The Tagalog word gawgaw is Chinese in origin.


gawgaw ng mais
corn starch

Gawgaw refers to the starch used in food as well as the starch used to stiffen clothes. Almirol is the more specific, Spanish-derived Filipino word for laundry starch.

In the old days, gawgaw was also used as a weak glue (“paste”), such as for sticking pieces of paper together for whatever reason.

Lugawgaw is a combination of the words lugaw and gawgaw. It is informally used to describe something gruelly or has the consistency of gruel.