At my previous job, you had to press a buzzer for the receptionist to unlock the main door and let you in. I never liked having to do it. It felt too loud; too scandalous; too jarring. Who wants their silence to be interrupted by a sharp buzz early in the morning? Not me. So whenever I would come to work, I would try to press the buzzer as lightly and as quickly as possible. Out of courtesy. But my best of intentions didn’t really make for good results. The receptionist wouldn’t always hear my buzzing in well enough. And so I’d have to press the buzzer a couple of times.

One of those times, it took three tries with some patient waiting between buzzes before the receptionist unlocked the door for me. And as I pulled the handle to let myself in, I found that my boss – the owner of the company I worked at, whose name is the company name – was waiting behind me with pure amusement on his face. I didn’t really know what to make of it. So I held the door open for us both to get into the office in one go. “You even ring the doorbell like an Ilonggo!” he chuckled, as he made his way in.

What the hell does that mean? As I was standing by the reception desk, puzzled, trying to process what had just been said to me, my boss saw our Director of Marketing walk by and called out: “She rings the doorbell like an Ilonggo! Hahaha!”