For those who don’t know, the Philippines was once a U.S. territory back before any of you (most probably) were born.
Since gaining independence from the U.S., the American culture is still alive and strong even up to this day, as Queen Pia would say. This is very much evident in the music played on the radio station (hello sappy 80s music love songs!), movies, lifestyle (brunch and yoga are a thing here too, and coming soon: kale chips), are all very much American.
One thing the country also takes pride in is that (most) everyone pretty much speaks English very well. I mean, how could you not after listening to Whitney Houston’s greatest hits or Chance the Rapper spittin’ rhymes while on that 3-hour traffic jam.
But just like any other English speaking country, the Philippines have their own quirky English words or expressions that are very much unique to the country.
You may even see many of these quirky English terms on posts sponsored on Instagram.
Below are some of the trending Filipino-isms that might come in handy if you are traveling to the Philippines soon:
2. If ever
What it means: If at any time; if at all. Basically, just “if.”
You can’t just say “if”, otherwise your phrase will be incomplete. “Ever” just adds a nice touch, and gives a pretty clear indication to not expect too much cuz it won’t likely happen.
Think of it as salt and pepper or Romy and Michelle – “if” and “ever” complete one another.
4. Bill out
What it means: Bill/check please!
If there’s a bill out, is there also a bill in?
5. Fired out
What it means: Somebody getting canned/let go.
Again, if there’s a fired out, is there a fired in?
8. Raised eyebrows
What it means: Yes, I agree
TIP: Pay attention to the eyebrow movement if you didn’t get a verbal answer to your question. Rest assured that you are not being ignored.
What it means: I’m Kidding
Must be in plural form. Otherwise, it won’t make sense.
What it means: I’m in! Let’s do it!
Shows real commitment. Example:
“…Will you marry me?”
What it means: Bestie (your homegirl)
Just because ‘Bestie’ is not endearing enough.
15. Idol (also referred to as LODI)
What it means: you are basically like Beyoncé
Post a shirtless or bikini pic and watch your comments flood with … IDOL!!! (proven and tested)
16. How to be you (po)
What it means: I admire you and would like to emulate you.
Don’t forget to name your ego after you get this message.
What it means: A hookup
Now you know if somebody ask you if you had a booking last night.
TIP: Best use with #11: Seeeeeaaaacreeeeettttt!!!
What it means: you look tired AF
Haggard this, haggard that. Mostly said just to say the word…’haggard’
20. Overacting (also referred to as: O.A.)
What it means: You are being dramatic (stop it!)
It’s never O.K. to be O.A.
21. Fall in line
What it means: Wait in line.
Fall in line, for a while.
(But seriously…why fall, tho?)
22. Bad trip
What it means: turn off/disappointing/downer
Bad trip if you can relate above but you don’t share this!
(See what I did there?)
Hello fellow trotters! My name is Mick Salas, Filipino-American travel blogger based in Chicago. I was born in the Philippines, grew up in Chicago, studied in San Diego, and worked for a French organization for six years. And now I’m traveling full-time!
Read more about my my most memorable travel experiences, favorite destinations, and other fun travel facts here!