Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wikipedia, Google Define, and other web sites and blogs made Edgie Polistico's Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary their reference

Edgie keeps on setting footprints throughout the countryside and in Metro Manila.

Check this link:
Wikipedia picked an entry from my food dictionary.

Google Define also made a reference to Pinoy Dictionary Today in defining balut sa puti. made Edgie's dictionary a reference for escabeche

appreciate and they made a link back to my original post.

 My coffee mug. It's too expensive to be a coffee addict.

Click here to visit Edgie Polistico's Philippine Food and Cooking Dictionary
Click here to try the illustrated version of the same dictionary

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Reminiscing the moments gone by.

It has been two and a half decades ago when Edgie started compiling and re-writing his dictionaries. He was 14 years old, a second year high school student in his hometown, Inopacan. At that time, this quiet coastal town in the western part of Leyte had not seen yet the light and power of electricity. Edgie used lampara (kerosene lamp) at night to light his small room where he spent time browsing through his notes, some old books, and a worn out copy of Webster dictionary of his Lolo Tolong.

To sustain the light, he had to sell tangkong (swamp cabbage or water spinach, a vine that is often used as fodder for pigs) so this guy could buy kerosene with the money he earned from selling tangkong. With his father's old and rusty bicycle, Edgie would peddle tangkong around town or deliver the bundled harvested vines directly to Aling Suling, an old lady who owned a sari-sari store (variety store) in the town proper. Aling Suling was his suki (usual buyer) in the market.

The kind of tangkong vines ( Ipomoea aquatica) that Edgie used to harvest back home.

When it was time to harvest abaca in the mountain, he would join his mother in going up to a remote barangay in the mountain to sell bread, dried fish, tinabal, inun-onang mangko, salt and other commodities in quantity enough for them to carry around the villages. 

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.

The cover is now worn out  by time. He handed the notebook down to his younger siblings when they attained high school as reference for their studies. Their friends borrowed it also for reference. Due to mishandling, most of the pages were torn. Some borrowers vandalized the pages to Edgie's regret.
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.

He got his first job at the Provincial Capitol of Leyte as the personal secretary of his uncle who was then elected Provincial Board Member of Leyte. With his first salary, Edgie bought his first dictionary, a pocket Collins Gems English Dictionary.

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.
After a decade and a half, here we are now in the internet. Here, Edgie continually shares what he gathered, learned and produced from his years of researches. He could have gone far better with this project if he only had all the resources he needed in pursuing it.

With the present economic situation and scarcity of financial resources, it is really hard for Edgie to pretend that he can still afford to cope up with the rising cost of pursuing this project. Edgie needs help. He appealed for support and solicited financial assistance or any kind of help. No matter how small, help was badly needed to push and sustain the project

The Edgie Polistico's Cebuano-English Dictionary in CD. Hundreds of copies had been given away for free wherever Edgie goes in the Visayas and Mindanao. You can download sample copies of the dictionary via this link:

The high costs of conducting research, travels, and the operational cost of documentation and writing, as well as the cost in the production and distribution of free CD copies, greatly hindered the operation of making and giving away copies and updates, particularly in the provincial areas where online access is not yet accessible.

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
Edgie spends most of his days at home writing his dictionaries. A passion he found about  three decades ago

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.

Finally, the Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary (PFCDD) was published by ANVIL Publishing in 2016. Though the first prints did not have any formal launching, it was by bit of luck that the book earned prestigious recognitions abroad and in the Philippines. Edgie's first book, the PFCDD, was chosen among "World Best Culinary Books" in the international 22nd Gourmand Book Awards in Yangtai, China. The book also won "Best Book On Food" in the 36th National Book Awards in 2017.

Receiving the NBDB and MCC's 36th National Book Awards award. From left to right are: Dean Francis Alfar, Master of Ceremonies; Ruel S. De Vera, member of National Book Development Board (NBDB) Governing Board, and member of Manila Critics Circle; Edgie Polistico; Ani V. HabĂșlan of Anvil Publishing; and Jerry G. Tizon, Executive Director of NBDB.

Still hoping that help would come, Edgie will re-open his old project, to resume the research and writing of more entries for the Edgie Polistico's Cebuano-English DictionaryHe long desired that this dictionary will see print too and be available for online distribution for wider reach around the world. He envisioned of pursuing future project of designing an app for use in smartphones and other smart gadgets for everyone's convenience.

Are you interested to help?

Spread the word. 

Mabuhi ka !

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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. Eventually, the book is available now online through and from the ANVIL Publishing's website,  CLICK HERE to get your copy now.

Click here to visit Edgie Polistico's Philippine Food and Cooking Dictionary
Click here to try the illustrated version of the same dictionary
Click here to download sample pages of Edgie Polistico's Cebuano-English Dictionary (book version copy)


Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary (Open & Free)

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Author of Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary. A lexicographer since the age of 14.  Filipino Linguist. Blogger with 11 blog sites. Researcher of food culture, pop culture, places, structures, transportations, churches and whatever interest him about the Philippines. Visual artist. Photographer. Traveler who had been to all four corners of the Philippine archipelago, and still setting more footprints. 

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  • any amount with your Pay Pal or card.

Your contribution will help fund Edgie Polistico's research and development of Pinoy dictionaries. More discoveries, information, and knowledge will be shared to you and to others because of your generosity. Thank you for giving.

CLICK HERE on how else to help this project