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“The!” A Love Story: Philippine English Malapropisms at it Finest

23 July 2008 2 CommentsEmail This Post Email This Post

A product of more than a hundred years of English in the Philippines, have we evolved? Have we improved or are we lagging behind?

The story you are about to read is an ‘anonymous’ (no more) made up story that circulated via email a year ago and gained so much popularity that it has got to be the most famous and most popular forwarded Filipino email of all time! The thing is when I received it from a good friend whom I admire for her brilliance, I thought she wrote it herself!

The letter is so crafty, witty and hilarious that only a ‘genius’ could write it! Writing an intentional “broken English” or using intentional malapropisms is hard and only a talent with a knack for good English can truly write one with such creativity!

Anonymous No More

I came across it again but this time I wanted to publish it here on the site with proper credits to the ingenious writer/s. So I researched via Google. I used different keyword combinations because “the” is a pretty bloody vague word and it’s widely used like one in every two English sentences! Then I typed the entire line: “We’ve been friends for a long time ago. We come from the same alma mother.”

There it is! I found it via Inquirer.net and here’s what they wrote:

“As it turns out, “A Love Story” (re-titled “The?!” in some emails, “You’re barking at the wrong leg” in others) was written as a joke by GMA Network news reporters Tina Panganiban-Perez, Kara David, Ruth Cabal, Joseph Morong, Nelson Canlas and Aubrey Carampel. Gosh, you never can tell.”

Wow, awesome especially that they’re “Kapuso” and not “Kapamilya”! (I’m a self-confessed “Kapamilya” fan! LOL) Why they chose to remain anonymous when their work is pure genius, I wouldn’t know. You’d have to ask the authors that.

Without further ado I give you “The,” or “A Love Story,” or “You’re barking at the wrong leg.” (Darn, why didn’t they come up with the real title and stuck with it?!) 🙂

WAIT! WE HAVE AN UPDATE: August 5, 2008.

Couldn’t believe what I found on our Dashboard today. One of the main authors, Ms. Tina Panganiban-Perez left a message further resolving the mystery behind this magnum opus!! Yes, she left a comment! She found the site through Joseph Morong! (Big thanks for finding our site, Joseph!)

She explains that “THE” isn’t really the title and they never meant to go ‘anonymous.’ It first appeared on her blog and people obviously copied it WITHOUT attribution (bad!! tsk.tsk.) and it spread like wildfire in email and blogs…

There you go! Next time you copy someone else’s work, PLEASE include the byline!! Writers put in so much effort coming up with an article. You can’t just cut and paste it and pass along without including the author’s name/s…


** “Kapuso” (For heart, with heart) and “Kapamilya” (For family, we are family) refer to the slogans of two competing Philippine TV network giants in the Philippines. They have long standing rivalry and its individual fans are quite passionate when it comes to “fighting” and defending their fave respective TV channels. The latter, being an ABS-CBN TV network fan and the former, being a GMA TV network fan.

– 0 –

The! “A Love Story” – Part 1

By Tina Panganiban-Perez, Kara David, Ruth Cabal, Joseph Morong, Nelson Canlas and Aubrey Carampel

We’ ve been friends for a long time ago. We come from the same alma mother. Actually, our paths crossed one time on another. But it’s only now that I gave him a second look. I realized that beauty is in the eyes. The pulpbits of my heart went fast, really fast. Cute pala siya. And then, he came over
with me. He said, “I hope you don’t mine. Can I get your number?” Nag-worry ako. What if he doesn’t give it back? He explained naman na it’s so we could keep intact daw. Sabi ko, connect me if i’m wrong but are you asking me ouch? Nabigla siya. Sagot niya, “The!” Aba! Parang siya pa ang galit!
Persona ingrata!!! Ang kapal niya! I cried buckles of tears.

Na-guilty yata siya. Sabi niya, isipin mo na lang na this is a blessing in
the sky. Irregardless daw of his feelings, we’ll go ouch na rin. Now, we’re
so in love. Mute and epidemic na ang past. Thanks God we swallowed our
fried. Kasi, I’m 33 na and I’m running our time. After 2 weeks, he plopped
the question. “Will you marriage me?” I’m in a state of shocked. Kasi
mantakin mo, when it rains, it’s four! This is true good to be true. So
siyempre, I said yes. Love is a many splendor.

Pero nung inaayos ko na ang aming kasal, everything swell to pieces.
Nag-di-dinner kami noon nang biglang sa harap ng aming table, may babaeng
humirit ng, “Well, well, well. Look do we have here.” What the fuss! The
nerd ng babaeng yon! She said they were still on. So I told her, whatever is
that, cut me some slacks! I didn’t want this to get our hand kaya I had to
sip it in the bud. She accused me of steeling her boyfriend. Ats if! I don’t
want to portrait the role of the other woman.

Gosh, tell me to the marines! I told her, “please, mine you own business!”

Who would believe her anyway?

Dahil it’s not my problem anymore but her problem anymore, tumigil na rin
siya ng panggugulo. Everything is coming up daisies. I’m so happy. Even my
boyfriend said liketwice. He’s so supportive.  Sabi niya, “Look at is this
way. She’s our of our lives.”

Kaya advise ko sa inyo – take the risk. You can never can tell. Just burn
the bridge when you get there. Life is shorts. If you make a mistake, we’ll
just pray for the internal and external repose of your soul. I second


The! “Sinech si Jeff” – Part 2

By Tina Panganiban-Perez, Kara David, Ruth Cabal, Joseph Morong, Nelson Canlas and Aubrey Carampel

I thought Jay’s ex-girlfriend was really out of our lives. But heaven only goes that I was wrong. Kakakasal pa lang namin nun when Jay received a uninamous text. “Meet me at the clinic”. I had a stinking feeling in my butt. I told him not to go. It might in danger him. Pero sabi niya, ok lang daw because life is what we make. Tumahimik lang ako. Sabi niya, Penny for you talks? But I didn’t know what to say. Beggars can’t be losers. Isa pa, worried talaga ako na baka yung girl yun. Jay said, Can’t got your tongue?? I tried to smile at him. Kahit di ako nagsalita, actions speak louder than works, di ba?

Be that as is may, umalis pa rin siya. I was out of the loophole.
After a few hours, I called him on his cellphone. But my calls fell on Jeff’s ears.
Lalo akong nag-worry kasi I didn’t even know Jeff. Sabi na nga ba di na
dapat umalis si Jay. That’s what I’m talking about it.

So I tried calling some friends who will help me find Jay.  That’s what
friends are for naman di ba? But I just faced a blank mall. I had to do this
alone. Nag-taxi na lang ako. Pero ang mahal na pala ng plug down rate.

When I got to the clinic, the security was really buffed up.  Di basta-basta
makakapasok. So I said, I beg your cordon. I’m patient. It’s my favorite
virtue nga e.? Nagduda yata yung isang guard. Hinawakan ako sa arm. The
nerd! I shouted, Don’t touch me not! Buti na lang the other guards were nice
and said, Come on, let’s join us.

When I went inside, parang I’ve been there, done there. Nung walang
nakatingin, nag-explore ako. Nakarating ako sa top floor and I had a bird’s
IQ of the clinic. I could not explain it but I was drawn to a room on the
floor. Siguro Divine Intermission na yun.

Parang may narinig akong umuungol. I was thorn. Di ko alam kung aalis ba ako
o papasukin ko. It made me stick in the stomach to think that Jay and his
ex-girlfriend were there. I tried to tell myself to slower my expectations.
But to tell with it! I had to strike while the iron is not. I had to hear
the truth from the corpse’s mouth. I barraged in. O my gas! Si Jay,
naka-strap sa operating table, parang genie pig sa isang nakakatakot na
experiment. He was on the cutting edge. He was bleeding. At ang doctor na
nagpapahirap sa kanya, ang ex-girlfriend niya at ang bago nitong boyfriend,
ang nurse na si Walter. Doon ko napatunayang blood is thicker than Walter.

Guess watch? Di ko alam kung paano ko nagawa pero I was able to search and
rescue Jay. Siguro adrenaline brush na yun. Now, he’s recovering. Nag-sorry
siya na hindi siya nakinig sa akin. I know it’s a better pill to swallow
your pride so it’s forgive and forget me not. All swell that end swell. I
know we should kiss and put on makeup.

Ang ex-girlfriend naman niya at si Walter, nakakulong na.  Detention is
really better than cure. So the moral of the lesson is:  if symptoms
persist, insult your doctor.

– 0 –

Found a photo of “Genie-fer” proving she’s a real person! From one of the authors herself, TV personality Tina Panganiban-Perez’ blog.

And Genie-fer has this to say:

I’m back to back with a vengeance. Better late than ever. I was busy as a bu-sy. I hope that come one may, absence made your heart grow down there. I got sped up with so many things that’s why I had to give me a break. You know, it’s a doggie dog world out there.

So anyway, I heard it from the grave vine that people are saying I’m just a pigment of some people’s imagination. Well, to tell with it. I’m a real person. So I will proof it. Here’s my picture.

Stain tuned for the big refill!


  • tina panganiban-perez said:

    hi. joseph morong sent me a link to this article. actually, “the” isn’t the title. the first one’s “a love story” while the next one’s sinech si jeff? (cause of the line my calls fell on jeff’s ears.)

    well, we did not intend to go anonymous. i posted the entries in my blog. i guess some people copied them and emailed them to friends without attribution. so we were really excited when nikko dizon of the inquirer wrote about it.

    i guess this entry would inspire us to write more “genie-fer” stuff. thanks.

    “stain tuned!”

  • dmeemai (author) said:

    hello Ms Tina! we finally saw the light in this ever so popular email…

    we’re glad we saw nikko dizon’s short note about it on the inquirer because much as it’s been widely circulated via email and blogs without attribution, we wanted to really know the writer/s behind such slick work before we republish them here.

    thank you so much for taking the time to clarify and resolve the ‘mystery’ once and for all!

    we love “genie-fer’s” character and we can’t wait for her next mis-adventures; consider us a fan of your writings! 🙂

    you bet we will “stain tuned!”

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