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Sikap Down Under

Written by: Heidiliza P. Cayanan Galindez
Edited by: Ethelinda Punzalan Cayanan
Date: 11-March-2005

It all started when Yonee and I said the most classical two words in the history of the matrimonial world, the words ‘I do’, in October 1997 in Sydney Australia. ‘I do’ to each other and ‘I do’ to the Australian lifestyle.

As young couples would do, in a new city and country, we explored the heart of the city of Sydney and visited famous sceneries that, once upon a time, can only be glimpsed on television back in Manila.

CITY is what the Aussies (local term to describe Australians) have named the district or locality of Sydney. If using the train line as a guide Sydney is surrounded by six train stations namely: Central Station, Town Hall Station, Wynyard Station, St. James Station, Museum Station and Circular Quay Station.

Tourists’ first stop is often Circular Quay. Here where you will be welcomed by a vast sight of the olden Sydney times, abundant first fleet history and spectacular water view. The first 2 structures in the list that will strike you are the famous Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge plus a slight glimpse of ‘The Rocks’.

From this end you will also find yourself in amusement through to a grand entrance of Sydney Botanical Garden, where flora and fauna is rich and protected. It is also a ground for some open air shows and events such as Open Air Cinemas in February each year and theatrical Shakespeare plays like Mid Summer Night Dreams (seasonal).

Aussie language and pronunciations can be quite tricky but we Filipino find it quite amusing. Can you really pronounce the word ‘Quay’? Chances are you are uttering the same way as we did the first time we tried to.

So, how does the Aussie pronounce it? Say, ‘key’. Say what?!? Along came other words and letters that who knows why they pronounced it that way. But wait a minute don’t they speak English too? As much as there is British English, Spanglish, and Pidgin English, there is also: Aussie English. I must admit we are now here long enough to somehow speak like the Aussies.

Australia is a multi-national country. After a few months it can be easily identify which part of the globe a person originated from. English are from England, Arabs are from all parts of the Arabic nations of Middle East, Hispanic are from all Spanish background and Asians are obviously from Asian countries, such as the Philippines. Evidently you will agree that we belong to Asians groupings. But, No! Surprisingly enough we belong to a category of our own. We are classically named ‘Filo/s’. One main reason is among all Asians every single one of us can understand and speak their language from day one. Whether they understand us is not our worry. Filipinos created and marked their names as somewhat ‘not the rest’.

This is the beginning of our journey as we say G’day mate! [pronounced as: ‘ge dai mite]! Catch’ya later! [drop the ‘r’ if you want to get it right.].