Thursday, February 19, 2009


Please, please, please won't someone tell me what a mermaid is supposed to look like. I really want to know.

Not long after the heavy rain and the flood, I find Dumaguete again in the front page of the national daily. Mermaids in the Silliman University Marine Laboratory! Surely the find the century! Of the millennium!

What? No mermaids? Of course the scientists of Silliman would deny it! Haven't we seen enough of the X-Files to know that they want to keep the secrets to themselves? O these despicable scientists! How dare they imprison such magnificent creatures! They're only in it for themselves! They only want to slice the mermaids open! Evil, evil scientists!

In truth, I frown upon the lack of journalistic rigor on the part of my friend and editor Alex Pal. Concerned citizens from Bais descended upon the lab and searched its premises high and low. What an opportunity Alex missed to interview these experts on mermaids!

"Wala Diri!" was all these citizens could say (because, as we all know, scientists are a devious sort.) Quite obviously these citizens from Bais knew what to look for! Why, o why, o why, Alex, didn't you ask them what the mermaids looked like? I am sorely disappointed.

In the absence of such informed expertise, I am forced to rely on my imagination and my limited knowledge of mermaids. Does the Silliman mermaid have red hair and big expressive eyes? Green fins? Giant seashells for modesty? Does she go on about her stuff, thinking them neat, thinking her collection quite complete?

Perhaps the rescuers even had pictures! Proof positive of the mermaid identity! Maybe if Alex had the presence of mind to ask them! Who would the mermaid resemble? Marian Rivera? Ara Mina? Vilma Santos? Edna Luna? Charlene Gonzales? (But, oh, in my heart of hearts, I want her to look like -- please, please, please -- Alice Dixson! I can still feel it!)

I can feel it!

Or maybe, just maybe, the Bais rescuers couldn't find the mermaid because she was actually walking around the city! In which case, they should all be looking for a tall, thin, blonde fahrener woman and, well, splash her with water so her legs revert to a fish tail. Just tell them to be careful if the woman is wearing an eye patch -- because that's a sign she's an assassin and not a mermaid (it might be easy to mistake one for the other.)

This is a mermaid.

This is NOT a mermaid.

Of course, this is just me with my imperfect knowledge of mermaids. I really wish Alex had asked the real experts from Bais.

Lest you think I'm mocking the mermaid experts from Bais, I say "most assuredly not!" After all, they got their info via text message, the most reliable of sources (beating out the Internet, I might add.)

And we all know that whatever we get via text message has got to be true.

* Little Mermaid ©Walt Disney
* Splash ©Touchstone Films
* Kill Bill ©Miramax Films
* Dyesebel ©Mars Ravelo; Dyesebel pictures from


  1. I'm a mermaid. :) I'm a pretty mermaid too. But don't tell. :p

  2. A few years ago, I was in Bais with friends and some very nice folks offered to take us out to watch whales. No longer able to make a living doing traditional whaling, the locals adapted. Obviously, the people there know a thing or two about life in Oceania.
    Who else to investigate this mermaid story?

  3. wahaha,so funneh, doms. alice dixson! i can still remember the classic shoulder shake. and by the way, some merms have purple hair. from clairol, probably.

  4. Yes, Paige, I know you are. ;-)

  5. Bob: that's actually a great angle. I should spend some time in Bais to track down the local folklore.

  6. Bob: that's actually a great angle. I should spend some time in Bais to track down the local folklore.

  7. Ness: it's a nod to your own post. Thanks for the idea!

  8. Hi Dom,
    You've added mermaid photos to this post since I was here earlier.

  9. in search of mermaids in the time of sms? is kris aquino superstitious and imposing her superstitions on deal or no deal contestants? lining up in lotto outlets to bet on lucky numbers (birthdays, anniversaries, etc). these just show how gullible most Filipinos still are. :)

  10. nice post! are mermaids even real? when i was young, while i was on a passenger boat to bohol,i thought i saw a mermaid! but i think it was just a big fisH! lol.. i think it was lapu-lapu or a giant gold fish.. lol


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