DISCLAIMER: This particular post is just a collection of stories about Davao Tagalog (personal insights of the author included). The "how-to-speak-Davao-Tagalog-101" was originally written by Mr. Ian Garcia sometime in '98-99. I do not own that part, as well as the Nay Pruneset story (I can no longer trace that particular blog written by someone named Weng).
For years, Davao has been known to be one of the most diverse cities here in the Philippines; having been tagged as a melting pot of cultures. True enough, a number of indigenous tribes settle in the mountainous region of the city and a number of people from different points of the country settle in Davao City for good. And because of that, the city has been home to numerous local languages of the Philippines - Tagalog, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Chavacano, Ilokano, Bikolano - you name it.
If the Filipino language is a composition of all the dialects and languages in the Philippines , you might as well say that the language we speak in Davao City is the real Filipino language, and not Tagalog.
How can one distinguish a Davaoeño to a Cebuano? Or to a Kagay-anon, perhaps? Difficult? Easy. Easy as a-b-c. Davaoeños are one of the most unique people in the world. We can easily stand out if we are placed in a crowd of Filipinos from other parts of the country. And how, you say? Language.
|Metropolitan Davao at night. (Photo credit)|
The Curious Case of Davao Jeepneys
Few years ago, a good friend of mine from Manila visited Davao and was pretty much intrigued to the existence of these three beings aptly named Nanay Pruneset, Miss Pruneset and Boogie.
She hailed a jeepney that would take her to her favorite mall. Inside the jeepney, the conductor collected the fare of the passengers and shouted "Oh, lugar lang, lugar lang". After the jeepney stopped and waited for more passengers in front of a wet market, the conductor shouted, "Si Boogie lang! Si Boogie lang!". Intrigued, my friend looked outside and found no one. A few minutes later, the conductor shouted again, but this time with a different name. "Nay Pruneset! Nay Pruneset!" A young man entered the jeepney and found a seat. He must be Boogie, my friend claimed. The jeepney sped off, continuing its journey.
The jeepney made a stop again but the conductor called the same name.
"Si Boogie lang! Si Boogie lang! Nay Pruneset! Nay Pruneset!"
My friend thought that Boogie's already inside the jeep. That made her more confused. The cycle continued three times more but the conductor kept on calling the same names.
"Punyeta Nanay Pruneset, nasaan ka ba? Bilisan mo na kasi, nagmamadali pa naman ako!", my friend cursed under her breath.
|The Curious Case of Nanay Pruneset! (Photo credit)|
An old lady carrying two woven baskets entered the jeep. My friend got relieved upon seeing the old lady. "Finally, nandito ka na, Nanay Pruneset!".
But the jeep didn't move and had no plans to speed off to the next destination. My friend learned that the conductor was still busy looking for what it seemed to be Nanay Pruneset's long lost daughter.
"Miss Pruneset, miss pruneset!"
"Uggghhhh not again!", my friend muttered.
And from that day, my friend vowed to meet up with Boogie, Miss Pruneset and Nanay Pruneset ASAP and tell the three of them to rendezvous in one common place to avoid the inconveniences they had caused to the passengers... or so she thought.
Davao Tagalog 101
First time visitors would easily get confused with Davao's language. Yes, the city's dominant language is Cebuano, but it is totally different, I tell you. I've been living in Davao since forever and I can really attest to that difference.
When stating a fact, Manilenyos say, "Talagang mabait si Gina." In Davao, we say "Mabait bitaw gyud si Weng". Too assertive? One asks, "Ano nga `yong pangalan mo?". In Davao we say, "Ano gani `yong pangalan (or worst, ngalan) mo?". When somebody commits a mistake or surprises someone, we always never fail to say, "Halaka!". Duh.
We are fond of re-constructing the language.
There's the GI+ verb, such as,"Gisabi kasi ni Elena na mag-absent si Bernie bukas", or "Ginanon ni Lala si Chino sa mukha ba!". You'll never find "ginanon" in any dictionary, I swear to God.
There's the KA+ adjective, as in, "Kaputi gyud ng mukha ni Yeng" or "Kapayat gyud ni Jay ngayon."
The MAKA + verb form, such as, "Maka-inis talaga si Albert, uy!" or "Maka-uwi talaga ako ng matagal ngayon".
The NAG+ verb, as in,"Nagsabi kasi si Tita Priya na magpunta daw tayo ng airport" or "Hindi pa man siya nagdating, uy!"
Adding new words or new meanings to old words to the dictionary is one of our favorite past time.
NAKIN: "Alam man nakin `yan ba!", "Saan nakin kita nakita gani?".KU-AN: "Ku- an daw ang gawin mo", "Si ku-an kasi ano masyado". (No sense at all.)ANO: "Na-ano ka diyan, Bryan !", "Ano man yan si Van, uy!".HA: "Lake-ha na ng tiyan ni Lulu uy!", "Gwapa-ha niya uy!"BEH: "Sige daw beh, dare!", "Pakipasa daw ng ballpen ni Tzaris beh".KAY: "Huwag na, Wowie, kay nandito naman si Norma", "Umupo ka muna kaynasa-CR pa si Elma."
Substituting names such as 'dong' and 'nang' has been a sign of respect to strangers. I'd rather be called 'dong' rather than being 'Pssssst' by random people. It is a bit offensive, I must say. But here's the twist: We often name people "Jude Uy" even if they do not look Chinese.
Friend: Renz Uy! Makainis ka na ba!
Now tell me. Do I look like a Chinese to you, huh?
We sometimes add 'ba' after the first name. Renzba! Wengba! Jamesba! Jesusba!
Friend: Renz ba! Alis ka diyan!
To express disgust over someone, we utter, "Gago kaba diay para maniwala sa kanya", or "Ano man yan siya uy!", or "Maka-inis man yan siya, uy!", or when pestered when doing something, you'd quip,"Huwag lagi ba!" On the other hand, when we praise somebody's extra special deed or talent, our Davaoeño tongue slips words like,"Kuyaw lagi iyan siya!", "Galenga niya uy!", "Ayusa niya uy!", "Kuyawa ni Orlando uy!" or "Hindi ako makatu-o sa ginawa niya!".
Hay, makatawa talaga. Ooops!
Ano man ang masabi mo dito uy?
This trend has already been here for ages. It is just, we Davaoeños are unconscious with regards to it... and that includes me. Some claim that it's bastardizing the Cebuano dialect. Other say it sounds conyo and unpleasant to hear.
Well, it just shows that a language will evolve through time.
Whether we like it, or not.