This word is from the Spanish picón (meaning: ‘touchy’ or ‘peevish’).

quick-tempered, cranky

Continue reading “PIKON”

Cariñosa (Philippine Dance)

The cariñosa is a Philippine folk dance of Hispanic origin. It is closely associated with the island of Panay and the Visayas region in general. The word cariñosa is from the Spanish cariñosa meaning the affectionate one. Most Filipina women can be described as karinyosa.

This is a courtship dance that portrays acts of flirtation between a man and a woman. The dancers perform steps resembling hide-and-seek movements. The woman holds a handkerchief or sometimes a fan.

Continue reading “Cariñosa (Philippine Dance)”


hinampo, maktol; sama ng loob sa isang kaibigan

sulking, holding a grudge

to sulk

prone to sulking

tampurorot / tampururot
tampopot / tampoput
sulker (often a woman)

Continue reading “TAMPO”

Filipino Christians

The Filipino word for ‘religion’ is relihiyon.

The Philippines is a predominantly Christian nation as a result of 300 years of Spanish rule.

There is a Philippine Independent Church, known as Iglesia Filipina Independiente or Aglipayan Church (after its first head Gregorio Aglipay); it is affiliated with the Anglican Communion.

Another independent church was founded in 1914 by Felix Manalo; it is a unitarian religious organization known as Iglesia ni Cristo.

Missionaries of the Jehovah’s Witnesses arrived in the Philippines during the American colonial rule (1898-1945). There are now 150,000 members in the country.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has 600,000 Mormon members in the Philippines.

Continue reading “Filipino Christians”

The Lord’s Prayer in Tagalog

The Lord’s Prayer is often sung in Tagalog during Catholic Mass in the Philippines. It is known as Our Father (Ama Namin). Here is one old version familiar to a certain generation.

 The Lord’s Prayer in Tagalog translation

Ama namin, sumasalangit Ka
Sambahin ang ngalan Mo
Mapasaamin ang kaharian Mo
Sundin ang loob Mo
Dito sa lupa, para nang sa langit.
Bigyan Mo kami ngayon ng aming kakanin sa araw-araw.
At patawarin Mo ang aming mga sala,
Para ng pagpapatawad namin
Sa mga nagkakasala sa amin.
At huwag Mo kaming ipahintulot sa tukso,
At iadya Mo kami sa lahat ng masama.
Sapagkat Iyo ang kaharian, at kapangyarihan,
At ang kadakilaan, magpakailanman. Amen.

Click here for The Lord’s Prayer in English!


Galang means respect. It is one of the important moral norms in the Filipino value system. Respect the status of each person. It is imperative that a Filipino show respect by keeping his word of honor.

A true-born Filipino instinctively moves to prevent people from losing face or being mapahiya, thus avoiding conflicts. This norm is often used as a moral injunction against undesirable behavior involving kapwa damdamin (mutual feelings).

Continue reading “GALANG”


A bilao is a flat round-shaped rice winnower, a traditional implement in the Philippines. It is usually made from woven wood.

To winnow is to free grain from the lighter particles of chaff, dirt, small stones, etc., especially by throwing it into the air and perhaps allowing the wind to blow away impurities.

Up until a few decades ago, you would see a bilao hanging in the back of the house by the kitchen. And you’d see women using a bilao to adroitly “turn” (toss) white rice grains on it for the purpose of removing unwanted particles, like small stones.

Suman on Bilao
Suman on Bilao

These days, you’re more likely to see the bilao used as a food container. So now, you’re most likely to see it lined with banana leaves on top of which a lot of food is arranged.

Click here to learn a few related Tagalog words.

Bathala, the Tagalog God

Bathala, the God of the Tagalogs

The word Bathala is believed to have come from the Sanskrit Bhattara Guru or “the highest of the gods.”

In Philippine mythology, the highest-ranking god of the ancient Tagalog people is Bathala, also known as or Maykapal or Abba. Bathala is the creator of all things — the sea, the sky, the earth, and all the plants. He dwelt in the highest realm of the sky. No one knows where Bathala came from. One day, he simply appeared (in different versions, heralded by flood, fire or strong earthquake) and announced his authority over the world. So great and powerful is Bathala that no one dares question his demand for obedience and reverence. He is often imagined as very humanlike. Continue reading “Bathala, the Tagalog God”