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Balitang Tagalog Bilang Siyam
July 08, 2011

Insights on Filipino and Tagalog, Trivia on Language and Culture

(Think Tagalog)

Bohol is the place to visit if you like to see one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines. This island is famous for its "1,776 hills spread over an area of more than 50 square kilometers (20 sq mi)." Cebuano is spoken here, and the locals are used to seeing back-packing tourists who, later on, wave a happy goodbye to the natives, and leave rested and satisfied.

The reason tourists are not disappointed is that more than the sights, they see too many Filipinos smiling in this area. Maybe, this is due to the boost in tourism which gives the locals additional livelihood, or because of the general calm that lush greenery bestows on anyone who now has the time to stop and stare.

From the pier in Cebu to Tagbilaran, in a van with a local tour guide, inside a hotel or inn, and on to the sights such as the friendly Man Made Forest, the magnificent Chocolate Hills, the winding Loboc River, and the numerous dolphins off the shores of Pamilacan Island, get attuned to hearing plenty of laughter, expect to be greeted with a smile, and prepare to smile back a lot.

This same smile is not specific to Bohol. Filipinos are hospitable people and their smiles give away their natural disposition to a positive outlook in life. They smile because their natural instinct is to befriend, much as nature’s natural effect is to cradle the harried spirit. Most of the time, this smile is open, honest and vulnerable.

But sometimes, Filipinos hide their true plight with their smiles and cover their sad stories with some dark humor. While on their native shores, they enjoy the blessings that nature gives, but displaced from the land of their birth because of circumstances beyond their control, they begin to lose their calm.

For city dwellers, going back to the islands is a treat. They venture away from their constricted spaces to once again experience that provincial life that they grew up in, to get that fresh air, to have that luxury of letting their guard down in a familiar place. After viewing the mountains and the hills, star gazing and indulging in local delicacies they go back to the city jungle with a self-satisfied smile. The sights provide them with that rare moment to just stop a while and listen, maybe to their deepest longings, or to a higher calling. For OFWs they only need to touch down and get re-acquainted with their island roots, so they can feel peaceful and happy again. Their smiles need not be merely for show, but for something real that reflects the best nature of the Filipino soul.

With this issue, we feature some valid Filipino sentiments, but this does not negate the fact of the Filipino's resilient spirit.

(Speak Tagalog)

Have you heard the following words spoken? These are also loaded expressions so they are often said with feelings!

O Ba't para kang naiiyak? (Why do you look like you're going to cry?
Ano ba? (What?)
Bakit ganon? (Why is it like that?)
Ano pa nga ba? (What else is new?)
Pa'no ka na ngayon? (What happens to you now?)
Biruin mo nga naman. (Imagine that)
Sobra ka naman. (You're too much)
Ano raw? (What did he/she say?)
Pasensya na, tao lang. (Sorry, I'm only human)
Patay ka. (You're so dead)
Tapos ka. (You definitely lost it)
E ano ngayon? (So?)
Timang ka ba? (Are you crazy?)
Alis dyan! (Get lost)
Pumirme ka nga! (Stay put)
Windang ako! (I'm confused)
Nakupo! (Oh My Gosh) Aray! (Ouch)

What is in your list?

Read a Tagalog novel and note how language is used. Tagalog, like other Asian languages, seems different when spoken and different when written. But when you read, and you hear the language as you yourself will speak it, often, it makes you say, "I like this novel very much."

(Filipino Files)

As in other cultures, we show our unique traits as a people in our language. Past and present influences have molded our tongues and fueled the dynamics of our day to day relations. Today, we feature some of our personal discoveries:


    As we process words and language, linguistic problems occur. Fortunately, there are a number of sources we find extremely helpful. We would like to share some of the lessons we learned through the articles below.

    Clearly, a tested guide to a faithful and accurate translation is a sensitivity to the nuances of the language. If the linguists know the technical rationale for their choices, they can defend their choices objectively. But love and passion for the language will also drive the linguists toward the best sources for applied linguistics.

    "Ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika, higit pa sa hayop at malansang isda." Jose Rizal

    Till Next Wordhouse Update


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