A reference to Sinas? ‘Mañanita’ term lands on user-generated online dictionary for slang words

November 9, 2020 - 12:13 PM
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This May 2020 photo shows Police Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas not wearing a face mask at a birthday party he denied having, and then later said did not have any violations. (NCRPO PIO/Facebook)

The “mañanita” or birthday salubong of Police Major General Debold Sinas was perceived to be referenced as an example in an entry of a crowdsourced online dictionary dedicated to internet slang words and phrases.

Filipinos noticed that the term “mañanita” entered Urban Dictionary with the following definition, as documented by a local Reddit user:

“1. An awfully lame and pathetic excuse spouted by a single-celled organism when caught red-handed violating a policy, regulation, or law that it was supposedly duty-bound to enforce and uphold”

“2. May also refer to a police officer who acts all tough and scary and all that, but actually has a soft spot for birthday parties where he is given dozens of roses and is serenaded like a blushing Mexican quinceanera” 

In its sample usage in a sentence, an incident similar to Sinas’ own mass gathering last May was referenced:

 “Major General Debrave did not violate any quarantine protocols when he had a birthday party with his underlings, that was just a mañanita, you nincompoop. Also, he is a cop so he is above the law, unlike the great unwashed like us who should toe the line and obey the police if they don’t want to get arrested and shot. Full stop” 

The entry was contributed by a user called “Debsdds” on May 13, 2020, shortly after Metro Manila’s top cop made it to local and international headlines for having a mass gathering amid a strict lockdown imposed on the region.

It recently gained traction after a local Reddit user noticed the  entry and shared it on the discussion website with the caption, “High definition, I approve!!!!”

Urban Dictionary is described as a digital depository of user-attributed definitions, especially of slang and cultural expressions.

Its founder notes that it was initially created to serve as an archive of the evolving styles of communication, particularly of local and popular slang.

Sinas’ birthday celebration 

Sinas last May celebrated his 55th birthday at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City despite the metro being under enhanced community quarantine which prohibits the gathering of a large number of people.

Pictures of the event were shared on his office’s Facebook page. It was eventually deleted after it earned criticisms but screenshots of it have already been saved.

(Screenshot by Interaksyon)

Sinas said that the gathering was a mañanita or “a police and military tradition in which well-wishers visit their commander before dawn” for his birthday. 

A mañanita, according to a feature by a lifestyle website, refers to a serenade sung at dawn to wake up the birthday celebrant.

The event dedicated to Sinas gained traction as attendees were seen crowding at a buffet table, as well as eating meals, without being distant from each other.

It earned global attention but that didn’t stop the Metro Manila cop from continuously pursuing his duties, especially after President Rodrigo Duterte himself had disagreed he should step down from his post.

Previous reports note that Sinas was facing criminal charges for violating the quarantine protocols they were supposed to enforce.

On Monday, Malacañang announced that Sinas is the new Philippine National Police chief to replace Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan.

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