10 Filipino Phrases You Should Learn

  • Kumusta

As an English-speaking country, it is fairly easy to travel around the Philippines. Most Filipinos speak and understand a decent degree of the universal language, plus you’ll find that majority of signs, directions, and instructions are printed in English. Still, humor us, why don’t you? Truth is, to a local, there are only a few things more charming than a foreigner learning to speak the Filipino language – even better if you can belt out a whole song!

Gear up for the AOUGCC weekend with these 10 important Filipino phrases:

1. “Kumusta?

Translation: “How are you?”

When to use: Kumusta?” is the most commonly used Filipino greeting. It translates to “How are you?” but can also be used to mean “Hi” or “Hello”.

Magandang Umaga
Source: @youscoop, Twitter

2. “Magandang umaga/tanghali/gabi!

Translation: “Good morning/afternoon/evening!”

When to use: These three are greetings that express courtesy and denote time of day. Use accordingly in the morning, afternoon, or evening.

Maraming Salamat
Source: @KriMiKai, Etsy

3. “Maraming salamat!

Translation: “Thank you very much!”

When to use: Expressing gratitude is important to Filipino culture. Use maraming salamat in instances where you will use “thank you” such as when served your food, given directions, or shown a great time.

Source: Notey

4. Para!

Translation: No direct translation

When to use: Para! originated from the Spanish word parar” which means “stop”. It has no direct English translation but can be used to mean “stop” or “pull over” when hailing or getting off public transportation such as the jeepney, bus, or tricycle.

Source: Makadto

5. “Magkano ito?

Translation: “How much is this?”

When to use: Use Magkano ito? when you can’t find the price tag of something that you want to buy such as on the streets, in the market, or at a bazaar.  

Source: @pilipinas, Tumblr

6. “Po

Translation: No direct translation

When to use: Po is a Filipino word with no direct meaning that is added to phrases/sentences to express courtesy or respect towards elders or people with authority. Example: Magandang umaga po!

Paano Pumunta Sa
Source: Wonderful Machine

7. “Paano pumunta sa…?”

Translation: “How do you get to…?”

When to use: Use “Paano pumunta sa…?” when asking for directions. Example: “Paano pumunta sa Alabang Country Club?”

Source: Youtube

8. “Pasensya na.”

Translation: “Sorry.”

When to use: Use “Pasensya na” to express apologies for causing troubles or inconveniences such as accidentally opening the restroom cubicle door when it’s occupied or stepping on your opponent’s toe at the game.

Mahal Kita
Source: @partlypeachy, Tumblr

9. “Mahal kita.”

Translation: “I love you.”

When to use: The phrase “Mahal kita” is commonly taught to foreign celebrities to knock the socks off of their Filipino fans. Seriously, this never fails because Filipinos are such huge romantics.

Source: Mylife Asphilg, WordPress

10. “Paalam!”

Translation: “Goodbye!”

When to use: Use “Paalam” to say goodbye to new and old friends you’re sure to meet during the AOUGCC weekend. Make sure to follow it up with a “See you soon!”

Article By: Jansie Santos