Linguistic chopsuey | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

“THE LATE Dancing Dragon of Ongpin” ART BY GCF, OWNED BY JOSIE DIM

Chinese presence in the islands has been recorded way before 1521, which accounts for the amount of words of Chinese origin in the native tongues.


In 1778, according to the guild listings, their varied occupations were: merchant, silversmith, wagon maker, razor maker, dyer, pork dealer, wax dealer, carpenter, rattan worker, soap maker, tobacco dealer, farmer.


Shoemaker, wine trader, silk dealer, lime maker, vegetable dealer, druggist, porcelain maker, pansit maker, doctor, stone dealer, taho maker, tile maker.


Also, weaver, tailor, foundry man, caulker, traveling salesman, broker, milk dealer, sweet-shop dealer, hat maker.


Mason, wood-box dealer, butcher, sawyer, lumber dealer, locksmith, water carrier, porter, plant pot maker, painter, lamp maker, sagualero (oarsman?)


Baker, truck gardener, tin plate dealer, confectioner, keeper of eating house.  (None had yet dreamed of being in the Forbes list of Richest Men).


Here are some Chinese words assimilated for food alone (H. Otley Beyer):


Am – a Chinese word for the liquid part of lugaw. Used to be given to babies with upset  stomach.


Ampaw – from ampau (envelope): a sweetened, puffed rice, pillow-shaped confection.  Also  refers to a red paper envelope (containing money) which, if you are lucky, a Chinese  friend may give you.


Angkak -reddish rice used for fermenting native wines


Bataw – a large flat bean pod


Bachuy – bah (animal meat) -chhui (pieces): pig liver and noodles in broth


Batutay – bah (animal meat) -tu (stomach) -tai (large): a special kind of pork sausage


Biko – a sticky rice cake


Bilo-bilo – round lumps of dough (contained in ginataan)


Betsin – bi (smell) -tsen (extract): a powder for flavoring food, later commercialized into vetsin,  too much of which will cause Chinese food syndrome.  An old cook once told me the  earliest bitsen was homemade from powdered bones of pork, beef or chicken (never  chemicals).


Bicho-bicho – bi (rice) – chhoe (rice paste or dough): an elongated, chewy rice snack that is  fried


Dikyam – di-kiam (salted): salted Chinese plum


Goto – gu (cattle) -to (tripe): a soupy ox or cow tripe dish


Guya or bahayguya – gu (cattle) -a (diminutive particle): uterus of calf, cow or carabao used  in lugaw, bopis or soup together with other innards


Tasty condiment


Hibe – hi (shrimps, crustaceans) -bi (husked grain): dried and salted shrimps with shells  removed, hence, husked, in Chinese:  a tasty condiment of many dishes


Hopia – ho (good) -pia (made of flour): a popular confection with a filling of mongo, kundol (called hopiang baboy) and later, ube


Kekiam or kikiam – fried Chinese meat loaf with pork, shrimps, singkamas, etc. wrapped in  empella or tawpe (membranous wrapper made from bean paste)


Kinchay – kin-chhai (vegetable): Chinese celery


Kintsi or kenchi – kin (tendon) -si (fiber):  preferred cut for nilaga


Liempo – lieng (udder or breast) -po (of any animal):  actually refers to the bacon cut of pork.


Loryat or lauriat – lau (tumult, noise) -jiet (hot): movement of people, hot noisy feast;  sumptuous feast


Luglog-ka (watery) -lok-lok (very watery, softened; doughy): used chiefly to refer to pansit luglog whose noodles are cooked by dipping in boiling stock or water and ingredients  later added.


Lohua- light, puffed-up, pillow-shaped confection coated with syrup and sesame seeds.  Made  and sold by Chinese.


Lumpia- Chinese-derived favorite Filipino food, no description necessary


Mami – ma (meat) -mi (flour): tape-like noodles in broth


Miso – mi (flour) -so (lump): steamed beans available in mashed lumps from the palengke.  For  making soup or sawsawan of pesa


Miswa – Chinese vermicelli


Okoy – o-koe (fried cake, pastry): fried pastry with grated papaya, squash or toge


Pansit – pan (cook rice to make noodles) -sit (food, meal): meatballs sautéed with noodles.  Mother of pansit canton, pansit gisado, pansit con caldo, pansit langlang, pansit luglog,  pansit Malabon, pansit Marilao, pansit Molo and lesser known variations

Petsay – Chinese cabbage


Pinsek – (prito) – chopped meat and shrimp envelopes


Saging – gieng (name of a fruit) -chio (banana):  generic name for local banana (would you  believe, is Chinese?)


Taho – tau (bean) -hu (anything very soft, bean curd): unpressed soybean curd served with  medium-thick brown sugar syrup


Talangka – kah (armor) -lieng (dragon): (what we thought was a purely Filipino word is  Chinese!) small crab


Tawge or toge – bean sprouts


Tawsi – fermented soy beans


Tikoy – ti (sweet) -koe (cake, pastry): very sticky Chinese New Year cake


Tim – tim (steam, heat):  as in patatim and patotim


Tito – ti (pig) -to (tripe): small intestine of a pig made into chicharon or cooked ihaw-ihaw style.


Toyo – soy bean sauce


Tsa – cha (tea)


Champuy – cham (fruit) -po (dried): small fruit salted and sweetened


Ulikba – freak black chicken boiled with herbs, prized by the Chinese for restoring energy