Punny Filipino translations

Shakira Sison

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Is it far, mother? - Malia Obama; Faster! Faster! - Belize; I'm just nagbibiro - KD lang; and other Filipino puns

The best thing about the Filipino language is that words are spoken as they are spelled, resulting in simple syllables that can actually be combined to form English-sounding words that are perfect for puns.

Sometimes in the wee hours of Manila time, I play a game with @wansapunataym, a Twitter user I haven’t met but often exchange Tagalog puns with online. We laugh a bit and share our “punny” jokes, but they often become buried and forgotten in our timelines.

In celebration of April as National Humor Month, as well as the end of the somber season of Lent, I thought it might be time for some laughs. Here is a compilation of some punny laughs for your lapping pleasure. Please add your own in the comments below!

Musicians and Bands

They thought it was an arrow – Kalapana
I’m just nagbibiro – KD Lang
Kailangan ko ng panadero – Anita Baker
Nagpagupit ang dati mong jowa – Extreme
Do you have a ponytail holder? – Metallica
Mga chicks na KJ at ayaw pa kasi sumama – Indigo Girls
Ako hindi ako KJ kaya ayain mo ako – Imago
I no longer need a ponytail holder – Natalie Cole
Yung kapatid kong exajj – Oasis 
Your isda – Depeche Mode
Malapit na ako sa FX – Nirvana
Ambahong prutas, inulit pa – Duran Duran
Mga bulaklak na galing sa General Santos City – Guns N’ Roses
Kaingin method of farming – Cyndi Lauper
Plantsadorang mahinhin – Iron Maiden 
May jetits pala si madam – Dixie Chicks
Dalawampung kotse-kotsehan – Matchbox 20
Mas lalong madali – Morrissey
Ang mga sangkap ng nganga – The Beatles
Tirador, o tooter – Pantera
Pag natapos na ang Kuaresma – Faith No More
Nahihilo – Jay Z
Tatay mong sultan – Salt N’ Pepa
Mabilis na sastre o hotdog – Taylor Swift
Ang Senado at Ang Kapulungan ng Kinatawan ng Pilipinas (Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines) – 10,000 Maniacs 

Parade of Nations

Does she know? – Albania
Mother, it’s flooded – Bahamas
Kainis, umuulan – Bahrain
I-jug ang mga babae – Bangladesh
Faster! Faster! – Belize
Amo ko – Bosnia
Walang tinta ang bolpen mo – Denmark
Dirty underground military leader – Dominica
Andami nila – Germany
Pampadulas – Greece
Simple lang pero – Iraq
Hindi sya peke – Israel
Kapag ayaw mo na manganak – Italy
Ang bentilador – Japan
Not mine – Kenya
War, war stupid – Lebanon
Mahal kita – Libya
Nanay andyan na yung amo natin – Macedonia
Lagyan ng Dora ang sasakyan kasi – Madagascar
Andumi talaga ng utak mo – Malaysia
I’ll go ahead, ha? – Monaco
Bad trip naman, socy style – Oman
Batu-bato sa langit – Panama
Oras ng traffic sa EDSA – Russia
Hindi dine-in – Togo
Kaya ka nalalasing e – Tonga
Oh beautiful – Uganda
Pag nasaktan ang Bisaya – Uruguay
Sagot ng amboy – Yemen


Baka manalo ka ng libreng surgery – Oprah Winfrey
Nilinis ko yung magarang business district dun sa may Libis – Clint Eastwood
It’s so easy, so hurry! – Angelina Jolie 
Wag po, please – Yoko Ono
The jump of that stupid black cat – Sylvester Stallone
Sulat ng anak mong lalaki – Liam Neeson

The First Family

Is he a bull, mother? – Barack Obama
Is there ice, mother? – Michelle Obama
Is it far, mother? – Malia Obama
Should I get off at Shaw Boulevard, mother? – Sasha Obama


Because of us – Kamikaze
The reason you were replaced – Cosmopolitan
I-jug natin si manong – Screwdriver

(WATCH: Rex Navarrete: The art of telling a joke)

Hope you had a good laugh. If you have some of your own to share, please do so in the comments. I love puns! – Rappler.com

Shakira Andrea Sison is a Palanca Award-winning essayist. She currently works in finance and spends her non-working hours puntasizing in subway trains. She is a veterinarian by education and was managing a retail corporation in Manila before relocating to New York in 2002. Her column appears on Thursdays. Follow her on Twitter: @shakirasison and on facebook.com/sisonshakira. 


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