Kili-kili, Sexmoan, and other unique names of places in PH

by Ivy Jean Vibar,

Posted at Jan 10 2012 06:27 PM | Updated as of Jan 11 2012 02:27 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Trending on Twitter today was a Filipino word for armpit, due to a story about a drug bust wherein one person was killed, in a place named “Kili-kili.”

The unfortunate death of a suspected drug pusher was no longer the story, but rather the place’s name – Tagalog-speaking netizens could not believe that a place in the Philippines could have such a name.

However, a 2009 study by Kab-ot Gahum: Resource Center for Empowerment & Development of the Balay Mindanaw Group said that the term “kili-kili” comes from the Higaunon word that primarily refers to people who have the ability to quickly make decisions in meetings or dialogues. This was according to Dikno Mansumagan, who is also called Datu Kili-kili.

Some other strangely-named places (at least for Tagalog-speakers) in the Philippines include:

  •  Panti Point in Cagayan
  •  Apapaya City in Abra
  •  Bubong in Lanao del Sur
  •  Pata in Sulu
  •  Mankayan in Benguet (switch a few letters around and you ought to get the point)
  •  Pinukpuk in Kalinga
  •  Pugo in La Union
  •  Iba in Zambales
  •  Lobo in Batangas
  •  Mauban in Quezon
  •  Bula in Camarines Sur
  •  Bato in Catanduanes and Leyte
  •  Sulat in Eastern Samar
  •  Manukan in Zamboanga del Norte
  •  Pikit in North Cotabato
  •  Mainit in Surigao del Norte
  •  Tago in Surigao del Sur

Some places’ names have been changed because of their unfortunate resemblance to embarrassing phrases – one example is Sasmuan. Its original name was Sexmoan.

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