Baba ba? Bababa. Baba. It might sounds that I’m just babbling around or mimicking minions in their famous song banana but I’m not .

Yes, I’m not babbling or making this up. Those are actual words, Filipino (Tagalog) words that might confuse some foreigners. They might also question us if we are having a real conversation or we’re just playing around. Believe it or not, we are having a conversation and we understand each other.

A post from fb that is  hilariously fun to read most specially if you understand the language.

Skit summary :

A foreigner and a Filipino is waiting a lift (elevator) .

When the lift arrives , the Filipino asked to a man  (fellow Filipino) –” Bababa ba?” (Going down?)

The man replied , “Bababa.” (Yes , going down.)

Then the Filipino enter the lift leaving a dumbfounded foreigner still trying to figure out what just happened?

They use one syllable yet they understand each other? How is that possible?

It is fun to think about the scene presented in the fb post and I can’t help but wonder why we had that oddly made words/sentence in our language today. I guess it has something to do with our history.


Brief history :

Our first literature and word structure is called alibata. I tried and learned some basic alibata in my college years and saw some repetitive strokes that is interesting to link with the Bababa instance. Repetitive strokes means something during those times like “Baba” – it means “Father”. Maybe we got that words or use repetitive syllables as a word way back alibata days and maintained it even after years of colonialism.



Image of Alibata
Photo Credit : Google Images


Our words structure is now pretty mashed up with a little bit of local (Pure alibata/abakada) ,malays a like language, english, chinese and other ‘hiram na salita’ or  borrowed words due to our history of having colonize from one country to another. Oh! Did I mentioned that we have about 170 dialects here?  Too many dialects that is somehow similar yet different from each other and lucky for me I spoke three dialects and been planning to learn more in the near future.
So bababananan? oh! Those are minnions.
©Eclipse Stories °Sun


5 thoughts on “Word rumble : Bababa

  1. I’d probably think ‘whoa! epic telepathic skills! no real words needed!’ but actually this is quite common in languages – ca va? ‘qui, ca va’ (french) genki desu? – hai, genki desu. (japanese) Just two how are you? – ‘I’m good’ examples, where people literally repeat what’s been said to them but they’re being understood. Funny post though^^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep.. It is quite common but it’s just that — ours is repetition of one syllable and if you are standing in a foreigner’s point of view it would seems like we are chanting something or it is close to minions language hahaha ..

      Liked by 1 person

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