Life So Mundane in Batangas
Showing posts with label Language. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Language. Show all posts

13 April 2016

Hypotheses on the Difference in Accents between Eastern and Western Batangas

Taal, like Balayan, used to be a capital of Batangas.

When the Filipino actor Leo Martinez started gaining a bit of fame on Philippine television cast as a Batangueño with an exaggerated accent, I felt mystified that people bought the accent at all. It sounded extremely phoney to me.


02 February 2016

Why the Japanese Have Difficulty Pronouncing the Letter ‘L’

Image credit:  http://www,

Back in the late nineties, when I was still at the school’s external relations arm, the protocol when there were guests was to send them to my office so we could give them a tour of the campus.


10 January 2016

Those Annoying Loanwords News Reporters Love to Use as Filipino

Image captured from video on Iwantv.

Readers who are my contemporaries and who were in high school up to the early eighties will likely have noticed how reporters of the evening news keep using supposed Filipino words which were simply not used at all back in the day.


12 October 2015

Kilig in English: Describing Aldub, Kathniel, Jadine and a Pee Shiver

Image captured from Pangako sa 'Yo trailer on YouTube.

The Tagalog word ‘kilig’ has got to be among the most overused these days in the entertainment industry, or at least in the contemporary sense as a way to describe the response to the numerous love teams that local audiences simply devour with gusto.


05 September 2015

Should You say ‘A Historic’ or ‘An Historic’?

For a Filipino, this really should not even be a relevant question; and especially so before the age of cable television. But then cable television did come along, and with it beamed live into our living rooms international news networks like CNN and the BBC.


31 August 2015

From Coño to Konyo: How a Swearword Defines a Social Class

I was amused if still slightly taken aback to hear Vice Ganda use the word ‘coño’ a few months back while in the middle of a live segment of the popular noontime show ‘It’s Showtime!’ To be fair, in context there was nothing vulgar or sexual in the usage; and the word he probably had in mind was more the contemporary Tagalog slang ‘konyo.’


05 July 2015

Why Filipinos are Correct in Saying THE Philippines Instead of Philippines

I am sure that I am not the only one who gets annoyed hearing other nationalities say ‘Philippines’ instead of ‘the Philippines’ as all of us were taught early in our lives to say. The article the, in fact, is part of the name of our country.


28 June 2015

Do You Offer ‘Condolence’ or ‘Condolences’?

Now this is a tricky one. I have always preferred ‘condolences’ because that is how I often hear it from native English speakers. It is not, apparently, as straightforward as I used to think.


03 June 2015

What ‘Welcome’ Means in Response to ‘Thank You’

Although we Filipinos are not native English-speakers, most of us were taught at an early age by our parents to say ‘thank you’ when somebody does a favour for us. We were also taught that the polite response to ‘thank you’ would be ‘you are welcome’ or just ‘welcome.’


29 April 2015

So Why Did Curiosity Kill the Cat?

Image from

Back in the early nineties, one of my former players was asking me far too many questions about something that I cannot even recall now. What I do recall was that I was tired from playing and was quickly running out of patience answering the incessant stream of questions.


26 December 2014

‘On Behalf of’ or ‘In Behalf of?’

Quick, which is correct, ‘on behalf of’ or ‘in behalf of?’

Technically, both are correct. It is in the usage, however, that people often get confused.

The word ‘behalf’ is a noun that can mean either of two things.

First, it can mean an ‘agent,’ ‘stead,’ ‘lieu,’ ‘place,’ or ‘position.’ The usage of the word behalf can be ‘as an agent of,’ in somebody’s stead, ‘in lieu of’ or in ‘somebody’s place or position.’


06 November 2014

Did You Learn Your Written English Well While at School?

Image credit:
This article is addressed to younger readers, particularly those still in school or fresh off it. If have not learned your written English well, you really should have because you will live to regret it. Your command of English does not have to be flawless grammatically; and neither do you have to be a walking dictionary.

All you need is to be able to communicate your ideas in a manner that can be understood with vocabulary that is appreciable across all levels of an organisation. You will most likely not be asked to write works of literature; so you really do not even have to be Shakespeare’s reincarnation.

What you need is to be accurate but concise; eloquent but not wordy. As mentioned, your grammar does not have to be flawless – although that is always an advantage – but what you need is to be able to present your thoughts in an organised manner.


11 October 2014

Some Frequently Mispronounced English Words

Image credit:
“I am English. I do not have an accent.” This is supposed to be a humorous swipe at Americans by Brits. Not that there is one standard way of speaking the Queen’s Language even in the isles where the language spawned.

Of course, we Filipinos do have our own way of speaking this adopted language, brought to these shores by our former colonial masters, the Americans.

Not all sounds in the complicated English language were present in the national language Filipino; although linguistic experts have since made adjustments to include these foreign sounds into our alphabet.


16 September 2014

Ilonggo, Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a from a Batangueño’s Point of View

Graphic saved from Google Earth.
Due to my continuing fascination with the Batangueño dialect, I have been doing some readings on Philippine languages over the Internet. My current readings have taken me momentarily away from the subject I have been attempting to research. However, I am also starting to better understand things that were only vaguely familiar to me in the past.

Before we go any further, allow me to clarify this myth perpetuated by Social Science books and taught to elementary and high school students all around the country. That is, that the Philippines has Filipino and English as national languages and a great number of dialects spoken around the country.

These so-called dialects, in fact, are recognised by linguistic experts as distinct languages, something that my former boss, the late Br. Rafael Donato, loved to point out. The erroneous use of the word dialect in lieu of languages apparently began during the American occupation and was perpetuated by writers of local textbooks.


22 January 2014

The Grammatical Anomaly of ‘Taken Cared of’

Image credit:
There, I heard it again; on national television, no less! In the primetime series ‘Honesto,’ the secretary of Governor Hugo Layer referred to the impending engagement party for Diego and Marie as ‘taken cared of.’


06 August 2013

Oh So You Speak Tagalog!

You gotta hand it to the creative thinkers of ABS-CBN, in particular those responsible for the noontime show ‘It’s Showtime!’ Last Monday, the show introduced this new segment called ‘Halo-Halo,’ which features Filipino mix-breeds who compete against each other in terms of talent.

The segment is arguably conceptually colonial; but at the same time it recognises and showcases our colourful heritage as well as the diversity of our peoples. There is probably no other nation in the Far East where so many of the native population have some amount or the other of white Caucasian blood flowing through their veins.

The great majority of these mix-breeds, understandably, are of part-Spanish or -American descent; and they are mere testaments to our storied colonial past.


04 July 2013

Pilipinas or Filipinas? How the Change of One Letter Sparked Discussion

Earlier this afternoon, the regional edition of TV Patrol ran a feature showing people that the news crew surveyed for their opinions regarding the proposal to change the name of the country from Pilipinas to Filipinas. Perhaps not surprisingly, most of those interviewed were vehemently against the proposal.

For the benefit of readers who have yet to hear of the matter, the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino or the Philippine Language Commission recently passed a resolution whereby it decided to stop using the name Pilipinas in reference to the country and instead use the name Filipinas.

The commission also expressed the hope that the name Filipinas will be how the country will become known internationally.


11 August 2012

All About the Word Shit

Shit. In my youth, if one used that word out loud one was admonished. It was generally regarded as a swearword; and unless one was in a rage, it was unacceptable to use in conversation. Apart from being thought of as a profanity, the word was also considered vulgar and degrading to use.

These days, the word is, if not entirely acceptable, then so much more commonplace and not considered as offensive as it once was. To a certain extent, media has had a role in the proliferation of the word’s use. There are still American channels that toot out the word; but in movies and television series values have become liberalised.


12 July 2012

Oibos and the Etymology of a Batangueño Word

After having started and procrastinated for the better part of almost two years on another of my web projects, The Salitang Batangas Project, for some reason I got interested in it again last week. The site seemed so abjectly under-designed that I added some widgets just to spruce it up.

I also added what Facebook calls a Like Box; and to do that you have to set up a Facebook Page. So, I did. Now, putting up that page has really been a blessing of sorts these past few days. Keeping it updated has been fun, especially as the page is linked with a Twitter account.


30 March 2012

The Convenience of the Word K’wan

Just this evening on the news, a government official – or something – being interviewed by a reporter was being particularly cryptic with his reply, “Hindî mapatakbo ang kwan dahil sa k’wan…” So there you have it! Such esteemed eloquence on national television at that. Oh by the way, I am being sarcastic…

But to get back to the magic word, k’wan, does it even have a meaning? The closest English translation that I can think of is whachamacallit, which is not even legitimate English but an abbreviated version of ‘what you might call it.’




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