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Flight chronicles of the backpacker Tutubi, with travelogues, pictures/photos/videos, travel guides, independent and honest reviews, affordable, recommended resorts and hotels (including inns, guesthouses, pension houses, lodges, hostels, condotels, bed and breakfast and other cheap accommodations), commuting guides, routes (sometimes street maps and GPS coordinates/waypoints) and driving directions to answer "how to get there" questions, information and tips on tourism, budget travel and living in Philippines, Exotic Asia and beyond!

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    Origin of Filipino Idiom Utak Biya (Goby Fish Brained)

    Besides the tilapia, ayungin, bangus, tawilis, lapu-lapu, dalag, and other favorite fishes of Tutubi, there's one of them that is usually mentioned when referring to people who are mentally-challenged: the biya.

    One time when Tutubi went home to Paete, Laguna, his father bought a handful of biya (loosely translated in English as goby fish) from a fisherman in Wawa Park, he asked Tutubi how he'd want the biya to be cooked, he wanted them to be cooked with coconut milk (ginataang biya) but due to lack of time and absence of ingredients to cook them just settled for the fastes way to feast on the "dumb" fishes who allowed themselves to be caught.

    utak biya goby fish

    pritong biya

    fried goby fishpritong biya that's great eaten with pajo salad (tart little green mangoes in season on summer)

    Now back to the origin of the Filipino idiom "Utak Biya," the subject of this post. The idiom means idiot and allures to the ease of catching biya in rivers and streams. Tutubi knows how easy it is to catch the fish when he was a child, he can catch them using his bare hands and usually would not try to escape or just enter a tin can to hide as if they can't be caught it those rusty hideouts. (Tutubi has yet to confirm if the biya of Tagalogs is the same as the tonto fish of the Visayas)

    As other fishes and inhabitants of Laguna de Bay like the pauton, bangayngay, duhol, paros, digman (seaweeds), kalabanga (lotus seeds) of which some are like nearing extinction, utak biya people are not endangered but mostly highly evident in our society-- just look at the results of the latest elections! :(

    Related Posts:
    Big Head Carp

    Labels: ,

    posted by GingGoy @ 11:25 PM,


    At May 24, 2010, 1:19:00 PM, Blogger Mari said...

    " ...just look at the results of the latest elections! :(." Funny...funny.

    At May 24, 2010, 1:49:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

    ouch, said the utak-biya (lol). i didn't know biya is a freshwater fish. i saw some daing na biya at SM last week. and from all the other fishes from Laguna de Bay that you mentioned, i don't recognize any. now you got me curious.:p

    At May 24, 2010, 3:29:00 PM, Anonymous witsandnuts said...

    I remember that fish. My late grandmother used to cook it with coconut milk. Yun pala ang dahilan kaya na-associate ang isda na'to sa "utak biya."

    At May 25, 2010, 4:02:00 AM, Blogger Chyng said...

    apir! nextime di na dapat bumoto yung mga non tax payers!

    At May 26, 2010, 10:29:00 AM, Blogger GingGoy said...

    mari, it's really sad how Non-performing politicians still get elected and those who deserve didn't. it showed ignorance of not stupidity of millions of voters

    luna, i will look for the daing na biya one of these days too :P

    witsandnuts, i'll show you how to catch biya if they can still be found, but sadly, i can't due to the polluted creek of paete

    chyng, hehe di sila pay ng tax and yet they demand so much and sometimes hinder progress...people :(

    At May 28, 2010, 1:38:00 PM, Blogger janet reyes said...

    sir can you post a blog for me about out free car road test were in anyone can use our for rent cars for a day or two if yes please mail me here of post a comment in this article so i can give you the details.


    At Jun 1, 2010, 11:17:00 PM, Anonymous bw said...

    now I know why the biya is so dumb hehe.. LOL on the Visayan tonto fish :)

    At Jun 3, 2010, 11:39:00 AM, Blogger GingGoy said...

    bw, just stares at you even if you're about to catch him...will try to hide under a stone or inside a tin can as if it's enough protection for him

    At Jun 5, 2010, 3:45:00 PM, Blogger pieterbie said...

    As long as they taste good, I don't really care how easily they can be caught :-)

    At Aug 1, 2011, 8:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    its our dinner viand..Krispy Fish Biya!Mmmmmmmm... :-P

    At Jul 28, 2012, 3:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Biya's big head but with a tiny brain hence "Utak Biya" = tawag sa taong bopol

    At Oct 19, 2012, 9:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    makes me wonder. who is utak biya, the populace or the crooked rich politicians?

    At Oct 19, 2012, 2:56:00 PM, Blogger GingGoy said...

    anonymous, the voters who voted those crooked politicians :(

    At Apr 10, 2018, 8:01:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

    I agree with the elections results. Spot on. 😂


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