CULTURE

anarule.gif (1534 bytes)


p409_3.gif (5954 bytes)

BB. SANTOS:

turqball.gif (579 bytes)     Saan ka galing Boy?

BOY:

turqball.gif (579 bytes)     Sa bahay po.

 

BB. SANTOS: turqball.gif (579 bytes)  Ate Linda, saan ka pupunta?
ATE LINDA: turqball.gif (579 bytes)   Diyan sa may kanto. 

 

A very common greeting in Tagalog is turqball.gif (579 bytes)Saan ka pupunta? (Where are you going?) or turqball.gif (579 bytes)Saan ka galing?  (Where did you come from?).

This may be interpreted by foreigners as being a nosey question, but it is actually a very informal greeting equivalent to "hello" or "how are you?" in English.  The response to this greeting need not indicate exactly where the addressee is going to or has come from.  A vague expression, turqball.gif (579 bytes)diyan lang, meaning "over there" or   "just there," will suffice.

Another familiar greeting is turqball.gif (579 bytes)Hoy! which can be translated in English as "Hi."  It is also used as an attention-getter like the English word "Hey!"  In this sense, as in English, the word is never used in situations requiring respect for the one spoken to.

anarule.gif (1534 bytes)

Additional Cultural Notes

One way of greeting your elder in the Filipino culture is the act of "pagmano."  Youngsters greet their parents, grandparents, godparents, and sometimes uncles and aunts by taking the elder's right hand and placing it on their forehead.  This is also a request for a blessing from the elders and a grateful acceptance of that blessing by the youngsters.

bow.gif (2730 bytes)

 

anarule.gif (1534 bytes)

 

Filipinos are basically a cheerful people.  Even if they are facing a number of personal problems in life, they still find it easy to smile and express optimism.  This is best captured in a number of everyday greetings in Tagalog that convey some important meanings. For example, the greeting Kumusta ka na? (from Spanish, Como esta?, or "How are you?") not only means that the person is simply asking about one's physical condition but also about his life in general.  The usual response to this question is Mabuti naman (Good, or Fine), but other possible responses could be Nakakaraos naman (Barely surviving), Buhay pa (Still alive), or Heto, mahirap pa rin (Here, and still poor).  While the latter expressions may be interpreted superficially as negative responses, it is not necessarily the case. It's because in Filipino culture one has to be modest and humble in describing his condition in life, even if there is really nothing wrong with it.  And even if there may be some troubles in one's personal life, it is still better not to talk about it openly and simply say that everything is still fine. 

In Filipino culture, having to hide one's real life condition is a way of having to save his face, especially to those who are not really his close friends or members of his family.  Being too open to strangers about one's life situation is taboo in Filipino culture, because there is fear of having to be the object of tsismis (from Spanish chismis, or gossip).  Hiya (shame) is the Tagalog word that best captures the underlying reason for not having to be too open about one's real condition in life, especially if it is not good.  On the other hand, even if one's condition is basically okay or very good, it is also taboo to brag about it.   If one brags about his wealth or good situation, he is called mayabang (arrogant, boastful).  The opposite of such a person is called mapakumbaba (lowly, modest), because he remains humble inspite of his wealth and good life.