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Vegetables In The Philippine Folk Song "Bahay Kubo" (Nipa Hut)

Updated on March 6, 2018

Bahay-Kubo is a favorite Filipino folk song amongst Filipino kids. I probably first heard the song from my mom, because you know parents always sing nursery songs and folk songs to their kids. And since we lived most of our lives in a farm back in the Philippines, we had quite some time spent along with vegetables and my mom would sing the Bahay-Kubo while harvesting or cooking vegetables. She loves eating vegetables of all kinds.

This cheerful song describes a typical Filipino life in provinces of growing all kinds of vegetables around the simply made hut. Find the Tagalog Bahay-Kubo or Nipa Hut folk song video below and the English translation on the side.

Bahay Kubo (Nipa Hut) Song

Bahay Kubo (Nipa Hut) Song English Translation

Nipa hut (Bahay Kubo), although it is small (kahit munti)

The vegetables in there (Ang halaman doon), are of many kinds (ay sari sari)

Jicama (Singkamas)

and eggplant (at talong)

winged bean (sigarilyas)

and peanut (at mani)

Long beans (Sitaw)

hyacinth beans (bataw)

lima beans (patani)

Ash gourd (Kundol )

sponge gourd (patola)

Bottle gourd (Opo)

and squash (at kalabasa)

And still there's some more (At saka meron pa)

Radish (Labanos)

and mustard (mustasa)

Onions (Sibuyas)

tomatoes (kamatis)

garlic (bawang)

and ginger (at luya)

And all around are lots of sesame plants. (repeat) (At sa paligid ligid ay maraming linga).

English: Jicama

Tagalog: Singkamas

(Pachyrhizus erosus)

Also known as Mexican yam or Mexican turnip. This root crop has to be peeled before consumption and is good with vinegar or salt.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Singkamas (jicama)Peeled jicama
Singkamas (jicama)
Singkamas (jicama) | Source
Peeled jicama
Peeled jicama | Source


Tagalog: Talong

(Solanum melongena)

This perennial plant is often use in favorite Filipino recipes such as torta eggplant and even goes along with other veggies with sinigang which is a soured Filipino dish of either fish or meat.

Eggplant is also known as nighshades and can grow for up to 57 inches in height.


Winged Bean

Tagalog: Sigarilyas

(Psophocarpus tetragonolobus)

Winged bean plant is a vine and grows pretty well on hot countries. This vegetable has four angles and has frilly edges which is why it is also called or known as four-angled bean. All other parts of the plant is also edible such as the leaves and the flowers. The young sprouts are also used on Filipino cuisine such as on stews.



Tagalog: Mani

(Arachis hypogaea)

A herbaceous plant that can grow for up to 1.6 in height. Something interesting about the peanut and how the nuts go underground after flowering is that, the stalks bend until the ovary touches the ground, pushing it to go underground. Then, the fruit develops -- the peanut. And because of that, the peanut is also known as ground nuts or earth nuts.

Interesting fact: Peanut is a legume and not a nut.


Long beans

Tagalog: Sitaw

(Vigna unguiculata)

This vegetable is common in the Philippines and is available almost year round. Long beans goes on almost any dishes along with any other vegetables. Parboiled long beans is even delicious and goes well with vinegar, or lemon sauce. And one of my favorite, sauteed long beans!

Sitaw (Long beans)
Sitaw (Long beans) | Source

Hyacinth bean

Tagalog: Bataw

(Lablab purpureus)

This vegetable vine produces purple flowers which then turn into pods. The young pods displays a very distinctive purplish color which later diminish. The young leaves can also be eaten. On Filipino cooking, both ends of the pod is removed. The young pods are preferred, and as it matures, it will become leathery and hard to chew so the green seeds are taken out instead for cooking and the pods are disposed off.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Hyacinth beansOur "bataw" (hyacinth bean) plants.Hyacinth bean flowers
Hyacinth beans
Hyacinth beans | Source
Our "bataw" (hyacinth bean) plants.
Our "bataw" (hyacinth bean) plants. | Source
Hyacinth bean flowers
Hyacinth bean flowers | Source

Hyacinth Bean (Lablab Purpureus)

Lima bean

Tagalog: Patani

(Phaseolus lunatus)

This legume also grows as a vine, grown for the seeds and is high in fiber. Lima bean is also known as butter bean.


Ash gourd

Tagalog: Kundol

(Benincasa hispida)

Kundol (ash gourd) is a creeping or vine plant and is grown for its fruit which can grow for up to 2 meters long. Ash gourd is also known as winter melon and wax gourd. Why wax gourd? Because as the fruit matures, it develops a waxy coating. This vegetable has a long shelf life too after it has been picked.


Sponge gourd

Tagalog: Patola

(Luffa acutangula)

A vegetable vine, sponge gourd is another vegetable that can be seen in Philippine markets. The sponge gourd is best when harvested before it matures, the young ones are preferred as the vegetable becomes spongy and would be hard to chew once it matures. It is also called luffa or loofah.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Patola (Sponge gourd)Patola (Sponge gourd)
Patola (Sponge gourd)
Patola (Sponge gourd) | Source
Patola (Sponge gourd)
Patola (Sponge gourd) | Source

Bottle gourd

Tagalog: Upo

(Lagenaria siceraria)

Another vine here. Bottle gourd is also best to be picked before the fruit matures as this veggie becomes leathery or rubbery and the seeds hardened up as well.This vegetable aids in digestion and acts as diuretics.



Tagalog: Kalabasa

(Cucurbita moschata duch)

Kalabasa or squash is a vine or a creeping plant. Some grow squash on trellis but some prefer letting this vegetable creep on the ground. Both young and mature fruit are used in Filipino dishes. If the young fruit is use, the skin could be cook too, but as the squash matures, the skin hardened and needs to be peeled.

Squash is high in A vitamin, calcium and phosphorus. The young shoots or leaves and the flowers are also use in cooking.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Kalabasa (Squash)Kalabasa (Squash)
Kalabasa (Squash)
Kalabasa (Squash) | Source
Kalabasa (Squash)
Kalabasa (Squash) | Source


Tagalog: Labanos

(Raphanus sativus)

A white, large root crop. Radish is one of my favorite vegetable. When fresh, radish is crunchy and is used on one of Filipino favorite dish, sinigang.

Also good for 'radish salad,' by chopping the radish thinly together with chopped tomatoes and ground pepper. Adding some teaspoon of vinegar and sugar according to taste.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Mustard greens

Tagalog: Mustasa

(Brassica juncea)

The leaves, stem and even the flowers are included in cooking. This vegetable is also known as Chinese mustard, Indian mustard and leaf mustard.



Tagalog: Sibuyas

(Allium cepa)

Onions or sibuyas is one of the most used and important ingredient in Filipino cuisine as onions can be found in just about every Filipino dishes. Onions are used on soups, sauteed veggies and some also use onions on fried rice!

Onions are easy to grow and the leaves are used on dishes too. A favorite specially on Filipino sawsawan or sauce along with tomatoes, a good pair for broiled or fried fish.

Click thumbnail to view full-size


Tagalog: Kamatis

(Solanum lycopersicum)

This perennial plant can grow up to 10 feet in height, usually bears round red fruits. Tomatoes are often used in Filipino dishes such as sinigang, caldereta, sauteed sardines with veggies and more.

Rich in lycopene, eating tomatoes can reduce the risk of breast cancer. Also since childhood, I've been told to eat tomatoes to get a keen eyesight. I didn't like tomatoes before but I learned eating it raw since my uncle use to put halves of tomatoes on mine and my younger brother's plate. He's fond of eating tomatoes since he was a kid and it is amazing he don't use eyeglasses yet being in his 70's.



Tagalog: Bawang

(Allium sativum)

Just like onions, garlic is used in almost every dish. Not only that, it is also used as a remedy for cough and cold as well as asthma as I was taught. Garlic keeps them at bay.



Tagalog: Luya

(Zingiber officinale)

Use as spice and to make ginger tea. Ginger is use to balance and rid of unwanted fishy smell on fishes. Ginger is used in sinigang or soured dish of either fish or meat and is used by some in broiled or grilled fish for the aroma.



Tagalog: Linga

(Sesamum indicum)

Grown for its edible seeds. Sesame (linga) can grow up to 3 feet tall and flowers can either be yellow, purple or blue.


Say Some Of These Vegetables In Tagalog


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    • Amina Mahnoor profile image

      Amina 6 weeks ago from Baghbanpura

      Dear you do very well plz...follw me..plz plz plz

    • profile image

      elvie deberto 10 months ago

      Do you have "Si Felilmon?"

    • profile image

      ann 2 years ago

      It's worthwhile remembering the famous folk song sing when i was in the elementary grade and as of now still heard in schools....complete vegetables in the nipa hut....amazing

    • profile image

      clarence 23 3 years ago

      all have interesting ang food is healthy fr0m all bhay kubo fruits and vegetables.

    • tastiger04 profile image

      tastiger04 4 years ago

      No I am not in the Philippines right now, but I used to visit often when I lived in Taiwan :) Beautiful country and delicious food!

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 4 years ago from USA


      And thank you for stopping by to read and I appreciate the comments too :) I'm guessing you're not in the Philippines now?! And yes, it does brings back good memories. :)

    • tastiger04 profile image

      tastiger04 4 years ago

      I grew up eating a lot of Filipino food, it is definitely some of my favorite! Brings back good memories...thank you for this interesting hub :) voted up