There is a “folk illness” in the Philippines called pasmá. There is no equivalent medical term in English or Spanish.

The symptoms of pasmá are trembling hands and sweaty palms occurring after strenuous use of the hands in manual labor. Farmers who work in the fields dragging plows, women who handwash laundry, pianists, and athletes frequently suffer from pasmá. Their hands become pasmado (“spasmodic”).
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Important Concepts in Filipino Culture

Mahahalagang Konsepto sa Kulturang Pilipino


pagtitiwala sa Panginoon
trust in God

pagiging magalang
being respectful, especially to older people

perseverance, forbearance

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a toast in drinking

a drinking session


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An adjective used to describe girls and women who are not disposed to friendliness.

The word suplada is an adjective used to describe girls and women who are not disposed to friendliness.

If you greet a Filipino girl or woman and she doesn’t greet you back, she is called suplada. This word is sometimes translated as snooty or snobbish.

The male equivalent is suplado. A man who is suplado is frequently thought of as conceited and unapproachable.

Children, even babies, also get jokingly called suplada or suplado. For example, if someone says Hi to a three-year-old boy and he doesn’t say Hi or he just ignores the person, you can say, Ay, suplado! This could be even if the child didn’t know any better or was simply shy.

The origin of this word is likely the Spanish sopla, meaning to blow up or to inflate.

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pagsama; pagdadala ng bagay sa bibigyan; pagsubaybay, pagsabay

escort, accompany

Ihatid mo si Nena sa bahay.
See Nena home.

In Filipino culture, escorting a woman home and making sure she gets through the door safely is very important.

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Spelling variations: asuáng, asuwáng

Aswang is a native Tagalog word for a mythological creature. It’s been noted though that it’s likely derived from the Sanskrit word asura which means ‘demon.’

An aswang is scarier than the Spanish-derived word multo, which sort of calls to mind harmless ghosts like Caspar.

In other parts of the the Philippines, an aswang is called tik-tik or wak-wak. Continue reading “ASWANG”


root word: yabang

boastful, proud

Ang yabang mo naman.
My, you’re so boastful.

is being boastful

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Tinikling Dance

Tinikling involves two people hitting bamboo poles on the ground and against each other in coordination with one or more dancers who step over and in between the poles in a dance. It originated in Leyte among the Visayan islands in central Philippines as an imitation of the tikling bird.

Once taught simply as a folk dance from the Philippines, it has recently become popular in the sports curricula of elementary schools as it involves skills similar to jumping rope. It’s now a new, fun form of aerobic exercise that also improves spatial awareness, rhythm, foot and leg speed, agility, and coordination.

Tinikling: Philippine Dance

There are now so many tinikling products available in the United States. Not just tinikling music CDs and dance-steps instruction DVDs, but also tinikling sticks and cords! For the authentic experience, you must find thick bamboo poles!

Listen to this introduction.

Click here to read the transcripts of what she’s saying.