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10 Basic Filipino Phrases You Need to Learn Before Traveling to the Philippines

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10 Basic Filipino Phrases You Need to Learn Before Traveling to the Philippines

10 Basic Filipino Phrases You Need to Learn Before Traveling to the Philippines

Traveling to the Philippines

When talking about the countries with the best and most beautiful beaches in the world, the Philippines is sure to come up. Home to over 7,000 islands and some of the world's most popular wonders of nature, it's people are also known to be some of the nicest and most hospitable in the world. It's no wonder why the country has become a popular tourist destination.

Have you been to the Philippines yet? If you're planning to visit the country soon, you can try and learn these 10 basic Tagalog phrases to help you be closer to the locals and have a taste of the country's beautiful culture. Note that most of these phrases can be said and understood in English by mostly everyone in the country, but it's still a nice gesture to learn even just a little bit of the language when you come to visit.

10 Basic Filipino Phrases You Need to Learn Before Traveling to the Philippines

EnglishTagalog

How are you?

Kumusta?

Good day!

Magandang araw!

Yes/No

Oo/Hindi

Thank you.

Salamat.

I'm sorry.

Pasensya na. / Patawad.

Where's the restroom?

Saan ang C.R.?

How much?

Magkano?

Tastes/feels good.

Masarap

Good/I'm good.

Mabuti

What's your name?

Anong pangalan mo?

1. How Are You?: "Kumusta?"

"Kumusta?" /koo-moos-tah/

"Kumusta?" or "Kumusta ka?" is the most common greeting in the Philippines that comes from the Spanish phrase "Cómo está" which means "How are you?" Its shortened version "'musta" can also be used as "Hi" or "Hello," and currently can also be pronounced as "Kamusta." (kah-moos-tah)

Polite form:

You can also use and add the word "po" if you are talking to an older person or a superior to show politeness or respect the Filipino way, hence,

  • "Kumusta po" or
  • "Kumusta po kayo."

2. Good Day!: "Magandang Araw!"

"Magandang Araw!" /mah-gahn-dahng ah-rahw/

Brighten a local's day by greeting them in tagalog by saying, "Magandang araw" which simply translates to "Good day." The word "maganda" in Tagalog can mean both "good" and "beautiful," while "araw" is the word for both "day" and "sun.

Polite form:

  • "Magandang araw po.

Other Greetings You Can Use According to the Time of Day

Tagalog Phrase / GreetingsTranslation

Magandang umaga (po).

Good morning.

Magandang tanghali (po).

Good noon.

Magandang hapon (po)

Good afternoon.

Magandang gabi (po)

Good evening.

3. Yes: "Oo" and No:"Hindi"

"Oo" and "Hindi" /o-o/ and /hin-di/

Answer to questions accordingly. Say "oo" when you want to say "yes" and "hindi" when you want to say "no."

Polite form:

  • Yes = "Opo." (o-poh)
  • No = "Hindi po" (hin-dí poh)

Variations of "Hindi"

TagalogEnglish

Hindi pa (po)

Not yet

Hindi na (po)

Not anymore

Hindi na (po) ulit

Not again

4. Thank You: "Salamat"

"Salamat" /sah-lah-mat/

"Salamat" must be one of the most useful words to learn before going to the Philippines. This word means "Thanks" or "Thank you." You can expound it by saying "Salamat sa'yo (singular)" or "Salamat sa inyo (plural)" meaning "Thanks to you."

If you want to say "Many thanks" or "Thank you very much," you can simply say "Maraming salamat." "Marami" means "many" in tagalog.

Polite form:

  • "Salamat po."
  • "Salamat po sa inyo."

5. I'm Sorry: "Pasensya na" and "Patawad"

"Pasensya na" and "Patawad" /pah-sen-sha nah/ and /pah-tah-wad/

In traveling to different parts of the world, it's impossible not to make mistakes and sometimes it would involve other people. If you are in the Philippines and felt like you have wronged someone or being an inconvenience in any way, you can always tell them how you feel by using the words "pasensya na" or "patawad." "Pasensya na" roughly translates to "have patience on me" while "patawad" translates to "forgive me." These two are both being used to say "I'm sorry."

But don't worry, Filipinos are known to have soft hearts especially to visitors so they would easily forgive you once you've explained to them what happened and shown them your sincerity.

Polite form:

  • "Pasensya na po"
  • "Patawad po"

6. Where is the Restroom?: "Saan ang C.R.?"

"Saan ang C.R.?" /sah-an ang C.R./

Of all the phrases in this list, this is definitely one of the most important. No one would like to be stranded anywhere without knowing where to deal with their personal businesses to. So, in case of need for a public toilet, you can ask, "Saan ang C.R.?" "Saan" means "where" and restrooms and bathrooms in the Philippines are more commonly known as "Comfort Rooms" or "C.R."

Polite form:

  • "Saan po ang C.R.?"

7. How much?: "Magkano?"

"Magkano?" /mag-kah-noh/

Travels are usually commemorated by shopping for local goods that you can bring home to your own country, and this phrase definitely would come in handy. "Magkano?" simply means "How much?" You can also specify by pointing to the item and saying, "Magkano ito?" which means "How much is this?"

If the item is not in pointing distance, you can just mention the name of it by saying, "Magakano ang" plus the item you're referring to. E.g., "Magkano ang bag?" "Magkano ang hat?" "Magkano ang mangos (mangga)?"

Polite form:

  • "Magkano po?"
  • "Magkano po ito?"
  • "Magkano po ang bag?"

8. Tastes/Feels Good: "Masarap"

"Masarap" /mah-sah-rap/

Food is a huge part of every country's culture and tradition, and when you travel, tasting local food and delicacies is definitely a must. If you found the Filipino food tasty, you can share the love by mentioning it to the cook, chef or server by saying, "Masarap!" This word means, "Tastes good!" You can also use it if an experience particularly feels good as well. So, when asked by a local massage therapist about how the massage was, you can also say this word.

Polite form:

  • "Masarap po."

9. Good: "Mabuti"

"Mabuti" /mah-boo-tee/

"Mabuti" means "good." You can use this when answering to "how are you?" You can say, "mabuti" or "mabuti naman ako" meaning "I'm good."

Polite form:

  • "Mabuti po."
  • "Mabuti naman po."

10. What's Your Name?: "Anong Pangalan Mo?"

"Anong pangalan mo?" /ah-nong pah-ngah-lan moh/

Know the names of your new-found Filipino friends and acquaintances by asking, "Anong pangalan mo?" The word "ano" means "what" and "pangalan mo" means "your name." You can also use "Anong pangalan niyo?" when talking to two or more people.

Polite form:

  • "Ano pong pangalan niyo?"

Check Your Knowledge!

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What does "magandang araw" mean?
    • good day
    • good afternoon
    • good evening
  2. What is "thank you" in Tagalog?
    • magkano
    • masarap
    • salamat
  3. What does "pangalan" mean?
    • name
    • day
    • sun
  4. What word do you add in a sentence to make it more polite and respectful?
    • na
    • po
    • pa
  5. What phrase do you use to answer the question "how are you?" when you want to say you're good?
    • mabuti
    • magkano
    • masarap
  6. From what language does "kumusta" originated from?
    • French
    • Portuguese
    • Spanish
  7. When do you use the word "magkano"?
    • when you want to say 'tasty'
    • when asking for a place
    • when asking for price
  8. What does "masarap" mean?
    • beautiful
    • pretty
    • tasty
  9. Restrooms and bathrooms are commonly known in the Philippines as _____.
    • Living room (L.R.)
    • Comfort room (C.R.)
    • Powder room (P.R.)
  10. What does "patawad" mean?
    • I'm sorry / forgive me
    • name
    • how much

Answer Key

  1. good day
  2. salamat
  3. name
  4. po
  5. mabuti
  6. Spanish
  7. when asking for price
  8. tasty
  9. Comfort room (C.R.)
  10. I'm sorry / forgive me

Interpreting Your Score

If you got between 0 and 3 correct answers: Practice makes perfect :)

If you got between 4 and 6 correct answers: Nice. Keep on practicing :)

If you got between 7 and 8 correct answers: Good job, my friend!

If you got 9 correct answers: Nicely done! The locals would surely love to hear you practice these words!

If you got 10 correct answers: You did very awesome! You're more ready now to impress and make the locals proud!

Tell us!

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