Useful Ilocano words and phrases.

67 Helpful Ilocano Words and Phrases for Travelers

When you travel to a new place, it’s helpful to know a bit of the local language. In the Philippines, there are eight main languages. One of them is Ilocano, spoken in places like Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, and SOCCSKSARGEN. You don’t have to be fluent, but knowing basic words like “Hello” and “Thank you” can make a big difference in how you connect with the locals.

Learning a few words can make your trip more enjoyable and show your respect for the local culture. So, get ready to explore and connect with the locals in the Philippines!

If you’re planning to explore Central or Northern Luzon, here are some simple Ilocano words and phrases you might find handy:

 

Table of Contents

Simple Ilocano words or phrases for saying hello and introducing oneself

Ilocano Words and phrases for saying hello and introducing oneself.

1. “Naimbag nga aldaw!” = “Good day!”

Say “Naimbag nga aldaw!” as a general greeting, but if you want to be more specific, you can use the following Ilocano phrases:

  • Naimbag nga bigat – Good morning
  • Naimbag nga malem – Good afternoon
  • Naimbag nga rabi-i – Good evening

2. “Kablaaw!” = “Hello!”

Although “Hi” and “Hello” are commonly used, you can use this Ilocano word translation if you prefer. You may also use it as a salutation for someone accompanied by a nod and a smile.

3. “Naragsak nga isasangbay!” = “Welcome!”

This is the Ilocano translation for the Tagalog phrase “Maligayang pagdating!”. You usually say this to welcome the people who just arrived.

4. “Kumusta kan-ay?” = “How are you?”

Use this Ilocano phrase if you want to know how the person is doing.

5. “Mayat met.” = “I’m fine.”

This is your reply to the previous question. You can also say, “Mayat met, salamat.” for “I’m fine, thank you.”

6. “Anya ti nagan mo?” / “Anya nagan mo?” = “What’s your name?”

Use this Ilocano phrase to ask for the person’s name.

7. “Siak ni <name>.” = “I’m <name>.”

Say this when stating your name, like “Ako si Maria.” You can also say, “Maria ti nagan ko.” for “My name is Maria.”

8. “Taga ano ka?” = “Where are you from?”

Use this Ilocano phrase when you ask where the person is from.

9. “Taga <place> ak.” = “I’m from <place>.”

This is your reply if asked about your place of origin.

10. “Ammom ag-<language>?” = “Do you speak <language>?”

If you want to know if the person speaks a certain language, use this Ilocano phrase. For example, “Ammom ag-Ilocano?” (Do you speak Ilocano?).

11. “Haan ko ammo ag-<language>.” = “I don’t speak <language>.”

Use this if you don’t know how to speak the language. For example, “Haan ko ammo ag-Ilocano.” (I don’t speak Ilocano.).

12. “Basit lang.” = “Just a little.”

If you know a little, you can reply using this Ilocano phrase.

13. “Madik maawatan” = “I don’t understand.”

If you don’t understand, simply use these Ilocano phrases.

14. “Madik ammo!” = “I don’t know!”

Say these Ilocano phrases if you don’t know the answer.

15. “Kayam atan!” = “You can do it!”

You can say these Ilocano phrases when someone asks for your help but you refuse to help.

 

Useful Ilocano words and phrases for social etiquette

Ilocano Words and Phrases for Social Etiquette.

16. “Awan anyaman!” = “You’re welcome!”

This is your Ilocano reply to someone who expresses gratitude to you.

17. “Salamat apo” = “Thank you!”

Use “apo” when you speak to elderly.

18. “Pangngaasim.” = “Please.”

Use this Ilocano word if you are asking for a favor.

19. “Agannad ka!” / “Agaluad ka!” = “Take care!”

Say this Ilocano phrase if you want someone to take care.

20. “Pakawanen nak.” / “Dispensaren nak.“ = “I’m sorry.”

You may use these Ilocano words if you want to apologize.

21. “Agpakadaakon!“ = “Goodbye!”

Use this Ilocano phrase if you want to say bye. You may also use “Innakon” for “I’m going”.

22. “Mailiwak kenka!“ = “I miss you!”

This is how you say “I miss you” in Ilocano. You may also use “Mailiwak kena unay” for “I miss you so much”.

23. “Agkita tan to!“ = “See you soon!”

When parting ways, you can say this when you look forward to meeting that person again in the future.

24. “Wen” = “Yes”

Use this Ilocano word to affirm or say yes.

25. “Ampay” / “Haan” = “No”

On the other hand, use this Ilocano word to reject or say no.

 

Helpful Ilocano words and phrases for travel and exploration

Ilocano Words and Phrases for Travels and exploration.

26. “Ayanna?” = “Where?”

Use this Ilocano word when asking about the location of a place, person, or thing. See sample usage below:

  • “Ayan mo?” (Where are you?)
  • “Ayanna ti CR?” (Where’s the CR?)
  • “Ayanna ni Pedro?” (Where’s Pedro?)
  • “Ayanna dyay kwarta?” (Where’s the money?)

27. “Papanam?” = “Where are you going?”

If you want to know where the person is going, use this Ilocano word.

28. “Kasatno apan ittoy <place>?” = “How do I go to <place>?”

Say this Ilocano phrase to ask how to go to a certain place or location. If you’re already in the area but can’t find the specific place, you can say “Ayanna ditoy iti <place>?” (Where is <place>?)

29. “Apan idiay <destination> daytoy?” = “Is this going to <destination>?”

When using public transport like jeepneys and buses, this is what you say when asking if it goes to the destination you want to reach.

30. “Mano ti plete inggana idiay <location>?” = “How much is the fare to <location>?”

Say this Ilocano phrase if you want to know the fare going to a particular location.

31. “Agawid nakon.” = “I’m going home.”

If someone asks you, “Agawid kan?” (Are you going home?), you can reply using this Ilocano phrase.

32. “Apan nakon” = “I’ll get going.”

Use these Ilocano words if you want to leave.

33. “Para!” = “Stop!” / “I’ll get off!”

Same with Tagalog and Cebuano, you can say this word if you have already reached your destination and want to get off.

34. “Agsubli ak.” = “I’ll be back.”

Say this if you want to assure someone that you will still return.

35. “Tulungan dakman!” = “Help!”

Use these Ilocano phrases or words when you want to ask help.

36. “Napukawak!” = “I’m lost!”

You can say this if you’re lost, especially when navigating a new place.

 

Practical Ilocano words and phrases for shopping

Ilocano words and phrases for shopping.

37. “Apo?” = “Is anybody there?”

“Apo” is the Ilocano word translation for “Tao po” in Tagalog or “Ayo” in Cebuano. Use this Ilocano word if you want to call the attention of someone manning the store or place.

38. “Manu ti kastoy?” = “How much is this?”

Use these Ilocano words if you want to know the price of the item.

39. “Paggatangak ti?” = “Can I buy?”

Use this Ilocano phrase if you want to purchase something.

40. “Awan tawar na?” = “Can you give me a discount?”

Say this when you want to negotiate the price of an item, especially when buying in markets.

41. “Ania/Inya daytoy?” / “Ania/Inya dayta?” = “What’s this? / What’s that?”

“Ania” or “inya” means “what”. You add “daytoy” when you refer to “this”, and “dayta” for “that”.

 

Handy Ilocano words and phrases for eating

Ilocano words and phrases for shopping.

42. “Mangan tayon!” = “Let’s eat!”

Say this Ilocano phrase when you invite people to eat.

43. “Anya kayat mo nga pagtugawan?” = “Where do you want to sit?”

Use these Ilocano phrases if you ask someone where to sit.

44. “Ayana kayat mo panganan?” = “Where do you want to eat?”

Say this If you want to ask the person’s preference on where to eat.

45. “Agwalo tayu pay” = “Let’s pray.”

Use these Ilocano phrases to pray first before the meal.

46. “Nangan kan?” = “Have you eaten already?”

If you want to know if the person has already eaten, ask this Ilocano question.

47. “Madi pay.” = “Not yet.”

This is your reply if you haven’t done something yet.

48. “Nanganakon!” = “I already ate!”

This is what you say when you already ate.

49. “Nagsubnakon!” = “I’m full!”

If you’re already full, use this Ilocano word translation. This is the same as “Busog na ako” in Tagalog.

50. “Mabisinakon!” = “I’m hungry!”

Just make sure you’re not too demanding when uttering this Ilocano expression.

51. “Mangan ka pay!” = “Eat more!”

Use this Ilocano phrase if you want your guests or buddies to eat more.

52. “Naimas!” = “Delicious!”

This is how you describe sumptuous or tasty food.

53. “Diak mangan ti <food>!” = “I don’t eat <food>!”

Say this Ilocano phrase if you have food restrictions. For example, “Diak mangan ti baboy!” (I don’t eat pork!).

 

Useful Filipino sayings and phrases for socializing while having drinks with friends

Ilocano words and phrases while socializing and having drinks with friends.

54. “Arak” = “Alcoholic drinks.”

Ilocano words used for alcoholic drinks/beverages.

55. “Pagatangan tayu arak?” = “Where can we buy an alcoholic drinks?”

Use this phrase to ask a person where to buy alcoholic drinks.

56. “Anya pulutan tayu?” = “What is our appetizer?”

Pulutan refers to food or snacks that are accompanied by alcoholic beverages. Use these phrases to ask for Appetizer.

57. “Basit lang enumek” = “I want to drink merely a little.

Use this phrase if you wish to drink just a little.

58. “Tagay mon” = “It’s your turn to drink”

Ilocano words mean that it is now their turn to take in their shot.

59. “Nabartik akon” = “I’m drunk already!”

Use this phrase when you already feel dizzy.

60. “Lumatang tayu yelo” / “Lumatang nak yelo” = “Let’s buy ice”

Use this phrase to ask someone to buy ice together.

 

Useful Filipino words or sayings for your loved ones / friends

Ilocano words and phrases for lovedones and friends.

61. “Nagpintas” = “Beautiful”

Say this Ilocano word when you want to say that she’s beautiful.

62. “Nagragot ka” = “You are ugly”

Use these Ilocano words as a joke with your friends. Make sure they are not sensitive. Do not say this to your love ones.

63. “Naggwapo ka” = “Handsome”

Say these phrases to your boyfriend.

64. “Ay ayateng ka” = “I love you”

Say these phrases to say that you love him/her.

65. “Ay ayateng ka met” = “I love you too”

As a response above, say these to him/her.

66. “Nagsingpet ka” = “You are kind”

Use these Ilocano words to compliment your partner.

67. “Karuprupam na ni [name] = “You look like [name]”

Use this Ilocano words or phrases if you think your BF/GF looks alike from someone else.

Example: “Karuprupam na ni Paolo Avelino” (You look like Paolo Avelino).

 

These are only a few of the most important and helpful Ilocano words and phrases you can learn while exploring the north-western section of Luzon. As you explore these particular areas in the Philippines, you will come across deeper Ilocano phrases and sentences that will allow you to connect with the locals.

How about Tagalog words or Hiligaynon words? Have you already learned it? This will come in handy when visiting other Tagalog-speaking areas or western Visayas areas in the Philippines.

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