“TATIG” a very fat worm indeed…

April 12, 2006

Today, I’ve decided to share my “Ilocano” bloopers. But first, let me tell you about my Ilocano background to be able to understand how I’ve come up with my bloopers.

I grew up in an Ilocano town surrounded by Ilocano people. My Mom’s a mixture of Tagalog and Ilocano, her dad’s a Tagalog and her mom’s an Ilocana. When asked what dialect they use at home, she said it’s either Tagalog or Ilocano (until now I can’t understand how they talk to one another using 2 dialects). My Dad’s a Tagalog and both of his parents were also Tagalogs as well as his siblings. But my Dad was good in speaking Ilocano. And so they bore 6 beautiful children (this is my blog, anyone who thinks otherwise will die…).

I grew up using Tagalog as our primary dialect. Eventually, I’ve learned to use Ilocano because my Lola can’t speak Tagalog. My very first playmate is also a Tagalog. But she knows how to speak in Ilocano because most of her cousins are Ilocanos. My cousins also are all Tagalogs. When I went to school, all of the children speak in Ilocano. So in short, I have learned to speak both dialects.

My highschool friends and I went to this river, it’s just a shallow river and they decided we cross-over to the other side. I was very brave then and told them in a very loud voice,



But then I heard laughter. I should have said “BUMALLASIW” instead of “LUMABBASIW.” I have jumbled the letters of the word. (Sorry to those who can’t relate…just stay for the fun part.).

My sister and I were watching TV when we saw a man eating something that looked like a very fat worm. Then I noticed something familiar about it that when I finally remembered, I proudly told my sister in a very loud voice,


Looking really proud for being able to remember. But then I didn’t expect her to roll-over in laughter.

“BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! It’s not “LATIG” you dummy! It’s “TATIG.” “LATIG” is PENIS!!! BWAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!”

It was a very early Sunday morning in Isabela and Mom was nudging everyone to wake up and take a bath because we’re gonna be late for mass. Mom was very particular about me and was really persistent in waking me up because according to her, I’m the slowest among my siblings to prepare.

Mom was like, “Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Go and take a bath now while the water’s still hot,” like a someone who sell pancakes in the morning…

So irritated as I was for being disturbed in my sleep, I woke up and sat in the bed and stared into space. My Mom was very “makulit” that she still continued saying,

“What are you doing sitting there like a frog? Go on, move!”

I was annoyed by her continuous bickering that I finally told her,

teka lang kasi, nagmu-mungay-mungay pa ako eh…”

What I meant was, I was still in the process of finally waking up and getting used to being awake. My sister (the same sister who laughed at me when I said “latig”) laughed out loud again together with my Mom. I was like,

“Why? What did I say this time?” 

My sister, in between laughter, finally said, “Tanga! You should have said “muray-muray” not “mungay-mungay!” BAWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! “Mungay-mungay” means NIPPLES! BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!”

Now you know why I don’t speak Ilocano that much…


One thought on ““TATIG” a very fat worm indeed…

  1. I have met some Ilocanos and been told stories of their famed hospitality. As an American I’m shocked at how in-hospitable my home land seems in comparison. I have a question though, just so I can understand better. What if a member of an Ilocano village decided they would simply not be hospitible, not be welcoming. I know this is likely difficult to consider but, what would be the outcome, or consequences his actions?

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