My brother who is seventeen years old lives with me in a small apartment in Davao city, Philippines. I am much older than him and I am his guardian. I have had the task of bringing up my kid brother, since he is still considered a minor. Our native language is Tagalog. When he was smaller, he was very stubborn and his favorite word was “No”! In Tagalog, we use the word “hindi” when we wish to say “no” and we use the word “Oo” which means “yes”.
I have taken it upon myself to be strict with my brother because he likes Buy Barong Tagalog to see how much he can get away with. I had to tell him many times to eat his food without dropping it on the table. He would open the fridge and spill drinks on the floor. When I admonished him about sitting on the bed and eating, he would retort, “Hindi kuta gusto”, which translates to “I do not like you!” When I said, “Pumunta ka ditto”! (Come here) he would say “Hindi!” Although the word “huwag” is used to express “Not” in Tagalog, we can use the word “Hindi” to denote displeasure or dislike of something.
I try to bring him up the right way. I have had to teach him what to do and what not to say when he met other people. He has grown up to be polite and more and more I notice him using words like “hindi po.” Hindo po is the polite way of saying no. He and I, we have a lot of discussions on many topics and we voice our opinions. He is fond of ginger tea though it is not a popular drink (sikat inumin) among his friends. I drink coffee that is brewed (barako) without sugar, and I like it that way.
I invited my brother to accompany me to an event this evening but he said he could not come. I will not try to persuade him to go, as he may have other plans or homework. He should be allowed to have his space. He is at that age where he prefers to hang around with others his own age.
I am saving up all my money to buy a house that we both like. We plan to fix it up as a sort of group project. At this point in time, I do not plan to get married (magpakasal) until my brother has graduated from college. I have told him my plans and he has agreed and did not tell me Hindi which means “no” in Tagalog. I will continue to look after my brother until he old enough to move out and take care of himself. I will not be in his way but shall always be there for him if and when he needs me.