Top Destination: Bohol – Part 2

What do you call one of the smallest primate in the world with its eyes heavier than its brain?


Philippine Tarsier

Shy, mysterious and nocturnal animals measuring only between 85 to 160 millimetres in height and which you can place on the palm of your hand is an endemic and endangered specie in the Philippines. The Tarsier Conservation Center in Loboc is the best place to get a close encounter. Be sure to take off the flashes of your cameras and to observe silence as they easily get stressed and “commit sucide” by hitting their heads against objects that crack their thin skulls.



Top Destination: Bohol – Part 1

One of the Philippines’ top destinations and the tenth largest island, Bohol (Bo-hol) is known for its pristine beaches and resorts, Chocolate Hills and the Philippine Tarsier.

What do you call those giant mole hills that are covered in grass and turned chocolate brown at the end of the dry season?

Chocolate Hills

The Chocolate Hills, which some claim to consist of exactly 1268 hills, are natural limestone formations mostly between 30 to 50 metres high.  Local legend explains that the hills are a result of the messy fight between two giants who threw sand and stones to each other for days. Exhausted, they made peace and left the island. Another legend tells of Arogo, a young and strong giant who fell in love with Aloya, a mortal girl. When she died, Arogo cried terribly with his tears transformed into hills.  To this day, the mystery still exists to how these hills are formed.

Ten Most Common Tagalog Words/Expressions


1. Kamusta? (Ka-moos-ta) means Hello and/or How are you?

In informal conversation, ka is usually dropped so it becomes “Musta?”

2. Ano balita? (A-no ba-li-ta) means How are you? or What’s new?

This is also used when you haven’t seen or spoken to a person in a long time. 

3. Oo/Opo (O-o/O-po) means Yes in casual or polite form, respectively. We usually say “Opo”  when speaking to an elderly or to a person with a higher position to show respect.

4. Hindi  (Hin-di) means No.  Another casual way of expressing it is Dehins (de-hins) which is the reverse of Hindi added with –s at the end.

5. Paumanhin (Pa-oo-man-hin) or Pasensya na. (Pa-sen-sha na) to express an apology. Pasensya is derived paciencia which means patience in Spanish.  Paumanhin is more formal and polite but Pasensya when added with a courtesy term po  is more common and is still a polite expression.

6.  Ayos! (A-yos!) is a Tagalog expression for Yes!  and is used when someone is happy about a situation or a person. This should not be confused with Oo or Opo when agreeing to someone. 

7. Magandang Umaga (Ma-gan-dang Oo-ma-ga) is Good morning. If you add po, it becomes more polite. Note that Maganda is beautiful in Tagalog so we use it as a greeting to describe a period of the day.

8. Magandang Tanghali (Ma-gan-dang Tang-ha-li) means Good noon. But Filipinos are more inclined to say Magandang Hapon (Ma-gan-dang Ha-pon) when the clock strikes 12 noon until the whole afternoon before  6 o’ clock in the evening in which case we say

9. Magandang Gabi (Ma-gan-dang Ga-bi) for Good evening.

10. Ba-bay. (Ba-bay) is the most common way to say goodbye in Tagalog.

Ten Most Common Tagalog Words/Expressions

Three Reasons for learning Tagalog

1. Tagalog is an easy language.

  • You say the words as you read them. There are no silent letters. Example: Salamat. (Sa-la-mat) or Thank you.
  • Similar to the English language, words do not have gender. Both men and women say similar phrases to each other. Example: Kamusta ka? (ka-moos-ta ka?) or How are you?
  • If you are a native/fluent speaker or just have a backgound of Spanish, you’ll find it easy to learn Tagalog as almost half of the  words are derived from Spanish. Example: You will hear some Filipinos count in Spanish: uno (one), dos (two), tres (three) and so on.

In informal conversational Tagalog: Puwede ba akong umupo sa silya? (May I sit on the chair?) Puwede came from puede which means May I?; silya came from silla which means chair.

2. Filipinos are amongst the friendliest, warmest and hardworking people in the world.

Although majority of the Filipinos can speak English, you will find them willing to teach you Tagalog and you will feel more appreciated for learning the language.

3. Enjoy Filipino songs

Filipinos are known to be fantastic singers. Lea Salonga, Regine Velasquez, and Charice Pempengco are among those who have gained international success. Here is Regine Velasquez’s version of “Tuwing Umuulan at Kapiling Ka” with lyrics (To be with you, everytime it rains). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSES6fIk34o. This song describes how the strong pouring rain emphasises the singer’s feelings to the one she loves. Listen and enjoy the melody or ask a Filo to translate it for you. Not only do you enjoy the song more but you also learn Tagalog words!

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