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

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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

Pseudo Verbs in Tagalog

 In the English language there are the so-called modal verbs that are used to talk about needs and wants (must, shall, will, should, would, can, could, may, and might).


In Tagalog there are the so-called pseudo-verbs that have a more or less similar function.


The reason why they are called pseudo-verbs is because they have no verbal aspect, so they are not conjugated (in Tagalog there are only verbal aspects not tenses like in English), nor do they have any affixes attached to them indicating focus.


These verbs are:


Gusto like


Ayaw dislike


Kailangan need


Pwede can


Maaari might


Dapat must


PWEDE-DAPAT-MAAARI


These 3 pseudo-verbs can be used both in sentences where the doer of the action is in focus and in sentences where the actor is not in focus


Examples:


Actor in focus:


Pwede akong pumunta sa bahay ni Mario


Maaaring tumawag ang asawa ko sa akin (in this case, because the pseudo-verb comes before the verb, it is linked to it by -ng)


Dapat akong bumili ng pagkain


Actor not in focus


Example


Pwede kong tulungan sila


Maaaring ibigay ko ang isang regalo sa anak ko


Dapat kong isulat ang isang liham


GUSTO/AYAW


These pseudo-verbs always go with ng pronouns so you never say gusto ako but always gusto KO or ayaw KO.


Ayaw ko can be shortened as ayoko


Examples:


"Nanay, tatay, gusto kong tinapay" (or a more modern version: "nanay, tatay, gusto ko isang tagay....")


Gusto kong bilhin ang pagkain


Gusto kong bumili ng pagkain


Ayaw kong bumili ng pagkain (or ayoko bumili ng pagkain)


Gusto ko ng alak


Ayoko ng alak

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