Photo credit: Ted Visaya Design

“You want palo??”

If you grew up in a Filipino household, you probably know what the word palo means.

Palo, a Tagalog word that means spank, which derived from the Spanish word palo or stick (those colonizers yo!), is a form of punishment used to discipline misbehaving children. To a kid, hearing that word from their parents elicited fear because it meant you did something wrong and it also meant punishment was coming.  Palo could have been done with a slipper, a belt, or a hand, to help us respect the rules of the home and understand authority.

On this TFAL episode, join the crew along with our own graphic designer, Vince, as we look back on how we were disciplined as kids.  We also discuss methods some of us would use as we raise or begin to start thinking about raising our own.  Find out who was the good kid and who was the medium good kid, and who got punished for breaking a guitar over someone’s head!

Spanking as a form of punishment can be a very sensitive subject.  But if you have any thoughts on this topic, please email us at, leave a comment, or call our TFAL hotline at (805) 394-TFAL on whether or not you think spanking is an effective form of punishment, or whether you think there are alternative forms of discipline that work.

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here, or subscribe to us on iTunes here.

1 comment on “Episode 11.5 – Palo!

  1. lolno says:

    Colonizers? I think you mean invaders, lol. True filipinos don’t see them as colonizers at all, but people who tried to erase our very heritage. We would have been more along the lines of our neighbors if we didn’t have all that pesky spanish cultural invasion. I don’t hate modern Spain or the culture, but it’s sad that so much infiltrated. It’s also tiring when mexicans try to say “well same spanish thing.” No, not really. We didn’t have a choice and some things just became normal.

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