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Sep 28th
Home Columns Noy (Bicol Column) The Bicolano Wit and Humor
The Bicolano Wit and Humor PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Noy (Bicol Column)
Tuesday, 02 October 2007 04:11

The people of the Bicol Region are known for their humor. They love to crack jokes at the expense of Filipino national leaders.


When Diosdado Macapagal was the President of the Philippines, the public company that maintained the railway system to the Bicol Region was the Manila Railroad, known by the acronym MRR. Bicolanos had a field day making fun of the acronym. The best Bicolano joke said that MRR really meant "Medio Raot-raot." (Raot is the Bicolano word for Broken. Medio is a colloquial Bicol term for Somewhat. Medio Raot-raot meant "Somewhat Broken."


After Ferdinand E. Marcos defeated Macapagal in the 1965 presidential elections, the MRR top officers were replaced. Probably aware that the Bicolanos were making fun of the MRR acronym, President Marcos changed the company's name to Philippine National Railways or PNR, for short. Alas, Bicolanos came up with a better joke. They said that PNR meant "Pirme na Raot." "Pirme" is a Bicol word for Always. "Pirme na Raot" meant  "Always Broken."

Erap's Fight with a Bicolano Senator

Victor S. Ziga of Tabaco, Albay, was elected to the Philippine Senate in 1986. Elected with him were 23 other senators, Joseph "Erap" Estrada and Vicente "Ting" Paterno among them. The Bicolano tall story said that one day in the Philippine Senate, Senators Ziga and Estrada almost came to blows during a heated argument. Senator Paterno, being then the oldest senator, intervened and led Senator Erap outside the chamber to cool off. Senator Paterno told Estrada, "Be cool, Erap, be cool."

To which then Senator Erap was heard to say, "Yes, I have friends from Bicol like (actress) Nora Aunor. I'll make peace with Ziga for the sake of Nora and my other Bicolano friends."

Imelda Marcos

Many Bicolanos claim that former First Lady Imelda Marcos is from Bicol too. They say that Imelda actually comes from Albay, as her favorite expressions are: "I'll buy this, I'll buy that."

More Erap Jokes from the Bicol Region

While in New York, Erap inquired if he could proceed to England and meet with Queen Elizabeth Eye-Eye. His travelling secretary explained to him that the Roman numeral "II" of the queen's name meant "the Second," since "I" represented one and "II" stood for two.

Later that day, Erap said that he wanted to see a Broadway play. Asked what show he wanted to see, Erap said: "The King and One."

Display of the Bicolano Wit

At the height of martial law in the mid-1970s, Strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos signed a presidential decree mandating all able-bodied Filipino citizens 10 years or older to plant a tree per annum for the next 10 years. Bicolanos laughed at this decree and said Marcos should have issued a decree prohibiting tree planting. That way Marcos would have assured complete reforestation of the denuded mountains in the Philippines.

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Last Updated on Monday, 15 October 2007 04:18
Comments (1)
1 Monday, 09 August 2010 23:19
sila ay maganda

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