The Philippines is actually also known (if not more known) for its beautiful natural resources, particularly the 7,100-plus islands. It’s not all about Philippine politics, calamities and tragedies. Oh, but many do know that already.
I’m not going to talk about islands for now, however. I just thought that would get your attention, ha ha. Rather, I’d like to share stuff regarding the country’s other best-known assets–the people. In fact, I’ve talked about it in The Great Philippine Experience:
“…many tourists seem to come back again and again…When it comes to the Philippines, it is not merely the sceneries and the wonders that attract tourists. More than these, it is the people and their rich culture that makes the Philippines a much-loved travel destination.”
But why just take our word for it? The better idea is to take these foreign missionaries’ words for it! They have stayed in the country in a long enough time to appreciate its people. Some have even enjoyed a certain level of fame, having somewhat become celebrities, for instance, the boys of the Hey Joe Show, “a multi-platform social media group dedicated to celebrating and exposing Filipino culture to a global audience”. They can tell you what to expect when you’re in the Philippines.
It’s various interview clips, so it’s long, but you can always skip some of them. Personally, listening to them made me realize more things and made me proud to be Filipino, despite all the negatives. I was smiling almost from start to end, even laughing sometimes. First guy here is Connor Peck from the show I mentioned.
FUNNY THINGS FILIPINOS DO (by Sumner Mahaffey of the Hey Joe Show, and he also joined I Love OPM, singing competition for 100% non-Filipinos singing local songs)
Some of what Sumner says here are not mentioned in the previous video.
There are more things to explain how the Filipino is. Will share more in future posts.
Meanwhile, just like in any other country, one of the most important things when you visit is to learn the language. It is very important, though often neglected. But if you’re staying in a long while, it is advised that you learn the language. Speak, as the Pinoys do.
This is what Fil-American Wil Dasovich did when he came to stay in his mother’s native country. Wil is a popular vlogger (or YouTuber, if you may) known for talking a lot in the Filipino dialect called Tagalog.
But what sticks to most Pinoys’ minds is not only his American accent, but his weird Tagalog combos–he just simultaneously speaks in deep Tagalog, Taglish (Tagalog-English), sometimes hippie lingo, often beki (gay) speak without batting an eyelash. He explains why in the video below (I contributed translation for the Filipino words, but no one’s approved it yet, so I shared the texts below it instead). Nevertheless, I still encourage any foreigner or half-foreigner who wants to stay here for years to do what Wil did.
Wake up, wake up, wake up…So I am always asked: “Why are you using that word?!!”, “Why do you speak like that?!!”, “How did you learn to speak in Tagalog?” And after you’ve viewed this series, you might also wonder why I talk like this. So I just want to share the techniques I used to learn. And basically to show it worked for me.
So welcome to my home. This is really where I learned most of my Tagalog. Because I did not have a teacher, everything started with THIS: (1. Book for the Newbie) “Learn Filipino”. This has the basics. For instance, how to use a verb, in the past, present, future tense, like that.
When I came to the Philippines, I promised myself I wouldn’t use any English. (2. No English Allowed) Regardless of the situation.
- Excuse me. Is there a Jollibee nearby?
- (In Tagalog) Of course! Just go straight ahead till the first corner, then turn left. Then turn right again. There’s a lane there, go through that. You’ll find Jollibee there, beside McDonald’s.
- (In Tagalog) Uh…There!
In other words, I got hold of the dictionary. And if I don’t know a word, I just get it from here and translate in English. (3. Direct Translation) Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way.
- Hey, dude, let’s go!
- Wait! I’m still fixing my hair. [ “kumpuni” only means “fix” when referring to machines and electronics]
- Wil! Let’s get going.
- I have no more energy. I’m still tired. [“energy”, when translated in Tagalog, means “electricity” or “kuryente”]
Soon, I found comics. (4. Comics) Because they said the words would be simpler here. Wrong! Truth is, the language here is so different.
(In Tagalog Hippie-lingo)
- Dude! The cops are coming!
- Let’s bail, guys!
- No, man! You’re crazy!
What did they say??? Was that even Tagalog?
Aside from comics, I have these: (5. Books) “I Love You, Mother”, “Tips for Snobs”. This is actually funny. For example:
“If your officemate totally annoys you, but you’re still talking to him, say ‘I hope God’s enemy finds you.’” What a snob. Apparently, snobbery is in…“Hunger Games” Filipino edition and my favorite “Harry Potter” in Tagalog. It’s funny ’cause I imagine Harry Potter and company speaking in Tagalog in their British accents, like Malfoy: “Piss off, Potter! You’re good for nothing!” Or Hermione: “Harry, we must look for horcruxes.” Oh, that was so bad.
Songs. (6. Filipino Music) I gave up all English music and I only listen to Filipino songs. [Raps in Filipino]…Gloc-9, Francis Magalona, Ron Henley, Abra, “kundiman” (classic love) songs, Viva Hot Babes! I use whatever Tagalog words, that’s why they say that I sometimes sound like a classic poet.
(7. Write Down Everything) When you see this, you’ll realize how crazy I am about studying. Basically, whatever word that I don’t know, I take note of in my notebook. Whether it’s from a book, a song, the news, any word, another person, I’ll write it down and read again and again until I memorize it. For how many days, I stay seated on this stupid chair! Oh, my gooosh!!!…I’m sorry if I seem crazy and have loose screws.
Pages after pages, notebooks all piling up! Tagalog has taken over my life…my home…in my life and my home! And wherever, whenever, I carry a notebook with me, to whatever place I go to.
- …’cause it’s almost four, the deadline. Remember the budget, okay? Hey, Wil, what is this???
Sometimes, on some TV channels, there are classic movies dubbed in Tagalog. (8. Tagalized Movies) So I watch them and record them using my iPhone. “Cooool….!!!” And when I’m walking or I’m on the go, or I’m just hanging out somewhere, that’s what I listen to. Imagine, there’s “Ironman”, “Lord of the Rings”, “Avengers”, all in Tagalog.
When I was watching Arnold Schwarzenegger’s”Terminator”, he said something: “I’ll be back.” They made sure to imitate the speech. Wow! I also remember “Forrest Gump”: “My momma always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates…You never know what you’re gonna get.’ ” What I also remember from “300”: “I’ve chosen my words carefully, Persian…’THIS IS SPARTA!!!”
(9. Dream in Tagalog) Oh, and by the way, even when I am sleeping, I still listen to what I have recorded and eventually, I….(buckles)…I dream in Tagalog! What a trip!
- “Hello, Clarisse. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”
So that’s it. Those were the steps I took to learn, and after a year, this is me, just a simple guy.
*Whew! That’s a long one.*
So that’s it, I hope you enjoyed this post and learned something from it…Welcome to the Philippines!!!