Sunday, May 27, 2007

Getting Lost With Names - Leyte

This topic started with this article

There is only one town and there is only one province in this country that sports the name Leyte - but that is where the confusion starts, so let's have a word or two about Leyte.

Have you heard about “Leyte-Leyte”? That is how locals actually refer to the town. As said above, there is only one such town named Leyte, and this is it. But being in the province of the same name (Region 8 – Eastern Visayas), the place makes my list. Leyte (town), is not the capital of Leyte (province). It is actually a bit obscured in terms of publicity. So, when you say "am going to Leyte", the sure next response of everyone would be "where in Leyte" as they'd be thinking you mean Leyte (the province). That is why, many locals call thier town "Leyte-Leyte".

Oops, the name “Leyte-Leyte” is pronounced by locals as one contiguous word of four syllables. Try the intonation and speed when you pronounce “mutilated”, "calculated” or “titillating”. That is how they pronounce it and I was corrected several times (as I would pronounce that as “Leyte”[pause]Leyte"!

This is that town where you cross a bridge to visit the island (now province) of Biliran. Interestingly, this town is not only a crossroad to Biliran or onwards to Ormoc. It is also a language crossroad. Yes indeed, people in this little town speak both Waray-waray and Cebuano! Coming from Tacloban, any town before Leyte-Leyte will be Waray speaking and anything after will be “kana” or Cebuano speaking. Similarly, all of Biliran has the bilingual tongue of Leyte-Leyte!

What is most fantastic is that they do not mix the two dialects (i.e., using waray words and cebuano words in their sentences) like people would in Madridejos where their dialect is a mixture of borrowed words from Ilonggo, Cebuano and Waray dialects. In Leyte-Leyte, if one speaks Cebuano, it is a straight one just like how one would speak in Cebu or Ormoc. But if he speaks Waray, it is also straight as anyone in Tacloban would speak. BUT they all know how to speak straight Waray and straight Cebuano! Interesting!

One thing more... I think this town is one of the most fitting examples of 'beautifully green'. Most of their streets are lined with tall straight trees obviously planted sometime ago for a purpose - to make the place green and beautiful.


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