Joe the "Amerikano" in the Philippines

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  Officers carefully screening everyone entering a shopping mall...except Joe ang Amerikano A "Joe Nobody" in his country becomes "Joe Somebody" in the Philippines I remember walking down the streets of my wife's barangay alone and everyone would greet me with the expression "hey Joe". Filipinos automatically assume that if you are a Westerner your name is "Joe" and that you are wealthy and "Amerikano" . I also remember all Filipinos and their bags being thoroughly screened at the entrance of each shopping mall I went to. However the officers would just greet me and smile, as you can see in the picture above (that was at the SM in Rosales, Pangasinan), and say to me "welcome Sir". And there is nothing like hearing a Filipino call you "Sir" wherever you go, especially when you come from a country where your neighbor treats you like nothing. Indeed, the Philippines is the place where a Joe Nobody becomes Joe Somebo

Commands and Requests in Tagalog

Lapit, mga kaibigan at makinig kayo

Ako'y may dala-dalang balita galing sa bayan ko

Nais kong ipamahagi ang mga kwento

At mga pangyayaring nagaganap sa lupang ipinangako - Balita by Asin

 



"Lapit mga Pilipino at bumasa kayo ng blog ko, ako ay may mahalagang impormasyon tungkol sa wika ninyo, nais kong ipamahagi ang kaalamang ito....."

 

In the lyrics of this song we can see a couple of commands:

 

For example we can see the expression "makinig kayo" or, in other words, the infinitive form of the verb makinig (to listen) followed by the second person pronoun kayo.

 

Lapit mga kaibigan is a shortened form of "lumapit kayo mga kaibigan".

 

To soften a command and make it sound more polite, Filipinos use the particles nga or naman, kind of like when in English a command is followed by please.

 

Examples:

 

makinig kayo (listen)

makinig kayo nga (listen please)

makinig kayo naman ("""""""")

 

A request in Tagalog is called "pakiusap" and the expression used to make a request is the expression PAKISUYO before the sentence, or the prefix PAKI- added to the verb root followed by the second person NG pronoun, mo or ninyo.

 

To soften the request nga and naman could be used

 

paki (please) + (verb) + naman

 

Examples:

 

"Paki-lapit (naman) mga kaibigan at pakisuyo makinig kayo"="would you please draw close my friends and hear what I have to say?"

 

"paki-abot (nga) ang asin"="could you pass me the salt?"

 

To add emphasis to the request and say something like "please, please", I could add sige na naman.

 

Or I could introduce the request with baka naman pwede (maybe it is possible for you)

 

Another interesting expression is makisuyo or makisuyo naman

 

Example:

 

Nakikisuyo ako, lumapit kayo mga kaibigan....

 

Using the right words to express commands and requests is very important in the Filipino culture because Filipinos frown upon a Westerner who comes across as arrogant.

 

You can't for example tell a waiter "magdala ka ng..... (whatever it is that you are ordering)". It is way better to use softer expressions like "pakisuyo, pwede po ba ninyong dalhin ang.....?".

 

So these are the Tagalog expressions for commands and requests and make sure that you use the proper degree of these expressions depending on who you are talking to and in what context

 


 


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