Filipino or Tagalog Words & Phrases

58 Basic Filipino or Tagalog Words & Phrases for Travelers in the Philippines

When you’re traveling in the Philippines, it’s great to know some Filipino or Tagalog words and phrases. Locals like it when you try to speak our language. Filipino is the national language here and is spoken all over the country, from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao. Filipino mostly comes from Tagalog, spoken in Manila and many parts of Luzon. While Filipino and Tagalog are similar, Filipino also includes words from other languages like Bisaya, Hiligaynon, Illonggo, Ilocano, Waray, and more.

Now, let’s learn some basic Filipino or Tagalog words and phrases grouped by how you’ll use them.

Table of Contents

Simple Filipino or Tagalog expressions for saying hello and introducing oneself

Filipino or Tagalog words and Phrases for saying Hello

1. “Mabuhay!” = “Welcome!”

“Mabuhay” literally means “to live / long live” but it is also a famous Filipino expression when you welcome someone or toast for success.

2. “Kamusta?” = “How are you?”

Say this if you want to know how the person is doing.

3. “Ayos lang.” = “I’m fine!”

This is your reply to “Kamusta?” if you are alright and doing well. It is the shorter version of “Maayos lang ako.”.

When speaking to elderly:  “Ayos lang po” (I’m fine)

4. “Opo / Oho” = “Yes”

“Opo” and “Oho” are respectful ways to say “yes” in Filipino. Be sure to add the Filipino words “po” and “ho” to your Tagalog sentences to show your respect to the person you are conversing with, especially to the older ones.

See sample conversations below:

Question: Ano ang pangalan mo? (What is your name?)

Reply: Ako po ay si Maria. (I’m Maria)

Question: Ilang taon ka na? (How old are you)
Reply: Ako po ay tatlongpong taong gulang. (I’m 30 years old.)

5. “Magandang araw!” = “Good day!”

You can also use these specific variations:

      Magandang umaga – Good morning; For elderly: Magandang umaga po 

      Magandang tanghali – Good noon; For Elderly: Magandang tanghali po

      Magandang hapon – Good afternoon; For Elderly: Magandang hapon po

      Magandang gabi – Good evening; For Elderly: Magandang gabi po

6. “Ano ang pangalan mo?” = “What is your name?”

Say this Tagalog sentence if you want to know someone’s name.

When speaking to Elderly: “Ano po ang pangalan mo?” (What is your name?)

7. “Ako si…” = “I’m…”

Use this when you introduce yourself like “Ako si Maria” means “I’m Maria”

When speaking to Elderly: “Ako po ay si Maria” (I’m Maria).

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

Say this Filipino phrase when you ask where the person lives. Another variation is “Saan ka nakatira?” (Where do you live?).

When speaking to Elderly: “Taga saan ka po?” (Where are you from), “Saan ka po nakatira?” (Where do you live).

9. “Naiintindihan mo ba?” = “Do you understand?”

Use this Filipino phrase when asking if the person understood what you said.

When speaking to Elderly: “Naiintindihan mo po ba?” (Do you understand?).

10. “Hindi” = “No”

Use this Tagalog word when you deny or reject something.

11. “Ayaw ko!” = “I do not want!”

Use this Tagalog word when you don’t take something being offered.

 

Helpful phrases and terms for social manners in Filipino

Tagalog words and phrases for Social Manner

12. “Salamat!” = “Thank you!”

You can add “Marami” as in “Maraming salamat”, meaning “Thank you very much!”.

When speaking to elderly: “Maraming salamat po” (Thank you very much).

13. “Walang ano man!” = “You’re welcome!”

This is your reply to someone who says “Salamat” (Thank you) to you.

When speaking to elderly: “Wala pong ano man” (You’re welcome).

14. “Makisuyo” = “Please”

When you ask a favor, you can say, “Makikisuyo po sana ako.” (I want to ask a favor.) or “Maaari bang makisuyo?” (Can I ask a favor?).

15. “Ingat!” = “Take care!”

You can also add “lagi” after the word “ingat” as in “Ingat lagi” (Take care always!) or “Mag-ingat ka palagi!” (You take care always!)

When speaking to Elderly:  “Ingat ka po lagi” (Take care always).

16. “Pasensya na po / Paumanhin po” = “I’m sorry”

Say these Tagalog phrases if you want to apologize.

 

Useful Tagalog phrases and words for navigating and moving around

Tagalog words and Phrases for navigating around

17. “Saan?” = “Where?”

Use this Tagalog word if you want to know the location of a place or thing.

18. “Paano?” = “How?”

You may use this Filipino word when asking for instructions on certain things like asking for directions. You say, “Paano pumunta doon?” (How to get there?).

19. “Saan ako bababa?” = “Where do I get off?”

You already know that “saan” means “where”. Just add the Tagalog words “ako” (me) and “bababa” (go down) if you want to know where you should alight or get off, especially when you commute.

When speaking to Elderly: “Saan po ako bababa?” (Where do I get off?)

20. “Saan ito papunta?” = “Where is this going?”

This is what you say when you want to know the route or destination.

Note! It’s best to use always “Po” when asking especially to strangers/drivers. “Saan po ito papunta”? (Where is this going?).

21. “Saan ka pupunta?” = “Where are you going?”

Use this Filipino phrase if you ask where someone is going.

When speaking to Elderly: “Saan ka po pupunta?” (Where are you going?).

22. “Bayad po/Bayad ho” = “My payment”/”Here’s the money”

When using public transportation, such as a jeep or a bus, these are the tagalog lines you use to the driver or conductor to pay your fare.

23. “Pakiabot po ng bayad” = “Please pass the money to the driver/Please hand out the money to the driver”

You will use these Tagalog sentences when riding in a jeep. When you sit in the back or middle of a jeep, rather than standing and pay to the driver, you can just say this phrase, and the passengers in front of you will hand over your money to the driver.

Similarly, if you are in front of and near the driver, when someone says “Pakiabot po” or “Pakiabot po ng bayad,” you will pass their money over to the driver. It’s like a give and take.

24. “Saan na po tayo?” = “Where are we now?”

When you are riding in a taxi, bus, or jeep and are unfamiliar with where you are, use this phrase to ask the driver or conductor.

25. “Para po / Dito lang po/Tabi lang po” = “I’ll get off here / I’ll alight here”

When riding a public transport such as a jeep or bus, these are the Tagalog sentences you say to the driver or conductor if you want to alight.

26. “Hanggang sa muli!” = “See you soon! / Until then!”

Use this Filipino phrase if wish to see the person again in the future.

27. “Paalam” = “Goodbye”

Use this Tagalog word if you want to bid farewell.

28. “Uwi na ako” = “I’m going home”

If you want to go home, use this Tagalog phrase.

29. “Sa uulitin!” = “Until next time!”

Say this Filipino phrase if you want to do the same thing again. This is also another Filipino phrase for see you again or until then.

30. “Magkano ang pamasahe?” = “How much is the fare?”

Use this Tagalog phrase if you don’t know the fare.

31. “Hindi ko alam!” = “I don’t know!”

If you don’t know the answer, just say this Filipino phrase.

When speaking to Elderly: “Hindi ko po alam” (I don’t know).

 

Useful Tagalog vocabulary and expressions for shopping

Tagalog words and Phrases when shopping

32. “Tao po!” = “Hello!”

Say this to call the attention of the store attendant.

33. “Pabili po” = “I’ll buy”

When you want to buy something, you say, “Pabili po ng gulay” (I’ll buy vegetables).

34. “Ano po ito? / Ano po yan?” = “What’s this? / What’s that?”

“Ano” means “what”, and you just add “ito” (this) and “yan” (that). Use these Tagalog sentences when asking about a particular thing.

35. “Magkano?” = “How much?”

Use this Filipino word when asking for the price of an item.

36. “Magkano po ito?” = “How much is this?”

This is what you say when asking a specific item.

37. “Magkano lahat?” = “How much is everything?”

This is what you say when you ask for the bill or the price of everything you bought.

38. “Bayad po.” = “Here’s my payment.”

Use this when you want to pay.

39. “Pili lang!” = “Just pick / choose!”

This is what the seller or store attendant will tell you if he or she wants you to pick or choose the item you want to buy.

40. “Pwede pong tumawad?” = “Can I ask for a discount?”

Use this Filipino phrase when haggling or asking for a discount.

41. “Suki” = “Loyal customer or patron”

Don’t be surprised to hear you being called “suki” (loyal customer or patron) when exploring the local markets. The vendor usually says, “Suki, bili na!” (Customer, buy now!).

 

Useful Filipino expressions and phrases to use while dining or enjoying a meal with friends

Filipino orr tagalog words and phrases while eating with friends

42. “Saan ako pwedeng umupo?” = “Where can I sit?”

Say this when you want to know the available seats of a particular gathering.

When speaking to Elderly: “Saan po ako pwedeng umupo?” (Where can I sit?).

43. “Bahala ka na!” = “It’s up to you!”

Utter this Filipino phrase if you leave it to the other person to decide.

When speaking to Elderly: “Bahala ka na po” (It’s up to you!).

44. “Gutom na ako!” = “I’m hungry already!”

Make sure that you aren’t “hungry” before you say this.

45. “Magdasal tayo!” = “Let us pray!”

This is what you say when you pray, especially before meals.

When speaking to Elderly: “Magdasal po tayo” (Let’s pray!).

46. “Kain tayo!” = “Let’s eat!”

Kain is a pandiwa (action word or verb in Filipino) which means “eat”. You say “Kain tayo!” or “Kain po tayo” as a courtesy if you want to invite someone to eat.

47. “Masarap!” = “Delicious!”

You may add “sobra” (very) to make it “Sobrang sarap!” (Very delicious!).

When speaking to Elderly: “Sobrang sarap po” (Very delicious!).

48. “Gusto ko nang kumain!” = “I want to eat already!”

Say this Tagalog phrase when you’re really hungry and want to dig in.

49. “Kain ka pa!” = “You eat more!”

Use this Tagalog phrase when you want someone to eat more.

When speaking to Elderly: “Kain ka pa po” (You eat more!).

50. “Busog na ako!” = “I’m already full!”

“Busog” means “full” so use this Filipino phrase when you don’t want to eat anymore.

When speaking to Elderly: “Busog na po ako” (I’m already full).

51. “Ayaw ko na.” = “I don’t want anymore.”

It’s what you say when you refuse to do something more.

When speaking to Elderly:  “Ayaw ko na po” (I don’t want anymore).

52. “Wala na akong gana.” = “I already lost my appetite.”

You say this when you already lost your appetite or you don’t want to do anything anymore.

When speaking to Elderly:  “Wala na po akong gana” ( I already lost my appetite).

 

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

Filipino or tagalog words and phrases while socializing and drinking with friends.

53. “Alak” = “Alcoholic drinks”

Filipino word use for alcoholic drinks/beverages.

54. “Saan tayo makakabili ng alak?” = “Where can we buy an alcoholic drinks?”

Tagalog phrase to ask someone.

55. “Ano ang ating pulutan?” = “What is our appetizer?”

Pulutan refers to food or snacks that are accompanied by alcoholic beverages.

56. “Tagay mo na!” = “It’s your turn to drink”

Tagalog word meaning that it is now your turn to take in your shot.

57. “Lasing na ako!” = “I’m drunk already!”

Use this phrase when you already feel dizzy.

58. “Bili tayo yelo” = “Let’s buy ice”

Yelo means ice or ice cubes. Use to cool drinks.

 

These are just a few of the many Filipino or Tagalog words and phrases you can learn when visiting the Philippines. As you go around the country, you’ll find deeper Tagalog words and sentences that will help you connect with the natives.

 

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