Once in a while, I have tour guide duties when out of towners come to visit. I absolutely love the job coz I like telling the Filipino story. This one was particularly fun coz they were Asians, too. We started comparing similarities to our language. And I had to whip out my ultimate favorite phrase to teach to foreigners. Forget “mabuhay” and “mahal kita”. Are you ready?
Here it is: “Bababa ba?” (Are we going down?)
Come on! Say it out loud and you won’t resist a giggle! It’s the funniest sounding words we have! Foreigners cannot believe it’s an actual phrase. Last night, they kept asking if we actually say those words with a straight face. But really, Filipinos can have an entire conversation just on that syllable!
Pinoy 1: “Bababa ba?”
Pinoy 2: “Bababa daw”
Pinoy 1: “Baba na tayo?”
Pinoy 3: Bababa na ba sila?
Pinoy 1: “Bababa na.”
Pinoy 2: “Baba na!”