Sayings are wisdom of the ages handed down from generation to generation. In my case, I have heard from my grandmother a few of these. But nowadays, knowledge about these nuggets of wisdom are learned in the schools when students are taught about the Filipino culture and language.
Sayings are lessons or guidance for living and are sometimes expressed in proverbial terms. Most of them are not to be literally understood, rather their hidden meaning is to be gleaned through practical interpretation.
Sayings maybe loosely translated in Filipino as sawikain or kawikaan both of which may be considered colloquial. The proper word to use in formal conversation or writing is salawikain which maybe loosely translated to English as proverb.
Here are a few Tagalog sayings or proverbs with their respective literal English translations. Foreign students who are Tagalog language learners can try deciphering their hidden meanings by interpreting the literal English translations. Be sure to validate your answers by asking a Filipino friend or any Filipino who I think will gladly oblige to your request.
Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa. From God is the mercy, for people is the working on.
Ang lumakad nang matulin kung matinik ay malalim. He who walks fast will have his foot pricked deeply.
Aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo. Of what use is the fodder when the horse is dead.
Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan di makararating sa paroroonan. He who does not look back from where he came from won't be able to reach where he is going to.
Ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika mas masahol pa sa hayop at malansang isda. He who does not love his own language is worse than an animal and slimy fish.
Sa lahat ng gubat ay may ahas. In every forest, there's a snake.
Ang tubig na matining kadalasan ay malalim. The water that is still usually runs deep.
Daig ng maagap ang masipag. He who is punctual fares better than one who is industrious.
Walang matimtimang birhen sa matiyagang manalangin. There is no decorous virgin for one who can patiently pray.
Bato-bato sa langit ang tamaan huwag magagalit. Little stones that are thrown to heaven whoever gets hit should not get angry.
Pag may tiyaga, may nilaga. If there is patience, a stew will follow.
Habang may buhay may pagasa. As long as there is life, there will be hope.
Ang sakit ng kalingkingan sakit ng buong katawan. The pain of the little finger is a pain for the whole body.
Matibay ang walis palibhasa'y nakabigkis. The broom is strong since its strands are tied together.
Pag may itinanim may aanihin. When something is planted so will there be something to be harvested.
You can also read my article on Tagalog quips that Filipinos use in everyday conversation at: http://hinagapnikaure.blogspot.com/2017/01/essential-quips-for-everyday-tagalog.html.