Waray Tutorial -- What is Iroy?

Knowing that Cebuano-speakers think of "iroy" as a swear word, I am not and will never be comfortable using the word in front of a Cebuano-speaker. To use the phrase, "an im' iroy" is rude. It is, in this case, a swear word. This side of iroy, is what most of my Cebuano-speaking friends know.

To refer to our mothers, we lovingly say: "Siya an ako nanay" (She is my mother). I would be offended if a friend suddenly asks me, "Hain an im iroy?" (Where is your mother?). Nanay and iroy are synonymous, but we use them in different ways and in different occasions. In ordinary conversation, we refer to our mothers as nanay, not iroy. The latter suggests disrespect for the person (mother).


It’s interesting to note that we use the same word (iroy) when we want to be dramatic or when we are emphatic, particularly when delivering a siday or lowa (poetry). Kanta Para Sa Akon Iroy ( ASong for my Mother) and Mga Rayandayan San Akon Iroy (My Mother's Wealth) are acceptable because they can pass as titles for a literary work. The Philippines is not our nanay nga tuna. We always refer to it as iroy nga tuna (motherland) as in “An iroy nga tuna matam-is pagpuy-an.” ("How sweet it is to live in our motherland!). The same word is used in reference to Mary as in, "Santa Maria, Iroy sa Diyos"  ("Holy Mary, Mother of God") and in, "Maghimaya ka Rayna, Iroy san Kaluoy" ("Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy").

Nanay is conversational and informal; hence, we use it in everyday language and in ordinary discourse. Iroy, on the other hand, is formal. While it is true that “iroy” is a swear word, it is also the literary term for mother.

Would you like to know how to pronounce the words nanay and iroy correctly? I made a video for you. I also provided subtitles.

My Triond Earnings

Here's one thing that I'm sure of : I will never earn more than 20 dollars in one month just writing for Triond. My dashboard, however, says otherwise.

If this is indeed true, I'll be richer by $58,275.81 come February 2012. That's equivalent to PhP2,447,584.02! I might submit my resignation letter to my employer at the end of this week and write full-time for Triond. Am I serious? Of course NOT. I'm sure, anyone who writes for Triond is familiar with the glitches it regularly encounters. This is not a rare occurrence at Triond.

If by the end of this month, the site will declare that the error can no longer be corrected, I will gladly accept this delightful mistake. :-)

Lyrics of Isla Han Samar (A Waray Song)


Isla han Samar, tulo ka parte
May Este, may Weste, ug Norte
Ngaran han syudad, Calbayog City
Nga sakop han dapit ha Weste

Inin Borongan sentro han Este
Catbalogan naman ha Weste
Ug an Catarman sentro han Norte
An Samar kasumpay han Leyte.


An mga bungto nga sakop hinin probinsiya
Han Western Samar: Catbalogan, Calbiga, Wright,
Ug sugad man an Pinabacdao
Talalora, Tarangnan, Marabut, Basey, ug an Villareal,
San Jose de Buan, Motiong, Jiabong
Sugad man an Matuginao.


Upod gihapon an Zumarraga,
Sta. Margarita, Santa Rita,
Darram, San Jorge ug an Almagro,
Gandara, Tagapul-an, Sto. Niño
Inin Pagsanghan ug Hinabangan
Sugad man bungto han San Sebastian.
Isla han Samar nga akon natawhan
Tuna nga matam-is pagpuy-an.