“Siya”: A Violated Filipino Word

The Tagalog word “siya” is a personal pronoun (panghalip), third person singular form, used to substitute a noun (panggalan), specifically a person’s name, to avoid being redundant. Though it generally indicates no gender, its definite equivalent in English is “he” or “she”, depending on the subject.

   “Si Tiyo Boy ay nagluto ng Adobo. Siya ay masaya.”

    [“Uncle Boy cooked Adobo. He is gay.”]

   “Si Dalisay ay sumakay ng salipawpaw kagabi . Mahilig siya sa kasarian.”

    [“Dalisay rode an airplane last night. She likes sex.”]

Very simple, right? But these days, in my mere observation, the wrong usage of siya is tolerated and became more accepted by the public, from the masses up to the infamous and genteel high society. Most people now have exploited the said pronoun and employ it when referring to objects and non-physical things.

I’m no smart ass nor a grammar expert but honestly, I am really annoyed by the improper use of the said word. I am also often confounded in the conversations that I am into when the person speaking is being (unconsciously) grammatically incorrect.

   “Ang araw… bituin talaga siya.”

    [“The day… he is really a star.”]

   “Ang siopao na may pulang tuldok… siya yung asado.”

    [“The siopao that has a red period, she is the asado.”]

  “Ayoko talaga ng Matematika kasi mahirap siyang maintindihan.”

    [“I really don’t like Mathematics because she is so poor to understand.”]

  “Yung puno ng Acacia sa likod-bahay namin, mas matanda pa siya sa lolo mo.”

    [“The Acacia fill in our backyard, he is older than your grandfather.”]

   “Paki-masahe mo ulit ang mga suso ko mamaya. Masarap kasi siya.”

     [“Please massage my snails again later. She is pleasing.”]

   “Nakita mo ba yung papel na naiwan ko sa hapag-kainan? Siya yung pinag-sulatan ko ng mga bayarin natin ngayong buwan.”

    [“Have you seen the role that I left in the dining-table? He is where I wrote our dues for this month.”]

   “Ang aklat na binabasa ko ay kawili-wili. Tungkol siya sa mga tutubing lasing.”

    [“The book that I am wetting is interesting. She is about drunken dragonflies.”]

   “Ah, yung puting likido sa pusod ko? Galing siya kay Danilo.”

    [“Ah, the white liquid in my topknot? She is from Danilo.”]

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Now tell me, isn’t it confusing?

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