Nuno sa Puso by Bebang Siy
by Sarah Bulalacao Grutas
In Philippine mythology, the Nuno sa Punso is a grumpy small creature with long beard living inside an anthill. The Nuno is easy to anger and will curse anyone who trespasses or destroys his (or her; sources say the nuno is male but I’d like to think otherwise, after all there are women who are also grumpy, small, and with facial hair!) mound. Nuno actually comes from the word ninuno or ancestor. The belief that dead grandparents come back as dwarf-like beings is essentially rooted in the animistic tradition of pre-colonial Philippines.
Bebang Siy is neither dead nor small but in her twin-book project titled Nuno sa Puso, she takes on the role of a person who’s lived a long, full life – like the strict but loving lola who always reminded you that “papunta ka pa lang, pabalik na siya”. The books are a compendium of letters of advice on love and relationship from Siy’s old column in a local newspaper in Cavite.
Siy’s combined wit and sarcasm make Nuno sa Puso an easy, enjoyable read. The pieces of advice are neither patronizing nor unrealistic. Reading Siy is like talking to the smart-ass old lady who owns a sari-sari store at the kanto near your house, who knows all the tsismis in your street, and who says leche ka a lot. You love her or you hate her because she tells it the way she likes it, frank and fair. If you come to ask her what you can do so your girlfriend does not find out that you’re seeing another girl, like this letter-sender in her book, don’t expect her to tell you that it’s all about insecurity or masculine over-compensation and to sing kumbaya or do yoga to get rid of all the nega-two-timing juice in your body (like what most Life Advice Books would say, which I think are way worse than a Paulo Coelho novel, but I digress), boy, you’re in the wrong sari-sari store. Instead, expect her to say “leche ka, ang libog mo”; and then she’ll put a curse on you, or your butt crack to have warts so itchy it will be embarrassing to scratch it in public. Yep, sounds very much like a nuno to me!
Sometimes grumpy but almost always affectionate, Bebang’s Nuno sa Puso is perfect for when you need a pep talk – not the Chicken Soup kind but the Bangketa Mami kind – or for when you just need to laugh your heart out. She gets you and she knows how to cheer you up. She’s got the long (facial) hair to tickle you with, after all.
Ni-repost dito nang permiso mula kay Bb. Grutas. Narito ang orihinal na link:
Maraming salamat, Sarah. Isang karangalan ang ma-review mo, 'te!
Here's to more works from us!