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Asking In Cebuano

Asking a question properly in Cebuano can always get you to wherever or whatever you want faster. Here are common things you might want to ask around when you're in Cebu and common expected responses.

What - Unsa
When - Kanus-a
Where - Asa (place), Ha-in (location of an object)
How - Gi-unsa
Why - Ngano
Who - Kinsa

In practice, a lot of Cebuanos use the words "Asa" and "Ha-in" interchangeably for practically the same purposes. The real meaning and differences of these words have become vague and somehow lost and nobody even seem to care the real difference and actual usage of these words anymore.

There is a difference in the actual usage of "Ha-in" and "Asa" that even Cebuanos and Bisaya speakers should be aware of. "Asa" is used basically if the speaker is directly referring to a place, whereas "Ha-in" is used to refer to the location of something.


Where is my pencil?
Ha-in ang akong lapis?

Where is Colon?
Asa ang Colon?

If the object referred to is also a place in a way like a mall, "Asa" or "Ha-in" can be used.


Where is SM?
Asa ang SM? or Ha-in ang SM?


Where are we now?
Asa na ta karon?

We are now in Cebu.
Ni-a na ta sa Cebu.

Where are we going?
Asa ta padu'ong?

We're going to Lahug.
Padu'ong ta sa Lahug.

We will go to Lahug.
Mangadto ta sa Lahug. or Mo-adto ta sa Lahug.

Where is the Airport?
Asa ang Airport? or Ha-in ang Airport?

The Airport is in Mactan Island.
Ang Airport naa sa Mactan.

Where is the Comfort Room (toilet)?
Ha-in ang CR? (CR has been adopted in Cebuano and is more common instead of "kasilyas" (toilet). In areas away from the Cities however, the word "kasilyas" is still very common).

The CR is on the right.
Ang CR naa sa tu-o.


How much is this?
Tagpila ni?

That's forty-five pesos.
Tag kwarentay singko.

Do you have anything cheaper than that?
Naa mo'y mas barato anâ?

That red one is only forty pesos.
Kanang puwa tag kwarenta ra.

How about that green one?
Kanâ  diay'ng green? (Green is more commonly used than the bisaya word "berde")

That's more expensive, that's fifty-seven pesos.
Mas mahal nâ , tag singkwentay siete.

No discount?
Wa'y hangyo?

OK, you can have it for fifty-five pesos.
Sige, singkwentay singko na lang.