Salawikain and Kasabihan are alive at the Philippine Proverbs Book Launch

When was the last time you’ve heard of proverbs?

We got to admit that these sayings, locally known as salawikain or kasabihan are not something that can easily be inserted into our everyday conversations. Most would find them old-fashioned that most kids nowadays are not aware of it or their meanings. And for someone who appreciates literature and language, it’s a shame to be honest.


That is why, I was very excited to be invited to the book launch of Tahanan Book’s Philippine Proverbs  held at Via Mare Oyster Bar in Greenbelt last March 15.

The book’s author, Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz — a children’s book writer, freelance journalist and current Chair of the National Book Development Board, meticulously collected and edited treasured sayings from various Philippines dialects (it took her 5 years, wow!).

The finished product is a compilation of 105 traditional proverbs from Ilocano to Manobo, with English translations coupled with eye-catching illustrations by the very nice Eisen V. Bernardo (who was fascinated with Seven’s name when he signed our copy :D)


The author describing how the book went through numerous revisions to fully showcase the proverbs collected from all over the country.


The book’s illustrator, Eisen Bernardo.

I got ahead of myself and immediately scanned the book for the sayings that I’m familiar with. They were all there plus a few that were new to me. Though some were in various dialects, it helps that it has English translations. I think that the accompanying illustrations made it interesting for the kids as well.


We were given a free copy of the book. New addition to Ate Keka’s growing library!


Had it signed by the author and illustrator as well. Both asked where we got the idea for Seven’s name haha.


Our little ate’s fascinated with the book’s ‘drawings’.


The ‘best’ picture I had with fellow mommy bloggers 🙂

My grade-schooler was engrossed with the book at home as well. We had bonding sessions over it where I try to explain to her what the proverbs mean ( relating to situations that she can easily understand).

Her favorites are:

“Kapag may isinuksok, may madudukot” (Save now, withdraw later.)

“Nasa Diyos ang awa, Nasa tao ang gawa” (Mercy resides in God, deeds resides in men)

Some would say that with the era of abbreviations and emojis, our very own salawikain or kasabihan are dead and long forgotten. But with this book, I’d beg to differ. It’s thriving and vibrant, ready to be enjoyed by the younger generation.

Thank you once more to Tahanan Books and Mommy Bloggers Philippines!


24 thoughts on “Salawikain and Kasabihan are alive at the Philippine Proverbs Book Launch

  1. aika loraine says:

    i really appreciate people who are still very eager on introducing and reminding us about our traditions. We used to study kasabihan when we were in elementary and highschool and I remember we students will try to explain it thru a short essay. Thanks to Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz and we now have a new book to read about these kasabihans and salawikain.


  2. ROBERT LEE says:

    Hey, this is really good. Somehow, as more and more people focus on the English language, as well as foreign languages, many Filipinos are neglecting the local language, in fact, it has become a difficult subject especially in private schools.


    • mommykach says:

      I agree. Most kids, particularly those in private schools, are struggling with their Filipino subjects. They barely use it so they have a hard time understanding, which I think is sad.


    • mommykach says:

      It’s a very nice initiative from Tahanan Books. I think they still teach proverbs and kasabihan as part of the Filipino subject, though using this book would be neat idea.


  3. investmnl says:

    “Kapag may sinuksok, may madudukot” is my favorite line / proverbs. I think it will suit well my financial blog: And I hope this is included in the book too “Kung gusto may paraan, kung ayaw maraming dahilan”. Thank you for sharing this!


  4. mskathykenny says:

    I am teaching my son to learn more about the salawikain and Tagalog language. I also got him to start a blog to teach him about creative writing and this is going to be one of the subjects that he will write about.


  5. ninasogue says:

    I’m not really good with the Filipino language. I mean, I can speak conversational, but I struggle with reading it fast. This is a shame since I’ve spent all my life here. I’ll make sure that my son does better than me when he starts schooling. Maybe we can learn together 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lea says:

    Pen is indeed more powerful than sword. Sayings and proverbs can help hone a child’s childhood. It’s sad that a lot of children won’t even open a book unless they really have to, but it’s never too late to bring back our good ol’ salawikain at kasabihan. Kudos!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mhaan.a-ds says:

    Sayang, wasn’t able to attend this fun event. My sons loves to read books na and this is perfect for him sana. I enjoy reading salawikain when I was in grade school and some of them became my mantra. Proverbs are full of values.

    Liked by 1 person

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