Hahabul-Habol (O, Ang Babae)

Hahabul-Habol by Freddie Aguilar is one of the funniest pop songs about Filipino women — it’s about how you can’t really tell what they want.

You visit them too often, they get bored. You don’t visit them enough, they get pissed off… If you don’t woo them, they grumble… They play coy and hard to get… but when you leave them, they’ll come running after you.

Women will drive you crazy, this song says. 


O ang babae ‘pag minamahal
May kursunada’y aayaw-ayaw
‘Pag panay ang dalaw ay nayayamot
Huwag mong dalawin, dadabog-dabog
Huwag mong suyuin ay nagmamaktol
‘Pag iyong iniwan, hahabol-habol

Mayroong bata akong nililigawan
Na kung aking pinapanhik ng bahay
Nagtatago at ayaw malapitan
Kung may pag-ibig
Ay di ko malaman
O, ang babae ‘pag minamahal
Maloloko ka nang husto sa buhay

This song is more widely known by its first line O, ang babae (Oh, woman).

When you love a woman, she may be interested in you, but she’ll pretend she isn’t…” This refers to a Filipina’s cultural tendency to be pakipot (coy and playing hard to get).  Impatient or clueless men don’t bother asking more than once and give up right away, moving on… But if the woman realizes what she’s lost, she might — just might — make habol (run after the guy to get back his attention).