Coñotations by Paolo Manalo (Poem) - Analysis

1. I’m like tripping right now I have suitcase fever.
2. Dude, man, pare, three people can be the same.
3. Except he’s not who he says he is, pare. He’s a sneeze with Chinese blood: Ha Ching!
4. Naman, it’s like our Tagalog accent, so they won’t think we’re all airs; so much weight it means nothing naman.
5. Dude, man, pare, at the next stop we’ll make buwelta. So they can see we know how to look where we came from.
6. It’s hirap kaya to find a connection. Who ba’s puwede to be our guide?
7. Dude, man, can you make this areglo naman?
8. Make it pabalot kaya in the mall. So they can’t guess what you’re thinking. That’s what I call a package deal.
9. Who says ’coz should be shot.
10. Only kolehiyalas make tusok the fishballs. Us guys, dude, pare, we make them tuhog.
11. Talaga, she said she’d sleep with you? Naman pare, when she says talaga, it means she’s lying.
12. Hey, wala namang like that-an.

Analysis, Meaning, Critique:

Coñotations is a poem that appeared in Jolography, a poem collection by Paolo Manalo that was published in 2003 by the University of the Philippines Press. It's a poem that copies the form and style of a listicle. A listicle is an article that lists things. Here's a few examples of listicle article titles:

- The 101 Greatest Novels of All Time
- 7 Things You Should Never Say in a Romantic Date
- 15 Reasons Why You Should Leave the Philippines and Live Somewhere Else

Listicles have become very popular online and majority of online media outlets use them for their articles. You could say that Paolo Manolo used the same format to craft his poem Coñotations. Whether he did it this way intentionally or otherwise, the fact remains that the poem has the form and style of a listicle. It's basically a listicle in poem form.

Manalo invented a new word - coñotations - which is the title of the poem. It's the offspring of two words that Manalo forced into marriage. Conyo and connotations. Conyo is a label used to tag Filipinos who speak Tagalog-English. It's also used to refer to the "kind of speech" produced when someone speaks in Tagalog-English. It's often called conyo talk or conyo speak. Conyo or conyo talk is also attached to a stereotype - those who speak conyo are people from the middle class and upper class in the social structure.

A key to understanding this poem is the definition of the Eglish word "connotation". The general definition for connotation is that it's "an idea or feeling that a word invokes in addition to its literal or primary meaning." In philosophy, it's defined as "the abstract meaning or intension of a term, which forms a principle determining which objects or concepts it applies to." Read these definitions very well then go back and read the poem with these definitions in mind. You should be able to get the gist of the poem already.

In conclusion, the poem is a list of conyo talk and their hidden connotations.

Questions and Answers for Discussion:

1. What does "suitcase fever" mean? This probably means attachment. The person may be too attached to someone the way he's attached to a suitcase.
2. Are all the speakers in the poem men? It does sound like that. The words and phrases in the poem are mostly male lingo.