KAWAWA

root word: awa

kawawa
pitiful, poor

kawawang paruparo
poor butterfly

Kawawa ka naman.
You poor thing.

kawawang-kawawa
very pitiful

kaawa-awa
so very pitiful

kahabag-habag
so very pitiful

Mga Kawawang Nilalang
Pitiful Creatures

kinawawa
turned someone into a pitiful state

shortened: kwawa

Note that the pity expressed in the Filipino word kawawa is not condescending, unlike how it may be in Western culture.

Saying “How pitiful.” or “I feel sorry for her.” in English can have a slightly smug tone in many cases. In Tagalog, it’s more of empathy in the form of acknowledging and recognizing the difficult circumstances in which a person finds himself/herself.