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Travel Guide Philippines, What Foreigners Need To Know (PART II)

Travel Guide Philippines

What Foreigners Need To Know (Part II)

CLICK HERE for Travel Guide Philippines, What Foreigners Need To Know PART I

CLICK HERE FOR Travel Guide Philippines, What Foreigners Need To Know PART III


6. The Philippines has more than 180 languages and dialects.

The most commonly used are Tagalog, Bisaya, Taglish, Coño English, Salitang Kanto, Salitang Bakla and SMS.

TAGALOG (pronounced [tɐˈgaːlog]) is one of the major languages of the Republic of thePhilippines. It is the most spoken Philippine language in terms of the number of speakers.

Common Tagalog Phrases:

“Magandang umaga!” (Good morning!)

“Magandang gabi!” (Good evening!)

“Salamat” (Thank you)

“Magkano?” (How much?)

“Ang mahal naman!” (That’s too much!)

“Paalam” (Goodbye)

BISAYA OR VISAYAN is spoken in the Visayas region but they are also spoken in the Bicol Region (particularly in Sorsogon and Masbate), islands south of Luzon such as those that make up Romblon, the northern and western areas of Mindanao, and the province of Sulu located southwest of Mindanao. Some residents of Metro Manila also speak Bisaya.

Common Bisaya Phrases:

“Maupay nga aga!” (Good morning!)

“Maupay nga gab-i!” (Good evening!)

“Nawawara ak didi.” (I’m lost here.)

“Gwapaha nimo oy!” (You are pretty!)

“Umari ka.” (Come here.)

“Unsa’y imong ngalan?” (What is your name?)

“Unsa?” (What?)

“Asa?” (Where?)

TAGLISH is the combination of “Tagalog” and “English”. This refers to Tagalog that is infused with English terms. It is perhaps most common in Metro Manila.

Common Taglish Phrases:

Tagalog: Sasakay ako ng jeepney.” (I will ride a jeep.)

Taglish: “Mag-ji-jeep ako.”

Tagalog: “Mahal, magsiping tayo.” (Honey, let’s make love.)

Taglish: “Mahal, mag-loving-loving tayo.” or more appropriately “Mahal, mag-labing-labing tayo.)

Tagalog: “Saklolo! Nanakawan ako!” (Help! I’ve been held up!)

Taglish: “Saklolo! Na-hold up ako!”

Tagalog: “Kailangan kong pumunta sa banyo.” (I need to go to the comfort room.)

Taglish: “Kailangan kong mag-CR.”

Tagalog: “Nalulungkot na ako.” (I am getting sad.)

Taglish: “Na-sa-sad na ako.”

COÑO ENGLISH, I believe, was created because some Filipinos had (and still have) a hard time translating certain Tagalog words into English. It is mostly regarded as a trademark of the upper class but now it is widely used by high school and college students, call center agents, yuppies and Kris Aquino.

Common Coño English Phrases:

“Ang cool nung chick, pare!” (That girl is cool, man!)

Let’s make tambay sa A.S. Steps. Wait lang ha. I’ll just make tawag on my cellphone.” (Let’s stay at the A.S. Steps. Wait for a while. I just need to make a call on my cellphone.)

“Girl, that is so kadiri!” (Girl, that is so gross!)

“Gosh, it’s so sikip naman here!” (Gosh, it’s so crowded in here!)

“I’ll make bawi na lang to you next time.” (I’ll make it up to you next time.)

“Paki carry naman my things, they’re so bigat eh!” (Please carry my things, they’re so heavy!)

“Where ka go? Sama me!” (Where are you going? I want to come along.)

SALITANG KANTO is the direct opposite of Coño English in terms of its speakers, because this is the jargon of the poor. Among the characteristics of this language is the switching of syllables in a word and the use of code words. When spoken, the words will often sound as if its coming from the mouth of a drunkard, a drug addict, a criminal, an ex-convict or Robin Padilla.

Common Salitang Kanto:

Tagalog: “Mga pare, inom pa tayo! Wala pa akong tama” (Guys, lets drink some more! I am not drunk yet!)

Salitang Kanto: “Mga repapips, toma pa tayo! Wala pa akong amats!” (repa – reversed syllables of “pare”; pips – short for people)

Tagalog: “Kapatid, nasaan na ang kasintahan mo?” (Brother, where is your girlfriend?)

Salitang Kanto:Tol, nasaan na ang syota mo?” (‘tol – short for utol which means brother but can be used to refer to a friend, a man or a lesbian; syota – short for “short-time” which refers to a girlfriend or a boyfriend)


pulis                        parak                police

nanay                     ermat                mother

tatay                       erpat                 father

handaan                 tipar                   party

kasamahan            resbak                allies or back-up

sigarilyo                  yosi                    cigarette

pera                         datung              money

tiyo/tsong               chong                 uncle (can be used like man, dude, bro)

droga                        piso                   drugs (piso – the currency of the Philippines; a code used by drug dealers and addicts to mean 100 pesos worth of drugs)

SALITANG BAKLA (GAY LINGO or SWARDSPEAK) is mostly used by gay Filipinos. It uses elements from Tagalog, English, Spanish and Japanese. The language is constantly changing, with old phrases becoming obsolete and new phrases frequently entering everyday usage, reflecting changes in their culture. Words and phrases can be created out of reaction to popular trends and create alternatives to a strictly defined lifestyle. A unique trait of swardspeak is that it immediately identifies the speaker as homosexual. This creates an exclusive world among its speakers and helps them to resist cultural assimilation.

TAGALOG                                                 SALITANG BAKLA

pera                              (money) anda, andalu, anjo yllana, okane, atik, datong

ako                                (I, me) watashi

wala                             (none, nothing) wiz, waz, mitchels

gutom                          (hungry) tommy lee jones, tom jones

mataray                     (bitchy) tarush, chabaka, kabog

laitin                            (to insult) okray

ina, nanay                  (mother) mudra

libre                              (free) liberty, paroch

kain                               (eat) lafang

maliit                            (small) jutay

mataba                         (fat) jubis, mashoba

mukha                          (face) fez

iyak                               (cry) crayola

mababang kalidad       (low-class) chipangga

ano                                (what) anik, anitch

mura …………………………..(cheap) morayta

SMS (short message system) is the communications protocol allowing the interchange of short text messages between mobile telephony devices. “Texting” has become a common practice for Filipinos and it has made its way to the language we speak. Its basic characteristic is the shortened way of delivering a sentence or a phrase, just like in texting.

“Where na you?” (SMS: Wer na u?) Where are you now?

“Dito na me.” (SMS: D2 na me.) – I’m here now.

“La me money eh.” (SMS: La me money eh!) – I don’t have money.

“Happy b-day!” (SMS: Happy bday!) – Happy Birthday!

“Tulog na me.” (SMS: 2log na me.) – I will sleep now.

“Love you, mwah!” (SMS: Luv u…mwah!) mwah is the sound of a kiss

CLICK HERE for Travel Guide Philippines, What Foreigners Need To Know PART I

CLICK HERE FOR Travel Guide Philippines, What Foreigners Need To Know PART III

Travel Guide Philippines, What Foreigners Need To Know

Travel Guide Philippines

What Foreigners Need To Know (Part I)

CLICK HERE FOR Travel Guide Philippines, What Foreigners Need To Know PART II

CLICK HERE FOR Travel Guide Philippines, What Foreigners Need To Know PART III


1. The Philippine archipelago is composed of 7,107 islands.

Our country generally lies between 116° 40′ and 126° 34′ E. longitude, and 4° 40′ and 21° 10′ N. latitude. Yes, we are on the world map…much thanks to Ms. Melanie Marquez.

2. The Philippines is the world’s 12th most populous country with a population approaching 87 million people.

You won’t be able to meet some 8% of us though because they are working abroad. But hey, there’s still 80,040,000 Filipinos left, so cheer up! And there will be babies born every day that you’re here so don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of company. Oh and by the way, please don’t expect a lot of manicured lawns, clean streets, and clear rivers in the Metro. In fact, the moment you spot land from the plane, that’s not actually land although it’s brownish in color. That is actually rust…rust-covered roofs of shanties owned by squatters, to be exact.

3. The Philippines has approximately 5,331,574 registered vehicles as of 2006.

Some of us own cars. However, most take a bus (a choice between ordinary-slash-non-aircon-slash-cockroach-infested and the airconditioned ones). Other public utility vehicles include jeepneys, colorum vans (vans without a franchise or whose franchise is fake), pedicabs, tricycles, motorcycles and if it’s pay day, some ride cabs. We also have trains, trucks, trailers and the unaccounted for unregistered vehicles. With that said, expect heavy traffic, rude drivers and a lot of vehicles overtaking you, desperately weaving from one lane onto the next in spite of the obvious heavy traffic. Unless you arrive after the rush hour or at dawn, the way to your hotel would be a hair-pulling experience and we don’t want you to have a negative, first impression. Consider yourself warned so plan your flight schedule wisely.

4. The Philippines is one of two countries in Asia with Roman Catholic majorities.

About 94% of Filipinos identify themselves as Christians. We would like to think that we are a religious bunch – full of faith and God-fearing. Pardon some of us who will snatch your purse, charge you more for cab fare or offer you prostitutes. Pardon those of us who will sell you pirated DVDs or extort more money for that replica Louis Vuitton bag (Oh wait! Those are not Christians…those are Muslims!). But pardon them as well.

5. Filipino and English are both the official languages in the Philippines. Many Filipinos understand, write and speak English, Filipino and their respective regional languages.

Yes, we can understand English. Most Filipinos can speak it, others can even imitate the American accent. “‘Sup?” Where are yah goin’?” I’m gonna go to Starbucks, wanna come?” “Nah, I need to go home. It’s a long ride to Kamunin’?” “Ayt, see yah!”

Whilst many Filipinos are well versed in the English language, some can’t speak it properly but they sure can express themselves well through body language and a little bit of basic English. Rest assured that even the beggars and the street vendors can point you to the right direction or entertain any of your questions. “Do-you-know-the-way-to—-?” “Yes sir!” Streetlight…go right…right lane. Then straight, no turn okay…just straight. You see man…like this (man gestures – his arms stretched apart, chest out, legs closed, bending slightly backwards, head titled back and facing the sky)…okay? That’s Oble! Yes! Yes!”

oble U.P. Diliman Oblation

CLICK HERE FOR Travel Guide Philippines, What Foreigners Need To Know PART II

CLICK HERE FOR Travel Guide Philippines, What Foreigners Need To Know PART III