I am very happy today as my supervisor today announced in front of everyone that I was going to get a promotion. I was thrilled, because I did very well on the last project. After work, I rushed home and informed my spouse of the promotion and told her that “Ako ay masaya” which means “I am happy.” I am happy for the opportunity to further prove myself and my capabilities by accepting a promotion. The word for “happy” in Tagalog (Filipino) is “masaya.”
Every year, in the Philippines, traditionally during Christmas season, you will find that some families stay awake and on the stroke of midnight on the 24th, sit together and eat food which has been lovingly prepared and this night when the family gets together to eat is known as “Noche Buena” and the literal translation is “good night.” It is similar to an open house celebration, where everyone is welcome to share in the festivities. During the holiday season, visiting relatives is a priority and so is gift giving. Because being respectful and courteous to elders is expected, one will find that they are visited and when greeted are greeted with customary phrases such as “Maligayang pasko ” which translates as “Happy Christmas.” Although the root word for “happy” is “saya” one will find that the word “masaya” is used and it is used when speaking in both the present tense and the past tense.
With the New Year around the corner, there is a festive and happy mood which can be sensed. It is a fun time of year, as well as noisy one, and the sounds of firecrackers can be heard both nearby and in the distance. Sweets and sweet food are popular at this time of year. A visitor to the Philippines observing preparations for the New Year, would see that various kinds of sweets and fruits are prepared for welcoming the New Year. Similarly, during this time you can also find baked sweetened taro, (Halayang ube), rice cakes and different meats which are cooked and served. The visitor Buy Barong Tagalog would also frequently hear people saying Maligayang Bagong Taon meaning that the person is wishing each other a Happy New Year.
A traveler to the Philippines during Valentine’s Day, might hear people wishing each other Maligayang Araw ng mga puso meaning Happy Valentines Day. Aside from this, flowers, gifts and candy are exchanged. People give their loved ones special cards and red roses “pulang rosas.”
My parents will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary next year, during which they will renew their vows again on that day. My father plans to buy my mother a diamond ring, or “diamante singsing” as it is known in Filipino (Tagalog) language. The happy occasion will further be marked by a gathering of family and their closest friends.
Some of the happiest times are those that are spent with family and friends. Each year as the holidays get closer people prepare for them and celebrate them accordingly. If you spend more than a year in the Philippines or visit during a certain holiday, you might just hear some of the phrases mentioned above.