Friday, July 27, 2007

Pinoy Ako and Some Important Pinoy Terms

In the past few weeks I've been mistaken so many times to be a Fil-Am - mostly by top executives and foreigners visiting our country. Me? Not homegrown? Noooooo!!! I am very much Pinoy. I love Pinoy food. Pinoy music. Pinoy movies. I love going to Divisoria and I know how to haggle! I was bred and born in the Philippines and I've been living in the same house since I was born. Plus! Plus! I'm a self-confessed dyologs. I'd rather eat at Jollibee and Max's Restaurant rather than those sowsi places at Greenbelt. Simple lang po ang lola niyo.

Anyway, in the past year I've managed to meet a lot of Filipinos born abroad. Most of them do not speak Filipino or any of our local dialects (save for one who managed to force me to string phrases in Bicol together through IM, the powers of the internet!). There are many local words we cannot translate accurately and sometimes you just really hit a wall when trying to explain certain words. Right? As Markku said once when we were entertaining a colleague, "Grabe dinudugo na ilong ko dito ah." That happens to me every single day LOL, but I guess I've managed to pull it off coz some people think I'm an alien, I mean, that I didn't grow up here.

So, I thought of making a list of words that I think our non-Filipino speaking friends should understand:

1. BOLERO (bolero ka!, mambobola, bola yan!) - I encountered this a few weeks ago with ummm, uh, a gentleman. I couldn't find the right words to say, so I said, "Bolero ka!" "Playboy" or "you're pulling my leg" doesn't really capture the essence of the term since bolero may be used negatively and affectionately at the same time. And Pinays never really accept compliments gracefully. Tayo pa, shy. Anyway, apparently he's good at searching for stuff in Google and found this great forum that explains what bolero means.

2. TAMPO (tampo ako, tampururot, nagtatampo) - "I feel bad" "I'm disappointed" "I'm upset". What is not captured in those translation though is the "pa-cute" factor because when you say you are "nagtatampo" you are usually saying this affectionately. So, sweetie, when that's on my status message you should know that something is wrong.

3. LAMBING (lambing tayo, labing-labing, naglalambing) - this word has nothing to do with lambs, sheep or goat heh. Lambing pronounced as lam-Bing, means being affectionate and a tad bit playful. And normally, for married couples they say "labing-labing muna kami"... I'm sure you'll get the drift.

4. DOON - "Doon" is normally said with lips pointed towards the general direction of where you are supposed to go to. Yup, "doon" means "there" and you'd normally get the gist of how far the place is based on the length the person stretches his lips out. Mr. Charlie Kemplin, President of EZ Maps told me an anecdote the other night during the launch. He said that the first time he was here in the Philippines in the late 1960s he was so amazed by this phenomenon that he actually had shirts printed out with the word "Doon" and "lips" at the bottom of the word. LOL. May I have the rights to print that out again sir?

5. TEXT MO AKO HA - I think it's only in our country that we use "Text" instead of "SMS". I usually look at mobile phone ads whenever I travel and it was a heated debate prior to my launch of LUK4. Well, "Text mo ako ha" means "please SMS me" and, mind you, we should remember that it is considered rude to text or SMS when you're talking with someone in other countries and it's not accepted business practice as well with them. But, then, being the SMS capital of the world, we can trailblaze right? My colleagues were awed when I said that I send an average of 100 SMS' per day and they even took a photo of my old phone coz my keypad didn't have numbers/letters on it already.

Oh well, there are many, many more words I know, can you think of one? Please help me coz dinudugo na ilong ko. LOL. Leave a comment please!

*Photo by my stylist-friend Sasha Manuel.


  1. How about, "Kain tayo?" :) Even though we are halfway through a meal or a snack, we would always (more often than not) "make alok", di ba? People in other countries may find it rude; but to me, it's part of our beautiful culture, kabayan.

  2. Anonymous1:01 AM

    Hi! I find saying "SMS me" funny. It's really saying "short message service me." Haha. Nagtutunog tama tuloy yung "text me."

    Oh wait! I just checked. Apparently, according to wikipedia's wikitionary, the word "text" is not just a noun but it is a verb as well. =)

    Oh wait. Apparently and so is SMS. =| Haha! But I still find it funny! Weird kinda funny. =P Wala lang. Share.

  3. Anonymous6:08 AM

    How about... "san n u? d2 na me."


  4. Anonymous5:32 PM

    I sometimes get mistaken for a Fil-Am too. Maybe it's because of the clothes I wear (^Abercrombie freak) or the way I talk (I'm slang on demand lol) or perhaps a combo of that. But like you, I'm a true-blue Pinoy. Here in Davao, there are some words that foreigners should know too. One is "atik". "Atik" doesn't pertain to the room right under your roof, but it's an expression of disbelief that means "You're lying" or "Really?". "Atikon" means a person who habitually tells tall tales or lies. Another word is "bitaw". In Tagalog it means to "let go". But here it's another expression that means "Yeah, I know, duh" or "Really?" So if you tell someone something that he already knows, he'll give you a stern look and say, "bitaw!" If he doesn't know it yet, he'll say "bitaw?" Lastly (I'm enjoying this hehe), "lagi" is an expression of reinforcement or confirmation. It basically means "Yes, believe me, it's true!" or "Yeah, I know that already". Another one that closely resembles "lagi" is "as in!".


  5. Anonymous6:13 PM

    Kita..kits...or Kita ulit tayo..halibawa : kita kit's ulit tayo sa panibagong pagpupulong(Gathering) taste Asia..oops sana maulit...he he he..thanks. nga pala ha..



  6. Congratulations on the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blog Award, kabayan!

  7. another expression of Pinoy is "alam mo na" and "iyong ano" which sometime seem to show we don't know what we're talking about...:-)

  8. Anonymous3:02 AM

    Akala ko pa naman "stylish" e "stylist" pala. LOL.

  9. ate aileen! c u on august 1.. wahehe.. sensya na off topic si ako.. ^__^

  10. Aileen.. pinay who loves pinoys. :D

  11. I've always complained about the same thing you mention - can never really describe in perfect intensity what I mean with something I know in tagalog. One was "lambing" which you already got, but the other is "nakaka diri". I think I spelled that right? I always tell people it means "grosser than gross" but that still doesn't describe how i'm feeling. As for the Fil-Am part, it's obvious with me. I'm the "jolly brown giant" whenever I visit Manila. =P

  12. at kung anong anik-anik pa: et cetera.
    gets?: do you understand?

    amoy-tao: inspiration struck me to make up this word one time when i was cramped inside the mrt with assorted people na galing sa trabaho. the interior of the car literally smells like... well, i think you know what i mean by this hehehe. i also use this term in other crowded places. :)

  13. Anonymous1:57 AM

    hehe, quite a funny post, yeah there are a lot of Filipino created dialogs that American~Filipinos get jawed drop when hearing such words, hehe..

  14. ei, interesting topic... im back in here! heheheh!

    some trivia lang! alam mo ba na walang nakakarating "DOON"?

    kapag ang isang tao ay nagpunta doon... kapag tinanong mo siya kung nasaan siya, ang sasabihin niya ay nan-dito! o_0 o di ba! wala talagang nakakarating doon! bwehehehe (^_^) V