Bol-non refers to the native of Bohol, the tenth largest island in the Philippine archipelago. Surprisingly, I have found out another meaning to the word. In Lianga, Surigao del Sur it refers to the whole building in the city centre that housed the store spaces rented out from the local government by enterprising residents of Bol-anon descent. Described as fiercely entrepreneurial, these businessmen dominated the dry goods retail market during the height of Lianga's fame as a market town.

I came across this rather bizarre definition while Googling blogs about Bohol or Bol-anon. The search led me to a post entitled Bol-anon in A Lianga Diary, a blog by Benjie Otagan about life and living in a small remote town on the eastern coast of Mindanao in southern Philippines. I have not been to the town but if I am not mistaken I had a high school classmate who was from the town and surnamed Mercado.

I read the article and cannot help but feel nostalgic as well. Somehow it struck an emotional chord inside of me because I can identify with these entrepreneurial Bol-anons in Lianga. My father's family is of similar kind but they set up their retail trading business in the city of Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur. In this city, my father met and married my mother (originally a Manila girl who migrated together with her father and sister). I and three other brothers were all born in the city. I still have lots of close relatives living there who are mostly professionals. The family business had long been folded up and sold because nobody in my generation seemed to have the fierce entrepreneurial spirit to carry it on.

You have to read Benjie's post in order to appreciate it. I have since read other posts in his blog. I do aspire to write as clearly and plainly as him as I tend to be wordy and long winded, use jargon and write as if I am talking. I do not mind being influenced by his blog in developing this blog.

So there, a new meaning to the word Bol-anon, one that describes one aspect of his character, that of having a fierce entrepreneurial spirit that leads to a successful business practice. Mabuhi ka Bol-anon!

1 comment:

Benjie Otagan said...

I have done a post about blog in mine. The post speaks for itself and I hope you will find it interesting.

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