A Filipino Proverb

Original Text: Kung hindi ukol hindi bubukol.

Transliteration: If it is not then it won’t lump.

Full translation: If you weren’t meant to have something then you won’t have it

This proverb is used to pacify others. If someone got out of a relationship and were to be mad, they would say this to justify that it was not meant to be. The saying comes from the word bukol which is a lump of the head normally from a hit. So if someone were to hit their head and get a lump, then it was meant to be but if they hit their head and didn’t get a lump, then that bukol wasn’t meant to be.

Context: The informant lived the majority of her life in the Philippines. She then immigrated to the United States when she was 24. She learned about this saying from her family and classmates.

Thoughts: I personally find the relationship between the translation and the meaning behind the proverb to be obscure yet funny. It establishes the values of superstition and luck while being used as a way to make peace.