6 Cebuano Proverbs to Know

Philippine Proverbs Book

A week before the declaration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Cebu City last March, I visited a local bookstore and came across Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz's Philippine Proverbs book published by Tahanan Books. It's a compilation of 105 sayings gathered from the different languages and dialects that we have in the Philippines.

I've been a fan of Ms. Sta. Romana-Cruz since I bought her books, You Know You're Filipino If...A Pinoy Primer and Don't Take a Bath on a Friday: Philippine Superstitions and Folk Beliefs in the early 2000s. I so love these books that I've even given copies of them as gifts to my cousins who grew up in the United States of America and even to my international acquaintances.

I also have a copy of her take on how we Filipinos love wordplay, especially on store signs and business names. The title of this book is, Ngalang Pinoy: A Primer on Filipino Wordplay.

Looking at the cover illustration of her books, one would think that they are designed for young readers but take my word for it, even adults will enjoy reading them. With these books, Philippine culture has been kept alive for all generations of Filipinos.

In this post, I'm featuring six Cebuano Proverbs with their English translations. The sayings and proverbs in this book have been culled from the collection of Philippine folklorist, Dr. Damiana Eugenio. These nuggets of wisdom came from The Proverbs, Volume VI of the Philippine Folk Literature series which was published in 1992 by U.P. Folklorists, Inc. 

If you have more Cebuano proverbs and sayings, please feel free to share. I would love to include them in my next list.

1. Kon gusto ikao magdali, maghinay.
If you want to go fast, slow down.

2. Dili tanang magkatawa malipayon.
Not all who laugh are happy.

3. Mas daghan ka nakuha, Mas labaw ka mangita.
The more you have, the more you want.

4. Asa kaman ipadpad maoy imong palad.
Wherever the wind blows, there lies your fortune.

5. Malologus an cabayao pag cadto na tubig, Condi diri mo malologus pagpainom.
You can lead a horse to the river, but you can't make him drink.

6. Unsaon ang kumpay kon wala nay kabayo.
Of what use is the grass if the horse is dead.