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In Philippine languages, kababayan means "fellow Filipino, countryman, or townmate". It is used throughout the Philippines and throughout the various Philippine languages.
Literally, ka- means "co-" and bayan means "town". In the narrow sense, kababayan means a fellow from the same town. However, it is often used in a much broader sense to mean countrymen or compatriots, especially by overseas Filipinos, OFWs, and connotes respect for each other’s commitment to unity because of their common cultural, political, and religious background from the same "bayan", broadly defined.
It should not be confused with balikbayan, a similar Filipino word, which refers exclusively to overseas Filipinos. "Balikbayan" often refers to (often wealthier) Filipinos who reside overseas and visit the Philippines periodically, even for extended stays, whereas "kababayan", when applied to overseas Filipinos, means ones that live in the Philippines but are overseas temporarily, even for years.
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