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My maddah and faddah used to own one lunch wagon business wen I was one small boy growing up on Waialua's North Shore. Da wagon was named, "Pua Mana" (Sea Breeze). It wuz one baby blue lunch wagon wid da name Pua Mana in script. My maddah and faddah used to prepare all da food, drive to da sites, sell to da customahs, and maintain'em every weekend. We used to sell plate lunch fo $1.25, hamburgah an hot dog fo $0.35, soda fo $0.25, an chips, candy an shave ice fo $0.10. Cheap yeah?

Anyway, aftah a few years, dey got tired of too much hana hana dat dey decided fo sell'em to one nuddah guy. I miss dat lunch wagon. Wuz good fun riding inside wid all da bumpy roads. My folks used to sell at da surf spots like Chuns -- First Opening and Second Opening, at da Mokuleia Polo Field, an at da Chicken Fight, which moved from place to place to avoid da vice squad raids.

Da chicken fight is anuddah story. Everybody know each udda so dey knew wheya da next chicken fight would be. I always wondered if some of da vice squad guys wuz moles fo da chicken fight organizahs. Hmmm...

At da surf spots, da guys had deya own language and body language as opposed to da chicken fight guys an da polo field crowd. Da surfahs had dis stance, like dey wuz da Leaning Towah of Pizza. Dey had one towel wrapped around deya waist an dey hands wuz fisted up inside da bottom of dey tee-shirt and dey would say, "I can have one curry beef plate wid extra rice and macaroni salad. An I like one root beeya drink."

At da chicken fights, had one mix crowd but mostly da old Filipino plantation workah guys. Dey had heavy Ilocano accent so wen dey wen place deya order, my mom would crack up. Da convahsation went something like dis:

Manong: Hello Mishes

Mom: Hoy manong. What can I get fo you today?

Manong: Mishes, you get di chicken adobo plate today?

Mom: Yes, manong. You like me make you one plate?

Manong: Ass di one I like, mishes. I like dat one berry, berry much (rolling his r's). I like di way you cook it, mishes. You'rrre a Some-whun (Samoan) but you know how to cook Pilipino pood berry well.

Anyway, az just one snippet of da convasation between my maddah and one of da chicken fightas.

At da polo field, dey was kinda high makamaka so da language was propah. Firss of all, had mostly haoles and dey wuzn't really into plate lunches. Dey would ordah hot dogs and hamburgahs. Heeyah is wot I heard:

Customer: Hello, I'd like two hot dogs and two hamburgers. Could you make sure the burgers are cooked well, ma'am?

Mom: Sure, I can do dat, miss.

Customer: Oh, that would be just fabulous. And, I'd also like four sno-cones as well.

Mom: Okay, miss, do you mean the shaved ice?

Customer: Oh, yeah. I guess that's what you call it here. And can I get them in these flavors? Cherry, strawberry, pineapple and rainbow?

Mom: Okay, miss, we can do dat. Would dat be all fo you today?

Az how dose convasations went.

Now, da Chicken fight, dey had deya own language too. I used to crack up listening to da guys bet on da chicken.

Guys would walk around da ring, hold up deya kala and yell out deya bets in hopes dat somebody wuz goin' take dem up on 'em. So dey would say phrases like:

"Fi dollah, young boy! Young boy, fi dollah right heyah" Dey wuz coaxing people to bet against deya choice. In dis case, da young boy was da youngah guy who holding his prized fighting cock.

Sometimes, da guys would yell out, "Jess, Fat Boy! Jess on Fat Boy!" Dis meant dey wuz betting ten dollahs on da momona guy's chicken to win. "Jess" really wuz meant to be da Spanish word fo da numbah ten. I wen juss spell 'em phonetically (Ho boy! Beeg word, yeah?).

Annada time da guys wen use age (gender) wen dey wuz betting, "Fi dollah, ole man! Fi dollah, ole man!"

Wuz hilarious listening to some of dose names. I miss dose days at Haleiwa Long Bridge, Mill Camp an adda places. K den. We go Vegas now, gangies! So, wedda you identify yoself as one young boy, one fat boy or one ole man, LIVE LIFE and be healthy and happy!

 


About Author

 

 

Steve Yagyagan, better known as "Pio" to his childhood friends, is the son of Pio "Ping" Ibanez Yagyagan and Miliama Tauvela Yagyagan. His father ("Papa Ping") came from Burgos, Ilocos Norte, Philippines in 1946 to work in the sugar cane fields. Papa Ping met "Millie," the daughter of a Samoan American Sergeant in the U.S. Marines during WWII, at Otake Store in Waialua on O'ahu's North Shore. Steve graduated from Waialua High in 1979 and left Hawai'i in 1983. He makes his home in California with his wife Regina and their two children, Matthew and Gabrielle.

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