How to write about the Philippines

Today, I dug through boxes from the basement that were filled with all sorts of high school memorabilia (notes passed, math tests almost failed, and lectures messily scribbled on binder paper.) In the middle of sweating and feeling extremely icky from all the academic dust I realized just how writing intensive taking the IB diploma is. I feel sorry for all those poor trees that had to be cut for the sake of my education.

Luckily they didn’t die in vain. Here’s an essay I wrote for IB English that’s different from my usual style. I’ll be posting some others as well mostly because I want to keep track of my old essays.

Unearthing these old papers makes me excited about my upcoming first semester writing class! This is kinda what I miss about high school Lit/English class. I want to strengthen and expand my style as well as try writing about new things!



How to write about the Philippines

[Some tips: San Mig and sisig are good]

When writing about the Philippines keep in mind that: Filipino’s communicate with their chins, lips and eyebrows as much as they do with words. However, one may include common Filipino expressions such as “Dude pare chong” and “Psst hoy!” Take note that direct translations of tagalog into English are difficult. Misinterpretations may occur. Although gigle does refer to the want to bite someone, it implies that the person is expressing an exuberant nature rather than a cannibalistic one. Boracay is pronounced as boh-rah-cai and not boh-rah-cay.”

Do not have a picture of pinoy’s (what Filipinos’ refer to themselves as) living in nipa huts (or in other words, tree houses) amidst a jungle as the cover of your book. This is a common misconception. 20% of pinoys live in Forbes village while the other 80% live along the streets of Edsa, none of which are tree houses. Traffic is an essential part of the day as well as children selling sampaguita on the street, or vendors selling bobbing dog heads.

Be sure to mention common pinoy topics of conversation. Just remember: PBA or “Politics”, “Basketball” and “Actors.” This will allow readers to relate to the Philippines many prominent historical figures such as: Imelda Marcos, Erap and Manny Pacquiao. If you’re an aspiring singer come to the Philippines where it’s easy to become an artista. Just have long black hair and a supply of whitening lotion and you’re sure to have a number one hit single about your hair on Myx!

End your book with a quote straight from Mcdo himself (pronounced Muck-doh not Mack-doh.) “Love Ko To.”


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