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Filipino Friday

Travel Blog

Filipino Friday : Bababa ba? Bababa

August 17, 2012
Pinoy sign

Welcome back to Filipino Fridays, a weekly session on my blog where I talk something about my home country, the Philippines.

This week, it’s all about making conversations in the Philippines. Look at the image below showing a common conversation:

Photo credits from Jay Cabrera

(*photo credits from Jay Cabrera on Facebook. )

Person 1: Bababa ba?
Person 2: Bababa.

Do you notice anything interesting about the phrase?

First of all, this is an actual conversation. Despite only using one syllable, it actually means a complete thought.

Well just to give you a bit of background, the conversation is in Filipino, the national language of the Philippines. The country’s official language is Filipino and English, with regional languages  such as Cebuano, Ilokano, Bicolano, Hiligaynon and Waray-waray as auxiliary languages. In total, the Philippines has more than 170 regional languages.

And together with 400 years of Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and American influence, our language had evolved into a melting pot of words. As an example of this influence, to say “How are you?”  is “Kamusta ka?” a derivation of the Spanish “Como esta?” and to say thank you is “Salamat” which is similar to Bahasa’s use of “Selamat”.

The Filipino language evolved into something unique – albeit weird in some cases. But don’t worry, we don’t babble monosyllabic phrases all the time. 🙂

The etymology of the words in this conversation is unknown. But to translate:

Person 1: Bababa ba? = is it (elevator) going down? 
Person 2: Bababa = it’s going down

Baba actually means down.

Here are some other “strange”  words:

  • Lalala (to worsen as like to being sick)
  • Bobobo (to become more stupid)
  • Nganganga (open someone’s mouth)
  • Kakasa (to nudge a gun)

For some real phrases:

  • You are pretty! –  Ang ganda mo!
  • I love you – Mahal kita
  • How much? – Magkano?
  •  Goodbye – Paalam

Well, the next time you meet a Filipino in an elevator – be sure to mention bababa ba

What other quirky words / phrases in your own language. Share them below!

 

About Filipino Friday: Every Friday, I’m going to showcase something unique about my home country , the Philippines. It can be a place, food, experience, custom or tradition that highlights what we our 7,107 islands can offer. I hope that through these posts – I can help bring awareness about the Philippines,  it’s beauty, hidden sites, quirkiness and diversity.

Are you a travel blogger? I’m inviting you to take part of Filipino Friday with me. All you need to do is post something about the Philippines every Friday. Contact me if you’re interested.

Travel Blog

Filipino Friday: The Balut

October 21, 2011
Balut

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you the balut. (Warning: Graphic photos)

Voted as #1 most terrifying food in the world, it’s been a staple “must do” for anyone visiting the Philippines and a challenge for those adventurous enough to stomach this known delicacy. But is it that terrifying as most publications tell it to be?

Balut at El Nido

Here’s the lowdown:

Balut is fertilized duck egg (Yes, it has a duckling fetus inside). It’s a common street snack here in the Philippines and other Southeast Asia countries and notoriously known to freak out those who attempt to take a bite. It’s often boiled and eaten on its shell. It takes around 17 days to prepare a balut and for some, 19-21 days if you want it mature (ie with the beaks and feathers already in it).

In the Philippines, there are other varieties of eating balut. You can try it fried, scrambled, in a soup, on a pastry bun – but the best experience is eating it the traditional way – boiled and while still warm.

Now, if you are looking to macho it up and try it, here are some tips to make the experience better:

1. Don’t look at what your eating
2. Add salt or chili
3. Drink it with a beer (everything goes well with a beer)

To be honest with you, I never really liked balut and I have never tried balut until I was 23  after I dared my German friend Dennis to try one.

My conclusion: It taste like a hard boiled egg with a slight crunchiness to it. Adding a pinch of salt and chili definitely helps make it more tasty. But trust me that it taste better than it looks. Bon Appetit!

Eating Balut (Step 1)

Eating Balut (Step 2)

Eating Balut (Step 3)

(photos from Dennis)

Have you tried Balut? (if not, I DARE you to try it). Share your experience BELOW!

About Filipino Friday: Every Friday, I’m going to showcase something unique about my home country , the Philippines. It can be a place, food, experience, custom or tradition that highlights what we our 7,107 islands can offer. I remember that on my travels, there are some people who are still unaware of where the Philippines  is or what the country has to offer. So I hope that through these posts – I can help bring awareness about the Philippines,  it’s beauty, hidden sites, quirkiness and diversity.

Are you a travel blogger? I’m inviting you to take part of Filipino Friday with me. All you need to do is post something about the Philippines every Friday. Contact me if you’re interested.

Asia

Filipino Friday: Taal Volcano

October 14, 2011
Taal

Every Friday, I’m going to showcase something unique about my home country , the Philippines. It can be a place, food, experience, custom or tradition that highlights what we our 7,107 islands can offer. I remember that on my travels, there are some people who are still unaware of where the Philippines  is or what the country has to offer. So I hope that through these posts – I can help bring awareness about the Philippines,  it’s beauty, hidden sites, quirkiness and diversity.

For my first post, I’m writing about Taal Volcano.

The Mouth of Taal Volcano

Philippines is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and home to a number of active volcanoes (official count was 50).  Taal Volcano is one of the more famous  volcanoes and also one of the most active in the country. Don’t worry though as its last major eruption was in the 1970s.

So what is so special about this volcano?

Taal Volcano is most known for having the world’s largest island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island (phew!).

To better explain:  the center most island is called Vulcan Point which sits on the Crater lake, Crater lake is inside Taal Island, which then is inside Taal Lake on the Luzon Island.  Don’t believe me? See the photo below (hard to see Vulcan point from here).

Taal Volcano from a satellite – Wikimedia Photo

I recently spent a weekend with my family in Talisay, Batangas – on a resort along the lake with a great view of the volcano. And I must say that it’s nice to wake up and have this view on your window.  😉

taal volcano

Considering that it’s only a two hour bus ride from Manila, it’s a great day trip to include on itinerary if ever you’re coming from Manila.  You can go to the city of Tagaytay for a view from atop overlooking the lake. You can also go to the town of Talisay and arrange a hike to the top of the volcano island. It’s a 45 minute hike to the top and can be done on foot or on horse. View of the crater island is worth the climb!

*Photos from deckchua & therealbrute under creative commons license

Have you been to Taal? What were your experiences? SHARE them below!

Are you a travel blogger? I’m inviting you to take part of Filipino Friday with me. All you need to do is post something about the Philippines every Friday. Contact me if you’re interested.

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