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Batangan dialect has rich vocabulary, I must say. It sounds funny for some but if you try to speak these words with conviction, you are a genuine Batangueño.

Are ha, kapag hindi mo alam ang mga salitang nadine ay itanong mo na laang sa iyong mamay.

Listed below are the 15 most famous Batangas (or Batangan) words we often use. Aside from the famous ala eh! expression and the ano ga?, there are a lot more to be included on the list but I’ll have these 15 for Part I. (Definitions are from

Anlaa! – An expression of disbelief
I often use this word. “Anlaa naman!”

Are – This
“Are o, hindi mo ga makita?” Frequently heard by those who are too stubborn to look intently for misplaced things. Haha.

Damusak – Mess up real bad
Oh man! I wonder where in the world this word came from. Haha. This is associated with the words clumsy, careless, jinx. “Nag-damusak ka na naman? Ay tuong kamalasan na iyan!”

Gay-on – Like that!
My favorite someone would always, always repeat after me everytime I say this word. Pa-cute daw kasi ako magsabi ng gay-on. Whatever.

Ganire – Like this!
Instructors (of anything) would often use this. “Ganire ang gawin mo, blah, blah, blah…”

Hunta – A small talk with someone
When I was in grade school, I had a lot of teachers who are so fond of using this word in scolding noisy students. Wala na kayong ginawa kundi maghuntahan nang maghuntahan!”

Imis – To clean
Household helpers regularly hear this I suppose. “Imisin mo agad ang pinag-kainan at nang hindi na langawin diyan.”

Karibok – Minor mayhem
Synonymous with confusion and chaos. “Kuh, karibok na naman ang mga bata sa silong ay iyong sawayin muna!”

La-ang – Only
Still remember Don Robert from Ober Da Bakod? “Ay hindi laang ako ang may gawa eh, ay dapat sila’y hinuhuli mo rin!” Haha. I can visualize actor Leo Martinez saying this line. By the way, Leo Marinez a.k.a. Don Robert is a native of Balayan.

Liban – To cross the street
My friend’s sister to her Operations Manager in a Quezon City-based call center: “OM, tara nang lumiban!”
OM’s response: “Ano ka ba? Hindi pwede, may meeting with wave 19 later.”
My friend’s sister: “OM, ano ka ga din? Tatawid tayo sa kalsada!”

Maas – Stupid
Whoa! Don’t let anyone tell you, “Mamaas-maas ka kasi!”
Reply with “Mamaas-maas your face!”

Patikar – To run
I remember one time when I was still in LCC, I have this music teacher who acts and dresses like my grandma. One day, I was running upstairs, in my 2.5 inches stilettos, trying to catch my Lit class. Then I heard someone remarked, “Ms. Hernandez, patikar ka na naman!”. Not knowing then what she meant by that, I only smiled.

Sungaba – Fall flat on the face
I think I’m falling, falling fast again. No, not that one. This often happens with girls who are not too cautious when they are strutting stilettos they don’t normally wear. Oops! “Ingat, baka mag-sungaba.”

Sya na! – Enough! or Alright!
You would hear this from Batangueños who are mainisin or nakukulitan na. Talk with your grandparents about a topic you know you can win over and for sure he/she would say this expression.

Tubal – Dirty clothes
This is one word that sounds so odd for non-Batangueños. Who knows the etymology of tubal? And then the clothes hamper or laundry basket is called ‘tubalan’.

This is the first of the two-part (or three-part) rundown of comic and at times odd Batangas words every Batangueño must use (frequency depends on you) in his lifetime!

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    October 2011