23 Halimbawa ng Salawikain at mga Kahulugan nito!

Salawikain is a Tagalog word whose English translation is Proverb. Salawikain (Proverb) is a Tagalog Saying filled with Lessons and Wisdom about Buhay (Life), Kaibigan (Friends), and Pamilya (Family). There are Salawikain that have a direct English translation and are easy to interpret, while some have a deeper Tagalog meaning.

Salawikain has variations too. This is due to the different Dialects that Filipinos speak depending on their province of origin. Regardless the meaning, wisdom, and life lessons that we will get from them are still the same. Are you ready to know the examples or halimbawa of Salawikain?

Mga Halimbawa ng Salawikain with Explanations

These are the 23 examples or “mga halimbawa” of Salawikain and I will explain their meaning or “kahulugan” to the best of my knowledge.

1. Aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo

English translation: What’s the grass good for, if the horse is already dead

We all know that horses feed on grass. In my understanding, it means that the grass refers to a “help” that was given too late. Or an “action” that would no longer have an effect on the outcome of an event.

2. Pag binato ka ng bato batuhin mo ng tinapay

English translation: When someone throws you a stone, strike back with a bread

This is a life lesson based on the scriptures. This means that instead of taking revenge by doing the same “hurtful” thing to the person, you can choose to show kindness or forgive him/her.

3. Walang malaking nakakapuwing at walang maliit na nakaka hirin

English meaning: No big things can get into your eye, and no small things can cause you to choke

What happens if dust or a strand of hair gets into your eye. You will probably feel restless or uneasy. You want to remove it immediately. This salawikain means that you can not disregard even the small stuff as the latter can have a huge impact on you or on someone else life.

For example, simple “Good Morning” greetings can go a long way for a person who is having a not-so-favorable day.

4. Pag hindi ukol, hindi bubukol

English translation: If it’s not meant or destined to be, it will not happen

This reminds me of a quote about love that says “If you love her, set her free. If she returns you know she is yours forever.” Based on my example, this only means that no matter how long or far you part your ways. If you are meant to be, the universe will conspire to bring you guys back together.

5. Masamang damo mahirap mamatay or matagal mamatay

English translation: Wild grass doesn’t die easily or have a long life

Grass has a good purpose which is to prevent soil erosion to bare land. Unfortunately, for this particular salawikain, it is used to portray a bad person.

The possible explanation for this one is that bad grass has the ability to grow anywhere. Even if you pull them out, eventually there is a new one that will germinate and grow to replace it.

6. Huli man at magaling naihahabol din

English translation: It is better to be late than never

Another possible English translation is “A good thing is never too late.” It’s better to fulfill promises late than not do it at all.

7. Sa pagkahaba- haba ng prusisyon sa simbahan din ang tuloy

English translation: The procession may take a long time but it still ends up in the church

Usually, this salawikain /proverb refers to a couple who have experienced difficulties, hurdles, and obstacles. Yet they still end up marrying each other or having a happy ending.

8. Ang sakit sa kalingkingan ay ramdam ng buong katawan

English translation: The pain in the pinky finger is felt throughout the whole body

This means that if one member of the family (pamilya) is facing issues or hurdles, oftentimes the other members are also affected by it.

9. Kung may tiyaga, may nilaga

English translation: Hard work pays off

Persevere in fulfilling your dreams, eventually, your hard work and sacrifices will result in success.

10. Pag mataas ang lipad ganun din kasakit ang pag bagsak

English translation: Don’t fly so high so it’s not excruciating when you fall

The way I see it, it means that you should not dream very high so when you fail, the disappointment that you will feel is manageable.

11. Ang hindi lumingon sa pinang galingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan

English translation: A person who does not look back to where he came from will not be able to reach his destination

This is one of Jose Rizal’s famous quotes. In my interpretation, this means that you should remember your roots in spite of all your success. You also have to remember the person who once helps you when you were starting your journey to success.

12. Aanhin ang bahay na bato kung ang nakatira ay kuwago buti pa ang kubo ang nakatira ay totoong tao

English translation: What’s good with a house made of stone when only the owls live there, better to live in a hut with real people.

This is my interpretation of this salawikain. Owls are predators, they often hunt at night alone. Probably this means that you do not need riches in life if you enjoy it alone just like an owl who stays up at night alone while it hunts for food. Oftentimes, people who show real attitudes, whether good or bad, live a simple life.

13. Kung ano ang itinanim ay siya ring aanihin

English translation: You reap what you sowed

This may be a shallow explanation but it’s the perfect one. Here it goes, if you spread love chances are you will also get love in return.

14. Ang buhay ang parang gulong minsan nasa ibabaw ka at minsan naman ay nasa ilalim

English translation: Life is like a wheel. Sometimes you are on top while sometimes you are at the bottom.

It signifies that there are times when we are at the bottom of our lives when we face hardships and difficulties. There are times that we are on top where we experience happiness and success.

When you are at the bottom have the courage to weather it because your time will come that it is your turn to be on top or successful.

kapag may sinuksok may mabubunot

15. Kapag may sinuksok may mabubunot / Kung may tinanim may aanihin

English translation: If you stashed away (money or valuables), you have something to pull (during rough times)/ If you sow, you will have something to harvest

These two proverbs almost have the same meaning. They refer to being wise with money. They remind us to save money so that during rough times or rainy days we have funds that we can use to bring food to the table.

This reminds me of the fable “the ant and the grasshopper.” The ant is preparing for the rainy days while the grasshopper is happy-go-lucky. We know what happens to the latter during the rainy season.

16. Makikilala mo ang tunay mong kaibigan sa oras ng iyong kagipitan

English translation: You will know who your true friends are during your struggles and difficulties.

This holds true even in the present times. Often, a person has a lot of friends especially when they benefit from the former. However, when the person faces hurdles, such as becoming poor only their real friends will stay with them to provide help through thick and thin.

17. Kung kaya nila, kaya mo rin

English translation: If they can do it so can you

This is a type of encouragement. We often say this to our friends who are about to face challenges or about to fulfill their dreams. It means that you are as equally capable as the other. What you need to do is believe in yourself.

18. Bato bato sa langit ang tamaan ay huwag magagalit

English translation: Do not get angry or upset if you are hit by a stone falling randomly from the sky

This simply means that you should ignore hearsays, gossip, or negative information that you randomly read or heard especially if you know that it is not true.

19. Ang naniniwala sa sabi-sabi ay walang bait sa sarili

English translation: A person who believes in rumors has no sense of self.

Do not get swayed by the rumors that you read or hear from various sources. Verify the information first to know whether it is true or not.

20. May tainga ang lupa, may pakpak ang balita

English translation: The earth has ears, the news has wings

The simple explanation about this Salawikain is that good or bad information spreads easily by word of mouth.

21. Bago mo punahin ang dumi ng kapitbahay mo, linisin mo muna ang sarili mong bakuran

English translation: Before you criticize your neighbor’s dirt, clean up your own yard first.

This means that you should focus on fixing your own flaws before you turn your attention to finding faults in others.


22. Ang Edukasyon ay ang tanging yaman na hindi mananakaw ninuman

English translation: Education is the only wealth that no one can steal

Education such as acquiring a skill or earning a degree is considered a type of asset (or pag-aari) that stays with the person forever wherever he/she goes. A person can also use their education to generate more wealth. Physical wealth such as a house can be destroyed, jewelry can be stolen, and money can be lost. But once you acquire an education you cannot throw it away.

23. Kung ano ang Puno, Siya rin ang Bunga

English translation: As the tree is, so is the fruit

This is about family members (tungkol sa miyembro ng Pamilya) particularly about parent – child relationship. Children (Bunga) usually take their parents (Puno) as their role models. Often children copy the behavior, action, and ways of their parents. As a result, when the kids grew into an adult, they behave and act (whether positively or negatively) like their parents.

Who are the People who Speak about the Examples of Salawikain

Teachers taught about Salawikain in Elementary School. Aside from the latter, we often hear examples/mga halimbawa of Salawikain from our parents and grandparents. The reason is their ancestors also taught them those “Kasabihan”. They also live their lives based on the Wisdom that they learn from them. Have you heard your parents saying “Kung hindi ukol hindi bubukol”? Well, I hear it often too hahaha.

Showbiz personalities in the Philippines also share their favorite Salawikain. They say it in English and in Tagalog. The most common Proverb that I hear when I watch them on TV is “Kung kaya nila kaya mo rin.”

Sometimes other TV personalities joke about it such as “Kung Kaya Nila, Ipagawa mo sa kanila.” Do you see the difference? But again, it is a joke, I’m sure they want their followers to learn from the original version.

What is the Salawikain for Job Seekers?

The salawikain for job seekers is “Kung may tiyaga, may nilaga.” This means that it may take a long time to find a job, they should keep on searching and not be discouraged. Eventually, through perseverance, they will find the job perfect for them.


Now that you are familiar with some of the Salawikain or proverbs. You will realize that they are everywhere. You can hear anyone sharing it. You can read it as you scroll through the newsfeed of your social media account. You can watch showbiz personalities share it on television. One thing is for sure, when you encounter them you will be reminded of the lessons that they gave you.

in Educational Materials
5 comments… add one
  • Corlyn Tan Galon

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • Gian Carlo Bermudo

    Salawikain 10, 5, and 3 are so relatable to me!! Thank you for these examples, and thank you for this wisdom. <3

    • Matt

      Hi Gian, thanks for your appreciation.

  • pogi

    ty for the info.

    • Matt

      You are welcome!

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