WE Cebuanos take pride in our burgeoning creativity and our zest for life, so it should not come as a surprise that we will impress with our ability to interject truly “unique” although sometimes silly expressions in our everyday speech. Bet we have to admit that we tend to overdo it sometimes, annoying people with our overused zingers. And if you’re not a big fan of these words, chances are you are one of those I will annoy. But then again, you could be the type who loves using these words with guilty pleasure. Generally, I consider myself a serious guy, although I can take most jokes and interjections well. But please, these expressions need a rest.

So in the best way I could write about this without annoying anyone, here are some of the most common “new-school” (borderline annoying) Cebuano expressions:


Always end it with an Oy! This phrase just makes me love being Cebuano even more. Di mada’a oy is definitely one of the lesser evil of these expressions, in my opinion, at least. A lot of people use it in their regular conversations, but not to the point of harassing everyone with it. It may be used as a sarcastic expression when a friend says something that oozes with confidence, so you say “Di mada’a oy!” It’s similar to “Mapalid na ko” (I’m blown away) or “Tabaaang!” (Help!)


It cracks me up (coupled again with mild annoyance) when my friends throw corny puns at each other and cap it with this expression. As far as I know, Estoryaheee started late last year and was made even more popular by a local AM radio station. Lately, this expression evolved to Easteryaheee, with Easter Sunday just a few days away. The English expressions “Yeah, right” or “Talk to the hand” could work, but using Estoryaheee is a whole different level of sarcasm – just don’t forget to pair it with your silliest facial expression.


Perhaps years ago, an American dude said “Just be sure, guys.” Then some inventive (for lack of a better word) Cebuano who heard him decided to edit the original phrase and coin the eardrum-busting “Pag chur oy!” as some sort of local version.

This expression is often used when one is uncertain about something. And for some, it is an absolute must to pronounce the said expression with conviction! Try saying it as: Pag chuuuuuuuuuur oooooooyyyyyyy! and expect atmosphere of mild annoyance, accompanied by laughter and looks of bewilderment (and ridicule) from everyone around you.


This is so last season, I know. And I think a Cebuano kolehiyala started this expression to put a jejemon in his place (and out of her life!). Or maybe someone’s love for Bislish (Bisaya-English) made this expression come to life? Other varieties of this expression have come up (again, for reasons only 10 people can truly explain), like Samoka this life, oy. Samoka that teacher, oy. Samoka that show, oy. Samoka… we get it. Life can get pretty samok (an annoying hassle) at times, but it doesn’t mean we can’t ride on the samok and be equally samok as well.


Char is something you’ve probably heard from just about everyone. It’s short, catchy, and yes, it still caught on after all these years. Most definitely this has the strongest staying power in this bunch. This expression comes from the Tagalog gay expression “Charing,” usually used when somebody says something ridiculous or unbelievable about himself or herself-or just about anything. Char! Char! Charmander!

Now don’t pretend that you have not used some of these expressions even once! We might have been annoyed many times over but we have to admit, these expressions give life to even the most boring conversations. Char!

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 18, 2011.

Source by Karlo Cea

By mike