The "Bawal Umihi Dito" Sign as a Metaphor of the Pinoy Mentality

One of the many "bawal" signs in the Philippines I remember riding on a trycicle with Tito  Benje, my Filipina wife's uncle.  After overtaking a bus on a double solid line (as Filipinos always do), he said something along the lines of " sa Pilipinas lahat ay pwede", basically meaning that in the Philippines you can do whatever you want and that road signs and markings are, more often than not, mere decorations. Bawal Umihi Dito, Bawal Magtapon ng Basura Dito.... One of the features of the Philippine landscape is the huge amount of signs that remind people that urinating against a public or private wall, on a sidewalk or against a pole and disposing of the garbage on the side of the road, in a river or a canal is not socially acceptable and that the offender might (theoretically) be given a multa, should a  buwaya be around. My bayaw told me in a very straightforward manner that Filipinos love urinating and disposing of their garbage exactly there where a sign s

Nouns in Tagalog and "Panlaping Makangalan"

As I said in my previous post about "affixes" in Tagalog, depending on the affix that you stick to the "root word" you can turn a root-word into an adjective, a verb or a noun.

In Tagalog there are nouns that don't need an affix, such as, for example:






Other nouns are formed by sticking one or more "panlaping makangalan" or "noun affixes".

Here is a list of the most common "panlaping makangalan"


ka-indicating a companion or colleague

ex kainuman:drinking buddy, katrabaho: work colleague

ka-....-an or ka-...-han: collective or abstract noun.
Example: kagandahan=beauty, kaalaman=knowledge, kaunawaan=insight

Pan-: denoting instrumental use of the noun.
Example: pantulong=aid

"-an" and "-han"

1. A place where you can find many of the things described by the root word.

Example: aklatan (a place with many aklat or books=library), bigasan=rice shop

2. Place where the action described by the root word takes place
Example: aralan (place where the aral or lesson takes place), lutuan (place where luto or cooking is made), laruan, labahan

3. time in which the action indicated by the root word takes place to a large extent
Example: pistahan=time for celebration, anihan=harvesting time

4. actions done for revenge
Example: barilan=shooting, suntukan=punching

5. something numerous or very large
Example: duguan=bloodshed

"in or hin"

1. relationship
Example: tiyuhin=uncle, inapo=offspring

2. something that has the same shape as the thing defined by the root-word
Example: sinampalok=something having the shape of sampalok or tamarind


1. part of a group
Example: kabayan=fellow countryman

2. relationship
Example: kalaro=fellow player


1. group of things described by the root word
Example: kabahayan=group of houses

2. the climax of a situation
Example: kainitan=under the sun, in a very hot environment


1. family relationship
Example: mag-ama=father and son

2. mag- + repetition of the first syllable of the root word=profession
Example: manggagamot=someone who works in the field of medicine


1. season
Example: tag-ulan=rainy season


1. one who does the job indicated by the root word
Example: tagalinis=cleaner


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