As a child, I always wondered why my parents (my father in particular), grandparents, and some of my aunts kissed me with some sort of sucking sensation.

I’ve kissed many people in my life, of course, but most of those kisses only involved a quick, light touching of my lips on their cheeks (a few fortunate ones on their lips and not very quick and light).

I later learned that the Pangasinan word for “kiss”—angob—also means “to smell.”

This explains the sucking sensation I feel whenever Pangasinense relatives kissed me: They weren’t just “kissing” me. They were also “smelling” me.

Since I was kissed a lot by these “suckers” as a child, I would like to believe they found some pleasure in my smell.