Cubao Ibabaw and Cubao Ilalim

I always had the notion that the words ibabaw and ilalim both means the same thing which is under.

A few weeks later, I was introduced to a seemingly insane idea (at that time) by my officemates that ibabaw means (over or on top of and ilalim means the opposite). It was like hearing that the world is really square and not round.

What triggered my puzzlement were the sign boards south-bound on EDSA. I would usually see Cubao ilalim and Cubao ibabaw signages and I am completely baffled. Don't the two mean the same thing?

Alas! My office mates told me that ibabaw and ilalim are the exact opposite of each other. The former meaning over or on top and the latter meaning below or under.

In Zamboanga city (I don't know if it's just me), the two words (ibabaw and ilalim) are used interchangeably. I guess this is because the words ibaba, baba, and ibabaw are ery similar to each other.

Another common Tagalog mistake that I used to make all the time is using laba and hugas interchangeably. There was a time when my friend and I were eating in the office pantry. I was heading towards the sink and I told her 'labhan ko muna ang pinagkainan ko', she thought that I was referring to my bag and I said no, I'm talking about my food container. And that was when she explained to me that laba is used for clothes (and the like), and hugas is for hands, plates, containers (and the like).

Almost a year since arriving in Manila and my Tagalog has improved tremendously. Gone are my tendencies to say nagkain instead of kumain. Of course the minor grammatical mistakes that I commit when I was still in Zamboanga city is perfectly accepted over there but over here, it is a sure way of getting laughed at. Even my accent has improved as well. I have completely adapted to the accent that the people here have when speaking Tagalog.