Why are celebrity names used a lot in Beki language?



Attention, hetero Pinoys: Learning bekinese can be easy! If we dissect the phonetics, grammar, syntax, and origin of this continuously evolving sub-language, we’ll notice that majority of the words are derivatives of the original terms. Take for example the term “waley,” which was derived from the original Tagalog word “wala,” which means “nothing.” It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out the meaning of most Beki words.

Perhaps the most distinctive and recognized beki jargon are the names of local and international celebrities who, in their innocent lives, have been immortalized in the Bekstionary.

RELATED:  Meet the foreigner who can proudly speak Bekinese

According to Joselito Delos Reyes, who teaches pop culture at the University of Santo Tomas and author of iStatus Nation, which just won in the National Book Awards, people can easily learn and adapt sub-languages due to the “onslaught of social media” these days.

“Katangian ng wika ang mag-acquire ng iba pang wika. Kung may kinalaman man ang modernong panahon, ito ‘yung dulot ng unhampered communication on multiple platforms.”

Delos Reyes attributed the use of popular names in Beki language to Filipinos’ shared knowledge about celebrities.

“Dahil [itong mga celebrity names na ‘to] ang popular na maiintindihan, may shared knowledge na [tayo] sa mga termino tulad ng Tom Jones.”

Have you ever eavesdropped on a conversation among a circle of bekis and they refer to celebrities in a first-name basis, as if they’ve known each other for years? Makes you wonder, how the hell do these celebrity names make sense to them?  


Celebrities in Bekinese

A sample conversation:

Besh, Tom Jones na akiz. Lafang na us pero ‘wag sa Mahalia Jackson ah, dun lang sa Mariah Carey, alam mo naman Purita Kalaw ang lola mo.” 

O, Zsa-Zsa Padilla.”

And just like that, they’ve understood each other. No further explanations.

Mahalia who? Millennials might feel the urge to google this name. But don’t you dare show your ignorance to your Beki friends, especially the Golden Ones, because they might just say GMG or Google Mo, Girl! straight to your face.

For the residents of Bekilandia, these names are more than just their ultimate idols and pegs in beauty pageants and singing contests during barangay fiestas. These celebrity names are not only proper nouns. They are also used as verbs and adjectives, and has been an integral part of the colorful culture of our gay brothers and sisters.

Famous or fading, living or dead, the following celebrities have wonderfully been immortalized in the Beks-tionary:


31| Lydia de Vega


Who: Filipina sprint queen who was named Asia’s fastest woman in the 1980s

What it means: To run or escape quickly from something

How it is used: Walang pambayad si ategurl sa carinderia eh, kaya ‘ayun, nag-Lydia de Vega!


30| Lady Gaga


Who: Multi-talented American pop star famous for eccentric outfits and bold performances

What it means: Someone who went cray in a public place; is infamous for being outrageous

How it is used: Bibong-bibo siya sa beauty pageant kagabi, nag-Lady Gaga ba naman sa stage?


29| Lito Lapid

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Who: An local action star who became a full-time senator

What it means: A lips-to-lips kiss

How it is used: Shocks nahuli ko sila sa bar kagabi, nagli-Lito Lapid! Kaloka!


28| Nicki Minaj


Who: A Trinidadian-born American rapper who is known for her frankness and her liberal attitude

What it means: Menage a trois, aka a threesome

How it is used: Naku, nakita ko sa motel ‘yung kumpare at kumare mo kagabi, makikipag-Nicki Minaj daw sa masahista! Juice colored!


27| Kim Chiu


Who: A Filipino-Chinese actress who rose to fame after winning a reality show

What it means: To suppress strong emotions, as in the Filipino saying “kimkimin ang galit”

How it is used: Hayaan mo na ‘yan, lilipas din ‘yan. ‘Wag ka ngang magpa-Kim Chiu-Kim Chiu diyan! Dramarama sa hapon? Sapakin kita diyan eh.


26| Oprah Winfrey


Who: American talk show host and philanthropist famous for The Oprah Winfrey Show

What it means: To make a promise, as in O-prah-mise?

How it is used: Hindi talaga ako ‘yung kumuha ng pera mo. Oprah Winfrey! Swear to God, mamatay man!


25| Mariah Carey


Who: A multi-awarded American diva who has produced a number of Billboard #1 hits

What it means: Cheap and inexpensive, derived from Tagalog word “mura,” as in mura-iah Carey

How it is used: ‘Wag mo ‘kong dalhin sa mga Mura-iah Carey na resto ah. Allergic ako sa cheap!


24| Julie Vega


Who: A Filipina child/teen actress from the 1970s to 1980s, star of the movie Flor de Liza

What it means: To get caught. Derived from Tagalog word “huli,” as in na-Julie Vega!

How it is used: Nakakalurkey ‘yung kapatid mo ah! Na-Julie Vega ng guard na nagsho-shoplifting daw! Anong ganap dun?


23| Rica Peralejo


Who: A Filipina actress who started as teenstar in Ang TV

What it means: A rich person, as in the Spanish word “rica”

How it is used: Na-meet mo na ba ‘yung girla na soon-to-be manugang mo? Rica Peralejo raw pala! Push na ‘yan, madame!


22| Charo Santos-Concio


Who: The current CEO of ABS-CBN and the narrator behind real-life drama series Maalaala Mo Kaya

What it means: To become conscious, as in Charo Santos-“Conscious”

How to use it: Ang laki naman ng braso ko sa photo na ‘to. ‘Di na ba talaga ‘to puwede ma-photoshop? Nacha-Charo Santos-Concio ako eh.  


21| Janno Gibbs


Who: A Filipino singer-songwriter and comedian

What it means: To give

How it is used: May barya ka ba? I-Janno Gibbs mo na lang ‘yan dun sa nangangaroling nang matigil na ‘yan.


20| Pilar Pilapil


Who: A Bb. Pilipinas-Universe title holder in 1967 who eventually became an actress

What it means: A queue, to fall in line; derived from Tagalog word “pila”

How it is used: Juice ko day, anong oras ka na ba dumating? Nakakaloka oh abot hanggang EDSA ‘yung pila sa COMELEC. Mukhang Pilar Pilapil tayo dito hanggang bukas ah.


19| Freddie Aguilar


Who: Filipino folk musician who gained worldwide popularity in 1979 for his song “Anak”

What it means: To be afraid, as in Afraid-die Aguilar!

How it is used: Papasok ba talaga sa sa kuweba mag-isa? Afraiddie Aguilar akiz!


18| Chanda Romero


Who: A Filipina actress who plays kontrabida roles in noontime and primetime teleseryes

What it means: Tummy, as in “tiyan” in Filipino. Hence, Tiyan-da Romero!

How it is used: May photoshoot ako mamaya, so no-rice diet muna. Mahirap na, baka i-show ang Chanda Romero, mawalan pa tayo ng endorsers! Alam mo ‘yan!


17| Purita Kalaw


Who: A Filipina pioneer art scholar who is the main proponent of PH’s modern art movement

What it means: To be in a pitiful state of being poor

How it is used: Shocks naubos budget ko sa kaka-Starbucks and suweldo is like two weeks away! Purita Kalaw mode na naman ako these days. Pa-utang naman, mars.


16| Melanie Marquez


Who: Filipina beauty queen who won the Ms. International title in 1979

What it means: To stink and smell awful, as in Smell-anie Marquez!

How it is used: When I entered the room, it’s like ‘di ako makahinga! Smellanie Marquez to the max pala ang paa ni koya! Sayang, guwapo pa naman.


15| Janet Jackson


Who: Popular American singer and actress; sister of the “King of Pop” Michael Jackson

What it means: It’s too damn hot in here, as in sobrang “init,” like ma-Jinit Jackson!

How it is used: Ang Jinit-Jinit Jackson na nga, gusto mo pa sumakay ng jeep. Gusto mo mamatay sa kumbulsiyon, te?


14| Jed Madela


Who: Internationally acclaimed Filipino singer who has received standing ovations for belting out high notes

What it means: Plain dead or just dead tired, as in Dead Madela

How it is used:

A: Katakot naman these days. Ano na nga pala balita kay Osama bin Laden? Alive pa ba si ategurl?

B: Tangek, Dead Madela na si Osama mong gurl, nung 2011 pa! Delayed ka na.


13| Sandara Park


Who: Popular South Korean actress in the Philippines and girl band superstar in S. Korea.

What it means: Beautiful, like “maganda” in Filipino or as they say, Ganda-ra Park!

How it is used: Dati Amazonang frog lang ‘yan oh, ngayon konteserang beauty queen na. Gandara Park na si ateng! Pak, ganern! Kabog kayong lahat! Boom!


12| Mahalia Jackson


Who: Influential American gospel singer and active civil rights activist in the 20th century

What it means: Expensive and luxurious, derived from the Filipino word “mahal”

How it is used: 3 for 100 na bra? Mahalia Jackson naman day! Wala na bang tawad ‘yan?


11| Ynez Veneracion

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Who: A Filipina sexy actress

What it means: To be pissed at someone; derived from Filipino word “inis”

How it is used: Kanina pa ‘ko naririndi diyan sa nagvi-videoke na kapitbahay ah. ‘Wag nila akong hintaying ma-Ynez Veneracion. Makikita talaga nila ang bangis ng Caviteña!


10| Carmi Martin


Who: A Filipina actress known for balancing kontrabida and comical roles

What it means: To fully receive the effect of karma, especially the bad one

How it is used: Hiniram niya lipstick ko two months ago, hanggang ngayon wiz pa rin return. Hindi niya alam may allergy ako. Ayun, namaga lips ni ateng. Carmi Martin.


9| Alma Moreno


Who: A sexy actress-turned-councilor in Parañaque who is now running for senator

What it means: To get hemorrhoids, as derived from the Filipino word “almuranas”

How it is used: Ang hilig mo kasi manood sa mga sinehan sa Quiapo at Recto, ‘yan tuloy na-Alma Moreno ka. Sabi ko naman sa’yo ‘wag kang uupo sa upuan, stand and deliver ka lang!


8| Donita Rose


Who: A Filipina-American actress, former MTV Asia VJ, and FHM’s 2001 Sexiest in the Philippines

What it means: Dumb, as in the Filipino word “bobo” or “bobito/a,” which refers to a dumb person. Hence, Bobita Rose.

How it is used: Sabi nga ‘PULL’ di ba? Bakit mo pinush? Bobita Rose mo talaga evur!


7| Rita Avila


Who: A Filipina actress popular in the ‘90s; children’s storybook author

What it means: To be irritated at someone or something, as in nakakai-Rita Avila!

How it is used: Kanina pa ‘ko nagtitimpi sa’yo ah. ‘Wag mo ‘kong hintaying mai-Rita Avila sa’yo kun’di FO ka talaga sa’kin.


6| Zsa-Zsa Padilla


Who: A Filipina singer who is a popular peg among comedians because of her unique vibrato

What it means: To respond in agreement with another person, derived from the Filipino phrase, “oh siya-siya, sige!”

How it is used:

A: Hinding-hindi mo ‘ko mapapasama sa outing na ‘yan, unless nandun si crush.

B: O Zsa-Zsa Padilla, sige. Ang choosy-choosy mo, maganda ka ba?


5| Alanis Morissette


Who: American-Canadian alternative rock singer who produced worldwide hits in the 90s

What it means: To rain; derived from the Filipino word “ulan,” as in jumu-Julanis Morissette!

How it is used: Oh my, jumu-Julanis na freynd! ‘Yung concealer ko nababasa!


4| Tom Jones


Who: A Welsh singer famous in the 60s who sang the 1999 hit “Sex Bomb”

What it means: To get hungry, derived from “gutom,” as in gu-Tom Jones.

How it is used: Bro, papisil naman ng muscles mo oh. Tom Jones na ako. Yummy mo kasi eh.


3| Gardo Versoza


Who: A Filipino sexy actor who was once dubbed as Asia’s Sexiest Man in the 90s; has portrayed gay father roles

What it means: To look haggard, as in ha-Gardo Versoza

How it is used: Bro, may oil wipes at foundation ka ba? Pahiram naman. Haggardo Versoza na kasi fez ko eh.


2| Diether Ocampo


Who: A Filipino matinee idol who started in Ang TV teen edition

What it means: To have a bitter outlook on a certain situation

How it is used:

A: Akala mo maganda, dinaan lang naman sa puti. Ba’t ba siya nagustuhan ni Bebe Koh?

B: Tungak, mas maganda talaga siya sa’yo ui! Bitter Ocampo ka lang!


1| Ces Drilon

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Who: A fearless Filipina journalist

What it means: To be in a state of too much stress or depression, as in Stress Drilon!

How it is used: Recitation, tambak na readings, thesis submission, thesis defense, paper…PAK! Stress Drilon!



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