At the appliance store, the owner’s son and right hand man was telling me he would send the delivery boys to my apartment around noon. He told me not to worry. “They’ll be there, 'Ta”, he said. I nodded and walked out the door where light rain was falling.
I think that was the first time I had heard this word 'Ta. It didn’t fully register in my brain until I was talking to one of the younger contractors who again addressed me as 'Ta. And some days later, the classmate of my assistant came by the apartment and said “Good afternoon, 'Ta”.
In Spanish, we call our aunt, Tia. In the Philippines we say, Tita, a derivation of the Spanish word. It would seem that I have inherited a lot of nephews and nieces because the younger crowd (30 years of age and below) all address me as 'Ta.
But today, everyone calls an older woman, 'Ta as a sign of respect.
I don’t know if I’m pleased that the youth have abbreviated the word Tita to 'Ta. But I do know that I have graduated to a different age group because more and more people are calling me 'Ta.
It will take time for me to get used to this.