Talk:Filipino proverbs

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  • Ako ang nagtaním, ang nagbayó at nagsaing, saka nang maluto’y iba ang kumain.
    • Literally: I planted, husked, and boiled it, when it was cooked someone else ate it. ("It" referring to rice)
    • Meaning: You work for it but others benefited from it. * Aanhin pa ang palasyo, kung ang nakatira ay kwago; mabuti pa ang isang kubo, kung ang nakatira ay tao.
    • Literally: What use is a palace if only an owl lives there; a nipa hut is better off if a person lives there.
    • Meaning: Riches, such as large houses, are useless if empty, whereas a hut with someone humane inside is better.
  • Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan, hindi makakarating sa patutunguhan.
    • Literally: One who looks not back at whence he came will never arrive to whence he is going.
    • Meaning: A person must always look at their original status to be able to reach their goals. Also encapsulates the Filipino cultural value of utang na loob (debt of gratitude).
  • Ang maling ginagawa ng matatanda, tama sa mata ng bata.
    • Literally: The wrongdoings of adults are right in the eyes of children.
    • Meaning: Children will always imitate or do what they see from adults whether it is right or wrong.
  • Habang maiklî ang kumot, matutong mamaluktót.
    • Literally: While the blanket is short, learn to curl up.
    • Meaning: When resources are scarce, one should learn to be thrift and adapt.
  • Huwag magbilang ng manók hangga’t hindi napipisâ ang itlog.
    • Literally: Don't count the chickens until the eggs hatch.
    • Meaning: Do not always speak with finality, for things can always change.
  • Lahat ng gubat ay may ahas.
    • Literally: Every jungle has a snake.
    • Meaning: There will always be a traitor anywhere.
  • Mas maingay ang latang walang laman.
    • Literally: Noisier is the can that has nothing inside.
    • Meaning: Boisterousness can be a sign of vapidness
    • Compare Macbeth Act 5, Scene 5: "it is a tale/Told by an idiot/full of sound and fury/Signifying nothing."
  • May tenga ang lupa; may pakpak ang balita.
    • Literally: The earth has ears; news (gossip) has wings.
    • Meaning: Gossip spreads easily.
  • Marami ka pang bigás na kakainin.
    • Literally: You still have to eat more uncooked rice.
    • Meaning: You still have to learn more to outlast the opponent.


  • Ang taong nagigipit, kahit sa patalím ay kumakapit (often contracted to "kapit sa patalím")
    • Literally: A person in need, will cling even to blades.
    • Meaning: A person deprived and needy will do anything, even if it will cost a life.
  • Nasa Diyos ang awà, nasa tao ang gawâ.
    • Compare: Mercy resides in God; deeds are in men.
    • Meaning: Man still needs to work despite Divine Providence.
  • Pag-ibig, Pag-asa, at Pananampalataya sa Diyos, tatlong katangiang dapat nating kamtan, nang sa buhay sa mundo, tayo ay magtagumpay.
    • Literally: Love, Hope, and Faith in God, three traits we must acquire, that in this world's life, we will succeed.
    • Literally: If something is inserted, something will be extracted.
    • Meaning: If you have something saved in the past, you will have something to help you in dire need.
  • Papunta ka pa lang, pabalík na ako.
    • Literally: I have returned from where you are going.
    • Meaning: You have yet to experience what I have gone through.
    • Compare: Which you are I once was; which what I am you will become. Also: Been there, done that.
  • Ang punong mabunga ay madalas binabato.
    • Literally: A fruitful tree is often stoned.
    • Meaning: Stones are used to get the fruits to fall, thus the successful are the subject of jealousy and envy.
  • Puro kahól, walang kagat
    • Literally: All bark no bite
    • Compare: All talk, no action.
  • Sa taong may hiya, salita'y panunumpa.
    • Literally: To a man with shame/honour, words are oath.
    • Meaning: Anyone with honour stays true to their word.
  • Walang mapaít na tutóng sa taong nagugutom.
    • Literally: There is no [such thing as] bitter burnt rice to a hungry man.
    • Compare: Hunger is the best sauce.
  • Walang matimtimang birhen sa matiyagang manalangin.
    • Literally: There is no virgin with fervent prayer (also a pun on praying to the Virgin Mary)
    • Meaning: You will get the girl that you love if you persevere in courting her. Also: Nothing is impossible for one who dares.
  • Walang ligaya sa lupà na 'di dinilig ng luhà.
    • Literally: There is no earthly bliss unwatered by tears.
    • Meaning: All good things must come with some suffering.
  • Walang humawak ng lutuan na hindi naulingan.
    • Literally: Nobody has ever touched a cooking vessel without getting soot on their hands.
    • Meaning: When you get involved somehow you will get affected.
  • Walang pangit sa titing galít.
    • Literally: There is no ugly person to an erect penis.
    • Meaning: There is no immovable object, to an unstoppable force (referring to unbridled lust).