Culture

Native Spanish Speakers Are Shocked with What Filipinos Have Done to Their Language

Conyo, pan de regla, and puto seko have very vulgar meanings in Spanish.
IMAGE YOUTUBE/EL'S PLANET
ILLUSTRATOR WARREN ESPEJO
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Considering the Philippines was colonized by Spain for 333 years, it is ironic how the vast majority of Filipinos do not speak Spanish. In fact, it is the only former Spanish colony where a majority of the citizens does not speak the language. But Filipinos have a rich vocabulary of Spanish-influenced words. Many Filipinos are not aware that some words they are using have Spanish origins. Like tsismis, asikaso, and even kubeta

More: Why the Philippines is the Only Former Spanish Colony That Doesn’t Speak Spanish

A group of native Spanish speakers were both amused and impressed when they were introduced to some of the Spanish words and phrases used in the Philippines. Their shock was palpable when they encountered the words conyo (coño is Spanish for vagina), pan de regla (literally menstrual bread) and lamyerda (la mierda is literally “the shit” in Spanish). 

“I’m really shocked by everything going on about all the words,” says one of the people in the video when she encounters conyo. “But I’m learning!” she adds. 

The bastardized Philippine Spanish words have less graphic connotations. Conyo is an uncomplimentary word used to describe how someone, deemed of a higher social status, speaks with an accent or the use of code switching. Pan de regla is simply bread with blood-red filling, hence the reference to regla or menstruation. Lamyerda is similar to lakwatsa (also rooted in Spanish), which both mean gallivanting or traveling for fun. 

More: Spanish Words You Thought Were Filipino

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Another word that caused a stir among the reactors was puto seko. In Spanish, puto means fucking, while seco means dry. Many of the native speakers thought it meant “fucking dry” in Filipino, but were pleasantly surprised to learn it was a type of rice cookie. 

But what was not mentioned in the video is how puto seko is a mix of Filipino and Spanish words. Puto is actually a Filipino word widely used in the Bikolano, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Tagalog, and Waray languages. It refers to a cake made from rice flour.

Watch the full video by EL's Planet featuring the native Spanish speakers' reactions below. 

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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