Language is an integral part of culture and human culture I think cannot exist without it. Language enables people to transcend space and time. And in the language of Emy Pascasio, language is an excellent medium by which to study the value system of any people because it reveals choices, direction of interest …. There are more or less eighty languages and dialects in the Philippines, but during the Commonwealth period Pres.Quezon promoted a national language based on Tagalog, but this was opposed by many ethnic linguistic groups especially the Cebuanos which constitute the largest speaking group.

Davao City, aptly called the melting pot of cultures, but I call it the ‘salad bowl’ of cultures is home to many dialects. Davao City alone has 15 ethnic dialects add to that Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilonggo, Ilocano, Chavacano, Moslem, Bicolano, Boholano. Name it, we'll speak it.

Call it creolization, hybridization but taga-Davao has managed to construct a language of its own, in resolving the tension between Tagalog and Bisaya language, in which I call it ‘Tag-ya’, a construct of Tagalog and Bisaya. And this language made Davaoenos stand up if placed in a crowd of Filipinos.

It may sound like ‘bastardizing’ both dialects, but strangely though, this made Davaoenos unique and set us apart from others.

So here we go ….. some of these are adaptations from Sir Rey of Ateneo de Davao University.

Manilenos ask, 'Ano nga `yong pangalan mo?'.
In Davao we say, 'Ano gani `yong pangalan (or worse, "ngalan") mo?'.

To state a fact, Manilenos say, 'Talagang mabait si Janice.'
In Davao , we say. 'Mabait bitaw gyud si Janice'. Too assertive, right?

And when somebody commits a mistake or surprises someone, Davaoenos never fail to say, 'Halaka!', while shaking the point finger.

Davaoenos re-construct the Tagalog language by;

There's the GI+ verb, such as,'Gisabi kasi ni Edwin na mag-absent si Juan bukas', or 'Gi+nanon ni Lilai si Diel sa mukha'. I swear to all the gods!
You'll never find 'ginanon' in any Tagalog dictionary.

There's the KA+ adjective, as in, 'Ka+puti gyud ng mukha ni Alice uy’ or 'Ka+payat gyud ni Jason ngayon.'

Or the MAKA+ verb form, such as, 'Maka-inis talaga si Ryan, uy!' or 'Maka-uwi talaga ako ng matagal ngayon' kay nandito pa si sir.

The NAG+ verb, as in,'Nag+sabi kasi si Tita Jo na magpunta daw tayo ng airport' or 'Hindi pa man siya nag+dating, uy!'

Davaoenos add new words or new meanings to old words to the dictionary, like;

NAKIN: 'Alam man nakin `yan ba!', 'Saan nakin kita nakita gani?'.

KU-AN: 'Ku-an daw ang gawin mo', 'Si ku-an kasi ano masyado'. (No sense at all.)

ANO: 'Na-ano ka diyan, Juday!', 'Ano man yan si Ryan, uy!'.

HA: 'Lake-ha na ng tiyan ni Vivian uy!', 'Ganda-ha niya uy!'

BEH: 'Sige daw beh, subukan mu!', 'Pakipasa daw ng ballpen ni Kriss beh'.

KAY: 'Huwag na, Willie, kay nandito naman si Joey', 'Umupo ka muna kay nasa-CR pa si Manny.'

To express disgust over someone, Davaoenos utter, 'Gago kaba diay para maniwala sa kanya', or 'Ano man yan siya uy!', or 'Maka-inis man yan siya, uy!', or when pestered when doing something, you'd quip,'Huwag lagi ba!'

On the other hand, when we praise somebody's extra special deed or talent, our Davaoeno tongue slips words like,'Kuyaw lagi `yan siya!', 'Galenga
niya uy!', 'Ayusa niya uy!', 'Kuyawa ni Orly uy!' or 'Hindi ako makatu-o sa ginawa niya!' .

Hay, maka+tawa talaga. (Ooops!)

No matter how long a true blooded Davaoeno stay in Manila or in the
States, the moment s/he’s back to Davao, their tongue feels as at home as they do.

Language is the very soul of every being. Be it hybridized or creolized, you just can't do anything about it. Or as how Davaoenos say it,'Anohin man natin yan?'



  1. I love this post! astigidig!! hahahaha! napaisip din ako sa point na "walang 'ginanon'" sa filipino dictionary.. lagi pa naman akong sabi ng sabi ng "ginanon" .. galing!

  2. hahahaha! thanks for the comment Ms. J. See you again...

  3. People make their own way to be understood by others too.


  4. kakatuwa naman yan, I'm pure tagalog so I don't understand some of the words hihihi

  5. At last, I could find this post once again. You have few [url=]useful tips[/url] for my school project. This time, I won't forget to bookmark it. :)


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