Getting To Know The Etymology Of The Word “Bakla”

Florante at Laura.
Florante at Laura.

Getting To Know The Etymology Of The Word “Bakla”

While I was making a random list of the upcoming blogs that I’ll be making for this website, I wondered how the word “bakla” came into play. After all, I must be very aware of the market since my website’s name is www.baklapoako.com. And it is but proper for me to get acquainted with the beautiful word”bakla” and let it out from its closet.

 

I was able to get a good yet quite out-dated data about the term “bakla” in Wikipedia. I cannot seem to agree anymore about “bakla” in the context of “modern” times” is considered to be an “effeminate man.” Maybe if I was in the late 1980s I can still let the word “effeminate” pass. But hello?! We’re already in the 2014 and saying “bakla po ako” can no longer just be coming from the mouth of an effeminate or drag queen but from a handsome man that you will not even feel any stains of being gay.

 

Yet, here are some of the trivia or probably info that we never heard of before about the etymology of the word bakla.

 

Tagalog poet Francisco Balagtas used the word “bacla” in reference to “a temporary lack of resolve” , as seen in his popular works “Florante at Laura” and “Orosman at Zafira.”

 

Florante at Laura.
Florante at Laura.

 

There is also a passage in the religious epic poem “Casaysayan ng Pasiong Mahal ni Jesucristong Panginoon Natin na Sucat Ipag-alab nang Puso nang Sinomang Babasa” (The History of the Passion our Jesus Christ our Lord that Surely Shall Ignite the Heart of Whosoever Readeth), which is often read during Holy Week, that says “Si Cristo’y nabacla” (Christ was confused, referring to the Agony in the Garden.

 

Pasyon.
Pasyon.

 

During the Spanish colonization, gay men were called “binabae” or “bayongin. Meanwhile, pre-World War II Tagalog refers to bakla as “fearful” or “weakened”.

 

It has often been mistaken that bakla was derived from the ancient Baybayin script used to write Tagalog until the 16th century, where the characters “ba” and ‘la” are said to represent the words for “female” and “male” (babae and lalaki in modern orthography).

 

Did you know some of these things? For the most part, I don’t. But it pays off to know its etymology. It made me realize that regardless of what we are called, being gay or bakla is something, not a big deal right now. In fact, the word stung me before when I was young. When being called “gay” pierced through my heart and I just wanted to be “straight” if there’s a way. But there’s none. And no matter what happens, the word will still metamorphose from being a stone to a beautiful title in every parts of the world. I will always be proud to say “bakla po ako.”

 

Getting To Know The Etymology Of The Word “Bakla”

Follow me

Joemar Belleza

Blogger-In-Chief at Bakla Po Ako, Confirmed!
Joemar is the Blogger-In-Chief of BaklaPoAko.Com. He is currently a graduate student in University of the Philippines Open University. He also studied at Maquillage Professionnel School of Makeup Artistry and School of Fashion and the Arts (SoFA). He is a bold advocate of education, environment and LGBT issues. An earner, dreamer and a lover. Before he was once a dream-sprouting seed. Now he's a tree in his renaissance and will always be evergreen. Hear him speak with his intelligent guide for gay news of the Philippines and worldwide, Bakla Po Ako. Confirmed!.Follow him on Twitter @belleza_joemar. Gay it forward!
Joemar Belleza
Follow me

About Joemar Belleza 357 Articles
Joemar is the Blogger-In-Chief of BaklaPoAko.Com. He is currently a graduate student in University of the Philippines Open University. He also studied at Maquillage Professionnel School of Makeup Artistry and School of Fashion and the Arts (SoFA). He is a bold advocate of education, environment and LGBT issues. An earner, dreamer and a lover. Before he was once a dream-sprouting seed. Now he's a tree in his renaissance and will always be evergreen. Hear him speak with his intelligent guide for gay news of the Philippines and worldwide, Bakla Po Ako. Confirmed!. Follow him on Twitter @belleza_joemar. Gay it forward!