‘Nahihirapan lang ako! Pwede dahan-dahan lang?’ Padilla admits he’s struggling with plenary debates
MANILA, Philippines — It was a baptism of fire so to speak and Senator Robinhood Padilla has confessed his ears are somewhat bleeding.
The neophyte legislator admitted Thursday that he had difficulty following plenary debates because his colleagues normally engage in debates in English.
And so, he would make sense of the floor discussions by reading about them in the Senate journal the next day. He also said his staff would brief him.
“Nahihirapan lang ako pag nag-e-Englishan na, medyo ‘pwede dahan-dahan lang?’ Gano’n. Kaya mahalaga ‘yung journal eh, kaya binabasa ko ‘yung journal kasi nandun lahat eh, mahalaga ‘yun,” Padilla told reporters during an interview in his first week as senator.
(Whenever they speak English, I find it difficult to understand what they are saying. It was like, ‘hey, could we slow it down?’ So that’s why the journal is so valuable. All the proceedings are in it, so I read it.)
“Nakatunganga ako. Tango-tango. Bukas mababasa ko sa journal ito,” he added.
(I just try to listen. And I just nod. Tomorrow I will read about it in the journal.)
Padilla, however, clarified that he could still comprehend some of the conversations. A challenge comes when senators debate and use English words which may require the use of a dictionary.
“Hindi naman lahat hindi ko naiintindihan. Kapag gumamit lang sila ng mga English na pang-dictionary, marami talaga eh,” the senator said.
(My problem isn’t that I don’t understand everything. A dictionary would only be needed if they used English words.)
“Lalo ‘pag nagtatalo na. ‘Yun naglalabasan ng mga webster doon. Medyo dumudugo tenga ko. Hindi naman ako pinagsalita eh,” Padilla also said, laughing.
(Especially when they are arguing already. That’s the time that dictionaries come out. My ears are somewhat bleeding. It’s a good thing I am not asked to speak.)
“Ang journal ko, may mga linya. ‘Pag may linya ‘yun ibig sabihin kailangan ko ng dictionary,” he further shared.
(I have marked my journal with lines. Lines mean that I have to look up the words in a dictionary.)
The political rookie said that during his first week, he felt “happy” and “excited” about his new job.
But he admitted he still needs to get used to the culture and “break in” to the inner circle in the Senate.
“Hindi pa masyado. Pinipilit naman ni Senate President na ma-welcome ako. Siyempre bago ka eh, parang sa eskwelahan din, ‘pag bago ka, makisama ka muna. Pinipilit ko naman makisama,” Padilla said.
(I am not in the circle yet but the Senate President tries to make me feel welcome. But, of course, I’m new. It’s like in school. When you’re new, you need to adjust first. So I’m trying to adjust.)
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