Pochung Puti

8:49 AM

684534_68234227 I was practicing Korean this morning when a tiny 5-year old boy called out to buy something on the store. “Pochung puti”. That`s what he`s gonna buy, he said.


“Pochung puti…Pochung puti....” What?!!!


Deary! You wouldn`t believe how many times I asked him to repeat what he was saying. I could see the patience in the little boys eyes everytime I would ask him to repeat it to me. He must`ve wondered if I was deaf or something close to that.


Pochung puti. But what in the world is that?!!


But can you blame me? I just came from listening—and paying close attention—to my Korean lessons…and perhaps, my mind was still filled with all Korean stuff. Sangchu. Sigeumchi. Yachae.  Pochung Puti. See?


So I went close to the tiny boy and watched his mouth as he said the words. But it wasn`t a kind of paper or a detergent soap--as I first guessed (‘cause what else would you associate with “puti” [white]?).  *sigh* In the end, it turned out to be Fortune puti. *toinks. * Yeah, the cigarette.


I sighed when I realized what it was after all. By the way, we don’t sell cigarettes in the store so the boy looked at me as if saying “You don’t have it after all?” before he went away.


I walked back to my computer laughing at myself for my slowness in figuring out such things but also wondering how could someone ask a little boy to buy his cigarette at 5 o’clock in the morning?

It’s the craziest thing. Parents should be good example to their children, right? Why ask your kid to buy you a cigarette before he even dresses up for school? How could do that when your kid can’t even pronounce “Fortune” just yet? And now I wonder if the boy even had breakfast.

You’re the little fellow's idol,
you're the wisest of the wise.
In his little mind about you
no suspicions ever rise.
He believes in you devoutly,
holds all you say and do;
He will say and do, in your way
when he's grown up just like you.

I asked my Dad if cigarettes can’t be sold to minors. He said it can’t. And I suppose that applies to all stores, even to every “tindahan”.

I know they’re implementing that on convenience stores and supermarkets, but they should also implement that in the little neighborhood stores, right? But then, I often see cigarettes and liquor being sold to grade schoolers.  Of course, older people asked them to buy that, but the law doesn’t say you could sell liquor or cigars to kids if they say their parents asked them to.


I wonder if the government knows about this. I’m sure they wouldn’t let this get away if they knew…

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  1. hmm... i was in the phillipines once, but what is a tindahan? i can ask my sister too. she lived there for 2 years. nice to meet u!

  2. hmmm... your twitter icon isn't working. i wanted to follow you. follow me @duane_scott

  3. @Duane Scott Duane,a "tindahan" is like a convenience store but it's a lot smaller. Have you seen little stores along the streets when you came over to the Philippines? Where in the Philippines have you been to? Cool! Already fixed my twitter icon! Thanks!



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