Retire Philippines – Abbreviations for Everything

As you begin your retirement in Cebu City or Manila one thing you will pick up on fairly quickly is the use of short names for things and in the local language.

Abbreviations, abbreviations, abbreviations everywhere, there’s an abbreviation for just about everything here. For instance a bathroom in the Philippines is called a “CR” short for comfort room, “SM” for a mall or shopping mall or supermarket. “Air-Con” for air-conditioner, “REF” for refrigerator, “TC” for take care, ”CP” for cell phone.  And a few also common in the US are “PC” for Personal Computer and “FYI” for your information. Even McDonalds has an abbreviation here, it is known as “McDo”  There are also expressions commonly used for things like pointing, as to say over there, you would makes your  mouth similar to kissing and move your head in the direction you want them to look. If you agree with something they are saying you raise your eyebrows a couple of times in agreement. You will hear a lot of “oo” sounds this also is an agreement, it is not pronounced with a long o rather somewhere between a short o and a long o and said very rapidly and sometimes said as a single short “o”.

Girls in Negros Philippines posing for a photo

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Charles Harman 571-970-9195


  1. cebuanos especially like to shorten things (words and phrases) and the word compadre is shortened to ‘pare and even shorter to ‘p’re (pronounced “pray”). btw, erap estrada, the actor president of the philippines uses his stage name erap which is pare spelled backwards.

  2. it is rude to point with your finger in filipino culture and thus the pointing with nose or pursed lips. also, never call someone to “come here” with your first finger pointing up and bring to your self like in the u.s., they use their hand with a downward motion.

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