Or not. 😉 But I’ll indulge you with some!

Our old writing system alibata or baybayin before we adapted the Roman alphabet.

Mabuhay at Maligayang Araw ng Kalayaan! It is Independence Day here in the Philippines so I decided to pitch in something, well, Filipino. I remembered a brief discussion on my timeline (I forgot exactly which people were they but I did remember Aimee & Shanelle talking about it then also this buzzfeed article—which inspired this post). There are certain words that I’m very used to that sometimes I want to pitch it in on my reviews but alas I can’t because not all will get it. If you didn’t know English is my second language (which should be very obvious by now as I commit grammar mistakes on a regular basis. It’s quite embarrassing honestly.) But learning a new language proves to be a little confusing and difficult because some words cannot be translated without the context of the thought/intention. But that’s another story for another day.

Today I’ll share you Filipino words (most are slang words, also favorites too) which I long to use on my reviews yet can’t (well just sometimes 😉 ). But if I do sneak them in, now you will know what it means. *wiggle eyebrows*


(pronounce as [ki] in kitten and [lig] as in the word league)

Since I’m hopeless romantic at heart I always want to read books that will make me “kilig.” I think the closest word to kilig in English is swoon but not quite. If I were to describe it: a cutesy, fluttery, as in butterfly in the stomach feeling that always in connection to romance. So if you are swooning accompanied with fluttering feeling while reading a romantic moment between your OTP then you are “kinikilig.” 😳


(pronounce as [tor] in torched and [pe] in pencil)

A word mostly used to guys who are too timid to make a move on the girl he likes. That guy is called “torpe.” It’s not completely frown upon now but in our culture it always should be the guy who makes the first move & not the girl. If the girl is conservative and the guy is “torpe” then expect long or non-existent progression with their relationship. *tee hee*


(pronounce as [to] in told, [re] in rest and [te] in tell)

This one is used mostly for girls, or at least when this song is concern. “Torete” is slang word for somebody who is confused; don’t know what to do when she/he is in front of the person she/he likes. Signs that you’re “natotorete” are stuttering, fidgeting or basically incoherent when in the presence of the crush. 😀


(pronounce as [bar] like bar (the place), [ka] in kart and [da] in dad)

So you western folks, particularly American has cliques like the jock, the nerd, or whatever it is in this High School Musical’s song was blabbering about. In our culture we have “barkada.” Mostly for teens, it doesn’t need to be one concentrated personalities/qualities; it could be anyone as long you get along well. Barkada could be good or bad company. But they’re simply just set of friends getting along just fine. (I had one and we had tons of fun!).


(pronounce as [as] like as, [tig] in Tigger (as in the character in Winnie the Pooh))

Slang word for awesome, incredible but more masculine (tougher; me thinks). I often use this word when I witness something that is really unbelievable or quite amazing. For example you saw Katniss shoot down a hovercraft using a state of the art arrow (just an arrow!!!). ETA: Or if you managed to use these words in a sentence then that itself is very “astig.”

And there you have it. Nice to learn a thing or two about our culture, even just the language. I apologize if I couldn’t explain it pretty well (read the buzzfeed article, it is damn funny!). HAHA Again, Happy Independence Day!


12 Responses to Some Filipino words to live by—

  1. Happy Filipino Independence Day!!! This post was astig!!!
    Hehe, this was really fun and educational at the same time! I think my favorite to say out loud is ‘kilig’! ;D

  2. Happy Independence Day, girl! It’s so cool getting to know bits and pieces of other languages. 😀 Haha, I kind of understand wanting the guy to make the first move. Even though I admire women who are confident enough to ask a guy out on a date or something, I personally think it’s super sweet when the guy does it instead! So I’m kind of hoping that the guy I like doesn’t turn out to be a torpe. 😉 I’m proud to admit that I’m not really a “torete” in front of my crush, though. I can at least carry on a decent conversation with him, lolol.

    Ooh, is “astig” something like すごい? Though すごい is pretty much unisex and not more masculine… I’ll be running around yelling “astig” at every cool thing I see now, thanks to this post. Hehe!

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Yes, astig is synonymous with すごい. It’s not masculine per se, maybe I should say it’s a combination of cool + awesome = astig. (I suck at explaining) 😛 Good for you that the guy isn’t torpe & you’re not natotorete in front of him. I on the other hand… :X

  3. Annie says:

    Aww I love this post! I always love seeing other languages and the types of words that they have to express different feelings. There was a Buzzfeed post from a while ago about words in other languages that describe feelings there aren’t any English words for and it was the coolest thing ever! So I really enjoyed this little filipino lesson as well 🙂 I love the idea of kilig – I might start using it – and torete describes me most of the time haha

    • Mitchii G. says:

      I’m such a torete too, well I’m basically incoherent to anyone much more to person I liked. ;D I always love when buzzfeed features languages. It is one the fascinating things in the world. xD

  4. I find your post rather nostalgic. So cute 🙂 Though English is also my second language, all my interactions and conversations on a daily basis are done in English, I sometimes miss speaking in Filipino. I sometimes ask my friends and partner to learn Filipino as there are days when I’m tired of thinking and expressing myself in their native language. It’s the first time in years that I have encountered the word ‘torpe’. It reminds me of an old friend who never spoke of his feelings for me, and only did recently, after 14 years to be exact, when a relationship can no longer come to fruition. Sayang. Haha. In the UK, I’d say the equivalent of ‘kilig’ is being giddy. We say someone is giddy when their crush says hello to them, and their face is flushed and they can’t get over themselves. Anyway, belated Happy Independence Day 🙂

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Eeep~ thanks! You are using English often I think by this time you’re now fluent? ^^ I know how that feels, when I went abroad I kept on talking in Filipino because I’m more comfortable with it. I do hope they do try learning Filipino so you can still use it. Too bad the guy was torpe, well it was his lost (right?) Oh yeah, giddy is one but for some reason I believe there’s no exact translation to it. 😀

  5. Shannelle says:

    I just saw this now, and happy belated Independence Day to you! Your post is really informative, Mitchii, and I’m so glad you did it! And now the song with Torete in it is just playing over and over in my mind. XD

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I love these!!! You should definitely use these in your posts (even if I forget what they mean and have to reference this post). There’s just something about trying to translate words from one language to another…they just don’t quite have the right feel to them. I think you should do more posts with more of these, I’m totally loving this!

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Agree, sometimes things got lost in translation or doesn’t have the same effect when translated in another language. I’m glad you liked this kind of post!

Comments are closed.