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A Blog Post Before the World Ends on May 21, 2011

The world will not end on May 21 because of a little unresolved issue. An unresolved issue about certain signs. You see these signs along roadsides from bustling urban sidewalks to sleepy towns and even in lonely stretches of highways. These signs harbor a promise of salvation and a solution to allow you to go on with life and reach the ultimate destination. But then which of these signs speak the truth? They all, in one way or another, provide solutions but which one is truthfully spelled?

Vulcaning, Volkit, Vulcanizeng, Vulcaning, Vulcate while you wait, and of course the thirteen-letter version of the spelling in the photo above. VULLCANIYZING. I asked my good friend G about the provenance of the word and he told me that the proper term for this process of salvation of worn out tires (and not the tired and worn out) is Vulcanization and not the previous spellings I wrote. But Vulcanization is not the word in the signs out there??? Therefore it is wrong! How can you even think of debating a painted wooden sign nailed on a tree? The world will not end until every sign by the roadside says VULLCANIYZING.

(The sign above was shot from the open window of a jampacked non airconditioned bus while picking up more passengers in the cave-rich city of Mabinay, Negros Oriental)

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5 responses

  1. And what do you think could be the implication why the VULLC was highlighted? Kind of makes us think. Maybe not. Could there be some hidden meaning to it. Or maybe to the second and last syllables? 🙂

    May 21, 2011 at 9:49 pm

  2. Footloose/Apicio

    I do not know why they call it vulcanizing back there, but what in fact they do is patching holes in the interior tube or the tire itself. Vulcanizing was discovered and exploited commercially by Charles Goodyear when he heated natural rubber latex with sulfur. It made the objects made of it such as old fashioned bowling balls and vintage fountain pens durable.

    You probably will find as many tire repair sheds along the highways of Brazil as you find in the Philippines though there they are called borracharias (spoken as bohashariyas) from their word for rubber, borracha. This is a false cognate of the Spanish word borracho which means stupefied with alcohol.

    During Taal’s warningless eruption in the late sixties, wags claimed no warning came out of the Vulcanology Commission because all they held were degrees in vulcanizing.

    June 27, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    • How are you Footloose? The photography books are a great, great help.

      July 1, 2011 at 12:15 am

  3. Footloose

    At the time before Youtube, I had to attend a Nikon class to improve my picture-taking ability. Did not improve it one bit but am now able to tell off people who take bad pics.
    Yours are impressive.

    I was not particularly impressed by that series although I cannot now remember why. The Philippine Heritage is my biggest disappointment that’s why I did not even bother to complete the set. I consider the Writer’s Guide To English and Brief Lives to be the most valuable among the bunch. I have their copies in hardcover. Benjamin de Mott’s essay about making yourself better informed and well reasoned (as a writer) is particularly priceless.

    July 2, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    • I really hope to learn more from the books. My tenses are passable but I punctuate horribly. I really hope someday soon all the Markemanila commenters (commentors? commentators?) based abroad come home for a week-long lechon eating frenzy.

      July 2, 2011 at 8:28 pm

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