TABO

The ubiquitous Philippine cultural artifact found in almost every Filipino household’s bathroom.

tabò
water dipper

tabo
dipper used for scooping up water


tabuin 
to scoop (water)

Tabuin ang tubig.
To scoop the water.


Tinabo ko.
Used a dipper (to scoop up water).

ang tinabong tubig
the scooped-up water


Tabo is also the name of the steamer mentioned in the opening sentence of Jose Rizal’s second novel El Filibusterismo (1891).

One morning in December the steamer Tabo was laboriously ascending the tortuous course of the Pasig, carrying a large crowd of passengers toward the province of La Laguna. She was a heavily built steamer, almost round, like the tabú from which she derived her name, quite dirty in spite of her pretensions to whiteness, majestic and grave from her leisurely motion.


In the United States, you can special-order online a tabo from the Fil Am Store in L.A.