This word is almost always seen only in the phrase ningas-kugon (ningas kugon), which means “flaming cogon grass” or figuratively, quickly going up in flames. It refers to the Filipino cultural trait of very enthusiastically starting things, but then quickly losing enthusiasm soon after.


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root word: damay

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Philippine Society

The Filipino word for ‘culture’ is kultura and the word for ‘society’ is lipunan.

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Doing patol is deciding to engage or deal with a person who is not on the same level as you, particularly to someone beneath you, like a child. The verb is patulan, which means to pay attention to someone not your equal.

This is considered very poor form in Filipino culture. You should always take the high road. Frequently, good friends will give you this advice:

Huwag mong patulan. 

That means: “Don’t respond. (Don’t engage. Not worth the bother.)” Continue reading “PATOL”



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root word: panhik (“going upstairs”)

Pamanhikan is the Filipino tradition of a man and his family visiting his future bride’s family in order to ask for her hand in marriage.

The word literally means to climb the stairs of the house (of the fiancee). It traditionally happens in the evening, right after the boy’s family has eaten. The girl’s relatives are waiting, having been told beforehand.

Though not a focal point of the custom, the groom’s party may bring liquor, and the woman’s side has ready the pulutan (“appetizers” that go with alcoholic drinks).

to do the ritual of pamamanhikan

Umuwi ka sa probinsya at mamanhikan.
Go home to the province and ask to marry her.


A kalabit is sort of like a poke except that with a kalabit, you withdraw your finger in a crooked position.

to touch with a fingertip

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root word: kaba


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