Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Repost From Alexander Villafania Of Yahoo! Southeast Asia

Meet bekimon, jejemon’s new friend

By Yahoo! Southeast Asia Editors – July 30th, 2010
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By Alexander Villafania,

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA — Wititit, Carmi Martin, noselift, anekwabum. Say these to a “bekimon” and he’ll translate these to “no,” “karma,” “I know,” and “whatever.”

Social gay groups have taken the cue from the growing ubiquity of the jejemon phenomena, this time adapting the word “bekimon.”

Most terms in “bekimon” are in fact from the original gay lingo that has been popular for years. However, the fast evolution of gay lingo has led to the creation of many new terms or expansions of existing ones.

During the recent Sawikaan 2010 forum on Filipino communication, University of the Philippines Diliman Linguistics Department Chair Jesus Federico Hernandez said the identification of gay lingo as “bekimon” coincides with the use of “jejemon,” a new communication method that changes the way words are spelled in short messaging service (SMS) and is very popular among certain types of heavy mobile phone users.

Hernandez showed a video to exemplify how “bekimon” language is spoken. The character in the video is clearly speaking in gay lingo and little is understandable in typical Filipino. The video is available on Youtube, along with subtitles translating what the character is saying.

Hernandez explained that gay lingo uses a variety of techniques to create unique new words out of basic Filipino. For example, “tao” (person) becomes “bo-o.” “Asawa” (spouse) becomes “jowa” or “kyowa.”

Sometimes, proper nouns are used to become verbs of adjectives, such as the actress Carmi Martin being used to describe karma. Another actress’s name, Rita Avila, is said to describe a person’s irritation.

But beyond the social reputation and acceptance of “bekimon”, particularly among the urban residents, Hernandez said gay lingo was developed primarily as a tool for gays to communicate their ideas with each other.

A secondary purpose for the creation of gay lingo is a weapon against the religious and social bias against the gay populace; by creating a new method of communication, gays are alienating the rest of society that has persecuted them for so long.

Nevertheless, Hernandez said that the more liberal minded people have started to accept gay lingo for their own purposes, sometimes overtly or unintentionally. In fact, several teachers who attended the the forum shared their experiences with their elementary and high school students. The teachers themselves have started to pick up certain “bekimon” words, incorporating it in their own messages.

Jovy Peregrino, director of the UP Diliman Sentro ng Wikang Filipino, said that the amazing part of “bekimon” is dynamism in enhancing communication among people. While he still believes that learning in school still requires more formal language, the use of “bekimon” should not be restricted.

“I still believe that context is important when using “bekimon.” Teachers and students would be familiar when to use such languages,” Peregrino said.

Amid the academic discussions on “bekimon,” the adaption of the term is already starting to expand online. A Facebook account on “bekimon” has been opened and now has at least 1,700 fans.

Incidentally, the gay and lesbian website Pinoy LGBT cites that the term bekimon was allegedly coined by Bern Josep Persia, the character in video the video that Hernandez showed. is a website owned and operated by Filquest Media Concepts, Inc. It works under the principle of giving voice to the voiceless, subjects not covered by traditional media because of their mad rush for scoops, topics, personalities and issues that sell publications, advertising space or airtime. To do this, the team produces stories, video, photos and other multimedia content types fit for the new media audience.

Reposted From Alexander Villafania Of Yahoo! Southeast Asia

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