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15/365: When In Iloilo: Must Remember Terms

I consider Iloilo as my third home.  I fell in love with this city not only because I love the person who brought me there but also because the Ilonggos are such lovable and sweet people.

Let me fulfill my promise to make a series of posts labeled as “When In Iloilo” (something similar to my “When in Cebu” posts).  Starting today is the perfect time to start this series while this beautiful city is gearing for their annual grand festival – Dinagyang Festival.


For sure tourists, adventure seekers and travelers will flock the city of Iloilo in the third week of January or during the climactic weekend of the Dinagyang Festival.  I will give you a tour and a taste of all the delicious Ilonggo food through this blog.   Meanwhile let me share to you some of the amusing terms that I consider as a “must know” to someone who will be be visiting the city.

1. “Sa lugar lang”
In Manila when we want to stop the jeepney driver we usually shout the word “PARA!!!” sounding with triple exclamation point (LOL).   Or sometime we say “Manong sa tabi lang”.  In Iloilo you should say…
“Sa lugar lang” in a sweet and “sing-song” tone unlike the way we say it in Manila that you need to shout the word

In one incident that I got bored waiting for my fetch way back home after a quick buy from a department store that is one ride away, I took the jeepney for a ride back home.  I can’t make myself to say “Sa lugar lang” and I ended up making an abrupt “Pssst!” to the driver.  Everyone in the jeepney were looking at me with different (but not nice) look on their faces.  I jumped off the jeepney in a hurry without looking back (LOL).

2. “Ismagol”
One time I was wondering why my “ex-boyfriend’s”  family were arguing at the doorstep about “smuggling”.  I confronted my ex-boyfriend afterwards what was that “smuggling” about.  It turned out that they were just identifying who owns each slippers at the doorstep.  Yeah! they call slippers “ismagol”.

When I’m back in Manila I kept saying (and laughing) at this term for more than a month ha ha.

3. Tinis (Tennis)
Iloggos call their sneakers or rubber shoes “tinis” – in reference to tennis shoes.  I first heard this from my ex-boyfriend’s mom so I won’t share the story ha ha.

4. Ginamos
“Ginamos” in Tagalog means something like “to crumple” (or ginusot). So when my ex-boyfriend candidly mentioned to his family that I love “ginamos”.  I was wondering “What did I crumple?”

It turned out “ginamos” is how they called the shrimp paste (bagoong na alamang).  And their “bagoong” looks different.  It looks like the corned beef being sold in the supermarket per kilo.

5. Salapi
One time that I went to photocopy a document and I asked how much per copy was. The person in-charge asked me “Salapi?”.  And I asked back “how much?”.  We had at least three rounds of question and answer portion of “how much” and “salapi” until an obvious “Ilonggo/Manila guy” explained to me “Miss she meant 50 centavos per copy”. LOL!

So “salapi” means 50 cents.  Well as for me “salapi” means a “huge amount of money (as in “limpak-limpak na salapi") so I thought she was just asking me if I have money to pay. LOL

Again this will be a series of posts about Iloilo and I might remember some more amusing terms that I can share with you so hang around here.

By the way that “ex-boyfriend in the story who brought me in Iloilo is now my awesome hubby – sweet!


  1. All the words you've mentioned are exactly the words we use din sa Romblon. For slippers we also call it 'ismagol' and 50cents is known for us as "salapi" too. and also the rest. Perhaps, because we speak Hiligaynon - a mixture of Ilonggo and other Visayan dialects. And it's true that Ilonggos are the sweetest people hehe! Sobrang malumanay sila magsalita kahit galit na haha!

    I haven't been in Iloilo haha, The last time I planned to visit in 2010 didn't push through due to some urgent matters that I need to attend to. I hope one time makapunta na ako diyan. I got lots of relatives there kasi.

  2. katuwa naman.... na miss ko tuloy ang Iloilo.... dami ko tuloy naalala.....

    na miss ko din ang mag sabi ng "Sa Lugar Lang...."

  3. Ang sweet naman at very funny words:)

  4. Nung umuwe ako una kong hinanap ang ginamos , ilonggos and bisaya really loved ginamos !!!

  5. Nyahaha natawa ako sa smuggling thing.. kala mo kung ano. Tsaka yung Pssst hahaha ginawang aso yung driver LOL! Btw di rin nagkakalayo ang mga terms nila sa amin sa Samar.

  6. haha nice encounters ahh lalo ung sa xerox haha, interesting naman talaga makadinig ng translations

  7. Reminds me of how some English words are used differently in American language. I had been to Iloilo and loved the people in there. They were so nice!

  8. Oh so now I understand why you were ranting about my post's title. I can see that it is quite an epal. hahahaha!

    Are you sure that Ilonggo are sweet? I don't remember Miriam Defensor-Santiago being so sweet in hearings. Hahaha! And I kept wondering who is the ex, husband mo pala. hahaha!

    Do you know ilonggo too? I've always wondered what it's like to be in a province where Tagalog is nothing but a fart. Do you get the same culture shock one gets when he goes to another country? Does it give you a weird feeling of being an alien in a foreign land?

    Siguro kung ako ang pupunta diyan, ang magiging primary connection ko with the people and the city ay PAGKAIN!!!!! Not the language or the scenes but food! hahaha! I would love to taste that ginamos.

    Sige gotta go. Nasan yung ismagol ko? hehehe!

  9. Kainis. Nawala na namn 1st comment ko.

    These are great terms to remember when visiting Iloilo. They simply made your visit memorable. Mostly about kay ex so ang sharp ng memory mo ha. I also love ismagol. Hehehe

  10. Kainis. Nawala na namn 1st comment ko.

    These are great terms to remember when visiting Iloilo. They simply made your visit memorable. Mostly about kay ex so ang sharp ng memory mo ha. I also love ismagol. Hehehe


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