Skip to content

Ang buwan ng Agosto ay ang Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa!

August 20, 2013

But this is in English..

I am a Filipino, but for the life of me, I am unable to write in the vernacular. I find it easier to express myself in English. But please don’t get me wrong, I consider Tagalog and Bisaya very poetic, and using them on a daily basis to express random nothings and outpouring of emotions is an art. Unfortunately though, when I use it to write, I fall short and feel like I bring it to shame. I’ve tried! Buuuut, the effect and the release of creative juices is just not as fulfilling as when I would speak in English.

I grew up having English, Tagalog, and Bisaya as my first language – at the same time! Seriously! As a kid, I had the hardest time expressing myself. For me, there was no distinction of language, just a medium wherewith I can express myself. When I wanted to say something, I say it, I don’t care if you don’t understand me. When someone speaks to me, I’ll understand, but I’ll reply with taglishaya. So I usually get these weird awkward pauses of people squinting their eyes trying to parse every word I am saying.

Learning the distinctions

When I started schooling in Ateneo de Davao University, we were taught to speak in English fluently. I grew accustomed to it easily, and then started thinking there are two languages in the world: (1) English and (2) Tagalog; English being the more prominent language. My “Tagalog” then sucked because it was garnished with Bisaya. I’d say things like “Parati ka lagi <gumaganyan>..” or “Mao yan!” or “Ano gani yun?” and like I was before, I didn’t care, I’ll just talk.

I carried English and Tagalog-Bisaya until I reached College. Although that was the time when I was exposed to Bisaya more, I still could not distinguish between the two dialects! And being in an English-speaking school, my English was honed, but my Tagalog-Bisaya worsened! I learned more Bisaya words I could mix with my Tagalog and made it sound even funnier.

To think that I only learned to distinguish the two dialects FULLY when I started working in Cebu. My Bisaya was so ugly that I remember one of the taxi drivers asking me “Dili ka taga diri no?” (You’re not from here, huh?) And I remember a time my officemate was jealous of some fortune I had, and in teasing I asked her “naibog ka no?

She screamed “YUCK!!”


In Davao, “ibog” is used like “inggit” or envy, but in Cebu, it’s like asking “you have a crush on me, don’t you?”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! That was embarrassing…

My Bisaya has improved

Today, my Bisaya is a LOT better. So much better that one time when we were walking to wherever, and I pointed out a shortcut and a direction, one of my friends said, “Mura na jud ka’g taga-Cebu, Dru. Dili na nako mailhan nga Taga-Davao imong Bisaya.” which meant, “It’s like you’re a native of Cebu! I can no longer tell if your Bisaya was from Davao.”

Nowadays, when I hear my family using it, I can hear distinct errors in their accent and sometimes find it “painful” to hear. I kind of think that’s how I sounded too. But even as I am now, I’m unable to write to give my cultural dialects justice.

Nakakahiya ang Tagalog ko

There was also one time when I was in Luzon, and we were looking for a venue we could rent. When we met with the owner of a particular place, and I wanted to strike a conversation, or possibly even haggle for a lower price. My friend grabbed my shoulder and said, “Wag ka nang magsalita. Nakakahiya ang Tagalog mo.” (Don’t say anything. Your Tagalog is embarrassing.)


I wasn’t offended in any way! My Tagalog is crooked, and I can’t pronounce some words right. And what he said was true, I think I should practice it more often.

A certain level of intellect to understand me

Another situation and this happened recently: I was sharing with a close friend about my experiences in America, and I told her, “I never imagined that I would fall in love with the youth there.” Then she said, “I kinda expected that. You kinda need a certain level of intellect to be understood.”

It was a nice thing to say, actually! I never knew that she read right through me, but I also kind of felt bad because I pride myself with being able to mingle with myriad kinds of people. But yeah, in my entirety, I play with words a lot, am corny and very sarcastic – maybe sometimes people can’t really stomach such low forms of wit.

My English is too formal (Read: old)

Well, an example would be that I’d use “Film showing” over “Movie time”. I use the term a lot, but once when I was texting with a friend and I used it, and the reply came as “Film showing? Again so formal! Just say movie time or watch movies! Film is so 1920! You old person!”

But I don’t know! I was taught to speak in formal English for majority of my life, using idioms, bantering and all. I don’t think I’ll be changing too quickly to adapt to a more casual way of talking, but hey! I’m open to try new things.


Yeah.. If anyone’s wondering why I speak in English, this is the summarized transcript of why. I’m sorry if any fellow countrymen stumbling into my blog ever felt offended or betrayed that I am not giving our dialect any form of acknowledgement, it’s basically because at the moment, I can not. I may try in the future though. 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Conversations with the self

Gamugamong Bukid

Chill lang wag high blood :))


to faraway

Aggie Aviso

writer.storyteller.memory keeper.


This is My Psychosis

The Life of Ash

My life as a closed open book. And vice versa.

paulitically incorrect

raves, rants and ramblings on anything in Cebu, Philippines and beyond


tralalalism 101, dramarama and the rest is pure jojitahness

Unstructured, raw, and partially edited

To live off the experience of life, come what may...


Stealing Kisses from the wind

Sink or Swim?

In a complicated life, you only have two choices. It's either you SWIM or you SINK.

Becoming A Triathlete... My Journey

Just another site

Escaping Thoughts

My running thoughts captured for a brief moment

The Money Tree

Plant, Grow, and Harvest Your Future

the impersonal blog of jamenijamjam

random stuff picked from the mindless surfing activites of Jamenijamjam

%d bloggers like this: