Filipino Body Language and the Importance of Non-verbal Communication with your Filipina

 As you may have gathered, if you have been following my blog for a while, I can speak Tagalog, and I have even created a series of blog posts that touch on the subject of Tagalog grammar. Because I am interested in making my marriage with my Filipina not only work but actually thrive, I have been taking the study of the Filipino language and culture very seriously since I entered this relationship back in 2000. Now I am at a point where my wife and I can quickly and easily switch from Italian and English to Tagalog. Yet, being able to communicate verbally is just a tiny part of the equation of effective communication. Many experts talk about the idea that around 93% of human communication occurs through non-verbal cues and only the remaining 7% is accomplished through words. When I look at this issue through this lens I realize that my efforts to master the Filipino culture and language count for very little if I don't work on improving my non-verbal communication. So in this post

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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