What’s the Right way of Saying “Sorry” in Filipino

What’s the right way of saying “Sorry” in Filipino then?

(Author’s Note: This is last part of a two-part series in my post entitled, “Do you say, ‘Pasensya Na’?“)

By acknowledging your fault, you know what you did is wrong and that you reserve the right of the receiver (of your offense) to evaluate the whole situation – and this is the first step in saying you’re sorry. Therefore, in my sincere opinion, it is right to say, “Paumanhin po” /Pah-oo-mahn-hin Po’/, or the English vernacular, “Sorry po.” (Note: By adding the cultural lingo, “po”, you are giving respect to the offended person and “sorry” literally means in Filipino, “paumanhin”).

***Segue Funny note: And if this generation doesn’t remember the actor’s, Vic Sotto, song, you can also say the line “Ipagpatawad mo” /Ee-pahg-pah-tah-wuhd moh/ (Forgive me) without singing the tune in your head.***

Overall, when you say “Sorry” or “Paumanhin” and depending on the degree of your mishap, any mistake, hurt, wound, injury you inflicted on another person – always remember that healing takes time (and at times, lots of it). And this is what offends me when someone tells me, “Pasensya Na” as if to say I should forgive already. Why? Because it is not for the other person to say I forgive him/her – that is for me to say that!  I don’t know about you but personally, I want to know from the offender what led to the conclusion of his or her decision to do what they did to hurt me.

There’s nothing more comforting than to know what went through the process because apologizing is a process that could sometimes lead to the start of a good friendship. Yeah! Weird but yes.

Any Christian knows that it is just right to forgive. This is a command Jesus said and so it should be done but the offender must know that it takes more than just saying you’re sorry. The offender has to know (albeit voluntarily and willfully) that remorse-fulness is a manifestation of understanding the degree of the offense. So after every thing is said and done and if you said you are sorry and the person said they needed time, give it to them and wait for a response (Note: even if it takes more than a decade). At least, you did the right thing by saying sorry (albeit sincerely) and without forcing the other party to decide what they need to think about.


2 thoughts on “What’s the Right way of Saying “Sorry” in Filipino

  1. Greetings. A Google search for “pasenya na” brought me here. I’d like to thank you for explaining the phrase’s meaning as well as expressing your fair-minded opinion of it’s over- and misuse. Your observation reminded of Americans’ and the word “love”. (I love your shoes! I love this song! And so on.)

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