Clarification of honorifics

Discussion in 'General' started by Shonin, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. Shonin

    Shonin New Member

    The following are a few of the honorifics I have run across in the FMAs. I was wondering about their specific meanings, and, if the differences are heirarchical, linguistic, or both? Went through the glossaries in all my FMA books and can't find much there. Thanks in advance to whomever can help.

    1. Tuhon
    2. Punong, as in "Punong Guro"
    3. Mang
    4. Tatang
    Please feel free to add any others. Again, many thanks in advance.

  2. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    My experience has been that different systems use titles in very different ways. I've seen Tuhon as the unique head of the system and also as a very senior instructor (akin to grandmaster in systems that allow more than one GM), with Grand Tuhon the actual head; similarly, I've seen Punong Guro for anyone who has produced an instructor, for a master-level senior instructor ranking, and for the unique head of the system. My understanding is that Mang and Manong are generally generic forms of respect (somewhat like "Uncle" in Chinese, used as a sign of respect) and not exclusively martial arts titles. I think Tatang was only the nickname of Antonio 'Tatang' Ilustrisimo--I don't know of another use of it.

    But again, use of these titles varies widely!
  3. Phil Mar Nadela

    Phil Mar Nadela New Member Supporting Member

    I thought Tatang is tagalog for 'Tatay'(Father), its like saying Daddy. I'm not sure for my Tagalog is not as good.
  4. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    You may be right! I've never heard it used for another FMAer.
  5. shrapnel

    shrapnel New Member

    I was born in Metro Manila, so this is the perspective I'm coming from:

    1. Tuhon - I'm not familiar with this term. Probably more common in another region.

    2. "Punong Guro" would roughly translate as "head teacher" although the word more commonly used to refer to a leader or head of an organization would be "pinuno", e.g. "Siya ang pinuno ng Red Cross sa amin" means "He is the head/leader of the Red Cross in our area."

    3. Mang (male) or Manang (female) - an honorific used for people older than you, or simply out of respect. So you could call your middle aged gardener Mang Boy for example, or the proprietress of your neighboorhood eatery as Manang Lita (some eateries here are named after the owner, like "Manang Lita's Eatery"). Another variation of the female honorific is "Aling" as in Aling Maria, derived from "ale" (woman). It's not specific to martial arts.

    Other more commonly used words of respect would be "Kuya" (elder brother) or "Ate" (elder sister). So a househelper who is informing the owner that she is going out to buy something would say, "Ate, lalabas lang po ako, may bibilhin lang ako."

    4. Tatang (or Manong) - used to describe an elderly male person, usually of senior age, but not usually prefixed with the name. Rough translation would be "grandpa" but the relationship doesn't have to be familial. For example, if one has a senior-aged neighbor who likes to sing off-key karaoke, you could utter a comment like, "Naku, tumira nanaman etong si Tatang" meaning "Oh no, Gramps is at it again." But when you're talking to him, you use the "Mang" with his name, like "Mang Berto, baka pwedeng mamaya na kayo kumanta" roughly translated as "Mang Berto, maybe you could just sing later." Using "Manong Berto" would connote even greater age and respect on the one being addressed, although "Mang" is just the shortened form of "Manong". But again, it's not specific to martial arts.

    Be careful also of addressing someone as Tatang, like calling a 40 year old man "Hey Grandpa!" or something.

    Senior aged females still tend to be called "Manang" or "Aling."

    The terms and connotations may be a bit confusing for those who haven't lived in the Philippines, but I hope this gives you an idea.
  6. Shonin

    Shonin New Member

    Shrapnel, Arnisador, et. al.:

    That's exactly the information I was looking for. Many thanks.

  7. Raul

    Raul Mananandata

    Just to add a bit.. calling someone "tatang" can be taken as an insult. And people does that, i.e. calling someone "tatang" to insult the old man in many instances. If you don't wanna insult anyone, old or not, address him as "Tata".
  8. pluma

    pluma Guest

    oh and don't forget we do shorten tatang often when addressing someone of age - tatang = tang.

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