. thanks ate!


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