Hiligaynon / Ilonggo words and phrases.

60 Useful Hiligaynon Words & Phrases to Learn for Young Travelers

Are you planning a trip to Iloilo, Capiz, Bacolod, or other Western Visayas destinations in the Philippines soon? Learning some helpful Hiligaynon/Ilonggo words and phrases can allow you to interact with the locals more effectively.

Ilonggo and Hiligaynon are commonly used interchangeably; however, Hiligaynon is a significant Visayan language used in Western Visayas, whereas Iloilo, Guimaras, and Panay are mostly inhabited by the Ilonggo people. The Ilonggos, Negrenses, and Capiznons mostly comprehend and speak Hiligaynon.

People enjoy speaking their own dialect. Speaking native dialects will allow you to connect more with native people. Although they can converse in Filipino and English, we believe they will prefer it if you interact with them in their native tongue. Now, let’s learn some basic Hiligaynon terms and phrases. Let us begin!

Table of Contents

Basic Hiligaynon greeting and introduction words and phrases

Aerial shot of Iloilo

1. “Kamusta?” = “How are you?”

You say this Hiligaynon word to know how the person is doing.

Note: Unlike in Tagalog, you must add “po” at the end to indicate that you are showing respect to the older. In Hiligaynon, there is no distinction between talking to the elderly. If the individual is older than you, you can simply call him/her:

Uncle/Nong (Men under 60 y/o); Lolo or Tay (Men over 60 y/o) + their name.

Ante/Nang (women under 60 years old); Lola/Nay (women over 60 years old); + their name.


Uncle / Nong Pedro ; Lolo / Tay Pedro

Ante / Nang Maria ; Lola / Nay Maria

2. “Maayo man.” = “I’m fine.”

This is your response to “Kamusta,” if you are alright or really fine.

3.  “Maayong adlaw!” = “Good day!”

Use this phrase to greet someone. For specific times of the day, you may use:

Maayong aga: Good morning
Maayong udto: Good noon
Maayong hapon: Good afternoon
Maayong gab-i: Good evening

4. “Ano gane imo ngalan?” = “What’s your name?”

Use this Hiligaynon phrase if you want to know someone’s name. You may also use this variation: Sin-o ka gane? (What is your name?).

5. “Ako ay si <name>.” = “My name is <name>.”

When you tell your name, you can say, “Ako ay si Maria.”

6. “Kabalo ka mag-hambal <language>?” = “Do you speak <language>?”

When you ask if someone knows how to speak a certain language, use this Hiligaynon phrase. For example, “Kabalo ka mag-hambal Hiligaynon?” (Do you speak Hiligaynon?).

7. “Taga di-in ka gane?” = “Where are you from?”

Use this Hiligaynon phrase if you want to know where the person is from, which you can answer like this, “Taga-Capiz ako!”. You may also use the variations “Di-in ka gaistar?” for “Where do you live?” and “Di-in ka halin?” for “Where did you come from?”.

8. “Indi ko ka-intinde.” = “I don’t understand.”

You can use this Hiligaynon sentence to answer the previous question, especially if you really don’t understand anything.

9. “Am-bot!” = “I don’t know!”

You can also reply like this if you don’t know the answer.

10. “San-o ka nag-abot?” = “When did you arrive?”

Use this phrase if you want to know when did he/she arrive.

11. “Kagapon lang” = “Yesterday.”

This is your answer to #10 if you arrived yesterday.

Other variations of reply:

“Sang isa pa ka-adlaw”—if you arrived 2 days ago but less than a week ago.

“Sang isa pa ka semana” = if you arrived a week ago but less than a month ago.

“Sang isa pa ka bulan“ = if you arrived a month ago but less than 2 months ago.


Useful Hiligaynon words and phrases for social etiquette

Molo Church Iloilo
Molo Church in Iloilo

12. “Salamat!” = “Thank you!”

You can also add “damo,” as in “Damo nga salamat!” for “Thank you very much!”. You may also use “Salamat gid!” for more emphasis or “Damo gid nga salamat.”.

13. “Wala sang anuman!” = “You’re welcome!”

This is your reply to someone who says thank you to you. If you want to make it shorter, you may also use “Wala man!”.

14. “Palihog” = “Please.”

Say this Hiligaynon word if you want to ask a favor from someone. You can also say “lihog” for a shorter term.

15. “Pasensyaha lang ko!” = “I’m sorry!”

Use this Hiligaynon or Ilonggo phrase to apologize.

16. “Halong gid!” = “Take care!”

“Halong” already means “take care” in Hiligaynon, but you add “gid” for emphasis.

17. “Hu-o” = “Yes”

If you agree or affirm something, use this Hiligaynon word.

18. “Indi” = “No”

Use this Hiligaynon word to say no.

19. “Tabang!” = “Help!”

Don’t hesitate to utter this if you need help.

20. “Asta sa liwat!” = “Until next time!”

You say this if you look forward to seeing the person again next time.


Practical Hiligaynon words and phrases for traveling

Hiligaynon words and phrases while travelling.

21. “Diin?” = “Where?”

“Diin” means where, so you use it to ask the location of a place or establishment, as in “Diin ang kusina? (Where is the kitchen?).

22. “Diin ka makad-to?” = “Where are you going?”

Use this Hiligaynon phrase if you want to know where the person is heading.

23. “Paano magkadto sa <place>?” = “How to go to <place>?”

Say this when asking for directions on how to go to a particular place.

24. “Mapuli nako/Mapuli ko anay.” = “I’ll go home.”

When you want to go home, just say this Hiligaynon phrase.

25. “Lakat ko anay/Lakat nako.” = “I’ll get going.”

And if you want to get going, say this instead.

26. “Diin ining jeep/bus ma-pakadto?” = “Where does this jeepney/bus go?

Use this phrase if you want to know where the public transport, like a jeepney or bus, is heading.

27. “Pila ka oras ang biyahe pakadto <place>? = “How many hours is the trip to <place>?”

To know how many hours or how long the trip will take, use this Hiligaynon phrase.

28. “Tag pila ang plete pakadto <place>? = “How much is the fare going <place>?”

If you want to know how much the fare is going to a particular destination, you may use this Hiligaynon phrase.

29. “Diin ka halin? / Diin ka nag-sakay?” = “Where did you take a ride?”

This is the phrase that you mostly heard from the conductors when asking your fare.

30. “Padul-ong ako sa <destination>.”= “Please bring me to <destination>.”

You may use this phrase when telling the driver your destination, especially when riding a taxi or tricycle. Other term: Idul-ong ako sa <destination> or Paki-dul-ong ako sa <destination> for more emphasis.

31. “Lugar lang!” = “Pull over!”

This is what you say when you have already reached your destination and you want the jeepney or bus to stop so you can go down.


Useful Hiligaynon words and phrases for shopping

Hiligaynon words and phrases while shopping.

32. “May ara kamo <item>?” = “Do you have <item>?”

Use this Hiligaynon sentence when asking if the store has the item you are looking for.

33. “May ara.” = Yes, we have.”

You can reply “May ara” to say yes or confirm that you have something the person is looking for.

34. “Wala / Wa-ay.” = No, we don’t have.”

On the other hand, you use this to say no or nothing.

35. “Tagpila ini/ina?” = “How much is this/that?”

If you want to buy something and would like to know the price, say this Hiligaynon / Ilonggo phrase.

36. “Barato!” = “It’s cheap!”

If you find it cheap or affordable, you can say this word.

37. “Kamahal!” = “It’s so expensive!”

If you already know the price and it’s quite expensive, you can utter this Hiligaynon phrase, but make sure you don’t shout at the vendor.

38. “Wala tawad?” = “No discount?”

Use this phrase if you want to haggle or get a discount.

39. “Pila ka damo?” = “How many?”

If you want to know the count or the number of items, you can say this phrase. Another variation would be “Pila ka bi-log?” for “How many pieces?”.

40. “May suludlan kamo?” = “Do you have plastic bags?”

Use this phrase when you want to ask for plastic bags for your purchased items.

41. “Indi ko na gusto.” = “I do not want it.”

Say this phrase if you dislike something or don’t want it.

42. “Kinahanglan ko sang <thing>.” = “I need <thing>.”

If you need something, just say this Hiligaynon phrase. For instance, “Kinahanglan ko sang tubig.” (I need water.).

43. “Ano oras kamo gasara?” = “When is the closing time?”

When you want to know the closing time of a store or establishment, you can use this phrase.

44. “Ano oras kamo mabukas buwas?” = “What time is the opening time tomorrow?”

When you want to know the opening time tomorrow.


Essential Hiligaynon words and phrases for dining or eating

Hiligaynon words and phrases while eating.

45. “Kaon kita!” = “Let’s eat!”

Say this Hiligaynon phrase when inviting people to eat. You can also say, “Kaon ‘ta!” to make it more casual.

46. “Manga muyo ta!” = “Let us pray!”

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

47. “Ka kaon ka na?” = “Have you already eaten?”

If you want to know if the person has already eaten, ask him or her this. The other term is “Na ka kaon ka na?”.

48. “Gutom nako!” = “I’m hungry!”

Say this when you’re hungry.

43. “Indi ko gusto magkaon.” = “I do not want to eat.”

On the other hand, if you don’t want to eat, just say this.

44. “Diin mo gusto magkaon?” = “Where do you want to eat?”

Use this Hiligaynon sentence to ask the person where he or she wants to eat.

45. “Sa din mo gusto mapungko?” = Where do you want to sit?

Use this phrase to ask the person where to sit.

46. “Pwede ko ka pangayo tubig?” = “Can I have a water?”

Use this phrase when you want to ask for water.

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

If you’re already full, you can say this Ilonggo phrase.

48. “Kaon pa!” = “You eat more!”

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

49. “Manamit!” = “Delicious!”

If the food is delicious, you utter this Hiligaynon word. You can also use “Namit gid! or Ka namit gid” for more emphasis.

50. “Palihog ang bayad.” = “The bill, please.”

Say this when asking for the bill.

51. “Ga baton kamo credit card o Gcash?” = “Do you accept credit card or Gcash payment?”

Use this phrase to ask for their credit card or GCash payment.


Useful Hiligaynon words and phrases for socializing when drinking with friends

Hiligaynon words and phrases while drinking with friends.

52. “Alak” = “Alcoholic drinks”

Hiligaynon word used for alcoholic drinks/beverages

53. “Diin ta maka bakal alak?” = “Where can we buy an alcoholic drinks?”

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

54. “Ano sumsuman ta?” = “What is our appetizer?”

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

55. “Dutay lang imnon ko” = “I want to drink merely a little.”

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

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

Hiligaynon word meaning that it is now their turn to take their shot.

57. “Hubog nako!” = “I’m drunk already!”

Use this phrase when you already feel dizzy.

58. “Mabakal ta ice” = “Let’s buy ice.”

Use this phrase to ask someone to buy ice together.

Useful Hiligaynon words and phrases for your loved ones

HIligaynon words for loveones.

59. “Nahidlaw na gid ko sa imo” = “I miss you much”

When you miss someone, you can say these phrases.

60. “Palangga taka”  =  “I love you”

Say these to your loved ones.


These are only a few of the most important and helpful Hiligaynon words and phrases you can learn while exploring Western Visayas. As you explore these particular areas in the Philippines, you will come across deeper Hiligaynon/Ilonggo phrases and sentences that will allow you to connect with the locals.

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

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