Thursday, January 24, 2008

NineMoons talks about: ASA.

Previously in this series:

NineMoons talks about: CHICKSILOG.


Not too long ago, the remnants of several all-Filipino factions such as Anonymous and CARNAGE formed a new group that went around calling itself ASA. Ostensibly, this particular acronym stood for the "All-Star Alliance" of the two former factions, referring to the many famous and infamous characters now collected under that single banner.

Of course, to us Filipinos though, that faction name meant something else: only the one term of derision that gets most overused nowadays. It has always made me wonder if they picked the faction name deliberately, knowing it would be the equivalent of throwing down a gauntlet to everyone else who could understand it.

"Asa", in Filipino, is a verb roughly translating to "hope" / "dream" [the verbs, not the nouns]. Thus the representative "asa" expression,

Asa ka pa,

translates to the English

Dream on.

On the positive side, a person who says

Asa pa ako

is really saying

I can dream, can't I?

Someone who asks to "borrow" some of your gear - when you know they may not be planning to return said equipment - can be rebuffed with


and the meaning will be

I'm on to you and no way you're borrowing my stuff.

For ASA faction, their name could be taken as a big challenge, and mean:

Dream on - you will not be able to defeat us.

A somewhat funny real-life usage of "asa" might be said by the lovelorn one who wants to let the object of their dreams know that they even exist, and is told by his friends,

Asa ka pa....


That person's way out of your league, dream on....

As you might have figured out by now were you paying attention whenever the "broad wars" start up, everyone in the Philippines who plays online games uses, abuses, and misuses Asa ka pa. We use it to mock others, to express unattainable wishes, to express negation. Like a lot of our colloquial terms, one word can mean lots of things.

So keep that in mind the next time you see the word "asa" on the broads.


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