“Salbahes nga pikoy, salbahes nga pikoy,
nga waray batasan.”
— Samarnon song
In English, it goes, roughly, like this:
“You heartless pikoy, you heartless pikoy,
you are so ill-mannered.”
I remember this song now, for some reason.
I first heard it back in November
when I attended a writing workshop in Samar.
It was played in the background a few times during lunch
and then a few more times during dinner.
I asked myself then, and I ask myself now,
Why is the “pikoy” so heartless? Is it capable
of behaving otherwise? And why is it, moreover, also ill-mannered?
Is it capable of observing social etiquette?
What has it done to deserve the poor singer’s
(who happened to be male) censure
and compelled him to write a song about his displeasure?
But more importantly, what on earth
is a “pikoy”? To someone whose mother
is an Ilocana, “pikoy” sounds positively obscene.
I think about this and I think about the song.
And I think about the “pikoy”, whatever it is,
as I lie on my back waiting for sleep to come.