Sometimes Edgie would found himself joining local folks harvesting native coffee beans or in a group of manunuksi (abaca strips harvester) trying hard to peel lapnis (strips pulled from the bark of abaca) using the tuksi, a thin curve bladed tool used in peeling strips of abaca fiber. The bundle of lapnis are later brought to the makina nga birahan sa lanot, a machine-operated hemp processor where a skilled worker would insert pieces of lapnis and pulled the hemp out with the help of a powerful rotating shaft. Edgie was too young to do the pulling that somebody else would do that for him. Producing lanot (abaca hemp) then was a pivotal economic factor to the highlanders and it was a major source of earning money in the mountain.
From the mountain, they had to walk their way to the lowland for almost one day with several episodes of heavy panting or catching of one’s breath in going up and down the mountainous terrain with sack of root crops or rice grains carried on the head and shoulders.
Part of the money he and her mother earned, Edgie would buy a ream of mimeographing paper, the brown and cheap kind of bond paper, which he used in taking notes and writing something about his research. Half of the ream was folded into halves and bound to look like a thick book and used it as his notebook in school.
|Sample pages of Edgie's notebook in high school. The notebook is made of folded mimeographing paper he bound to look like a book. The page above is about his early studies on camera setting in photography. Below, are some of his notes.|
|Some of the illustrations drawn by Edgie in his notebook.|
When it was time to harvest coconuts, this young guy would join his parents in gathering coconut fruits and helped the mangungopras (copra maker) split the coco fruits with an ax, as well as in prying the nuts using the lugit, the tool used in prying out copra from the shell of split coconut. The laborious process of making the kopras involves long hours of drying copra in the tap-anan, a copra dryer that uses heat and thick smoke from burning firewood. One has to bear the pang of smoke when it gets into your eyes and nostrils.
Years went by very fast. He finished high school without minding the kind of hardship he experienced in life. When college came, his uncle sent him to the Divine Word University (DWU) in Tacloban City. It was in college that Edgie pursued seriously his research on Visayan languages. Instead of wandering or hanging around with friends, he rather spent lots of his time in the Filipiniana Section of the DWU Library. He became a bookworm, browsing books, magazines and other publications searching all sorts of information useful to his project till the library would close at night.
On weekends, after doing routine house chores and errands for the family who helped him sent to college, he would take the big Oxford dictionaries from the study room of his uncle and continued with his research.
|The would-be-lexicographer does research whatever light is available. This one was during his stay in his uncle's house in V&G Subdivision in Tacloban City from 1986 to 1991.|
Years later, he became the data encoder in the branch office of a big insurance company where he had his first chance of using computer in documenting his research and other linguistic studies. His earnest desire to know the basic of computer programming, though short of resources, urged him to resort to self-help by reading any available reference in the campus library and asking friends in the computer laboratory of DWU. When Edgie tried to fix the Word Star Processor of their office computer, he accidentally uncovered the source code of the Word Star application (the grandfather of MS word) that led him in deciphering the logic of programming language of the erstwhile Word Star word processor.
|Edgie's study table and mini-library at home in Makati City. The shelves are filled with his collection of different kinds of dictionaries.|
It took him long to fully understand what he needed to know about computer programming as this young man could not afford yet then the cost of going back to school. It was in 2004 that Edgie was able to write and design his first software application for the Edgie Polistico's Cebuano-English Dictionary. When savings permitted him to go back in college, he set aside money and studied computer system programming and design at AMA computer learning center in Makati City and in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
Sustaining the project is taxing lots of time, quite expensive, and Edgie got nothing in return. It was all about pain of keeping awake till past midnight and deprivation of enjoying half of your life. But Edgie hates to pull his project off. Instead of quitting, he decided to rather share it for free. Keeping the project really needs lots of help. But help did not come when needed most. With all what is still there in his resources, Edgie managed to pursue with the project and shared his updated dictionary for free.
It is funny to reminisce the ole days, realizing that the self-made lexicographer of this project could no longer go back to harvest and sell tangkong as the swamp where they used to grow had dried out long ago due to climate change and the river that supplied water to the pond had changed its course away leaving the pond dry now. Coffee trees in the mountain were fast disappearing a decade ago, while the abaca industry had long gone when mosaic and bunchy top viruses wiped out totally the abaca fields in the mountains of his hometown. The coconut trees back home are already too old to bear fruits, there maybe some good fruit-bearing trees left but the price of copra now is dirt cheap. He rather gave his shares to his dotting mother and for the benefits of his siblings' family back home where life is hard.
|The certificate of copyright registration and deposit in the The National Library in Manila.|
Generosity from the kindhearted people could have sustained the light that has long kindled the project - starting from Edgie's kerosene lamp way back home long long time ago.
|2001 - at home in Makati City|
|2007 - at home in Makati City|
|2012 to 2014 - at home in Taguig City|
Unfortunately, no single help came. Edgie had no other choice but to give up pursuing further research for the Edgie Polistico's Cebuano-English Dictionary. There was no more update about it for almost half a decade now. The downloadable software app of said dictionary that he personally designed and wrote the programming codes and uploaded online was no longer updated until the openly shared trial version (Ver. 2.8.75) finally expired in 2012.
Edgie shifted to another project. He pursued writing the Edgie Polistico's Philippine Food Cooking and Dining Dictionary in 2008 and posted online a sample of it. He updated the dictionary with more than ten times more entries, and completed the script in 2013 for its first publication with ANVIL publishing. The project would be Edgie's first printed book and by God's will.
Still hoping that help would come, Edgie re-opened his old project this September 2014 and resumed the research and now writing more entries for the Edgie Polistico's Cebuano-English Dictionary. He intends to share it now in printed book form, as well as in e-book publication. Future project is to design an app for use in smartphones and other smart gadgets.
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CLICK HERE on how else to help this project
- This is how I researched for my Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary
- A Dreamer Turned Achiever
- The evolutions of Pinoy sisig and my food dictionary
- Counting numbers and naming shapes in other local dialect is not that easy
- Ano bang panlasa ng Pinoy?
- Micky Fenix partly featured Edgie's dictionary in the Philippine Daily Inquirer
By God's will, the Philippine Food Cooking and Dining Dictionary (PFCDD) saw print in September 2016 and Anvil Publishing presented it to the public on the 37th Manila International Book Fair held at the SMX Convention Center Manila in the Mall of Asia (MOA) Complex of Pasay City last September 14 to 18, 2016. The book will be available soon in National Bookstores nationwide, and most likely in the Powerbooks too. Anvil will soon publish also the e-book version of PFCDD. By now, the book is available online via Anvil's website. CLICK HERE to get your copy now.