I tell you bai, each and every thing that makes up Cebu is as unique as the city’s reputation.
If you were caught off-guard with that designation “bai”, I was just proving my point. The uniqueness of Cebu does not come solely from its environs, or the historical heritage, its wild festivities, or the mix of all, but occasionally the little quirks and practices of its inhabitants stand out, like a distinguishing mole in a person’s face.
Just like in the above example, Cebuanos are possibly the most prolific users of the word bai. You can use the title to address almost every friend, stranger, and acquaintance you get in touch with (probably except gender-sensitive girls, your cranky grandma, or a hard-nosed boss from the next department). Addressing this to somebody you don’t know is perfect since it implies a general aura of friendship and respect.
Or take for example Cebu’s vibrant and colorful jeepneys. Long plastic strips of varying colors are tied to the vehicle’s front antennae, and rainbow-colored stripes that decorate the jeepney’s silver body add to the charm of the city. As a boy, I watched those colorful contraptions speed along my side of the highway. I remember those times fondly and insist that Cebu was Cebu because of those vehicles. Sadly, the gaiety of Cebu’s jeepneys have somewhat toned-down nowadays.
This section offers fragments and shreds of the Cebu life from an everyday perspective. It only goes to prove that the parts make up the whole, and it is very true for Cebu in this case.