The riddle of ‘salongso’, ‘salongki’

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What are salongso and salongki?

The two words appeared in the text message Assistant Labor Attache Antonio Villafuerte supposed to have sent to runaway OFW “Michelle” when she sought help at the Philippine embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

At the Senate hearing on the sex for repatriation scandal on Thursday, Michelle, who had escaped from her employer, said she had arrived at OFW shelter or Bahay Kalinga without a change of underwear. She asked Villafuerte, who was in charge of the shelter, where she could get a bra and panties.

He volunteered to buy the items for her.

Michelle said she later texted Villafuerte to follow up on her request for the underwear.

“Nagpabili na ako ng dalawang salongso at anim na salongki,” (I had purchased two salongso and six salongsi), a portion of Villafuerte’s text reply to Michelle read.

Villafuerte was apparently describing bras and panties using archaic Filipino terminology.

A baffled Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile asked Villafuerte if he really texted Michelle using the rarely used terms. Villafuerte said he did but stressed that there was no malice in his message.

He said he uses the terms to refer to women’s underwear when talking to his wife.

“Taga Bulacan po ako wala pong malisya doon” (I hail from Bulacan, and I see no malice in using those terms), he said.

Enrile reminded Villafuerte that as diplomat he should be very courteous and even if he has no intention to be rude, there are proper words that he can use instead of salongki and salongso.

Jefferson Antiporda

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