Learn A Language · Manila Travel Tips

Learn A Language: Filipino or Tagalog



  • Tagalog (or Filipino) belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family. The name of the language is derived from taga-ilog, from taga (native) + ilog (river).
  • Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, is named after a mangrove tree that has white flowers called nilad.

  • Depending on the method of classification, there are 125 to 170 languages in use in the Philippines, such as Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Bicolano, Waray, and Kapampangan.
  • The word boondocks — used commonly in the English vocabulary — is actually a Tagalog loanword. In Tagalog it means mountain.
  • Tagalog has a vocabulary enriched by its pre-colonial and colonial history. Spanish is the single largest contributor to the Filipino vocabulary and as such Filipino seems to the foreign ear to sound somewhat like Spanish.
  • Tagalog used to be written with the Baybayin alphabet, which probably developed from the Kawi script of Java, Bali and Sumatra, which in turn descended from the Pallava script, one of the southern Indian scripts derived from Brahmi. Today the Baybayin alphabet is used mainly for decorative purposes and the Latin alphabet is used to write to Tagalog.
  • Since English is widely spoken in the Philippines, it is common to hear Filipinos use a mixture English and Filipino words or phrases, known as Taglish (a mixture of English and Tagalog), in their everyday conversations.
  • Filipino people are courteous. This can be seen by the Filipino tradition of using the words “po” and “opo”. These words are words of respect. They are used mostly in the Filipino families to show respect to the elders. The thing is that, even when not talking to family, as long as the Filipino people are talking to someone that is older than them, they use these words. There isn’t any translation of the words “po” and “opo” to other languages. Only the Filipino people use them.

Common Greetings and Phrases in Filipino




Hello Kamusta! Ka-mus-ta
Good morning Magandang umaga Ma-gan-dang U-ma-ga
Good afternoon Magandang tanghali Ma-gan-dang tang-ha-li
Good evening Magandang gabi Ma-gan-dang ga-bee
Goodbye Paalam Pa-a-lam
How are you? Kamusta?  Ka-mus-ta
I’m fine, thanks! Mabuti naman, salamat!  Ma-boo-ti na-man, sa-la-mat
And you? At ikaw?  At i-kaw
Please. Paki  Pa-ki
Thank you. Salamat  Sa-la-mat
Thank you very much. Maraming salamat  Ma-ra-ming sa-la-mat
You’re welcome. Walang anuman.  Wa-lang a-nu-man
See you later! Samuling pagkikita!  Sa-moo-lung pag-ki-ki-ta
Yes Opo(frm), Oo(Inf)  O-po, Oh oh
No Hindi  Hin-di
What’s your name? Anong pangalan mo?  A-nong pa-nga-lan mo
My name is… Ang pangalan ko po ay … (frm)
Ang pangalan ko ay … (inf)
 Ang pa-nga-lan ko po ay
Where are you from? Taga saan ka?  Ta-ga sa-an ka
I’m from … Taga… ako  Ta-ga … a-ko
Pleased to meet you Kinagagalak kong makilala ka  Ki-na-ga-ga-lak kong ma-ki-la-la ka
Have a nice day Magandang araw sa’yo!  Ma-gan-dang a-raw sa-yo
I understand Naiintinidihan ko  Na-i-in-tin-di-han ko
I don’t understand Hindi ko naiintindihan  Hin-di ko na-i-in-tin-di-han
Please speak more slowly Pwede mo bang bagalan ang iyong pagsasalita?  Pu-we-de mo bang ba-ga-lan ang i-yong pag-sa-sa-li-ta
Please say that again Paki úlit mo yon  pa-ki u-lit mo yon
Please write it down Paki sulat mo naman  Pa-ki soo-lat mo na-man
Do you speak Tagalog? Nagsasalita ho/po ba kayo ng Tagalog? (frm)
Nagta-Tagalog kaba? (inf)
Nag-sa-sa-li-ta ho/po ba ka-yo ng Ta-ga-log?
Nag-Ta-ta-ga-log ka-ba?
I miss you Ikaw ay hanap-hanap ko(frm- old fashioned)  I-kaw ay ha-nap ha-nap ko
I love you Iniibig kita
Mahal kita
Minamahal kita
I-ni-i-big ki-ta
Ma-hal ki-ta
Mi-na-ma-hal ki-ta
Get well soon Magpagaling ka na, ha  Mag-pa-ga-ling ka na, ha
Help! Saklolo! Tulong!  Sak-lo-lo! Too-long
Stop! Tigil!
Para! (to tell vehicle to stop)
Christmas and New Year greetings Maligayang Pasko (Merry Christmas)
Manigong bagong taon (Happy New Year)
 Ma-li-ga-yang Pas-ko
Ma-ni-gong ba-gong ta-on
Happy Birthday! Maligayang kaarawan!  Ma-li-ga-yang ka-a-ra-wan


Days of the Week in Filipino

English Filipino Pronunciation
Monday Lunes  Loo-nes
Tuesday Martes  Mar-tes
Wednesdy Miyerkules  mi-yer-ku-les
Thursday Huwebes  Hoo-we-bes
Friday Biyernes  Bee-yer-nes
Saturday Sabado  Sa-ba-do
Sunday Lingo  Ling-go


Months of the Year in Filipino

English Filipino Pronunciation
January Enero  E-ne-ro
February Pebrero  Peb-re-ro
March Marso  Mar-so
April Abril  A-breel
May Mayo  Mah-yo
June Hunyo  Hoon-yo
July Hulyo  Hool-yo
August Agosto  A-gos-to
September Setyembre  Set-yem-bre
October Oktubre  Ok-too-bre
November Nobyembre  Nob-yem-bre
December Disyembre  Dis-yem-bre

I hope you find the list helpful. Until then, paalam!



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16 thoughts on “Learn A Language: Filipino or Tagalog

  1. And apart from all the various languages spoken in the Philippines it is interesting how Tagalog changes only 50 km away from Manila: in my wife’s barangay “dito” becomes “dine”, “rito” becomes “rine” and “ito” becomes “ire”…and then you walk across a bridge and you are in Pampanga where they speak Kapampangan


  2. I really appreciate this post! If the coronavirus allows it, I’m planning on visiting the Phillippines next year and I always try to learn at least a few good-manners words before arriving in a new country!


  3. I used to work with Filipinos and they explained to me the difference between Tagalog and Cebuano (as most of them were from Manila or Cebu). I really want to learn Filipino because it seems easy and fun. I love languages. What app should I recommend as I think my Filipino ex-coworkers wouldn’t give me free lessons.


  4. Speaking of learning Tagalog language.I want to learn Tagalog before traveling to the Philippines. I think I need to start it now. Salamat!


  5. Been working with Filipinos for sometimes now, and I’ve learnt a few words po but always want to learn more.
    Salamat for this list


  6. This post will be very handy for those who are planning to travel to the Philippines. It is always good to know or speak at least basic words to make you feel more welcome in any country you visit.


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