10 Tagalog Phrases You Must Know for the Philippines 


Taking a visit to the Philippines? Whether or not you’ll be enjoyable on an attractive white-sand seashore in Cebu, attempting fascinating new delicacies in Bicol (I’d advocate the tremendous candy and refreshing dessert referred to as “halo halo”!), or embarking on every other journey below the new Filipino solar, realizing some key Tagalog (the nationwide language) phrases and phrases would possibly simply turn out to be useful.  

There are numerous explanation why studying the native lingo wherever you journey is worth it: it’s a good way to immerse your self in a brand new tradition and increase your worldview; you’ll be able to sleep soundly realizing that you simply’re geared up in case of medical emergencies or if you’ll want to ask for instructions, and you may foster larger connections with the brand new folks that you simply meet alongside your journey. 

Exploring a brand new place is likely one of the greatest elements of travelling! Nonetheless, getting misplaced is actually a danger. Get to know the next phrases and phrases to be sure to know the place you’re going and the place you’ve been! 

People walking through a historic street of Calle Crisologo, Vigan, Ilocos Sur 

Prime 10 Tagalog phrases and phrases

Let’s start with some on a regular basis phrases, phrases, and greetings that you should utilize all through your complete tropical escape… 

Greetings and salutations in Tagalog

Parked jeepneys in a variety of bright colours and designs

1. “Kamusta”

“Kamusta,” pronounced [kah • muu • STAH], means “hello” or “whats up”!  

Hopping onto a brightly adorned jeepney, a staple of Filipino public transport, in your means via the town? Say kamusta with an enormous smile and a wave to the driving force as you hop on, and your journey begins. 

Enjoyable reality: Lots of the jeepneys you’ll be able to see throughout the Philippines are decked out with putting colors, stickers, and all kinds of inventive designs and illustrations.  

2. “Ang pangalan ko”

To introduce your self, say your identify adopted by “ang pangalan ko,” pronounced [ahng pahng • AH • lahn ko]; it straight interprets to “____ is my identify.” The right alternative to make use of this phrase is while you’re checking into your resort. You may impress the entrance desk workers together with your superb Tagalog! Eager on going the additional mile? Put what we’ve discovered to this point altogether: “Kamusta! ____ ang pangalan ko.” 

3. “Salamat”/ “Salamat po”

“Salamat,” pronounced [sah • LAH • maht], or “salamat po,” pronounced [sah • LAH • maht po], means “thanks”! Make certain to say salamat po to your servers as you put together to dig into some crispy lumpia shanghai or turon for a scrumptious, handheld afternoon snack! 

A plate of the Filipino dish, fried lumpia shanghai

4. “Po”

“Po,” pronounced [po] with a brief o sound, is a crucial Tagalog phrase that’s used to point out respect, typically reserved for addressing elders. Used equally to the phrases “sir” or “ma’am” in English, po is added to all kinds of Tagalog speech and displays the significance of respect that’s entrenched within the Filipino tradition. Look out for po utilized in a few of the phrases to return! 

Sizzling tip: When unsure, add po to the tip of no matter it’s you need to say. You’re higher off displaying further respect fairly than not sufficient, proper? Po is often tacked onto the tip of sure phrases or phrases however may be discovered in the midst of them every now and then as effectively! 

5.  “Oo”/ “Opo” and “Hindi”/ “Hindi po”

“Oo,” pronounced [o • O], means “sure,” whereas “hindi,” pronounced [hihn • DIH], means “no.” Chatting with somebody older than you? Say “opo,” pronounced [O • po], or “hindi po,” pronounced [hihn • DIH po], as an alternative. 

6. “Magkano to?”/ “Magkano po ito?” 

“Magkano to,” pronounced [mahg • KAH • no to], or “magkano po ito,” pronounced [mahg • KAH • no po ih • TO], means “How a lot does this value?”. Shopping for souvenirs to your family and friends at dwelling or some contemporary mangoes from a avenue market? You may ask the distributors, ‘Magkano po ito?’ to learn how a lot it’s important to pay! 

Assist or help wants in Tagalog

A Philippine Red Cross ambulance parked on the street

7. “Saklolo”

“Saklolo,” pronounced [sahk • LO • LO], means “assist.” Acquired misplaced and wish a hand to find your means again to your hostel? Your airline misplaced your baggage, so you’ll want to get to the closest drugstore to restock on toiletries? These are situations when realizing the way to ask for assist may very well be your saving grace.  

8. “Nasan ang ospital?”

I actually hope you received’t want this one! However within the case you’ve gotten a medical emergency like an harm or sickness, and have to see a health care provider, you’ll be able to ask, “Nasan ang ospital.” Pronounced [NAH • sahn ahng aws • pih • TAL], this implies “The place is a hospital?”. 

Instructions in Tagalog

An overview of the Batad Rice Terraces in Ifugao

9. “Kaliwa” and “Kanan”

“Kaliwa,” pronounced [kah • lee • WAH], means “left” and “kanan,” pronounced [KAH • nahn], means “proper.” You may’t at all times depend upon Google Maps or Waze to get you all over the place, so be sure that to hear for these phrases when asking locals for instructions in your option to the seashore or your subsequent sight-seeing spot. 

10. “Doon” or “Nandoon”

“Doon,” pronounced [duu • UUN], or “nandoon,” pronounced [nahn • duu • UUN], means “there” or “over there.” If somebody is directing you someplace close by, they might level at it and say, doon. Be careful for this and getting across the Philippines shall be a breeze! 

Trying to discover outdoors of the town? The Philippines has seemingly limitless white-sand seashores to discover. Among the greatest may be present in Boracay, El Nido, or Coron. There are additionally many historic landmarks to go to the place you’ll be able to study extra concerning the wealthy native tradition together with the Batad Rice Terraces in Ifugao and the San Agustin Church in Manila. Whichever you select, you completely can not go flawed. For extra inspiration, take a look at our publish “Mati, Philippines: Exploring a browsing and skimboarding haven”. 

Interacting within the Philippines

A street market filled with an assortment of tropical fruits in the Philippines

Studying a brand new language can actually be tough, as is overcoming language obstacles when travelling! As somebody who sat via many a French class, over the course of seven years and got here out of it something however fluent, I completely get it. On that observe, right here’s one thing I feel you’d be glad to listen to: Many individuals within the Philippines are literally fluent in English (or “Taglish” as we are saying) so don’t fear in case you don’t get it good. What actually issues is that you simply give it a go and I’m positive you’ll be pleased that you simply did!  

As we all know, journey emergencies can and do occur! Within the case that disaster strikes, these phrases and phrases might actually provide help to and your journey buddies out alongside the way in which.  

Searching for extra journey concepts to discover the Philippines? Go away your questions under and we’ll get again to you! 

Completely happy travels, 

Jacqueline is a Company Providers Pupil Intern at TuGo. As a Filipino-Canadian who has lived in each BC and Ontario, she loves to go to locations throughout Canada and the world alike. A few of her favorite journeys have included climbing to see the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica, skydiving in Whistler, and strolling via artwork galleries in Los Angeles. Most positively bitten by the journey bug, Jacqueline will journey on, fuelled by her dedication to exploration and new experiences.


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