Basic Cebuano Phrases

Sebuwano is a language very distinct from Tagalog, but we get enough inquiries about Cebuano that we decided to list a few basic phrases.

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Visayan = from the Visayas, the central part of the Philippines consisting of many islands


Bisaya ka ba?
Are you Visayan?

Bisaya ang nanay nila.
Their mother is Visayan.

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Ako’y Pobreng Alindahaw

The Visayan word alindahaw normally means ‘drizzle’ (ambon in Tagalog), but in this song, it refers to a small, beautiful insect. Depending on the which part of the Visayas you’re in, it could be a butterfly, firefly or dragonfly.

Click here to listen with lyrics & translation!

Dandansoy (Visayan Song)

A popular Visayan folk song is Dandansoy. Note that this is not a Tagalog song. The Visayan language in which Dandansoy is most often sung is Hiligaynon Bisaya, also known as Ilonggo.

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Known popularly as Ilonggo, the Hiligaynon language is spoken in Western Visayas in the Philippines.  It is very distinct from Tagalog.

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BALITAW, the Visayan folksong

The balitaw is the song traditionally associated with the Visayas region in the same way the kundiman and kumintang are associated with ancient Tagalog music.

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Tigmo-Tigmo: Visayan Riddles

These Filipino riddles are in the Visayan language, not Tagalog. English translation is provided.

Visayan Riddle: Baboy sa lasang, ang tunok puro lansang.
English Translation: A wild pig of the forest is covered with spikes.



Visayan Riddle: Tigmo, tigmo agokoy, ugma ra kita magasoy
English Translation: Riddles made in the night will be answered in the morning light.



Visayan Riddle: Kabayo ni Adan, dili moka-on ug dili kabay-an.
English Translation: The horse of Adam does not eat unless someone rides on it.



Rosas Pandan (Song)

This popular song is in Cebuano, not Tagalog.

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