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Joke Lang!

(Translation = It’s just a joke)

For the non Tagalog speakers, here are some name puns and Easter eggs I snuck into the book:

Arawan: Daily / Day by day / (araw = sun) Sunshine

Bato ko: Bato (rock) + Ko (my) = My Rock

Ina Ko: Ina (mother) + Ko (my) = My Mother

Narra: A tree with yellow flowers. It is the national tree of the Philippines. This is important to know because [REDACTED].

Pulang Ilog: Red River

Sundo: Fetch / Pick up / Follow up

Tigang: Arid / Barren / Slang = “Thirsty

Bonus Wordplay

Astar = ‘A star’… get it? Because she fell from the sky!

Okay so yes, my names are terribly obvious, but there is a real legend about the Star Maidens and you can read it here. Roshani Chokshi also wrote a beautiful short story here: The Star Maiden.

More Wordplay

Instead of “Once upon a time” Filipino legends often begin with “Noong unang panahon”. This roughly translates to: In the first days / In the ancient times / In the old times. In this book I’ve used “In the time before” because it is another literal translation that doubles to mean “In the time before their homeland was destroyed.”

Legend of the Pineapple

This story is mentioned in the book, but the full folktale doesn’t appear in full. It’s one that I’ve always disliked so much that I can’t unremember it. It’s also not technically pre-colonial, but you can read a full version of it here: The Legend of the Pineapple.


I Use Tabo (Jason Derulo Parody) – Warning for literal toilet cleaning humor.