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Filipino Language Lesson #4: Ten Filipino Expressions That You Need to Know Plus A Few Vocab Words

Philippines, known as the Pearl of the Orient Seas, is endowed with rich natural resources and beautiful scenic spots. Not only that, Filipinos are accommodating to visitors and foreigners. The women are “malambing” (means sweet or warm or affectionate), which could have been one of the reasons many male foreigners like to date Filipinas. While most Filipinas speak English as already, for you to be able to win the heart of your Filipina girlfriend, it can always help to learn a few expressions or phrases she would love to hear from you.

The most used greetings of courtesy and for respect in the Philippines are the following:

1. Mabuhay! – It has the Spanish equivalent of “Viva” which means “Long live” in English. You would always hear this at the airport when visitors are coming to the country, especially when one is given a special welcome. “Buhay” literally means “life.” Thus, this wishes you a good long-lived life.

2. Salamat – manners, of course, are of vital importance. You always like to be acknowledged after doing a favor for a person. It is the word for “Thank you” in major Philippine languages like Tagalog, Cebuano and Hiligaynon. It is one sweet word to hear aside from saying I love you.

3. Walang anuman – This means “no problem” or “you’re welcome” or used in reply to “Thank you.” Walang anuman also tells the person that “it is nothing.” So, when she says “salamat”, your immediate response has to be “walang anuman.”

4. Ingat – Filipinas are concerned with the safety of their loved ones. They usually tell you “ingat ka” before you go to your workplace or leave for a business trip or when you just go for a walk. Whenever you come across with this word, she is letting you know to “be safe” in your travel.

5. Magandang araw – Greet Filipinas with “magandang araw” (beautiful day) and you’ll see the beam on their faces. This is spoken by Pinoys to greet someone they meet. This is used not as a farewell, but as a greeting.

6. Mano po – Furthermore, Philippine women treat the older ones with much respect – mother, father, uncles, aunts, grandparents – even those whom they are not biologically related to. For the Koreans they show respect by bowing to the older one, on the other hand, the Filipinas say “mano po” as they take the hand of the elderly and kiss it or place it on their forehead to show reverence or respect.

7. Magkano po? – The important thing to know when you are in the Philippines is the means of transportation. Millions of people living in the Philippines are mostly commuters in which jeepneys are one of the Filipinos favorite transit systems. When riding a jeepney, these words are usually addressed to the driver or conductor of the vehicle asking how much is the fare. The term “magkano” means “how much”; and the word “po” is usually added at the end of a sentence to show some respect to the person you are talking to.

8. Bayad ko po – Once you know how much you have to pay for the jeepney, you ask the other passengers to pass your fare to the driver by saying “bayad ko po.” You have to learn this phrase whenever you are commuting in public utility vehicles. By saying it, you will appear courteous in the eyes of those around you.

9. Para lang po/sa tabi lang po – Once you have already reached your destination, this is the next group of words that you have to say to the driver so that he stops to let you off.

10. Saan po ang (place)? – As a tourist in the country, there might be a propensity that you might get lost. So, while treading on the streets, you can ask the locals passing your way. Where is the _ (insert place)___? Hence, you will be given directions to the place you want to go or visit.

As the cliché says, “To win the heart of the people is to speak their native tongue.”  Visiting your loved one in the Philippines will not just be memorable and romantic, but it will also be enjoyable and fun especially when you use these Filipino words or phrases to communicate in public.



>> One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten >> Isa, Dalawa, Tatlo, Apat, Lima, Anim, Pito, Walo, Siyam, Sampu
>> Mother >> Nanay / Ina
>> Father >> Tatay/ Ama
>> House >> Bahay
>> Money >> Pera
>> Child >>Anak
>> School >>Eskwelahan/ Paaralan
>> Book >> Libro / Aklat
>>Office >>Opisina
>>Clothing >>Damit
>>Age >>Edad
>>Left and Right >> Kaliwa’t kanan
>>Up and Down >> Taas at baba
>>Life >>Buhay
>>Chair >> Upuan
>>Love >> Pag-ibig / Pagmamahal

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  1. ^_^ Thank you Christian Filipina for sharing some of the basic Filipino expressions here in your Site.. I really appreciate your help especially to the other members from foreign countries.. I already gave hubby a Filipino-English/English-Filipino Dictionary for him to learn our language but I find your link a very helpful one as well. So, I’m sharing this link to him as well.. Thanks and more power to your Site.. Blessings! <3*;*))<3*

    Comment by Doris Joy Fabillar-Burchell — July 19, 2012 @ 12:59 am

  2. You’re welcome Doris! We also have lessons #1-3 posted and will be adding more weekly if he likes them.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — July 19, 2012 @ 2:23 am

  3. hello everyone,its nice to know basic engish so you can communicate with the foriegner….i like what you posted…i hope i can recieve more….its a big help for me…more power to your site and thank you so much…..god bless you all

    Comment by bangie — July 23, 2012 @ 6:38 am

  4. Salamat! Your site is 5 stars and very helpful. Your links and suggestions are tops. I am an American man now enjoying an Internet relationship until my first meet with the person of my choice. There is one thing at this moment that I would like to recommend if you considerate foreseeable. I know this is technically possible as does it with their transactions, to have a button next to your Tagalog words to be able to know how it sounds. Much knowing of the word is knowing how to say it. Just a thought and thank you CF for your site. God Bless you. RJC

    Comment by Rob C. — October 5, 2012 @ 10:17 pm

  5. Hi Rob, Thanks for your kind words and suggestion. We are in the process of adding some videos which will include the proper pronunciation of the Filipino words. Once we have the full videos in place, we will also try to get a simple way as you suggest to hear just one word at a time. Congratulations on your good news.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — October 5, 2012 @ 10:38 pm

  6. wonderful greetings from the netherlands!
    in God we trust, Amen!
    salamat po!

    Comment by chris koning — October 7, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

  7. Salamat CF for publishing some Tagalog words. I am a Filipina and I am very fluent speaking in Tagalog as well as Hiligaynon, knows also Cebuano…but not as multi lingual as you think. Just know some. It’s really nice to know that you share these stuffs to everybody.
    More power. God bless

    Comment by Connie — October 22, 2012 @ 1:13 am

  8. it would be nice if we could hear the words in the native speaking language

    Comment by Ernest — January 7, 2013 @ 12:27 am

  9. Hi Ernest, We will be adding audio to our language lessons this year. Thanks for your suggestion and patience.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — January 7, 2013 @ 9:42 am

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