Saturday, June 26, 2010

Micky Fenix partly featured Edgie's dictionary in the Philippine Daily Inquirer

Country Cooking By Micky Fenix
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:15:00 12/26/2007

Filed Under: Food

In other words

MANILA, Philippines—I had an enjoyable time reading the e-mail of readers who contributed their own food words that take on another meaning in the language. Some of them even explained some of the words that puzzled me in that column.

Arbee Acleta wrote that her “cruel” teacher told a classmate who couldn’t make the grade to “just go home and plant kamote.” Since then, that classmate was called kamote.

Another teacher of hers used larong buko to indicate that their play in Physical Education class was disorganized. She and her classmates described one of their teachers as nag-aalmusal ng kamias because she was always bad-tempered early in the morning.

Some of her other contributions are: utak-biya, utak-mani or utak-lugaw to mean brainless or stupid; mala-ampalaya to mean old maybe because the vegetable is wrinkled all over; mala-labanos and mala-gatas for creamy white skin; giyera-patani for a torrid exchange of accusations; amoy-chico to describe someone who is inebriated; ginisa for having undergone serious interrogation.
Aimee Gonzales had several contributions of her own.
Balat sibuyas - very sensitive
Balat kalabaw - thick-skinned
Marami ka pang kakaining bigas - a person who has a lot more to learn
Matamis na alaala - literal English translation is sweet memories
Makunat pa sa bokayo - penny pincher
Ginisa sa sariling mantika - a deal or an arrangement that seems favorable but in reality the person is being conned or swindled; a rip-off
Aimee’s mother had her own food words.

Hinog sa pilit - “That is [what] my mother [says] when she was not convinced of our plan but gave in because we were insistent and the end result ... did not meet our expectations.”

Mas maasim pa sa suka ang mukha - “That is my mother again whenever she sees us making face because we have to do something we are forced to do or wear something we [do not like especially for Sunday Mass].”

Namantikaan na ang labi - “Another one from my mother whenever she gets annoyed with my brother who throws tantrums when he is hungry; after feeding him, my mom would say, ‘Masaya ka na, namantikaan na naman ang labi mo’.”

Sexual undertones

Aimee’s brother asked about a word kanto boys used—masabaw. She said that earned her brother a scolding because it had sexual undertones and was used mainly for women the guys at the corner thought were sexy.

May katas pa - “same as above, with sexual undertones, sort of; still sexually capable in spite of old age.”

Mai Emnas of Tacloban City sent some Cebuano terms.

Namayabas is the same as nagbulakbol in Tagalog. The root word is bayabas or guava and she wrote that “it refers to those days when one is young and is with friends, who’ve jumped the school fence to cut classes and pick guavas out of someone else’s backyard.”
Kapayason, she says, is “generally a Cagay-anon term derived from the word papaya. It means and describes a braggart. For the life of me I have not solved the mystery of why the papaya is used to describe a person who’s got more huff than puff. It’s a term I heard often growing up in Cagayan de Oro, which my Cebu-based cousins never seem to use.”

Nag nu-os-nu-os is used in Leyte (the Cebuano said) to mean urong-sulong, referring to a person’s vacillation over decisions or choices. Nu-os or nukos is Visayan for pusit or squid. The term, she says, describes the way the squid moves in water.

Mura og labanos means white as a radish and refers to the color of the skin. Mai wonders why many Filipinos like to be fair-skinned when the downside are freckles, acne, large pores, warts.
Another reader, Edgie Polistico, did give a “long and winding” explanation for why the kamote was used to indicate a stupid person. It takes him back to his youth in his hometown in Inopacan, Leyte where a radio drama broadcast coined it from the Tagalog word kamot or to scratch because that was what children who didn’t know the answer to a teacher’s question would do, scratch the head. But since kamot in Cebuano meant the hand, he said the “e” was added at the end so, from Leyte, the word and its meaning traveled to Manila with immigrants.

Edgie seems serious about knowing food words because he also attached part of his glossary on Philippine Food and Cooking that he says is part of his bigger project—a Cebuano-English dictionary.

E-mail the author at
(click here to see the original post of this article in

Mickey Fenix belongs to Thursday group of Philippine Daily Inquirer's columnists under the Lifestyle (Food) section. She writes her gustatory adventures and encounters in the local scene and sometime about her crossover to foreign places - she aptly called her weekly column as "Country Cooking". She also serves as the Editor-in-chief of FOOD magazine that is published monthly by the ABS-CBN Publications. This food mag creatively features some of Pinoy tastes, as well as international food and cuisine, and even travel. Currently, it is the best seller food magazine in the country. 
In the photo is Edgie with Ms. Micky Fennix at the Press Luncheon of Capiz-tahan (Fiesta-cular Philippines) in Gateway Suites, 4th level, Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City last February 16, 2011.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cebuano-English Dictionary FREE download (Version 2.8.75)

The FORBIDDEN and DANGEROUS Pinoy dictionary.
Find out why.
Edgie Polistico's Cebuano-English Dictionary
and free samples of other Pinoy Dictionaries
Updated as of 26 October 2010
Download your FREE copy of this digital dictionary:
(c.) 2009 - Edgardo Bongato Polistico, Manila, Philippines
Compatible with Windows 7, XP, 2000, 98 and Me
Not fully compatible with Windows Vista.


Freebies include the following html files:

  • Philfest.html - Edgie Polistico's Dictionary of Philippine Festivals (sample copy
  • PhilFoods.html- Edgie Polistico's Dictionary of Philippine Food and Cooking (sample copy
  • PhilPlaces.html - Edgie Polistico's Dictionary of Philippine Places (sample copy)
  • EBP-suffixes.htm - Edgie Polistico's studies on affixes used in Cebuano is recommended for those who are non-Cebuano speakers to easily learn the many mode and transformation of base words. This will help you understand how Cebuano root words transform to have new or another meaning. (sample copy)
  • TagLish.html - Edgie Polistico's Tagalog English Dictionary (sample copy)
  • ZIPCode.html - Edgie Polistico's compilation of postal ZIP Codes used in Philippines. It covers Metro Manila and all provincial towns in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao (sample copy)

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Friday, January 1, 2010


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