In the light of all the name calling of people reacting to early election results (with Grace Poe and Nancy Binay in top 12), I’d like to share how I’ve learned to use the word “bobo”.

We’ve heard the word “bobo” since we were kids, maybe some of us even heard it from our parents or teachers. It probably dates back to the time of our conquistadors, calling us “bobo” or “indio” to keep us subordinate and make us feel unworthy.

I’ve learned a powerful reframe of “bobo”. Let me share this story.

Walang bobo

I was fitting my barong at SM Makati a week before my wedding. Right outside the cubicle was a seamstress and her friend.

I overheared the seamstress telling her friend with much conviction: “Bobo kasi ako, eh.”

I don’t know really what they were talking about. But after she repeated her “Bobo” declaration, I just couldn’t resist, I blurted out from the anonymity of my cubicle: “Sino’ng bobo? Sino ang nagsabi?”

They ladies laughed when they realized somebody could hear their conversation. When I came out of the cubicle, and in my dashing barong tagalog too, I looked at the seamstress straight in the eye and asked her: “Sino’ng bobo?”

She replied with a confident smile and with conviction: “Ako po.”

I told her in a reassuring voice: “Hindi ka bobo. Iba lang ang iyong talino.”

I continued: “Kaya ka nagta-trabaho dito dahil mayroon kang angking talino. Tulad ng pag-gamit ng sewing machine, ako hindi ako marunong niyan, ikaw matalino ka diyan. At may halaga ang ginagawa mo, kaya ka binibigyan ng sahod dahil sa talino mo sa sewing machine.”

The seamstress was a bit embarrassed with my correction, but she flashed a glowing smile and told her friend: “Oo nga, ‘no? Si sir talaga.” (I almost heard her say “Si Ser Chief talaga!”)

A few days later, I returned to the same fitting room and there she was again, the seamstress. When she saw me, she greeted me with a smile and told me: “Sir! Hindi po ako bobo! Iba lang ang aking talino!”

Walang bobo. Iba lang ang kanilang talino. "In Smokey Mountain, Tondo, a man uses a refrigerator door as his boat and pieces of plywood as his oars to gather plastic on a fetid river, which he would later sell to junk shops." Photo via: www.bulatlat.com
Walang bobo. Iba lang ang kanilang talino. “In Smokey Mountain, Tondo, a man uses a refrigerator door as his boat and pieces of plywood as his oars to gather plastic on a fetid river, which he would later sell to junk shops.” Photo via: www.bulatlat.com

Stop calling people “bobo”.
Have enough self-respect to respect other people’s innate talent, intelligence and worth.

Walang bobo. Iba lang ang kanilang talino. ;-)
For this powerful reframe, I’d like to thank my friend and mentor, Carelle Mangaliag

1-2-3 clap! “At your service!”

edWIN

Photo credit: Garbage Collector via www.bulatlat.com

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