Thursday, August 23, 2007

Filipino Signs of Wit

1. A flower shop in Diliman called Petal Attraction;

2. Anita Bakery;

3. A 24-hour restaurant called Doris Day & Night;

4. Barber shop called Felix The Cut;

5. A bakery named Bread Pitt;

6. Fast-food place selling 'maruya' (banana fritters) called Maruya Carey;

7. Then, there is Christopher Plumbing;

8. A boutique called The Way We Wear;

9. A video rental shop called Leon King Video Rental;

10. A restaurant in Cainta district of Rizal called Caintacky Fried Chicken;

11. A local burger restaurant called Mang Donald's;

12. A doughnut shop called MacDonuts;

13. A shop selling 'lumpia' (egg roll) in Makati called Wrap and Roll;

14. And two butcher shops called Meating Place and Meatropolis;

Smart travelers can decipher what may look like baffling signs to unaccustomed foreigners by simply sounding out the 'Taglish' (The Philippine version of English words spelled and pronounced with a heavy Filipino such as:

15. At a restaurant menu in Cebu “We hab sopdrink in can an in batol” [translation: We have soft drinks in can and in bottle];

16. Then, there is a sewing accessories shop called Bids And Pises - [translation: Beads and Pieces --or-- Bits and Pieces];

There are also many signs with either badly chosen or misspelled words but they are usually so entertaining that it would be a mistake to 'correct' them like:

17. In a restaurant in Baguio City, the 'summer capital' of the Philippines: “Wanted: Boy Waitress”;

18. On a highway in Pampanga: “We Make Modern Antique Furniture”;

19. On the window of a photography shop in Cabanatuan: “We Shoot You While You Wait”;

20. And on the glass front of a cafe in Panay Avenue in Manila: “Wanted: Waiter, Cashier, Washier”;

Some of the notices can even give a wrong impression such as:

21. A shoe store in Pangasinan which has a sign saying: “We Sell Imported Robber Shoes” (these could be the 'sneakiest' sneakers);

22. A rental property sign in Jaro reads: “House For Rent, Fully Furnaced” (it must really be hot inside)!

23. Occasionally, one could come across signs that are truly unique - if not altogether odd;

City in southern Philippines which said:”Adults: 1 peso; Child: 50 centavos; Cadavers: fare subject to negotiation.”;

24. European tourists may also be intrigued to discover two competing shops selling hopia (a Chinese pastry) called Holland Hopia and Poland Hopia - which are owned and operated by two local Chinese entrepreneurs, Mr. Ho and Mr. Po respectively - (believe it or not)!

25. Some folks also 'creatively' redesign English to be more efficient. “The creative confusion between language and culture leads to more than just simple unintentional errors in syntax, but in the adoption of new words, “says reader Robert Goodfellow who came across a sign .....House Fersallarend' (house for sale or rent). Why use five words when two will do?

26. According to Manila businessman, Tonyboy Ongsiako, there is so much wit in the Philippines because “We are a country where a good sense of humor is needed to survive.” We have a 24-hour comedy show here called the government and a huge reserve of comedians made up mostly of politicians and bad actors.


From my inbox. Thanks to Cai for the email. :-)

Unfortunately, this list omits a couple of my personal favorites:

Baywash - A car wash located along Katipunan avenue, named after the TV show featuring lifeguards with humongous...;

Aling McBeal - A carinderia I saw somewhere in...I forgot where;

Jollirin - A hamburger stand somewhere in Manila, a rip-off of Jollibee, a popular Filipino fastfood restaurant. Rin translates loosely to English as "too".

Ken's Balls - A fishball stand located along Tandang Sora. Incidentally, I have a officemate of the same name. Needless to say I have never eaten there. Go figure;

Beware of falling derby - A sign I almost always see near building construction sights;

For brake in - a sign I often see attached to vehicles I assume are being broken in? and lastly:

Parking for costumers only - I have to wear a costume to park?

For pictures of some other weird signs, click here, here and here. :-)

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