i am a carabao

Posted: January 6, 2007 in zeroes and ones

(the observations of a Kagayanon in Cebu)

Filipinos have a habit of lazy talk. i call it lazy talk because we Filipinos tend not to pronounce the whole word. rather we “shortcut” it (cut it short). although i am not an authority in this, i would say Filipinos do this to make speech faster and just because we are lazy to enunciate the words. take for example the Tagalog language, one of the major dialects in the Philippines, which has a tendency for its words to have repeating syllables or repititions of whole words when used in a sentence.

Magpapagawa ako ng bahay kapag meron na akong malaki-laki na rin na naipon na pera.

Translation: I will have a house made if i have saved enough money.

Magpapakabait ka anak at ng re-regalohan ka ni Santa Clause ngayong Pasko.

Translation: Be a good son/daughter so that Santa Clause will give you a gift this Christmas.

the examples above are but a few of the ways that tagalog sentences are structured. these are not even in shortcut. imagine if you’re not adept in speaking tagalog. you will literally twist your tongue trying to speak those repititions. and who better to top the worst tagalog speakers than Cebuanos.

Cebuanos are the people who hail from Cebu. one of the bigger Islands in the Visayas Region and has one of the biggest cities outside of Metro Manila. Cebuanos are also known for its bisaya, the language by which speakers of Visayan descent has come to be called and also to refer to ones ethnic background. their bisaya is kinda crude. and they speak it unlike other bisaya-speaking people. the way they speak the words and enunciate it is funny to those who are not used to Cebuano bisaya. and going back to lazy talk, Cebuanos have a penchant to shorten words and take out the letter “L” in their speech. below are some of the examples of how they would talk:

di’ (dili) ko kaba’o (kabalo; pronounced as kabaw),” means “I don’t know.” and if you weren’t used to this you would think that the speaker is saying “I am not a carabao,” since kabaw is a shortening of the word kalabaw (carabao). or to say it in the opposite way, “kaba’o ko,” the speaker is inadvertently saying that he/she is a carabao, but really means “I know.”

other examples of Cebuano shortcuts:

balay (house) is ba’ay (pronounced as bay with a short ‘a’ sound )

kalayo (fire) is ka’ayo (pronounced as kayo a with short ‘a’ sound)

tulog (sleep) is tu’og (pronounced as tog with a long ‘o’ sound)

bati ug nawong (ugly face) is ‘ti’g na’ong (pronounced as tig nawong)

walay problema (no problem) is wa’y ‘blima (pronounced with a short ‘a’ sound)

and if you were to hear them speak their bisaya it would be in an almost singsong way (rising and falling intonation or pitch), yet the pronunciation is hard.

Cebuanos are a fiercely proud people. perhaps it is because of its history as the people who first stood against the Spanish invaders. they seem to have an unconscious loathing for Tagalogs (specifically the ones from Manila) and would insist why they are a better people. being a Kagayanon (from Cagayan de Oro) and also a Bisaya, i would certainly agree with it. these Tagalogs come off to us as an arrogant group who would immediately think you are from the boondocks if you mention Mindanao to their face.

hailing from Cagayan de Oro, the Kagayanons’ speech is replete with referrals to a woman’s sex organ and the devil. yes, i am not kidding. it is our way of cursing. bilat (vagina) and yawa (devil) are two of the most common vulgar words. oddly, i hardly hear Cebuanos say bilat and/or yawa. instead they say atay (a sickness in the liver that is prevalent in chickens) or kayasa/kayata (the act of doing sex).

it is also only in Cebu, a metropolitan second only to Manila, where the fare for riding public utility jeeps (PUJ) will only be PhP6.00 wherever you go within the cities. while that is welcome news, Cebu is almost similar to Manila where a lot of the jeeps that ply the roads look old and rusty, but are at par with the discipline of the jeepney drivers of Davao City. also another good thing about Cebu is that the meter’s of their taxis seem to run ridiculously slow. thus i think it is cheaper to ride a taxi here in Cebu than in Cagayan de Oro. many of their taxis are also run by LPG (liquified petroleum gas) making Cebu cleaner than other cities in the Philippines.

all in all Metro Cebu is great. it is big enough. the cost of living here is not too much. life is not always in a rush. traffic is not crawling like those horrendous traffic jams in Manila.. .

but their talk is just crazy!

 

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  19. idoi? says:

    wehehehheeh kabaw doi? i think you failed to mention one thing

    IDOI

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  21. yamz says:

    uy, no work mga doi!?? hahaha.. .

  22. jackalmurdoc says:

    waaa di ko balo.. pardon me.. u can delete the previous one yamz…

    when i first hear that, i thought the driver was referring to the riding passenger as a cat.

    should be

    when i first heard that, i thought the driver was referring to the riding passenger as a cat.

    kay past tense hehehe/… sorry yamz.. just messing around sa imo blog.. hehehe naug rako dha sa bitrage unya sa?

  23. jackalmurdoc says:

    should be

    kay past tense hehehe/… sorry yamz.. just messing around sa imo blog.. hehehe naug rako dha sa bitrage unya sa?

  24. tildemark says:

    we cant edit our comment aren’t we ???

    when i first here that, i thought the driver was reffering to the riding passenger as a cat.

    should be:

    when i first hear that, i thought the driver was referring to the riding passenger as a cat.

  25. tildemark says:

    most of the taxis in cebu are a bit old, the drivers also are not respectful, well not all but most of them. its weird that whenever you try to stop over or make them wait awhile they would also reset the taxi meter?

    the jeepney in cebu are not jeepney, they are converted trucks. if you want to see real jeepneys, go to cagayan de oro. drivers would say “si kitty” to passengers meaning give some space. when i first here that, i thought the driver was reffering to the riding passenger as a cat.

  26. yamz says:

    hahaha.. . really. i noticed those too. but this post is mainly on their “efficient” language, according to Emi. and the good things i’ve noticed about Cebu and Cebuanos.

  27. jackalmurdoc says:

    cool post. but i think u forgot to mention that cebu’s taxi cabs really sucks… it’s bad enough that there are no toyota Altis taxis here but the smell of LPG coming out from the air condition vents is unbearable, I even nearly passed out on one of the many taxi cabs that runs on alternative fuel.

    Maayo pa sa Cagayan daghan chada na taxi pero dili mi gasakay.. hehehe

    P.S. u can add up their tricycles on your list. “sardinas” is a good word to describe them… ;D

  28. yamz says:

    efficient indeed! hahaha.. .

    if there is “carabao english,” should there be “carabao bisaya” too?

    peace! 😀

  29. feline says:

    We’re just efficient, that’s why. Hence the need for shortcuts.

    But yes, thanks, for the compliments about us. But we already know we’re great (hahahaha… proud jud).

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