You can have a peek at the richness of Philippine culture by studying Philippine riddles. They are witty and puzzling questions in which the answers are mostly traditional Philippine fruits or things. They are a form of poetry because they come in rhyme. They are mirror to the daily life of the Philippines before the Spanish came to colonize the country.

Take a look at this very popular Philippine riddle:

Heto na si Kaka


In English, it means:

Here comes Kaka,

With his legs opening and closing

The answer to the riddle is: a pair of scissors. This example shows us how inventive and imaginative native Filipinos are in crafting their riddles. This is a Philippine riddle that most Filipinos know.

Another example of a Philippine riddle is this riddle about a fruit that can be found in the Philippines:

Isang reynang maraming mata

Nasa gitna ang espada

The translation in English is this:

A queen that has many eyes

with the swords that are in the middle of the eyes

The answer to the riddle is pineapple. This riddle illustrates well how Philippine riddles are considered as a form of poetry. Aside from the rhyme in the original Tagalog riddle (both lines end in /a/), another thing that makes it poem is the use of imagery. In the riddle about pineapple, it uses the imagery of a queen that has many eyes. It also uses figurative speech. The queen that has many eyes is compared to a pineapple fruit.

Let us see that Philippine riddle for man’s best friend: dog.

Mataas kung nakaupo

Mababa kung nakatayo.

In English, it means:

Tall when sitting down

Short when standing up.

This riddle is also very popular with most Filipinos. Almost all of them know the answer to the riddle. This riddle shows the wit of the Filipinos. There are many other Philippine riddles and all of them are not only mind games but also mirror of the richness of Philippine literature and Philippine culture.

Source by Sharona Bancs

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