CULTURE

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SINAUNANG PANGANGALAKAL
ni M. Evangelista

In Filipino culture, it s not polite to be direct in expressing one's dislike of something, while expressing one's liking of something or someone is mostly appreciated.  If someone does not like something, it is better to express it in a subtle way through the use of alibis or "excuses".  For instance, if one is offered food but does not feel like eating, he could say, Busog pa po ako (I'm still full) or Mamaya na lang po (I'll take it later).  The use of 'po' in Tagalog sentences makes it polite or formal.  This way, the person saves his face as well as the person offering the food from embarrassment or rejection. 

Preferences may be expressed subtly also in Tagalog.  If one prefers one thing from another, he has to say something good about the first item and then express the idea that the second item is much better based on certain criteria.   The Tagalog expression, Mas gusto ko ito (I like this better) communicates a more positive tone than saying, Ayaw ko niyan (I don't like that).  Gusto and ayaw are the Tagalog words that convey like and dislike, respectively.

Some Tagalog expressions convey like and dislikes in subtle ways.  For example, the expression Pwede na rin (roughly equivalent to 'satisfactory' or 'acceptable') indicates liking of something but with much reluctance.  Sige na nga (okay, will accept it -- but reluctantly), okay na rin (looks okay), andyan na yan eh (it's here, so might as well) are other Tagalog expressions that convey liking with extreme reluctance, which is more of "dislike" if other options were available.

On the other hand, extreme liking of something may be expressed through repetition of complimentary words, such as gustong-gusto (to like the most), masarap na masarap (very delicious), magandang-maganda (very nice or very pretty), mahal na mahal (very lovable or very adorable), type na type (my type of person or thing), etc.

Some Tagalog expressions that convey extreme dislike of something (often bordering on hatred) are: kasuklam-suklam (very hateful); ayaw na ayaw (extremely disliked); kamuhi-muhi (extremely hateful), etc. 

Expressions of dislike with sarcasm are: magpapakamatay na lang ako (I'd rather commit suicide/be dead); magpatuka na lang ako sa ahas (I'd rather be bitten by a snake); wala na bang iba? (is there no other alternative?); ano'ng kasalanan ko, bakit ako pinaparusahan? (what have I done to deserve this punishment?), etc. 

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