Maayong Buntag (“Good Morning”)

Maayong buntag, everyone!

“Maayong buntag” is “Good morning” in my wife’s native language, Bisaya. She is from the large southern Philippine island called Mindanao. Bisaya is commonly spoken on Mindanao, as well as throughout the smaller central islands called the Visayas. If you’re from Cebu island, you probably say you speak “Cebuano”, but it is basically the same language. Likewise, if you’re from Bohol, you speak “Boholano”, or something like that. Every separate island has to put its own touch on the idiom.

Bisaya has been heavily influenced by Spanish. Besides adopting words such as sombrero, zapatos, etc., we can see the Spanish lack of complete differentiation between “B” and “V” in the name of the language itself: Bisaya is spoken in the Visayas! My wife’s Mama, when referring to Vick’s VapoRub, says “Bicks”.

“Kumusta ka?” means “How are you?” You could answer, “Maayo ra ko”, or “I’m okay”. Other important phrases are, “Salamat” (“Thank you”), “Walay sapayan”, (“You’re welcome”), and the ever important “Akong hovercraft mao ang napuno sa kasili”, which is of course, “My hovercraft is full of eels”.

Suppose you’re a guy, and you’ve come to the southern Philippines, and you’ve met a beautiful lady you want to impress. You could say “Gihigugma ko ikaw”, (“I love you”), or even “Mga gwapa mo”, (“Will you marry me”), but if you really want to impress her, you will say ……… “Baho akong ilok”! (Hee, hee, hee!)


We originally posted this article on Bubblews, then posted it on FullofKnowledge.