Monay Lisa

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I got a new book! It was a “pasalubong” from our friend when their family came back from their vacation in the Philippines.

The book is Ngalang Pinoy: A Primer on Filipino Wordplay. It is a collection of peculiar names that were hatched by the ever creative Pinoy mind.

Here are some of the examples, listed in the book, names of Filipino stores and businesses that are existing in our beloved country.

Goto Heaven                              Goto eatery

En-Chic                                      Chinese restaurant

Cooking ng Ina Mo                     carinderia in Mandaluyong

Cooking ng Ina Mo Rin              carinderia right across Cooking ng Ina Mo

Shinto-Nado                               karaoke bar

Monay Lisa                                 bakery

Cinna Von                                  laundromat

Copy Cat                                    photocopy shop

You Kneaded Me                       massage parlor

i2i                                                eyewear shop

Petal Attraction                          flower shop

Alabank                                      a rural bank in Alabang

Last Trip                                     funeral parlor

Brew-Huh                                   coffee shop

James Tailor                               tailor shop

To Home It May Concern          furniture store

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow      beauty parlor

Shoes Ko Po!                             shoes and bags repair shop


(*image from here)

I have some interesting names that I can think of too, if I will have my own business. If I have a Karate studio, I would name it Kicking Pinoy (Hindi ‘yan bastos, ah). But I don’t know any martial arts or any self-defense for that matter, except running away, so a studio will never materialize.

How about if I have a beauty parlor, I would name it Beauty Nga Sa’yo. Or if I have a puto and bibingka stand, I would call it Putong Inamoy. Or if I am to establish a pawn shop and rival Tambunting, I’ll name it Walang Pawn-do.

If for real, that I will practice as a lung doctor (what I am now) and have my own Pulmonary Clinic in the Philippines, I can name it Pulmo Niya. Then I can put an ad for: nagkukumpuni ng sirang baga, may hika, ubo, at naka-tubo.

Back to the book Ngalang Pinoy, here are some of its collection of Filipino names that got Americanized.

Alfonso de Asis                      Alzheimer’s Disease

Bienvenido Jurado                 Ben Hur

Burgos Reyes                        Burger King

Casimiro Bocaycay                Cashmere Bouquet

Eliutario Ignacio                     Electric Ignition

Federico Hagibis                    Federal Express

Francisco Portero                  Frank Porter

Juan Tampipi                         John Samsonite

Juanito Lakarin                       Johnny Walker

Leon Mangubat                      Tiger Woods

Ligaya Almundo                     Joy to the World

Ligaya Anonuevo                   Happy New Year

Maria Natividad                     Merry Christmas

Restituto Fruto                      Tutti Fruti

Rogelio Dagdag                    Roger Moore

Topacio Mamarail                 Top Gun

Victoria Malihim                    Victoria’s Secret

(*Ngalang Pinoy is edited by Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz and published by Tahanan Books)


  1. Enjoyed this very much. My daughter laments that it’s very hard for her to share these pinoy wordplay humor with her non-Filipino friends. Most of them are such. This is until she met Maxine, the best friend of her boyfriend’s sister, who’s half French half Filipino from Georgia. So, we just giggle about these whenever she comes to visit us or the odd time she goes to Manila or when she’s with her cousins.

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