Do you believe in Balis?08:53 PM Thursday November 28, 2019 |

I often hear this word while growing up in Rizal. Balis. Whenever a person starts feeling faint, people are quick to diagnose “baka na balis”. When someone suffers diarrhea, the first conclusion devoid of any medical examination is “nabalis ka”.

Namumutla, nahihilo, nagsusuka, nagtatae—- “balis yan”.

And what is balis? Eto yung when you greet someone that you are not aware of is starving, hungry or if someone who has an upset or empty stomach says hi to you, then your body will react negatively. If you have an empty stomach, and you unknowingly interacted with someone even briefly, your body could get sick. You will have an upset stomach– suka at tae. And same with the other person if he/she is gutom. To prevent this from happening, the person must put his laway on your sikmura (stomach) to counter the ill effects of balis.

If you are sick and consults an albularyo, he will surely diagnose you as either nakulam or suffering from BALIS. Balis is of a lesser degree and is not intentionally meant to harm you and his prescription will be to put his laway on your stomach.

Provincial folks also attribute it to balis when a baby or toddler keeps crying and couldn’t sleep, or hinahangin ang tyan, or kinakabagan. Di ba when we see babies our tendency is to touch the hand or feet and say “ang cute-cute naman”. If you do that and you have an empty stomach, the baby will get sick. So to prevent that, you have to put a little bit of your laway on the baby’s tummy. Listerine helps. Make sure your mouth is clean of bacteria otherwise the more the baby might get sick. Baka matetano.

November 25, 2019
I saw an ice candy vendor passing by. I called him not because I wanted to eat ice candy but mainly to help him in his micro business. My parents had a medium-sized ice candy factory in the 60s and they had dozens of ambulant vendors who either pushed or carried on their backs big insulated boxes around town to make a decent living. So whenever I see ice candy vendors around, 99% of the time, I will stop to buy. Since I can only eat one or two, I give to whoever is around us even if they are only passing strangers.

Ice Candy vendor, balis

I bought six pieces of ice candy. I saw some people across the street looking at us while they were waiting for the firetruck to ration water to them. I asked the ice candy vendor to cross the street and give them ice candy too in different flavors— mango, monggo, ube, cheese, chocolate.

waiting for water ration
His name is Sixto and with his daily income he provides for his wife and three children. Everyday his sales target is 150 pieces or to earn P500 at least. He buys the ice candy for P6 and sells them for P10 each. His additional operating expense is the dry ice.

Before he left, he approached me.
Sixto—-“Madam, naniniwala po ba kayo sa balis?”
Me——-“Hmmmm..”
Sixto—-“Gutom ho kasi ako, wala pong laman ang sikmura ko, ay baka mabalis ko kayo. Lalawayan ko ho ang sikmura nyo. Hindi pa ako kumakain simula kaninang umaga”.
Me——-“Ahh, huwag na. Busog naman ako, busug na busog.”
Sixto—-“Ay sige po, gusto ko laang malaman nyo at baka kayo ay magsuka at tae.”


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