Promdi Phraseology: Wash!

This is a little something that I learned about Manileños that I still find amusing. Apparently, they don't understand some Tagalog words (they're too "deep," masyadong malalim) that I take for granted as "normal," meaning for everyday use.

For today, let's talk about "washing".

Such a simple term, and yet its Tagalog equivalent (at least the version of it from my part of the boondocks) has caused quite a number of confusion in my everday conversations with people in Manila.

The usual, generic term that most Manileños are familiar with is hugas.

Sample Usage:  Kailangan nang hugasan ang bata at nang luminis.
Translation: That kid has to be washed so it can be clean.

For Your City Promdi, however, hugas is inadequate in some cases. And so we have hilamos, hinaw, and himasa. They all mean "to wash" but are used to mean washing different parts of the body.

Hilamos means "to wash the face."

Hilamos. (Graphics from the Internet.).

Sample Usage: Maghilamos pagkagising sa umaga.
Translation: Wash the face every morning upon awakening.

Hinaw means "to wash the hand."

Hinaw. (Graphics from the Internet.)

Sample Usage: Maghinaw ka bago kumain.
Translation: Wash your hands before a meal.

Himasa means "to wash the pubic area or genitals."
Himasa. (Graphics from the Internet.)
Sample Usage: Umihi na naman sa salawal ang sanggol. Himasaan mo nga.
Translation: The baby has wet itself again. Wash its pubic area.

Are there other regional words that confuse promdis and/or city-dwellers that you know? Tell me in the comments section, and I might feature them.


  1. Banas, libagin, awasan, and sasambutin are some I know of. In Laguna, since it might be different in your area, banas means mainit. Libagin means dirty laundry. Awasan means dismissal. Lastly, sasambutin means sasaluhin.

    Idk hilamos and hinaw are not widely used terms in manila either. Sayo ko lang natutunan yung himasa. :3

    1. Hi. We use the same terms.

      That's a constant source of amusement for me, too. Everyone in Manila's asking me what hilamos and hinaw are. Also, dayag--washing the dishes. I know no one understands me here, but I can't help saying it. There's just no way I'm going to say the very long: "Maghuhugas na ako ng pinggan at kubyertos." :)


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