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Vegetables On Philippine Folk Song "Bahay Kubo" (Nipa Hut)

Updated on January 21, 2017

Filipino kids knows this nipa hut song. 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 had lived our lives in a farm in the Philippines, we had quite some time spent along with vegetables and my mom would just sing this "bahay kubo" song either while harvesting vegetables or cooking vegetables. Mom loves eating vegetables of all kinds. And while I am typing this hub, I remember of all those times she had made me EAT bittermelon, saying it is good for me and has many health benefits.

And now, I'm still hardheaded when it comes to eating bittermelon, but you know what? When I'm feeling bad and just my asthma is about to attack (if you have asthma, you just know, or feel when an asthma attack is about to happen,) I can force myself into eating either the bittermelon fruit or the leaves. I'd rather deal with the bitterness of it.

Anyway, enough of my reminiscing, we're talking about the Philippine folk song "bahay kubo" or "nipa hut" in English and all these Philippine vegetables that are being describe growing around the nipa hut.

Below is the Tagalog nipa hut (bahay kubo) folk song video and my English translation on the side. All the vegetables described on the "bahay kubo" song can be found after ot.

Bahay Kubo (Nipa Hut) Song

And since the video has Tagalog lyrics along with it, I'll just have to translate this Filipino folk song in English (and the Tagalog words are on Italic letters so you know which is which and you can sing along.) This folk song is telling a story of the Philippine nipa hut and all the vegetables that are planted around the hut in the farm.

Bahay Kubo (Nipa Hut) in English

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 .)

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

English: Jicama

Tagalog: Singkamas

(Pachyrhizus erosus)

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



Tagalog: Talong

(Solanum melongena)

This perennial plant is often use in favorite Filipino recipes. I like torta eggplant , but mom usually have eggplant with sinigang or her favorite vegetables mix together with bittermelon.

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: a peanut is a legume and not a nut.

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

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!

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

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.

Hyacinth Bean (Lablab Purpureus)


Lima bean

Tagalog: Patani

(Phaseolus lunatus)

This legume also grows as a vine and are high in fiber and is grown for the seeds. 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. It got its name wax gourd because as the fruit matures, it develops a waxy coating. This vegetable has a long shelf life too after picked.

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

Sponge gourd

Tagalog: Patola

(Luffa acutangula)

A vegetable vine, sponge gourds is another vegetable that can be seen on Philippine markets. The sponge gourd is harvested before it matures, the young ones are preferred. As the vegetable matures, it becomes spongy and would be hard to chew.

Also called luffa or loofah.


Bottle gourd

Tagalog: Upo

(Lagenaria siceraria)

Another vine here. Bottle gourd is one of the vegetables I like. Bottle gourd is also preferred before the fruit matures and the seeds hardened as it becomes leathery or rubbery when cooked matured. This vegetable aids in digestion and acts as diuretics.

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


Tagalog: Kalabasa

(Cucurbita moschata duch)

Squash (kalabasa) is a vine or creeping plant. Some grow squash on trellis but some also prefer to let these vegetable creep on ground. Both young and mature fruit are used on 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 on cooking.



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.


Mustard greens

Tagalog: Mustasa

(Brassica juncea)

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



Tagalog: Sibuyas

(Allium cepa)

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

Onions are easy to grow (we are even growing onions here on San Diego and they thrive even on Winter days.) Both the leaves are being used on dishes too.

Our tomato plant on the patio.
Our tomato plant on the patio.


Tagalog: Kamatis

(Solanum lycopersicum)

This perennial plant can grow up to 10 feet in height, usually bears round, red fruits. Tomato can also be found being used on Filipino dishes and sauces, specially for fried fish sauces. Just like my parents enjoys it, chopped tomatoes along with chopped onions, pepper, parsley and vinegar.

Tomato is a rich source of lycopene and 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 tomato before but I learned eating it raw since my uncle use to put halves of tomatoes on mine and younger brother plates. He's fond of eating tomatoes since he was a kid and it is amazing he don't use eyeglasses yet and already was on his 70's.



Tagalog: Bawang

(Allium sativum)

Just like onions, garlic can also be found on almost every dish. My mom also use garlic and taught me to drink minced garlic too along with minced onions with honey to relieve cough and asthma.



Tagalog: Luya

(Zingiber officinale)

Use as spice and to make ginger tea. Ginger is use to balance and rid of the fishy smell on fishes such as on roasting Tilapia fish. It is also use on some other dishes as well such as the favorite dish papaitan.



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

Ash and sponge gourd seeds


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    • profile image

      elvie deberto 6 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