Thursday, July 12, 2007


Ok -- You finally got the holiday you’re waiting for. You decided to take a few days trip to a Southeast Asian destination to unwind, relax, see the sights and experience other cultures *and get laid for the very first time, if possible*.

You bought a new pair of crystal-studded Christian Dior sunglasses… a body-hugging apple green sleeveless top… a light weight YSL floral scarf … a new pair of pink sneakers with matching ultra-stylish MiuMiu bag …and a Body Shop apricot lip balm. Hey!Who says a man can’t use a lip balm? Ha!

Ok – you’re there already. Sashaying ala Linda Evangelista on Orchard Road or doing a Naomi Campbell on Silom Road or a Claudia Schiffer on Ayala Avenue, wherever you are in Southeast Asia…

Suddenly... you hear a group of locals call out something – You’re not sure what it was. It’s one of those “I’m-sure-they-are-talking-about-me-or-maybe-not” feeling. Or one of those “what-the-fuck-are-they-giggling-about?” intuitions.

You wanted to know… but of course you don’t want to strike a conversation with total strangers in a foreign land *or engage on a fist fight and ruin your nails!*

How would you know if they are mocking you or not? – and decide if the fist fight is worth it…

If you hear "Bapuk", "Pondan", "Mak Nyah", "Jalan macam ala-ala akak lagi nyahh" or "Acqua" in Malaysia and Brunei; Just keep your cool and keep walking.

Some local PLUs will flash the "hand-on-waist" gesture -- is it a direct challenge to a catwalk showdown?... On this case, take the challenge.

In Singapore, you might hear "Tong xing lian", "Ji bai" or (阴阳人) "Yin yang ren". Malay is also widely used in this country so, watch out and don't be surprised.

"Bencong Bertitit", "Banci" or "Wandu" are the choice of words in Indonesia. Again, just keep walking and keep a low profile.

In Vietnam you might hear "Lai cai" or "Bon". Bon? *sounds funny*

The mockers in the Philippines are more creative -- You might hear "Bakla!", "Bading", "Bayot", "Atche", "Klaving", "Binabae" to name a few. They would also use a gesture "tucking-the-hair-behind-the-ear" and say "Ayyyyyyy" in the most effeminate way. On this case, these could be useful.

If you are in Laos, you might hear "Bak ka tuy", in Cambodia; "Kathuuy" and in Thailand; "Katoey" or "Tut". These languages are closely related to each other and they use almost the same terms. You might also hear "lehdy boy" in Thailand, pertaining to a lady boy. If you suspect mocking in these countries, the ONLY way to retaliate is to flash your sweetest smile.

It's too bad… that no matter how we creatively invent words to call ourselves -- we still cannot tolerate other communities to use it when referring to us.

That no matter how we think that we have grown strong from a lifetime of mocking…it still hurts.


Note: Did I miss anything? Please feel free to make a correction or add anything. We would appreciate it. Thanks!


laine said...

" ayy " in a filipino way is already understandable hehehe
another one is " shokla"

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

Shokla? LOL! That's funny! I also remember "jokla"! Just the same? Thanks Laine.

Juan de la Cruz said...

Shokoy, Magnanakaw ng lakas, joding, baklita, badidang, gaylulu, swarding and a lot more! Add this to your collection.

Hanifa said...

LOLROTF! Wearing like that? Of course he's asking for it! My golly! A crystal sutdded sunglasses with floral scarf? Looks like Bryanboy! LOL!

But you are right about the closing statement. That no matter how we think we are immune already to their mockings, it still hurts inside.

Good one! Thanks for the insight.

Masako said...

When they call you names, just ask if they are talking to you. if not, ask them where the gucci or dior store is. Use British accent. Oh yes, don't be concise. Be verbose with your language. Smile like they have not ofended you. Once they scratch their heads, say bye.

if you have money to spare, ten dollar each is not too much. it can be expensive to silence people.

Sofia for BISEAN said...

Ay-yai-yai caramba! I like that Masako. So bitchy! But I guess I cannot use the bitchy strategy. Too bad.

Nam said...

"Be de" is another calling name. It should be "Bo'ng" not "Bon". "Chi" as in sister-- while used to address a female is perfectly fine--is a derogatory way to call a "katoey".

conan_cat said...

it's hard to tell really, especially when you're walking in a foreign country and people look at you as if you're an alien...

but hey, you are from a foreign country, and you are special, why do you care?

i mean, be proud of yourself and be proud of your uniqueness. people might think differently about you, and that's what you should be proud of, you're different. :)

my two cents...

Sanne Dee said...

Hey Pisanu,

The chinese characters doesn't form any meaning together. Seems like a name to me as well.

田 on its own mean plantation.
杨 is usually a last name.

On a funny note, its phonetic transliteration means, sweet goat (甜羊-tian yang). :) There you go. Hope it helps.


This hasn't happened to me yet but if it did I'll probably just shrug it off or give them the universal sign of a middle finger.

Dan Gabriel said...

i agree both with pisanu and also with conan_cat. yes, we are different and we should be proud of that, no matter where we are. but we can never deny that it still hurts. i think it helps to be really comfortable with who you are, so when other people try to bring you down, you can make sure that that's all they can do -- try.

aries said...

...and people would also ask you which beauty parlor you're from.

...speaking in straight english really works if you want them to feel ur superiority

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

@ Nam...thanks for the correction! I appreciate it.

@ are right about that. We are all SPECIAL and unique!

**** I actualy wrote this for the "How to Say: Series" and I couldn't think how but this. I don't wanna put in the Title: "How to Say: "You're GayQ" in Southeast Asia." LOL ****

@ Misterhubs... this never happen to me too, actually. Just my imagination ran wild. I look like a mean dude in person and with my height, a lot avoids me in the street. Plus I like hitting faces when they give me the looks. LOL

@ Dan Gabriel...oooohhh! NEW reader in da haus!!!!! Thanks, thanks, thanks! Come here often.

@ Aries...our princes in the east. You got a good thing going on there on your blog. Promoting your language is being proud of who you are, where you came from and being Southeast Asian. Cheers to you!

Erique Fat Owl said...

Just to add something...

In Indonesia, recently, there's this very fashionable word to describe the G-word. It's "Gaya".

Well...let me explain. You see, the word "gaya" actually means "fashionable" or "trendy". But for those in the know, it's also a word of choice when describing the G-word due to the first 3 alphabets of the word "gaya" know.

It's also interesting to know that "gaya" is not a derogatory word per se, I mean, it really depends on the tone. In my experience, people are not offended by this expression. "gaya" is actually a lovely word. It means "fashionable", after all.

Jake Tornado said...

Hah! I was mocked that way while cruising the streets of San Francisco. I gave the guy a nasty bang on the head with the heels of my Prada stillettoes! He went home whimpering.

aki2o said...

hello this is akito again and this is my 2nd comment hehehe
dito kasi sa part na ito pinakanatawa ako hehe

i will give some words in filipino
pa pala so you can add it on dictionary hihihi:
phew i have sum mindblock kaya dito na lng hehehhe

rom said...

In Hiligaynon: Agi, Agitot; the word for bisexual is silahis.

danyhael said...

it's actually easy in the philippines. if you feel insulted, cut their throats. it's normal and acceptable. no one would think of you as a bad person. filos will fight for murderers but not for LGBT, i assure you that.

Michael said...

How do you say "You are very beautiful in Laos"? Also how do you say "You mean everything to me"?

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