Words of Wisdom

                        Damiana L. Eugenio, the mother of Philippine Folklore compiled and edited what may very well be considered as the most comprehensive collection of proverbs in our country. There is a limited number of works like this in existence. She spent a lifetime collecting pieces of folk literature that reveal our ancestors‘ wisdom. When she gathered proverbs from various areas in our country, she declared that our elders lived by simple, yet very meaningful rules of righteous living. In fact, she asserted that even the Spaniards who colonized our country noticed how proverbs formed part of the native spirit. Spanish missionaries were found to have translated such proverbs and other oral expressions in Spanish in order for their fellow religious people to learn our indigenous languages. By doing so, they were able to interact with the early Filipinos their and eventually introduce the Catholic faith.

            Proverbs are brief instructive expressions that suggest a specific action, behavior, or judgment. Referred to by some scholars as ―the wisdom of many and the wit of one‖, they are commonly written in the form of short assertions or poetic two-liners which have rhyme. It is interesting to note that people are easily struck by proverbs when they are woven in conversations or writings. This is perhaps because they have the power to teach people the more essential truths about life and the complexity of living. Compared to lengthy narrations, descriptions, or argumentations, proverbs are able to effect quickly a change in view or disposition.
                     In Filipino, proverbs are called salawikain or sawikain. They prescribe norms, impart a lesson, or emphasize traditions and beliefs in a community. In the anthology of Damiana L. Eugenio, she classified proverbs into six categories: (1) proverbs expressing a general attitude towards life and the laws that govern life; (2) ethical proverbs recommending certain virtues and condemning certain vices; (3) proverbs expressing a system of values; (4) proverbs expressing general truths and observations about life and human nature; (5) humorous proverbs and (6) miscellaneous proverbs. Below are examples of each category:


1. Proverbs expressing a general attitude towards life and the laws that govern life
Walang ligaya sa lupa na di dinilig ng luha. (Tagalog)
There is no earthly joy that is not watered with tears.

Say liket ban-bantayey ermen. (Pangasinan)
Joy is always guarded by sorrow.

Ang kapalaran ko di ko man hanapin, dudulog lalapit kung talagang akin. (Tagalog)
The good fortune which is intended for me will come even without my seeking it.


2. Ethical proverbs recommending certain virtues and condemning certain vices
Walang utang na di pinagbayaran. (Tagalog)
No debt remains unpaid.

Dai mo pagpaagahan an magigibo mo ngonyan. (Bikol)
Do not put off for tomorrow what you can do for today.

Ayau mo in kahui pila‟a ha kawa‟an mo bunga. (Tausug)
Do not cut the tree to get the fruit.


3. Proverbs expressing a system of values
Ti nasadot a baro cas carne a nadangro. (Ilokano)
A lazy young man is like a foul-smelling meat.

Ang mga tulo singgot sa taong mangguibuhaton paga bayran gayud sa guihapon. (Boholano)

Every drop of perspiration of an industrious man will be rewarded accordingly.

Isa ka tuig nga tiponon, isa ka takna wagwagon. (Hiligaynon)
It takes only a moment to squander what took a year to save.


4. Proverbs expressing general truths and observations about life and human nature
Huli man at magaling, ay naihahabol din. (Tagalog)
A good thing is never too late.

Ti saan a matimtemec, nauyong no macaunget. (Ilokano)

The quite person is slow to anger but terrible when aroused.

Ing mayap a babai, maiguit ya karing rubi. (Pampango)
A good woman is worth more than rubies.


5. Humorous proverbs
Ang gugma sang tigulang daw igui nga nagakamang. (Hiligaynon)
The love of an old man is like a snail that crawls.

Ako kanhi cabalyero nga wala‟y kabilinggan; pagdawat sa matrimonio, sa hinanali ng lawas mingniwang. (Cebuano)
I was formerly a gentleman without a care at all, but when I got married, my body shrank and became small.

Kay tagal nanindahan, kabili-bili‟y balindang. (Tagalog)
After shopping for a long time, he ended up with a poor purchase.


6. Miscellaneous proverbs (typically expressive of specific realities to a certain area)
Ing matudtud a pemangca e na balu lebasa‟ ng sapa. (Pampango)
The sleeping boatman does not know the streams he has passed.

Mapipia nu sumavat ka a maysaosaod su sagap as canu caviden mu du calawangan q manalamad su among. (Ivatan)
It is better to go home and weave a net than to stay on the shore and watch the fish.

Dica agcapcapoy no bassit ti inapoy; dica agnengnengneng no bassit ti diningdeng. (Ilokano)
Don‘t be too slow if there‘s only a little rice; don‘t be too shy if there‘s only a little viand.


                     Our proverbs are not only witty expressions. They are also our cultural treasures. As we continue to use them in various spoken or written forms and as we explore ways of representing them in graphic, musical, or dramatic modes, we facilitate their preservation. And through these, we strengthen our identity as a people.


-From Grade 7 English Learning Package 

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Posted by on June 10, 2014 in Uncategorized


Declamation Piece: TNHS



It’s already twelve o’clock. Oh, God, I’m hungry! I’ve been running and hiding for almost three days. I’m dead tired. I need some rest. But no, they are looking for me! And if they find me, I will be put to jail. But, where can I hide? Leo’s father is so influential, so powerful. He is the governor of our great province and I happened to kill his son!

No, don’t accuse me like that! I’m not a murderess! Hear me, I’m begging you, I tell you I’m not a murderess.

Audience, let me explain, please.

Okay, okay, okay! It all happened in school one day. I went to the library to find a book. Then I found it. I got so engrossed to what I was reading that I almost didn’t notice the time. It was gone past six and, oh my! I think I was the only student left in the library. To my dismay, Leo was waiting for me outside. I wanted to hide but it was too late. He was already in front of me.

“Hi, Brenda! Can I drive you home?”

I shook my head irritatingly. My God, how I hate him! He often sends me scented love letters in pink stationery which I sent back all unopened. He sends me roses and chocolates, too. They are my favorites. I wanted so much to eat the chocolates, but I hate the person who gave them. So I throw them into the trash. How could I ever get away from this guy?

“Hey, Leo, wait a minute! If you want to drive me home, thanks, but no thanks! I’m old enough to go home on my own, okay? So, please stop following me like a dog! And besides, I’m too young for love and I don’t accept any suitors, understand?”

“But, Brenda, I love you! Can’t you understand? I can give you anything you want. Say it and you’ll have it. And, Brenda, remember, I can get everything I want by hook or crook. So you’d better be good to me or else. Ha… ha… ha…!”

And he started laughing like a monster. I got so scared. I know how powerful his family was, but I still insisted, “Leo, how can you be such a jerk? I don’t like you and I don’t love you. In fact, I hate you! Now, will you leave me alone?”

But instead of leaving, do you know what he did? He pushed me so hard against the wall and started kissing me. I was shouting for help, but no, no one was there!

“Somebody, help me, please! Please, please! Help! Help!”

Then he gave me a big, big punch on my stomach. Oh my God! It was painful!

But even before he reached for me again, I spotted a rusty knife and grabbed it.

“Now, Mr. Leo Monteverde, try to kiss me again, attempt to rape me again, and I will never ever forgive you! Go to hell! Um… um… ummm!”

I didn’t know how many times I pushed the rusty knife in his body. Then I noticed something. Blood, blood… there’s a blood on my hands!

Leo, Leo…! Oh, God! I killed Leo! No, I’m not a murderess! He was going to rape me and I just defended myself. I didn’t mean to do it, I’m not a murderess! I’m not a murderess! But I killed Leo…! I killed him! I’m a murderess! Ha! Ha! I’m a murderess! Ha! Ha! Ha!

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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in Uncategorized


Oration Piece: TNHS

Corruption and Despair

 (this piece is based on the speech delivered by Rebecca T. Anonuevo as a reaction to the speech of Dr. Alice Guillermo on the first “National Study Conference on Corruptionary. An Innovative Tool for Good Governance” held at the University Hotel, University of the Philippines, Diliman Quezon City noong Disyembre 8-9 2008. Please click here for the Filipino version of this piece.)

Good morning every one. I am here to share my reflections to you about the worsening problem of our country; it is a problem whose name even street-children who have learned how to speak can pronounce.


I am not here to define the word. I am not also here to give examples because we are very tired of it. As a writer, I have formed the habit of reflection. I believe this is the only thing a writer has, the ability to reflect about the things that happen in the world. Otherwise, how can poets like me write something unique out of the ordinary?


Wherever I set my eyes to, I see traces of this problem. Like you, I am also getting tired. For a change, I thought about thinking the reason why human beings are able to do the things that destroy of corrupt us.

We know the meaning of hope. The newly-elected 44th  US president Barack Obama, said that hope is not blind optimism. It is the courage to face every day trials knowing that we will overcome and accomplish the things we long for and dream of.


In other words, Obama was saying a person who has faith has the ability to look at not only the things that occupies him at the moment, but also the things that are not there yet. He is able to see beyond today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, a week from now, a month, a year, ten years, one generation from now.


Corruption is so widespread in our society I believe we have lost hope in eradicating it. I compare corruption to garbage.

All my life I have not littered but the streets are still full of it, so what for? A candy wrapper could no longer aggravate the piles of garbage in the streets. The shortsightedness of this view leads us to despair, and despair pushes us to commit acts not done by people who hope and continues to hope. The mind that thinks this kind of thoughts no longer believes in the saying what we sow we reap. His vision could not extend far enough to the harvest season, so he does not believe in will come, why plant? Hunger and despair are his only motivation; not hope anchored in the belief that tomorrow brings an opportunity to ease the sadness, feed the hunger, and fill the need.


What I really want to say is this: corruption is a symptom of a soul who has lost hope and direction in life. If we really want to eradicate corruption, we need to toil to bring back hope and faith in our lives. Let us believe in the power of good deeds, and let us hope that the integrity we planted will bear abundant fruit so that all may prosper.

Thank you very much, and mabuhay.


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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in Uncategorized


Speech Choir Piece for English Month: TNHS

The Resiliency of a Filipino

by William G. Bacani



B : Filipino is resilient

G : Since time immemorial, we are tested by countless calamities; volcanic eruptions, devastating earthquakes and lahar flows, super typhoons, flash floods and landslides.

B : Victoriously, we surmounted these ordeals and pains, beyond imagination of the human race

G : Instant death of our loved ones, claimed by transportation mishaps and natural disasters. Thousands also die in hunger and malnutrition.

All : Including ambushes and endless wars in Mindanao. They trampled our basic human rights, such as the right to live

G (solo) : I lost my loving husband, who didn’t want to join Abu Sayyaf.

G (solo) : I lost my only son, who opted to become a military man.

G : We lost our innocent children and women, we lost our homes and properties.

B : Survivors are Filipinos. The wrath of nature and cruel destiny may steal everything from us.

B (solo) : Wealth, properties, and family

All : But the Filipinos never give up

B : For us we are continuously scourged by the test of time. The spirit to survive and to bounce back remains undefeated

All : I’m as pliant as a bamboo for I’m a man of Earth

G : My hair may all be blown away by the winds

B : And my legs may be crippled by the smash of waves

All : But I will stand and pick up the shattered pieces of myself and continue to live

B : Resolute to survive, clothed with an inspiration to live, not only for my family but also for my beloved country

All : Filipinos unite in the midst of crisis, regardless of socio-economic status, tradition and creed

G : The world has seen the magnanimous spirit of the Filipinos in crucial times.

All : The gap between the rich and the poor was narrowed

G (solo) : Envy was replaced by sympathy

G (solo) : Hatred was conquered by love

B (solo) : Selfishness was set aside

B : And saving one’s live is the ultimate desire

All : History tells us that the Filipinos have captured innumerable foes, natural and not. And shall always strive to champion in all odds. Because innate in the Filipino is the will to survive

B : We may be daunted by the horrible scenes around us. But certainly, we will be strengthened by our unwavering faith in God.

G : We have been lotted by many nations in the world, for our resiliency during disasters, others die in saving lives.

All : But only few realize, that we are able to survive, because our spirit to fight is deeply anchored from faith, that God Almighty will never forsake us.

B (solo) : I believe that Filipinos, divided by varied doctrines and cultures, are capable to be on top of any situation, if united

All : Together, we can face any challenge ahead of us.

B : We may stumble and fall

All : But we will bounce back, arms stronger with vision and faith, that after darkness, after pains and sufferings, the Filipino survives, the Filipino is resilient.



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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in Uncategorized







Wordle: 7-Honesty


Wordle: 7-integrity



Wordle: 7-love



Wordle: 7-joy gilas


7- JOY

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Posted by on August 15, 2013 in Uncategorized


The first Monkey (Iloko Version)

  1. Long ago in a thick forest, a young girl lived under the care of the goddess of weaving.  Here she lived happily and without care, for everything that she wanted to eat was provided for her by her patroness.

    One day the goddess said to the girl,  “Take this cotton, clean it, and make out a dress for yourself out of it.”  Now, the girl knew nothing about making cloth and weaving it, so she said to the goddess, “When the cotton is cleaned, is it ready for use?”

    “No,” answered the guardian, “after it is cleaned, it must be beaten.” 

    “Well, after it is beaten, is it ready for use?”  said the lazy girl.  The goddess said that before it could be used, it would have to be spun.  “Well, after it is spun, ” persisted the saucy maiden, “is it ready for use?”

    “No, it must next be woven into cloth, cut, and sewn,” answered the patient goddess.

    “Oh!” said, the girl, “it will take a long time and much hard work to make clothes that way. This leather hide which you have given me to beat the cotton on, will make me better clothing, because it will wear longer.”  So she covered herself with the leather.  The goddess was so angry at the girl for her laziness that she decided that the leather should not only be her dress but also her very skin.  Then the goddess took the stick for beating the cotton and thrusting it between the maiden’s buttocks said to her, “This stick will become part of your body, and you will use it for climbing purposes.  As a penalty for laziness, henceforth you shall live in tress in the forest, and there you will find your fruit.”

    Thus, originated the first monkey with a coat of leather and a tail.


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Posted by on August 13, 2013 in Uncategorized


Biag Ni Lam-Ang (Filipino and English summaries)

Sina Don Juan at Namongan ay taga-Nalbuan, ngayon ay sakop ng La Union. May isa silang anak na lalaki. Ito’y si Lam-ang. Bago pa isilang si Lam-ang, ang ama nito ay pumunta na sa bundok upang parusahan ang isang pangkat ng mga Igorota na kalaban nila. Nang isilang si Lam-ang, apat na hilot ang nagtulong-tulong. Ugali na nga mga Ilokano noong una na tumulong sa mga hilot kung manganganak ang maybahay nila ngunit dahil nga wala si Don Juan, mga kasambahay nila ang tumulong sa pagsilang ni Namongan. Pagkasilang, nagsalita agad ang sanggol at siya ang humiling na “Lam-ang” ang ipangalan sa kaniya. Siya rin ang pumili ng magiging ninong niya sa binyag. Itinanong pa rin niya sa ina ang ama, kung saan naroron ito, na di pa niya nakikita simula pa sa kanyang pagkasilang. Sinabi na ina ang kinaroroonan ng ama. Makaraan ang siyam na buwan, nainip na si Lam-ang sa di pagdating ng ama kaya’t sinundan niya ito sa kabundukan. May dala siyang iba’t- ibang sandata at mga anting-anting na makapag-bibigay-lakas sa kaniya at maaaring gawin siyang hindi makikita. Talagang pinaghandaan niya ang lakad na ito. Sa kaniyang paglalakbay, inabot siya ng pagkahapo kaya’t namahinga sandali. Naidlip siya at napangarap niyang ang pugot na ulo ng ama ay pinagpipistahan na ng mga Igorote. Galit na galit si Lam-ang s nabatid na sinapit ng ama kaya mabilis na nilakbay ang tirahan ng mga Igorote. Pinagpupuksa niya ang mga ito sa pamamagitan ng dalang mga sandata at anting-anting. Ang isa ay kaniyang pinahirapan lamang saka inalpasan upang siyang magbalita sa iba pang Igorote ng kaniyang tapang, lakas at talino. Umuwi si Lam-ang nang nasisiyahan dahil sa nipaghiganti niya an pagkamatay ng ama niya. Nang siya’y magbalik sa Nalbuan, pinaliguan siya ng ilang babaeng kaibigan sa ilog ng Amburayan, dahil ito’y naging ugali na noon, na pagdating ng isang mandirigma, naliligo siya. Matapos na paliguan si Lam-ang, namatay ang mga isda at iba pang bagay na may buhay na nakatira sa tubig dahil sa kapal ng libag at sama ng amoy na nahugasan sa katawan nito. Sa kabutihan naman may isang dalagang balita sa kagandahan na nagngangalang Ines Kannoyan. Ito’y pinuntahan ng binatang si Lam-ang upang ligawan, kasama ang kaniyang putting tandang at abuhing aso. Isang masugid na manliligaw ni Ines ang nakasalubong nila, Si Sumarang, na kumutya kay Lam-ang, kaya’t sila’y nag-away at dito’y muling nagwagi si Lam-ang. Napakaraming nanliligaw ang nasa bakuran nina Ines kaya’t gumawa sila ng paraan upang sila ay makatawag ng pansin. Ang tandang ay tumilaok at isang bahay ang nabuwal sa tabi. Si Ines ay dumungaw. Ang aso naman ang pinatahol niya at sa isang iglap, tumindig uli ang bahay na natumba. Nakita rin ng magulang ni Ines ang lahat ng iyon at siya’y ipinatawag niyon. Ang pag-ibig ni Lam-an kay Ines ay ipinahayag ng tandang. Sumagot ang mga magulang ng dalaga na sila’y payag na maging manugang si Lam-ang kun ito’y makapagbibigay ng boteng may dobleng halaga ng sariling ari-arian ng magulang ng dalaga. Nang magbalik si Lam-ang sa Kalanutian, kasama si Namongan at mga kababayan, sila Ines ay ikinasal. Dala nila ang lahat ng kailangan para sa maringal na kasalan pati ang dote. Ang masayang pagdiriwang ay sinimulan s Kalanutian at tinapos sa Nalbuan, kung saan nanirahan ang mag-asawa pagkatapos ng kasal nila. Isa parin s kaugalian sa Kailukuhan, na pagkatapos ng kasal, ang lalaki ay kinakalilangang sumisid sa ilog upang humuli ng rarang (isda). Sinunod ni Lam-ang subalit siya ay sinamang palad na makagat at mapatay ng berkakan (isang uri ng pating). Ang mga buto ni Lam-ang na nasa pusod ng dagat ay ipinasisid at pinatapon ni Donya Ines sa isang kalansay at tinakpan ng tela. Ang tandang ay tumilaok, ang aso ay kumahol at sa bisa ng engkanto, unti-unting kumilos ang mga buto. Sa muling pagkabuhay ni Lam-ang, ang mag-asawa ay namuhay nang maligaya, maluwalhati at matiwasay sa piling ng alagang putting tandang at abuhing aso.



Don Juan and his wife Namongan lived in Nalbuan, now part of La Union in the northern part of the Philippines. They had a son named Lam-ang. Before Lam-ang was born, Don Juan went to the mountains in order to punish a group of their Igorot enemies. While he was away, his son Lam-ang was born. It took four people to help Namongan give birth. As soon as the baby boy popped out, he spoke and asked that he be given the name Lam-ang. He also chose his godparents and asked where his father was. 

After nine months of waiting for his father to return, Lam-ang decided he would go look for him.  Namongan thought  Lam-ang was up to the challenge but she was sad to let him go. During his exhausting journey, he decided to rest for awhile. He fell asleep and had a dream about his father’s head being stuck on a pole by the Igorot. Lam-ang was furious when he learned what had happened to his father. He rushed to their village and killed them all, except for one whom he let go so that he could tell other people about Lam-ang’s greatness. 

Upon returning to Nalbuan in triumph, he was bathed by women in the Amburayan river. All the fish died because of the dirt and odor from Lam-ang’s body. 

There was a young woman named Ines Kannoyan whom Lam-ang wanted to woo.  She lived in Calanutian and he brought along his white rooster and gray dog to visit her. On the way, Lam-ang met his enemy Sumarang, another suitor of Ines whom he fought and readily defeated.

Lam-ang found the house of Ines surrounded by  many suitors all of whom were trying to catch her attention.  He had his rooster crow, which caused a nearby house to fall.  This made Ines look out. He had his dog bark and in an instant the fallen house rose up again. The girl’s parents witnessed this and called for him. The rooster expressed the love of Lam-ang. The parents agreed to a marriage with their daughter  if Lam-ang would give them a dowry valued at double their wealth. Lam-ang had no problem fulfilling this condition and he and Ines  were married.

It was a tradition to have a newly married man swim in the river for the rarang fish. Unfortunately, Lam-ang dove straight into the mouth of the water monster Berkakan. Ines had Marcos get his bones, which she covered with a piece of  cloth. His rooster crowed and his dog barked and slowly the bones started to move.  Back alive, Lam-ang and his wife lived happily ever after with his white rooster and gray dog.



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Posted by on June 12, 2013 in Uncategorized