Ano pala yan siya? An Introduction to Davao Filipino


Davao Tagalog, Davao Conyo, Davao Filipino: Davao’s peculiar hodgepodge of Tagalog, Cebuano and other Philippine languages is gaining currency and attracting attention.

But nobody seems to have explored it deeply enough. Over the past two years I’ve been doing just that, attempting to describe, define, and use creatively this strange linguistic chimera that we use to buy, flirt, and curse here Davao.

Here’s what I’ve found out.

 Observe the following overheard line:

‘Kainit uy, pahiramin mo gud ako niyang paypay be.’ 

What is first apparent to the Dabawenyo is that the line is Tagalog. Its syntax (word order) and much of its vocabulary is definitely Tagalog. A Manilenyo would be able to understand it, but a Cebuano who couldn’t speak Tagalog probably wouldn’t.

 But the Manilenyo would find it just as weird as the Cebuano would, because its morphology (the suffixes and prefixes) is definitely Cebuano Bisaya, and it has…

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