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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Filipino proverbs[1] or Philippine proverbs[2] are traditional sayings or maxims used by Filipinos based on local culture, wisdom, and philosophies from Filipino life. The word proverb corresponds to the Tagalog words salawikain[3][4] , kasabihan[3] (saying) and sawikain[4] (although the latter may also refer to mottos or idioms), and to the Ilocano word sarsarita. Proverbs originating from the Philippines are described as forceful and poetic expressions and basic forms of euphemisms. If used in everyday conversations, proverbs are utilized to emphasize a point or a thought of reasoning: the Filipino philosophy.[2] One notable and locally popular example of a Filipino proverb is this: A person who does not remember where he (she) came from will never reach his (her) destination. Of Tagalog origin, it conveys and urges one person to give "importance in looking back at one’s roots and origins." The maxim also exemplifies a Filipino value known as the "utang na loob", one’s "debt of gratitude" to the persons who have contributed to an individual’s success.[2] Damiana L. Eugenio, a professor from the University of the Philippines, author of Philippine Proverb Lore (1975), and who is also referred to as the "Mother of Philippine Folklore"[5] grouped Filipino proverbs into six categories based on the topic expressed, namely: ethical proverbs (those that express a general attitude towards life and the laws that govern life itself), proverbs that recommend virtues and condemn vices, proverbs that express a system of values, proverbs that express general truths and observations about life and human nature, humorous proverbs, and miscellaneous proverbs.[2]


Philippine proverbs are further illustrated to be ornaments to language, words of ancestors handed down from one generation to another, and as wisdom gained from experience, which can be quoted to express a sentiment, a statement, or an opinion. Apart from this, Filipino proverbs are also used to prevent offending other individuals. This is one example of such a proverb: Bato-bato sa langit, 'pag tinamaan huwag magagalit, meaning "a stone thrown heavenward, if you get hit on its way down, don't get mad." Equipped with the appropriate and timely proverb, a Filipino can communicate empathy, and might be able to convince another person leading to the closure of an argument. Some Filipino proverbs are also intended to provide a warning, a lecture, an advice, and as a supporting statement for a particular viewpoint or issue. [1]


  1. ^ a b Reyes, John. Salawikain: Filipino proverbs,
  2. ^ a b c d Philippine Proverbs, What are Proverbs?, Seasite and Philippine Literature On-line,
  3. ^ a b De Guzman, Maria Odulio (1968/2005). "Salawikain, proverbs, kasabihan, proverb". The New Filipino-English / English-Filipino Dictionary. National Bookstore (Mandaluyong City) ISBN 9710817760.  
  4. ^ a b "Proverb, maxim, saying, Salawikain, wikain, kasabihan, sawikain". English, Leo James. Tagalog-English Dictionary. 1990.  
  5. ^ Damiana L. Eugenio, “Mother of Philippine Folklore,”

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Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Unless otherwise stated, the following proverbs are in Filipino, the national language of the Philippines, where they are called salawikain. Since the Filipino language does not have separate pronouns for male and female, or does not distinguish between genders, translations containing he are understood to mean both genders. Literal translations are given, followed by an explanation if needed.





  • Daig ng maagap ang taong masipag.
    • The prepared beats the hardworking person.
  • Damitan mo man ang matsing, matsing pa rin.
    • A monkey dressed up is still a monkey.
  • Di lahat ng kagalingan ay may dalang katamisan.
    • Not all goodness brings sweetness.


  • Habang maikli ang kumot, matutong mamaluktot.
    • Literally "While the blanket is short, learn to curl up (to fit)"
    • Refers to situations when resources are scarce, one should learn to be thrift and adapt.
  • Huli man daw at magaling, naihahabol din.
    • It is never too late to offer anything that is good.
  • Habang may buhay, may pag-asa.
    • As long as there is still life, there still lies hope.


  • Kung ano ang puno, siya ang bunga.
    • Whatever the tree is, is the same with the fruit.
      • It is same as; Like Father, Like Son.
  • Kung may tinanim, may aanihin.
    • If you planted something, you will have something to harvest.
  • Kung nasaan ang asukal, naruon ang langgam.
    • Wherever you find sugar, you'll find ants.
  • Kung sino ang masalita ay siyang kulang sa gawa.
    • He who speaks too much works too little.
  • Kung may tiyaga, may nilaga.
    • (litterally) If you persevere, you'll have stew.
    • If you don't persevere, you can expect no reward.
    • Interpretation : He who works, gets compensated.
  • Kung sino ang pumutak, siya ang nanganak.
    • He who cackles lays the eggs.
    • He who blabs is the guilty party.
  • Kunwaring matapang bagkus duwag naman.
    • One who acts tough is really a coward.


  • Madali ang maging tao, mahirap magpakatao.
    • It is easy to be human. It is hard to be humane.
  • Maingay ang latang walang laman.
    • Noisy is the can that contains nothing.
  • Matalino man ang matsing, napaglalamangan din.
    • An intelligent monkey can still be outsmarted.
  • Matibay ang walis, palibhasa'y magkabigkis.
    • A broom is sturdy because its strands are tightly bound.
  • May tainga ang lupa, may pakpak ang balita.
    • The earth has ears, news (gossip) has wings.


  • Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa.
    • Mercy resides in God; deeds are in men.


  • Pagkahaba-haba man daw ng prusisyon, sa simbahan din ang tuloy.
    • No matter how long the procession, it still ends up in church.
  • "Pag-ibig, Pag-asa, at Pananampalataya sa Diyos, tatlong katangiang dapat nating kamtan, nang sa buhay sa mundo, tayo ay magtagumpay"
    • We should always keep in mind that Love, Hope, and Faith in God,will bring us success in life.
      • These are the Three P's of Life.
  • Pag may isinuksok, may maidudukot
    • If you have something saved in the past, you will have something to help you in dire need.
  • Punong mabunga madalas binabato.
    • A tree that bears fruit is often hurled at.
      • people who succeed are the subject of jealousy and injury.
  • Puro kahol, walang kagat
    • All bark no bite (Literally translated) *** All talk, no actions


  • Sa taong may tunay na hiya, ang salita ay panunumpa.
    • To a person who has true humility, words are vows.
      • one must always be true to their word and keep their promises.
  • Sa panahon ng kagipitan, makikilala ang tunay na kaibigan
    • In times of trouble and you need help, you will see your real friends.


  • Walang ligaya sa lupa na hindi dinilig ng luha.
    • There is no earthly bliss not watered by tears.
  • Walang mahirap na gawa pag dinaan sa tiyaga.
    • No undertaking is difficult if pursued with perseverance.
  • Walang mapait na tutong, sa taong nagugutom.
    • There is no bitter (rice)crust to a hungry person.
  • Walang matigas na tinapay sa mainit na kape.
    • No bread is too hard for warm coffee.


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