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Basic words you need to know when visiting the Philippines


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The Philippines has a lot of visitors every year and they come from a lot of different places. And here are the words that most of them have learned which I think are vital when visiting the Philippines:

  • Salamat - Thank you
  • Mabuhay - Long live
  • Mahal kita - I love you
  • Pasensya na - I'm sorry
  • Magandang Gabi - Good Evening
  • Magandang Umaga - Good Morning
  • Magandang Hapon - Good Afternoon

Any other words you would like to add?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Other Tagalog words and phrases that might be useful when visiting to the Philippines.

1. Ano ang pangalan mo?                      What is your name?

2. Ako ay si..................                      I am.....(your name)

3. Pwede po ba magtanung?                  May I ask something?

4. Saang lugar ito?                              Where is this place?

5. Saan ang lugar ng sakayan ng bus?    Where is the bus station?

6. Pabili po.                                        May I buy?

7. Magkano po ito?                              How much is this?

8. Salamat po                                      Thank you

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I think that some of the most useful words one should learn when visiting a foreign country are the Five W's and one H of the language spoken there. A traveler would always want to know who to talk to about certain areas of the place, why and what happened in the event that an incident occurs, when and where something will take place in relation to their tour, and how to get from one place to another if they get lost.

These translations would be:

Who?    - Sino?

What?  - Ano?

When?  - Kailan?

Where?  - Saan?

Why?    - Bakit?

How?    - Paano?

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  • 2 months later...

I remember that I had a foreigner friend who was from the States, I asked her how does she ask the tricycle driver to stop when she was about to alight the vehicle, does she simply say "stop"? She told me she says "para", so I figured that every foreigner must know that important phrase when you're gonna commute over here.

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Aside from knowing the words and phrases mentioned here, you have to know the meaning and usage of the word "po". Po is used in a sentence when you are referring to someone older than you. It can also be used when talking to someone of higher status than you, like your boss. It can be inserted in different parts of the sentence but it mostly fits at the end. Example, you would say "Magandang umaga" to say good morning, but if you are talking to someone older, you say "Magandang umaga po". Although it doesn't always belong at the end of a sentence, just end with po when talking to someone older. The usage may be incorrect at times, but the person you're talking to will appreciate the courtesy.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

If you're a tourist who loves to haggle or bargain deals, this phrase might help >> Pwede po tumawad? It's like asking the salesperson for a discount.

Actually most Filipinos find it cute when foreigners are making an extra effort to speak Tagalog so it's most likely that you'll get a discount when you bargain in Tagalog.  :grin:

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  • 1 month later...

Native Filipino speaker here!

"Tara, kain po tayo" is a staple phrase around the dinnertable. It literally means "Come, let's eat"!

"Kanin" is rice. "Kanin pa" means "More rice" It could be used as an offer, or as a request depending on which syllables are stressed, and the context.

I'm available for questions, and welcome replies! :wink:

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  • 2 weeks later...

When riding a public transportation vehicle particularly the jeepney or a bus these are the words you must learn:

para - word used when you ask the driver to stop (shortcut for "on the side")

baba sa  _____  - will alight/ go down at ______ (e.g. baba sa Cubao =go down at Cubao)-

bayad po - means payment

ilan? - how many? . This is asked by the driver or bus conductor to ask you for how many people you're paying the fare for

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  • 2 weeks later...

Should probably add the following too:

[list type=decimal]


Hello/How are you? - Kumusta?

I am fine - Mabuti

Goodbye - Paalam

Please - Paki

Thank you - Salamat

Your welcome - Walang anuman

Where is the ...? - Saan ang ...?

Left - Kaliwa

Right - Kanan

Up - Taas

Down - Baba

Here - Dito

There - Diyan

Money - Pera

How much (money)? - Magkano?

Expensive - Mahal

Cheap - Mura

How many? - Ilan

Wait a minute - Sandali lang

Do you have ...? - Meron ka nang ...

Do you like ...? - Gusto mo ...?

I would like ... - Gusto ko ...


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  • 5 months later...

My friend taught me one. Though I can't say if it's correct or not. "Mabuti po" or I'm fine. It's something he says when I ask him 'kamusta kayo' or 'kamusta tol'.

Lol Oddvision! Your friend is teaching you to be respectful. Or he's being polite to you. :-) Po is a sign of respect in the Philippines. You use it when you are addressing older people or an authority figure but may not be older than you. If it's just a friend, just say Mabuti naman (I'm okay/fine/all right) to his question Kamusta ka? or Kamusta 'tol? If you're asked with the latter question, you can just say Mabuti 'tol or Mabuti naman 'tol.

Filipinos are naturally polite. Westerners and even other Asians address one another by first name regardless of the status. Filipinos do not. They say those polite words like po, opo (yes), ho, oho (yes), ate for someone older than you or an older sister or older female cousins, kuya for older people or older brother or older male cousins.

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