Tips and Guides

10 Filipino Carpentry Terms that You Need to Know

Need to hire a carpenter? Familiarize yourself with these common terms to avoid miscommunication

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When constructing a new home, miscommunication can often cause problems. Your carpenter might tell you: “Habulin na lang sa palitada yan,” and you have no idea what it means. Let these 10 common terms help and guide you.

Main photo by Jun Pinzon.

Read the original article ("Say What?") in the May 2005 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to summitnewsstand.com.ph/real-living for more details.

Keep these terms in mind:

Media Agua

A canopy over a window is called media agua. In ancestral Filipino houses, the traditional media agua is a scallop-bordered cloth; in a bahay kubo, it’s a nipa push-out or awning. In modern houses, it could be as simple as a ledge shading the window.

Dos Aguas and Quatro Aguas Roof

A dos aguas roof has two sides or slopes (a gable roof), and quatro aguas has four sides (a hip roof). Use either of the terms when you want to specify the type of roof, e.g. “Gawin nating quatro aguas ang bubong.

Hamba

Carpenters use wood for constructing the hamba, or jamb—a frame surrounding the door or window.

Alulod

Alulod means gutter. When preparing for the rainy season, tell your handyman: “Tingnan mo naman yung yero kung may butas. At linisin mo yung alulod—puno na siya ng dahon.

Dangkal

Length from tip of  thumb to tip of pinky finger (length depends on whose hand you’re using).

Dipa

Length of both arms stretched out (including torso).

Asintada

Asintada is the  alignment of the wall. “Wala sa asintada” means it’s not aligned. “Asintahin” is to align. Workers might say, “Natayo na ba ang asinta?” to ask whether the wall has been put up.

Tambol

When unsightly pipes appear in  areas like the underside of a comfort room  it needs a tambol. It’s not a musical instrument but a covering. Say, “Lumabas ang tubo sa pader. Tambulan mo na lang.”

Kapak

Plaster not bonding well with the wall produces a defect. Knocking on it creates a hollow sound—probably why this defect is called kapak (the word itself mimics the hollow sound).

Nagbubuntis

There’s reason to be concerned when a worker says, “May nagbubuntis dito.” It means a concrete column is bulging due to weak formworks.

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