Para ! Para ! Para !



I was watching a subbed Argentinian thriller movie the other day…. then I heard the word Para.! Para ! The passengers in the car were shouting that word and I assumed they were telling the driver to stop. I was surprised because that word is  a  Philippine  word that  also means STOP .

They say there is actually no Filipino language. Filipinos  speak so many languages, 100 to 200 , depending on the classification being used. They are not ” dialects” .  It’s weird.  California is larger than the Philippines in terms of size, but the people living within that small area speak different languages . Drive about 100 miles from Manila to the province of Pampanga and you will hear people speaking an  entirely different language , I kid you not. Pampanga language is like Greek to me.


For example:


English   :   a) Where are you going ?

b)  I have no idea  !

Tagalog   :   a) Saan ka pupunta ?

b)  Ewan ko sa’yo !

Ilongo      :     a) Diin ka makadto ?

b) Ambot sa imo !


My mother provided the Ilongo translation.


In 1935,  the Philippine Constitution designated Tagalog, the language spoken in the capital city of Manila, as the ” official ” language of the country, together with English and Spanish, and it also stated that,   henceforth, ” Tagalog shall be taught in all schools, with requisite 24 units of Spanish in college,  and  English as the medium of instruction “. I am not surprised this  turned  Filipinos into a  Jack of all trades, master of none, to the point that Taglish   is now the accepted lingua franca in the country. Taglish is the use of Tagalog and English phrases or words in one sentence.

English : Let’s have lunch now. I’m so hungry.

Taglish :  Mag- lunch na tayo. I’m so hungry na.

Me    :      [  …….    ]


I watch Filipino language tutorials on You Tube  , then watch  other  videos to learn more, and I ‘m , like,  the heck .


I wonder……… if English is the medium of instruction from  elementary to college, is Grade 1 Math taught in English ?  Yes, and it blows my mind.  Just think……. Kindergarten and first graders are taught English grammar for the first time, and  Math 1 and History ( Civics  ), Science 1,  etc.   are simultaneously taught in English. How is that possible ?  I asked my parents about that, and they were as perplexed as I was. They did say that maybe , educators assume pre-schoolers  have a basic knowledge of the English language.  I remember when I was  in Kindergarten in the Philippines, we were taught Arithmetic this way……. 12 take away 6 is , what is the answer , class ?  Ma’m , ma’m , here, here ( Ren raises hand )…. Okay, Ren,  what is the answer ?  6 ! !   Very good !


The only subject that is taught in their native language  is ” Filipino Language .” All the rest , like Math, English Grammar , Reading, ( Run, Spotty, Run ,  I still remember the title ! ! )) Civics, and  Good Manners and Right Conduct , ( yes, they study  that over there ) are all taught in English.   Filipino kids have to do double time to learn stuff not in their own language, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing.  This is the subject of a well- read  book by Renato Constantino titled The Miseducation of the Filipinos which I read a few years ago.   It has something to do with abandoning the native language and favoring a mishmashed one .




I understand. It’s easier  to read and understand NO ENTRY, instead of BAWAL PUMASKO DITO.


Photo below is a gasoline station in the Philippines. Notices are in English.




Photo below…. the sign says  Php 2,000 Minimum Payment for Bumping Barrier




Oh, well. I guess I have to go back to  my You Tube Filipino language tutorials.


PS: Example of Grade 4 English Grammar test in the Philippines which my Dad still remembers.

Choose  the correct word or phrase ;

A)  It’s raining,  _______________   ?

a) aren’t they ?

b) isn’t it ?

c)  none of the above

My Dad answered , It’s raining, aren’t they X    Ha ha ha !


This is just an FYI  about  the country where I came from.


This is all for now .Bye and Peace !


Impeach !













40 responses to this post.

  1. I’ve always wanted to learn at least 3 languages. My problem is getting the dialects right. Also, I heard that English is the most difficult language to learn. It seems to me that there are people whose native language is English, but they have no appreciation for the dialects across this country and always want to correct pronunciation to agree with their own dialect. LOL!


    • Well, Filipinos are the 3rd largest group of immigrants here in the US. So, Irecommend the Filipino language. Ha ha ha That means Tagalog. It’s easier than any Asian language because they also use western alphabet, not characters, like Chinese or Japanese characters. Xena, learn Tagalog ! ! !


      • I checked out the colleges and schools in my area, and the only language class they have is for Latin. There’s a Catholic Church that has classes for Polish to learn English. I’m not keen in doing online courses, so will keep looking to see if there’s anything nearby.


        • I’m watching Tagalog language tutorials on youtube , and though I think it’s the best one, it’s purely grammar. and ….. very hard…… but the language makes a lot of sense to me now, lol. I don’t like the other tutorials …. they are ” conversational”, but you need to memorize a lot of words and phrases. That’s not for me. Oh, it’s free. ^_^


          • I’ll give a search for it on Youtube. Another language I’m interested in is Korean. My son was stationed there for a year and learned some of the language. There are many business owners in my area who are natives of Korea. They really enjoy when someone has taken enough interest to learn to say “hello” in their language.


  2. First of all I’d just like to mention I love a lot of Argentinian films but on the subject of the amazing amount of languages spoken I am just shaking my head and hoping I never get lost if I visit that country, although I am sure the kind people would get me back to my hotel one way or another 🙂


    • Filipinos can speak and understand English, Peter Wells. Filipinos need to learn just one language to communicate with each other, After 80 years after just one had been designated official, all Filipinos can now speak Tagalog fluently. The problem is, Tagalog – speaking Filipinos do not understand the other languages.

      The Philippines is the 3rd or 4th or 5th largest English – speaking countries in the world, not due to population ,but to the percent of the population who actually speak and understand the English language. ( 92 % of the population). Even a street food vendor can give you directions to where you wanna go, in English.


      • ” Even a street food vendor can give you directions to where you wanna go, in English.”

        True this. Maybe not in the perfect grammar but it will get to the point. 😀


  3. I think that English must be hard to learn because of the many words that sound the same spelled differently. And of course structure. My Filipino friends ask me all the time how do you say this or that.
    I try to learn other words in other languages but I’m horrible at it. But one word I will always say is “oh My gulay!”
    One of the first Tagalog words my friends taught me! 😂


    • I think all languages are hard to learn. I do think English is easy to learn compared to other languages. Try learning Chinese, he he he.

      Oh, my gulay ….. ha ha ha. Rebecca, gulay means vegetable.. I don’t know if that’s a new slang among Filipinos. ^__^

      Rebecca, have your Filipino friends teach you Tagalog.

      I give you two….. Talaga ? ( Really ? )

      Tara na ! ! ( Let’s go ! ! )


  4. Good post. Interesting and entertaining.


  5. I remember there are few words that similar to Malay/ Indonesian too.. Salamat and ampat 🙂


  6. It is strange that language can develop like that but here, our Aboriginal peoples, which total only about 1 million, have more than 65 distinct languages between them.


    • No kidding ! Really ? 65 distinct languages !

      I can understand the language developing like that in the Philippines. The country has more than 7,000 islands, so I figure people living on an isolated island would develope their own distinct language.


  7. That’s fascinating, it must be so confusing…
    I like you last word after peace! 😉


  8. Mayap a aldo queca! This is a kapampangan greeting which means Magandang Araw sa iyo! I think I appreciate our language more when I visited Indonesia. We have a lot of similar words to them especially the Kapampangan language that they always mistakenly here us talking Indonesian. ♥


  9. Languages are a very interesting subject. Each one can lead in many different directions. intriguing.


  10. Very interesting – and actually useful information for me (for reasons which I’ll announce in my blog very soon…)


  11. In Spanish Para = For so initially I was confused by the post title. BTW really like your signoff at the end of the post – hehehe.


  12. In America, we have the English language and the Trumpish language (aka the bs language), which is often expressed in tweets. It’s for the birds, but even they can’t bear it (except maybe the nuthatches and loons).


  13. At this point in time, it is easier to say things in ‘Tag-lish’ than pure Tagalog or Filipino. I is so apparent that some words we usually say when we are kids are not being heard now. More of forgotten because of the time.

    At some occasions, I am very happy to hear those words again like bringing back memories.


    • My neighbors/childhood friends spokeTaglish, cheesecake. I speak Tagalog with an accent, but when I was there, I tried to speak straight Tagalog, but gave up , ha ha ha.


      • depends on your environment really. my cousin has his parents use tagalog in the household so he is used to it. this cousin who spoke ‘slang tagalog’ went back here in PH the first time and his ‘slang’ became more pinoy in accent. lol.


  14. Your dad’s answer made me laugh 🤣🤣🤣🤣


  15. I was born in Angeles city . Pampanga dialect is one of the hardest dialect in the Philippines . Most of the Filipinos can speak at least three dialect .


    • When we were at the airport in San Francisco waiting for our plane , there was a group of Filipinos speaking what I thought was a strange language, and they did look like Filipinos. My Mom didn”t know the language. But then we saw the address in their luggages… Pampanga ! !


  16. Interesting. Similarities with India. English is the common business language and the aspirational language. Hindi is the most common national language, with Bollywood being a leading contributor to its popularity. And then there are at least twenty official regional languages and hundreds of variants.


  17. I thought it was an article about public transport in Philippines. 🙂 Anyways, I hope more kababayan (fellow filipino) would appreciate our own language because now a days other nationalities seems to be more eloquent in tagalog. It gets tougher to convince them because most parents raise their children to speak english making them more illiterate with their mother tongue. I appreciate your interest in learning tagalog and even influencing others to learn it. 🙂


  18. Yes it’s true that we Filipinos have many languages hahaha but I’m so proud to be a Filipino and I’m proud to say that I can understand english and talk a little bit english as well even though sometimes I struggled with grammars and proper pronounciations


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