What Does The Expression "Pa-cute" Mean?

by - Thursday, August 06, 2009

If you have been with someone [or personally know someone] from the Philippines, you have probably heard the phrase "pa-cute" a hundred of times from this particular Pinoy [a demonym referring to Filipino people in the Philippines as well as overseas Filipinos around the world - like *ehem* me!].

So what does the expression "pa-cute" really mean? It's totally simple. the two-letter "pa" when attached before some adjectives basically means "trying to look- or trying to be-" in English. So when we mention the "pa-cute" word, it simply means that we are trying to look cute especially in front of cameras.

Other "pa" words which you have probably heard before:
  • pa-sexy = trying to look sexy
  • pa-simple = trying to do something with simplicity in order for the people around him/her not to notice what he/she is doing
  • pa-humble = trying to be humble
  • ...etc.
During the early stages of use of the expression pa-cute, most people look at it in a negative way... more of an insult. But of course, this story is now buried in the past.

Nowadays, pa-cute is a positive term to most Pinoys. We love to "pa-cute" in front of the camera not just to try and make our faces look adorable but also to make sure that the photo will hold a happy face of us throughout the century.

According to Janne, Lo and Mark, I can be considered as the queen of pa-cutes since I always make sure that I have the perfect smile in each and every photo. I confess that the allegation is true except for the part that I am the queen of pa-cutes. Mind you, there are worse cases than mine.

Anyway, here are just a few of the many proofs of my pa-cute moments while in the Philippines:
[click photos to enlarge and see the entire pa-cuteness full-screen]

this photo was taken inside the foodcourt of SM City North EDSA
photo taken when I visited my dad's place (I was busy eating boiled peanuts and still had the time to do the pa-cute pose)pa-cute with the Giant Arapaima inside the Manila Ocean Parkpa-cute in front of the IMAX Theater of the SM Mall of Asia
(try to notice the girl behind me doing her simple pa-cute with me)pa-cute while wearing the 3D glasses (IMAX Theater at the SM City North EDSA - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince film)pa-cute while enjoying my new ZillerO (thanks for this one Bebe)pa-cute inside the Chinese Temple of the Chinese Cemetery, Philippines
And yup! I brought the pa-cute disease with me in Hong Kong!

pa-cute pose with one of Buddha's disciples in Lantau, Hong Kong
pa-cute before climbing the stairs to the Giant Buddhamy pa-cute pose at The Peak, Hong Kongdid the pa-cute just seconds after getting off the Mickey Mouse Trainpa-cute pose inside Disneyland Hong Kongpa-cute inside the Jockey Club Tak Wah Park in Hong KongAnd who says pa-cute is only embedded in the blood of Pinoys?
Below are the pa-cute versions of Lo and Janne with Pluto inside Disneyland, Hong Kong
the three pa-cutes at Pizza Hut, Hong Kong
So, whether you accept it or not, even if you are not a Filipino, there will always be the pa-cute portion [no matter how tiny it is] inside of you wherever you go!


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  1. sexy legs and body6 August 2009 at 18:47

    Hey Maxy! long time no see! Interesting post, love your pics, very nice
    Have a super day!
    Colin. 8-)

    Recent undefined:=-

  2. LOL...thanks for the lesson.. you are a cutie and you have a very sweet smile:)

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  3. thanks Colin! you, too. have a super nice day! hugs!

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  4. hello Dorothy and welcome. it's just good to explain this word to people who get curious. hehe.

    thanks for the compliments. cheers to you!

    Recent undefined:=-

  5. Now pa-cute is a new expression to me. I enjoy cultural stuff this post has been a learning exercise. And another from any language can learn about pa-cute simply by looking at the pics .... thus Janne is write. :)

  6. i think my 12 yo daughter has the pa-cute down to a tee lol

  7. Hey Maxie so pa cute means trying to be cute. Your not pa cute here. You are just very cute here love the pics my friend 8-)

  8. Thank you a lot Bill. Whew!  I am glad to know that I am not so much pa-cute!  Just a little, maybe?   ;)

  9. Haha!  This one expression is something you never forget.  You've mentioned and.. well, have teased me every now and then on some of your comments here.   :)   :)   :)

  10. Oh. Cool!  It is always nice to know that there are many of us out there.  Kisses to your daughter!


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