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BATANG MINDANAW: Puhon

batang mindanaw column mindaviews

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 02 February) – Puhon. In this day and age, this word carries more meaning than ever. We utter it, believing in it. At times, in casual conversations, we say it first; other times, we say it last — to express hope, to believe that our wishful thinking will happen by God’s will.

Speaking of the word “puhon,” I liked very much Karl M. Gaspar CSSR’s article, “A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: Looking Forward to 2020 and Beyond, Puhon!” published on December 31, 2019, in MindaNews. Despite the years that have passed since its publication, the insightful messages it contains remain applauded for me.

Interestingly, I first read his article sometime in 2023, and I thought to myself that puhon (someday) I would also write my own article solely focusing on the word “puhon”. Isn’t it amazing that I write this essay now?

According to Gaspar, the word “puhon” can only be understood well “within the context of being part of a specific ethnolinguistic community,” including Mindanao. And yeah, anyone from Mindanao can relate to this word well, since it is commonly used here in various contexts. 

Puhon, mu-graduate ko sa college.”(Someday, I will graduate from college.)

“Ma-kwartahan ko. Puhon!” (I will get rich. Hopefully!)

With “puhon”, you will definitely feel motivated and go the extra mile, hoping for the best for yourself. Also, a “puhon” offers you the opportunity to rekindle and pursue your old dreams, reconnecting with how they were shaped.

With “puhon,” you can brighten up the mood of people and may be able to empathize with their losses and wins. With “puhon,” you will discover that it is also nice when you have dreams not just for yourself but for the country as well, to make it a better place. 

Undeniably, many local words are causing fire in one’s belly and are consistently thriving because of frequent use by speakers, and that includes the word “puhon,” alongside the word “padayon,” which is something close to my heart as I was able to have an article titled here (“BATANG MINDANAW: Padayon,” MindaViews, 2/26/23).

As they say, words can make or break you, but for me, I would love to cherish words that can make us, especially when they are worth reading or hearing, such as the word “padayon” and “puhon”.

Now more than ever, Padayon! And may we achieve all our dreams. Puhon!

(Jhon Steven C. Espenido, 23, is from Surigao City. He is an AB English Language student at Surigao del Norte State University.)

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