My recent TV Interview

Earlier this week, on Tuesday, I went and had a haircut.  For the past year or two, I have a regular barber that I always go to.  From time to time, when I go to the barber shop, Joel is not there, and in those cases, I have a “regular backup” at that barber shop, his name is Dodong.  About 80% of the time, Joel cuts my hair, about 20% of the time Joel is not there when I go for a haircut, so Dodong takes care of it.  I really like the work of both barbers, and am happy with either.  Since Joel was my first “suki” at the barber shop, I always go to him first if he is there.

In case you are wondering what a suki is, that is a term that signifies a “regular relationship” that you have in business.  Joel is my “go to” barber, so we have a “suki” relationship.

TV Patrol
TV Patrol

Anyway, as I said, on Tuesday, I went to the City for a haircut, and sure enough, Joel was there, so I hopped into his chair, and he got started cutting my hair.

I had not been sitting there more than 2 or 3 minutes when these guys came into the shop from the street.  There were 3 of them, or so, and they were carrying a TV camera.  I heard them asking my other favorite Barber, Dodong, if they could film in the ship.  Dodong went and got the manager, and she said it was OK for the crew to film.

So, I sat there getting my haircut, and listening as the TV crew (from ABS-CBN TV) began interviewing Dodong and a couple of other barbers.  They were asking things like how many heads per day they cut, if business was good or not, and that sort of thing.  I’m not really sure why they were asking such questions, I figured that maybe they were doing a story on how the local economy is doing.

After 10 minutes or so of me watching the TV crew shoot, they came over and asked if they could interview me.  I could tell that they were a bit nervous, and also not too smooth with their English.  I told them that it was OK to interview me, though, and they got all set up with the camera.  I did not tell them that I could speak Cebuano, though, I just let them suffer through the English while talking to me.

They asked me only one question:

Uh, sir, do you like the haircut here at Nong Doming’s Barber shop?

I looked at them very seriously and thought for a second, and then replied to them in straight Cebuano:

Oo, ganahan ko, kay gwapo kaayo ang gupit diri sa Doming’s!

They broke out laughing, feeling a sense of relief that they didn’t have to struggle with the English any more!  My barber, Joel knows that I can speak Cebuano, of course, and I think he knew I was going to do that.  The TV crew really liked it, though!

That was the entire interview.  To be honest, I don’t know for sure if the interview aired or not on TV, though, because I was unable to catch the TV Patrol News on ABS-CBN that evening, I had something else going on that kept me away from the TV.  Whether it aired or not, though, I enjoyed the experience, and I think the people at the barber shop, and the TV crew also enjoyed it!

Here’s a quiz for you… who can translate my reply that I gave to the TV crew?

Post Author: MindanaoBob (1343 Posts)

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.


  1. Dan B says

    That’s very funny Bob…..hope you said that with a straight face. :)

    I don’t know what that exactly means in Cebuano, but you sure do have a handsome haircut from Doming’s Barber.

    • says

      Hi Dan – Ha ha… thanks! I did indeed say it in a very matter of fact way, completely straight face! 😆

      Believe it or not, you came fairly close to the proper translation. I won’t give you the exact translation yet, we’ll see if anybody can get it.

  2. says

    Sige Bob–
    ” Yes, I really like them because they give handsome haircuts here at Doming’s!”
    As a Bisaya purist from Cebu though, I think that “gupit” is really Tagalog for haircut, and you’d probably hear “tupi” in Cebuano! hehe

    • says

      Ha ha, you are absolutely right, queenie, of course. Here go Davao they don’t really know what tupi is though. Gupit is the word here, and you’re right, it is Tagalog.

  3. says

    See Bob,
    It’s amazing to me how much Tagalog has worked it’s way into the Bisaya in Mindanao. You say that you’ve yet to learn Tagalog, but when the time comes when you do study it, you’ve already gotten to know a lot of the words ahead of time! Knowing the local language is a real coup though, isn’t it? :)

    • says

      In most of Mindanao the language is still relatively pure but lots of mixed in Tagalog in Davao and Gen San.

      You sure are right, being able to speak and understand the local language is really a great thing. Makes life much more enjoyable.

    • roy says

      Hi QueenieBee & Bob, I have observed and thus, maintained that Davaoeños use a lot of tagalogs when they speak visayan. I used to live in a huge dormitory where I was the only tagalog. The rest were Davaoeños and Cebuanos. With Davaoeños, I can always follow their conversation, with Cebuanos, I can’t…Try this word which Davoeños almost never use: pinaningkaningkamutan. :-)
      The possible explanation I think was DVO was a migrant city where everybody was from everywhere.

      • says

        Hi Roy, I guess that as you said, migration explains why the Bisaya language has been intermixed in these areas of the Philippines. It makes sense how this would happen.

  4. Rey says

    You actually spoke Davawenyo bisaya Bob, certainly not Cebuano. If you speak like that in Cebu, people will give you a strange look. In Cebu, they’d use the word “nindot” instead of “gwapo” and yes “tupi” or “alot”.
    And imho, you really nailed the “Filipino” language as it is supposed to be an amalgamation of several Philippine Languages but using tagalog grammar.

  5. Loren Pogue says

    Really amazed that you gather a thumb down rating on a lot of comments that obviously would not bother anyone with more intelligence than a cockroach.
    I appreciate your magazine. Keep up the good work.

    • says

      Hi Loren – don’t worry about those people who do the thumbs down and such. Mostly those are jealous folks who wish they had successful sites like LiP!

      I appreciate your support.

  6. PapaDuck says


    Thanks so much for sharing your barbershop story. Got a nice chuckle out of it. I commend you for putting in the efort to learn another language, which alot of people would not do. By the way my G/F speaks Tagalog, Visayan and Illongo. Take care and be safe.

    • says

      Hi PapaDuck – You know, as it turned out, I benefited a lot from learning the language, so I don’t consider it a big effort… I consider it a gift that was given to me. It really opened up a lot of doors in my life!

      Glad you enjoyed the barbershop story!

  7. says

    Last time I was home in Dinalupihan, my nephew took me to the local barber shop. The barber asked me how I wanted my hair cut. I pointed to another barber and said “sort of like his”, my barber said ok, and proceeded to shave my head!

    When I said, “whoa, whoa, that doesn’t look like the other barbers hair”!

    My barber said, well it did three weeks ago when I cut his hair!

    I know, I know, I got a lot to learn!

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