What is konyo? Well, the word actually differs in meaning depending on the location. Based on the Spaniards, the term refers to the female reproductive part or the vagina. The Mexicans defined it as the action of hitting someone in the head or as to a punch. Other Latin American regions used the term for cursing or calling someone with bad reputation. And as for the Filipinos, the term defines a variety of things that include way of living, the way of speaking, mannerism, and even the fashion sense that a person holds.
Filipinos also referred to konyo’s as those half-breeds or mestizos back in the Spanish era. In the Philippines, most likely in the metro, we use this term so much. When we hear a person say “ang konyo mo” to another person, there is no clarity whether what this person is thinking of about the other. This happens since in our setting, we have given rise to multiple functions of the word. One of which is that the term depicts someone who is fluent in speaking the English language but experiences difficulty in Tagalog.
So for this person to fit into our system, wherein Tagalog is used more often, he would try to speak the language even though he is unaware that what he is actually is doing is mixing these two languages. For example, “Miss, do you know kung available si Dr. Santos for consultation mamaya? ” And as we can see the effect of that somewhat makes him sound sosyal for us. Another function for the term is for illustrating people who dress up fresh. But when it comes to this topic, the boys are the ones whom are usually described.
This is because there is a stereotype that a konyo person either wears fitted shorts, paired with a polo shirt, and white shoes, or fitted pants (usually three-fourths) that others fold, a top, and shoes (usually plimsolls). They also prefer cardigans/blazers instead of jackets. Also, we must not forget the fact that brand of clothing matters to these people. The term also is used to describe people living in gated communities or villages. The typecast here is that we think of these people as konyo even if this is our only basis.
But we can really admit it in fact that people living in these places are usually those who are rich and they are also the ones who acquire difficulty in speaking Tagalog since basically, they were fed with English beginning childhood. Moreover, the environment there may have influenced them in conditions like manners and behaviour. The school has also become a source in classifying konyo’s. They say that konyo’s usually come from elite schools. And the characteristic further develops during college. The DLSU (la zol) and ADMU (arrneyo) are the top schools wherein people are labelled as konyo.
Maybe this is because of the social structure of the school itself since in the said establishments; social acceptance is an important factor for you to get by. We must also take into consideration the actuality that most of the students enrolled in schools like these are wealthy. And because majority of them have high social status, the others tend to try fitting in with them in terms of the trend present. As a result, generalization is possible. But how did we ever come up with the term and its usages? It is very clear that only one of its origins seem closest to the definitions we have today.
It is that konyo’s were Filipino mestizos. As we have learned in our history classes, mestizos are children or of ancestry of a Filipino native and a person with foreign blood (either Chinese or Spanish). These people were those of higher class compared to the normal Filipinos back in the day. Mestizos also had more rights to almost everything since they were the same individuals powerful enough to offer more especially to the government. Provided with all these information, we can say that our own definition of the term konyo in its origin gave rise to what our idea of the term is now.
But one thing also comes up because of the term’s origin. It is that should there be certain biological features present in a person today to consider him a konyo? Well, it may possibly be considered or not for the reason that other aspects now affect our present definition of the term like language, social status, and environment. So we may now also conclude that our “konyo” is not the same as the others since our definition isn’t similar to a female body part, an action of violence, or any curse. We have simply come up with our own term and it may have had been just a coincidence that in other regions of the world, some have theirs.
Our concept also of konyo is different from theirs given that we gave the term more of a positive tone compared to the others which as we can see have focused on the negative. So, to us Filipinos, konyo may be associated to someone trying to speak the native language but ends up mixing it up with English, to a person with different trend in clothing, to someone with fruitful lifestyle, and to a student from an elite school. And it could be also safe to say that attaining one characteristic can already determine people as konyo. There could also be a great probability that in the future, we would have more meaning and use to this term.