Most Common Filipino Proverbs
The ‘Golden Rule’ is definitely a universal adage that many people live by. And each country has its own set of such proverbs and aphorisms from great sages and wise men where moral or social standards are based. The wisdom from these words raises questions as to the meaning and value of human and life.
Here are some famous axioms that Filipinos believe in. Before you read the explanations below the items, try to guess what the quotations mean.
Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika, ay daig pa ang mabaho at malansang isda. __Jose P.Rizal (National hero)
( He who doesn’t love his own language is worse than a rotten and smelly fish)
Honor and love your origins and the language of your ancestors.
Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinaggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.
(He who doesn’t look back from where he came from, will never reach his destination)One should remember his roots and show gratitude to the people who came because they contributed to who and where you are today.
Ang buhay ay parang gulong,minsan ika’y nasa ibabaw,minsan ika’y nasa ilalim.
(Life is like a wheel, sometimes you’re up,sometimes you’re down)There is nothing permanent in this world. Sometimes things are bad, sometimes it’s good.
Ang sakit ng kalingkingan, damdam ng buong katawan.
(The pain with the smallest finger is felt by the whole body)If a disservice or injustice is done to one person, it affects more than just one because the world in connected.
Ang palay ay parisan, habang nagkakalaman at lalong nagpupugay.
(Be like rice, the more the grains, the lower it bows)Show humility and gratitude even in the best of your time.
Ang pag-aasawa ay hindi biro.Di tulad ng kanin na iluluwa pag napaso.
( Marriage isn’t a joke unlike rice that you can spit out if it’s too hot)Marriage shouldn’t be taken lightly. During troubled times, one should endure and face the problems instead of rnnning away.
Aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo.
( Of what use is the grass when the horse is already dead)Sometimes, efforts are a bit too late therefore, become useless. So it encourages action before it becomes too late.
Lahat ng gubat ay may ahas.
(Every forest has a snake)There is always a person who can’t be trusted everywhere.
Bago ka bumati ng uling ng iba, pahirin mo muna ang uling sa sarili mong mukha.
(Before you point out the dirt on other’s face, wipe the dirt on your own face first)It’s similar to “the pot calling the kettle black”. Don’t criticize someone’s actions if you also do the same thing.
Ang matayog kung lumipad, siya namang lagapak pag bumagsak.
( the higher the flight, the harder the fall)A person who’s too proud and arrogant falls badly so one should learn to be humble.
Kapag ang dagat ay tahimik,asahan mo at malalim.
(Still waters run deep)People who look calm on the surface have a lot of passion and complex thoughts inside. Contrary to ‘rough waters run shallow’. People who talk and brag too much are usually simple-minded.
Ang natutulog na hipon,tinatangay ng agos.
(The sleeping shrimp is carried by the current)If you don’t pay attention, you lose a lot of things and can’t control the results.
Wala kang masasabunot sa kalbo.
(You can’t pull hair from the bald./ You can’t draw blood from stone)You can’t force someone to give what he doesn’t have.
Ang umaayaw ay di nagwawagi,ang nagwawagi ay di umaayaw.
(The quitter never wins, the winner never quits)In order to reach your goal, try and try until you succeed.
Ang magnanakaw ay galit sa kapwa magnanakaw.
(A thief hates a fellow thief)A person who hates someone that reminds him of his own doings and attitude. The hate represents hypocrisy.
Batu-bato sa langit,tamaan wag magaggalit.
(If a stone is thrown upwards, don’t take offense)If you get offended by something that isn’t directed to you, you are probably guilty or you deserve it.
Wag magbilang ng sisiw hangga’t di pa napipisa ang itlog.
(Don’t count the chicks until the eggs are hatched)Don;t make assumptions that you already have something until you really do.
Kung pukulin ka ng bato, pukulin mo ng tinapay.
(If someone throws stones at you,throw back bread.)Show love and forgiveness instead of exacting revenge.
Ang kita sa bula, sa bula din mawawala.
(What comes from bubbles, disappear in bubbles)Whatever acquired easily will also disappear quickly. ‘Easy come, easy go. Like money won on bets or gamble can easily be spent.
Pagkahaba-haba man daw ng prusisyon, sa simbahan pa rain ang tuloy.
(No matter how long the procession, it’ll still end up in church)
Specifically for couples, although it took a long time, they still ended up being married. It means some things are inevitable and are bound to happen.
Walang sisira sa bakal kundi ang sariling kalawang.
(Nothing destroys iron but it’s own rust.)Even the strongest person can be undone by his own actions.
Mahirap gisingin ang nagtutulog-tulugan.
( It’s difficult to rouse a person who’s pretending to be asleepIt’s difficult to let a person know what he doesn’t know if he purposely choose not to see it.
Let’s talk with aimtalk teachers
- Which proverbs/quotes do you like? and Why?
- Do you know some similar quotes in your country?
- What’s your guiding principle that you live by
adage(n): a well-known phrase that says something wise about human experience
aphorism(n): a short phrase that contains a wise idea
sage(n): an old man who is very wise
axiom(n): a rule or principle that is generally considered to be true