Monday, September 25, 2006


In the early part of this year, a big fuss was generated by a school principal in Canada who castigated a Filipino boy for eating with a spoon and fork. The principal insinuated that eating with both spoon and fork was uncultured as compared to the expectation of eating with a fork and knife.

Much has already been said about the arrogance if not ignorance of this hateful school principal, and I will not add anything more except to say that I would probably have kicked him in the balls and shown him how really uncultured I can be.

I bring this up because as I was musing over this topic, I suddenly froze in my seat ... a wave of warmth building up in my ears. I thought to myself .... “ohhhh no – if they think that a spoon is uncultured ...wait till they find out about the “tabo”.

It has often been said that you know that you are Filipino if you have a tabo in your bathroom. Don’t deny ... you know you have one in each bathroom even if you already have a shower installed. Some of you even pack one when you travel ...

Tabo (Eng. – "dipper") is an all-powerful, ever-useful, hygienically-triumphant device to scoop water out of a bucket. It allows us to take a bath ala buhos-buhos or tabo-tabo , and also to be refreshed after toilet activities ala washy-washy. It addresses the issue of water shortage, and does away with the concern about cutting so many trees to make paper. It is an environmentally friendly concept that is pure Filipino genius.

The beauty about the tabo is that it is a functional concept rather than a specific design. So that it can take any form from coconut shell to the most common plastic dipper with a handle now used by most Pinoys. I have friends who when faced with the challenge of how to “tabo” when abroad – have converted flower vases, pitchers, coffee mugs, soft drink cans, and empty cheeezcurl containers into their “magical tabo”.

The ancient Greeks looked at the stars and saw a Big Dipper and a Small Dipper - constellations that have inspired the imagination of man.

Tabo lang yun ....madaming Pinoy sa langit.
Pati dun nagsi-migrate na - makalayas lang ...


Mercie said...

Amen to this.

Pero dito sa America, "goodbye tabo" na kami. We import container loads of the bidet. The Filipinos here still like to wash,unlike the Caucasions who only "nas-pu", we like the feel of water. Feeling malinis, wala nang "kling-ons"! Eeeee, kadiri!

Hey, Ernie, si Connie pala ang iyong trulili, ha. Let's talk some more about this. How about this November. I'd like to see you then, huwag kang aalis.