When visiting Davao City, tourists believe that there is no need to be worried about language barriers. That might be true, given Davaoeño’s ability to quickly learn new languages. One example is the province’s growing BPO industry. We can understand, speak, and write in English, Tagalog, and Bisaya with ease.

We adapt our vocab to the local language or dialect wherever we travel. We enjoy it, but the people of Davao would appreciate it if you, as visitors, tried to learn some of our basic words, terms, and phrases!

The Bisaya (or Cebuano) language is commonly spoken across the Philippines, especially in regions where Tagalog is assumed. It is also the second most important dialect in the country. Bisaya has been translated into a number of dialects and is spoken in various ways depending on the locality. In Davao, the word bisaya is pronounced differently. Our accent is distinct and powerful. We are frequently misunderstood and, as a result, get into trouble because of it.

Many people make fun of our accent, and we make fun of ourselves as well. But, because Bisaya is such a wonderful language, there’s no reason we can’t use it every day, even when we’re not in Davao!

When in Davao, join us instead of staring at us like we’re crazy probinsyanos. These are some basic Bisaya words, terms, and phrases to use (and avoid):

ALSO READ: Filipino for Beginners

Greetings

English PhrasesBisaya Translation & Pronunciation
HelloHello
Hoy
Uy
Good MorningMaayong Buntag (muh-a-yong bun-tug)
Good Afternoon Maayong Hapon (muh-a-yong hah-pon)
Good EveningMaayong Gabii (muh-a-yong gah-bee-e)
How are you?Kamusta Ka?(Ka-mu-sta ka)
I’m good. And you? Maayo raman ko, ikaw?
Fine, too /also. Maayo pud. (muh-a-yo pood)
Goodbye (Parting phrases)Babay (informal)
Ayoayo
Magkita lang ta puhon
Have a nice day! Maayo’ng adlaw kanimo

Courtesies

English PhrasesBisaya Translation & Pronunciation
 Thank you. Salamat.
Thank you very much.Daghang salamat.
Excuse me. Tabi.
I’m sorry/Forgive mePasaylo-a ko.
I didn’t mean to do it.Wala nako tuyo-a.
Please don’t be offended.    Ayaw ug kasuko.
May I pass?    Mu-agi sa ko.
I don’t understand.Wa ko kasabot.
I don’t know.    Ambot, wa ko kahibaw
Just a minute./One moment, please.Kadali lang/Kadyot lang.
Please speak slowly. Palihog hinaya pagsulti.
Please repeat. Usba palihog.
Do you speak English?Makasulti ka ug Iningles?
What is your name?Unsay imong pangalan?, Unsay ngalan mo?
My name is ______.Ang akong pangalan mao si ______.
I am ______.
Ako si ______.
YesOo
NoDili

Restaurant/Shopping

EnglishBisaya Translation & Pronunciation
RestaurantKan-anan
SpicyHalang
DeliciousLami
I am hungryGigutom ko.
I am a vegetarianDi ko puwede mukaon ug karne (literally, I’m not able to eat meat)
One water, pleaseUsa ka tubig, palihug
 One beer, pleaseUsa ka beer, palihug
The check, pleaseAkong bill, palihug
How much is it?Tigpila ni?

Getting Around

EnglishBisaya Translation & Pronunciation
Where is ___?Asa ang ___?
I want to go to ___.Ganahan ko moadto sa ___.
Go straightDiretso ra
Turn leftAdto sa wala
Turn rightAdto sa tuo
Stop here, pleaseLugar lang / hunong na dinhi
I’m lostNawala ko
How much is the fare?Pila ang plete?
Is this the place?Mao na ba ni nga lugar?

Other Useful Bisaya Words

EnglishBisaya Translation & Pronunciation
ToiletBanyo
HotInit
ColdTugnaw
InsideSulod
OutsideGawas
In FrontAtubangan
BehindLikod
Too MuchSobra
NamePangan
Last NameApelido
ChairLingkuranan
TableLamesa
WeatherPanahon
WindHangin
StormBagyo
EarthquakeLinog
ShipBarko
BoatBangka
AirplaneEroplano
SeaDagat
MoneyKwarta
Coins/ChangeSinsilyo
BaiBrother, Friend
Help!Tabang!
Help Me!Tabangi ko!
TodayKaron
TomorrowUgma
YesterdayGahapon
HereDire
ThereDiha/Didto

Numbers

EnglishBisaya Translation & Pronunciation
OneUsa
TwoDuha
ThreeTulo
FourUpat
FiveLima
SixUnom
SevenPito
EightWalo
NineSiyam
TenNapulo
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Polly Amora is the señorita behind GoldenIslandSenorita.Net and the general manager of a privately-owned company in Manila, Philippines. She is a lifelong learner who is very outgoing, speaks four languages, is loud and outspoken, and loves to have adventures in the mountains, on the beach, and in the city. You can throw her anywhere, and she'll handle it like a pro. Ice cream and beer are two of her weaknesses.