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Your Guide to Lupang Hinirang, the Philippine National Anthem


The Philippine National Anthem embodies everything that is Filipino. It epitomizes the spirit of the Filipino people, their hopes, dreams, ideals, and their love and affection for their country — the Philippines

Learning the words of Lupang Hinirang (Chosen Land) isn’t only about memorizing the song so that you’re not left out when everyone is singing it during appropriate occasions. Learning the Philippine National Anthem is also learning about and loving the rich history of the Philippines and appreciating the struggles of its people in the past

This guide features the Philippine National Anthem, its history, its words, and its significance to the Filipino people and even to those who wish to learn the Filipino language and the Philippine culture.

The National Flag of the Philippines

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. The Words to the Anthem
  2. A Little Bit of History
  3. How to Sing the Philippine National Anthem
  4. Interesting Facts about the Philippine National Anthem
  5. How FilipinoPod101 Can Help

1. The Words to the Anthem

Throughout the history of the Philippines, official status has been given to three versions of the anthem, which are Spanish, English, and Filipino. However, only the Filipino version is currently recognized by law. 

According to the Flag and Heraldic code, which was approved in 1998, the only language that can be used to sing the Philippine National Anthem is Filipino, and violation of this law is punishable by a fine or even imprisonment. Can you sing the Spanish and English versions of Lupang Hinirang? Of course, you can, but not in public and not for official reasons. 

Below are the lyrics to the Philippine National Anthem and beside each line is a literal translation of the words.

FilipinoLiteral English Translation
Bayang magiliw 
Perlas ng Silanganan
Alab ng puso
Sa dibdib mo’y buhay

Lupang hinirang
Duyan ka ng magiting
Sa manlulupig
Di ka pasisiil

Sa dagat at bundok
Sa simoy at sa langit mong bughaw
May dilag ang tula
At awit sa paglayang minamahal

Ang kislap ng watawat mo’y
Tagumpay na nagniningning
Ang bituin at araw niya
Kailan pa ma’y di magdidilim

Lupa ng araw
ng luwalhati’t pagsinta
Buhay ay langit sa piling mo.
Aming ligaya
Na pag may mang-aapi
Ang mamatay nang dahil sa iyo
Loving country
The Pearl of the Orient
The flame of the heart
In your heart is alive

Chosen land
You are the cradle of the brave
By the invaders,
You won’t allow yourself to be oppressed

The seas and mountains
The breeze and your azure skies
The poem is splendid
Also is the song of the freedom that you adore

The sparkle in your flag
Is shining triumphantly
And its star and sun
Will never grow dim 

Land of the sun 
of glory and passion
Life is heaven in your arms
Our joy 
when someone comes to oppress you
Is to die because of you

Spanish VersionEnglish Translation from Spanish
Tierra adorada,
Hija del sol de Oriente,
Su fuego ardiente
En ti latiendo está.

Tierra de amores,
Del heroísmo cuna,
Los invasores,
No te hollarán jamás.

En tu azul cielo, en tus auras,
En tus montes y en tu mar,
Esplende y late el poema
De tu amada libertad.

Tu pabellón, que en las lides,
La victoria iluminó,
No verá nunca apagados
Sus estrellas y su sol.

Tierra de dichas, de sol y amores,
En tu regazo dulce es vivir.
Es una gloria para tus hijos,
Cuando te ofenden, por ti morir.
Land of the morning,
Child of the sun returning,
With fervor burning
Thee do our souls adore.

Land dear and holy,
Cradle of noble heroes,
Ne’er shall invaders
Trample thy sacred shores.

Ever within thy skies and through thy clouds,
And o’er thy hills and seas,
Do we behold the radiance, feel the throb
Of glorious liberty.

Thy banner dear to all our hearts,
Its sun and stars alight,
Oh, never shall its shining fields
Be dimmed by tyrant’s might!

Beautiful land of love, o land of light,
In thine embrace ’tis rapture to lie,
But it is glory ever, when thou art wronged,
For us, thy sons to suffer and die.

You can also check out this video of the Philippine National Anthem produced by one of the country’s leading broadcasting networks in 2013.

A Man and a Woman Helping a Wounded Soldier

Duyan ka ng magiting. (You are the cradle of the brave.”)

    ➜ We can’t discuss the Philippine national anthem without talking about the well-known Filipino historical figures who made a huge impact on the revolution. This lesson will introduce you to them.

2. A Little Bit of History

Like many other national anthems, Lupang Hinirang was a product of a revolution. It was born as a response to the needs of the 1898 revolution against the Spanish colonizers.

In a desire to rally the Filipino people against the oppressors, then-president Emilio Aguinaldo commissioned pianist and composer Julian Felipe, a fellow Caviteño, to create a revolutionary march.

The musical piece was then entitled Marcha Filipina-Magdalo, which translates to “The Philippine-Magdalo March,” with Magdalo referring to the Magdalo chapter of the Katipunan in Cavite. It is said that the march was based on Marcha Real, Spain’s national anthem, and Le Marseillaise, the national anthem of France.

The anthem went through several changes over the decades. The title of the march was later changed to Marcha Nacional Filipina or “Philippine National March” in 1938.

A call to translate the lyrics to the national language was made two years later, and while several versions were created in the years to follow, it was Lupang Hinirang written by Felipe Padilla de León that was eventually recognized as the lyrics to the country’s national anthem in 1958.

A Silhouette of Raised Hands and a Flag

Lupang Hinirang was a product of a revolution.”

    ➜ The history of Lupang Hinirang is one evidence of how strong the Spanish influence is on Philippine culture. This lesson will show you how it affected the Filipino language as a whole.

3. How to Sing the Philippine National Anthem

1- The Place and Time for Playing and Singing Lupang Hinirang

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines, an agency that promotes Philippine history and cultural heritage, prohibits the singing or playing of Lupang Hinirang for mere entertainment or recreation. 

However, Republic Act No. 8491, also known as the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, states that the national anthem can be played during international competitions where the country is the host or has a representative. It also allows the playing of the national anthem during local competitions. 

That said, the Philippine National Anthem is played in the Olympics and other national and international sporting events. 

One of the largest sporting events where it is popularly heard is boxing, featuring the pride of Philippine boxing, Manny Pacquiao. Famous local and international singers who have performed the national anthem in such an event include Sarah Geronimo, Regine Velasquez, Martin Nievera, Arnel Pineda, and Jessica Sanchez.

Meanwhile, here’s an excerpt from section 38 of Republic Act No. 8491 citing a few specifics on when and when not to play the Philippine National Anthem:

The anthem shall not be played and sung for mere recreation, amusement or entertainment purposes except on the following occasions:

a. International competitions where the Philippines is the host or has a representative;
b. Local competitions;
c. During “signing off” and “signing on” of radio broadcasting and television stations;
d. Before the initial and last screening of films or before the opening of theater performances; and
e. Other occasions as may be allowed by the Institute.

In the Philippines, the most common occasion that the anthem is played is during flag ceremonies in schools, government offices, and other establishments, including malls. It’s also a common practice among broadcast stations to play the anthem when signing in and signing off the airwaves. 

And if you have ever watched a live theater performance in the Philippines or watched a film inside a movie house, you have also probably observed the national anthem being played before the initial and last screening of the program.

2- What You Should Do When You Hear Lupang Hinirang

Foreigners are not obliged to sing the Philippine National Anthem when they hear it being played, although they are expected to show respect to the Philippine flag by acknowledging it. That means standing with the rest of the crowd and facing the source of the music and not doing anything that seems to display mockery or contempt. 

If you know how to sing Lupang Hinirang, then that would be a plus. Meanwhile, official Filipino citizens are obliged to sing it with great fervor with their right palm placed over the left side of their chest where the heart is. 

On the other hand, uniformed personnel, including military, police, and security guards should salute the flag according to their regulations.

You are supposed to face the Philippine flag during the playing of Lupang Hinirang, but on some occasions where only the music is played, you should face toward the source of the music as has already been mentioned.

A Crowd of People Smiling with Their Right Palms Placed Over the Left Side of Their Chests.

4. Interesting Facts about the Philippine National Anthem

You now know the history of the Philippine National Anthem, how the music was composed and how the words were written. Now, let’s take a look at a few interesting facts about the anthem that you may not be aware of already.

  • The lyrics to Lupang Hinirang were originally written as a Spanish poem entitled Filipinas with the alternative title Tierra Adorada. The poem was created by Jose Palma for publishing in the La Independencia newspaper during its first anniversary on September 3, 1899.
  • When the Americans arrived in the Philippines, a prohibition under the Flag Act of 1907 was made, banning the use of the composition. The law was rescinded in 1919, which allowed the Commonwealth Act No. 382 to adopt Marcha Nacional Filipina as the country’s national anthem on September 5, 1938.
  • In the same year, the government ordered the anthem to be translated to English during the American regime, considering that there were more people now who spoke English than Spanish. The most notable and memorable version that was created was that of Camilio Osias and A.L. Lane. It was called “Land of the Morning.” The translation was eventually made the official lyrics for the Philippine National Anthem.
  • During the 1940’s many Filipinos began arguing that the national anthem shouldn’t be sung in “the language of invaders.” This was the time when Filipinos were debating about what the national language of the Philippines should be. As a result, several translations of the hymn into Tagalog were created, the first one being Diwa ng Bayan, which when translated meant “Spirit of the Country.”
A Crowd of People Celebrating the People Power Anniversary

Ang mamatay ng dahil sa’yo… (“to die because of you…”)

5. How FilipinoPod101 Can Help

Learning a language only becomes worthwhile when you’re also learning about the history of the country where that language is spoken. In this case, you have learned about one of the most important aspects of Philippine history — the Philippine National Anthem. 

This guide has shown you how Lupang Hinirang came to be, how rich its history is, what laws are associated with it in recent times, and what role it plays in the lives of the Filipino people. The lyrics alone will give you goosebumps. Even if you’re not Filipino by blood, singing it with other Pinoys will give you a sense of pride and patriotism. That’s how powerful Lupang Hinirang is. 

You know what will instill more sense of Filipino pride in you? Mastering the Filipino language. And if there’s one way you can do that, it’s by being a part of the FilipinoPod101 family. Sign up today for a free lifetime account and gain access not only to lessons on Filipino grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, or correct sentence structure but also to lessons about the culture and history of the Philippines.

Want to take your learning to another level? Try MyTeacher, an exclusive feature that offers one-on-one coaching with an actual professional Filipino teacher. What are you waiting for? Join FilipinoPod101 today and enjoy free and exclusive learning resources designed to help you reach fluency faster!

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Filipino Classroom Phrases


Online classes may be the norm these days, but nothing can beat an actual classroom experience. If you’re planning to study in the Philippines one day or currently are, it will help a lot to learn and master Filipino classroom phrases. Not only will it enable you to communicate with your teachers and classmates more effectively, but it will also help you get the most out of every class you take.

This guide will introduce you to over thirty school words and phrases in Tagalog, from basic greetings to common classroom instructions to useful expressions you can use when conversing with teachers and fellow students. Let’s begin!

Four Students in Uniform Chatting while Walking

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Basic Greetings
  2. Common Instructions and Commands Used by Teachers
  3. Phrases To Use When Asking for Clarifications
  4. Phrases To Use When Explaining Absences and Tardiness
  5. When Talking About Your Favorite Subjects
  6. When Talking About Common School Supplies
  7. How FilipinoPod101 Can Help

1. Basic Greetings 

In most schools in the Philippines, the only time you would actually hear Tagalog classroom greetings is during classes where Filipino is used as the main language, such as the Filipino subject, or sometimes, Social Studies.

English is the preferred means of communication in Filipino schools, especially private ones. However, in most public schools, students are encouraged to communicate in Filipino or use their dialect.

It’s also essential to learn how to address one’s teachers and classmates and not just what Filipino words to say when greeting them.

Female teachers are addressed either as Ginang (Ma’am/Mrs./Madam) or Binibini (Miss), while male teachers are addressed as Ginoo (Sir). There are no special titles used for addressing one’s fellow students, but showing respect and courtesy to one another is encouraged at all times.

Magandang umaga, Binibining Reyes. “Good morning, Miss Reyes.”
Magandang umaga, Ginang Diaz. “Good morning, Mrs. Diaz.”
Magandang hapon, Ginoong Santos. “Good afternoon, Mr. Santos.”
Magandang umaga, Ma’am/Sir. “Good morning, Ma’am/ Sir.”
Magandang umaga, mga kaklase. “Good morning, classmates”
Magandang araw sa inyong lahat. “Good day to all of you.”
Paalam, Binibining Robles. “Goodbye, Miss Robles.”
Magkita ulit tayo bukas. “See you tomorrow.”

A Female Student Waving to Two Other Students

Magkita ulit tayo bukas. (“See you tomorrow.”)

    ➜ There are many different ways of greeting in Filipino. Our lesson on Basic Filipino Greetings is a great place to start learning them.

2. Common Instructions and Commands Used by Teachers

The Philippine educational system is largely influenced by the country’s colonial past. It has adopted the Spanish way of teaching, in particular. This is characterized by an authoritarian management style where the teacher has complete control of everything going on inside the classroom. This is no longer a common practice, although courtesy, politeness, and respect are values that are still highly encouraged among students and teachers alike. The following are some of the most basic Filipino phrases used by teachers when addressing their students:


Magandang araw sa inyong lahat. “Good morning everyone.”
Kumusta kayo ngayong araw? “How are you today?”
Kumusta ka na, Andrea? “How are you, Andrea?”
Masaya akong makita kayo.“I am happy to see you all.”

Roll Call

Nandito ba kayong lahat?“Is everybody here?”
Sino ang wala ngayon?“Who is not here/absent today?”
Nasaan si Carlos?“Where is Carlos?”
Nandito na ba si Miguel?“Is Miguel here already?”
Anong nangyari kay Anya?“What happened to Anya?”

Time to Begin

Simulan na natin ang ating klase. “Let’s begin our class.”
Simulan na natin ang ating aralin. “Let’s begin our lesson”
Handa na ba ang lahat? “Is everybody ready?”
Magsisimula na tayo. Kung maaari ay tumahimik na ang lahat at makinig. “We’ll start now. Please keep quiet and listen.”
Umayos na ang lahat para makapagsimula na tayo. “Settle down now so we can start.”
Ang lahat ba ay nakikita ang nakasulat sa pisara? “Can everyone see what’s written on the board?”

Common Instructions

Itabi niyo na ang mga gamit niyo.“Pack your things away now.”
Isara niyo ang inyong mga aklat. “Close your books.”
Buksan ang mga aklat sa pahina… “Open your books at page…”
Kakailanganin ninyo ang lapis at papel. “You will need a pencil and a sheet of paper.”
Pag-aaralan natin ang…“We will learn about…”
Pag-aaralan natin kung paano… “We will learn how to…”
May sampung minuto lang kayo para gawin ito. “You only have ten minutes to do this.”

Comprehension Questions

Naiintindihan niyo ba?“Do you understand?”
Nakakasunod ba kayo?“Do you follow?”
May mga tanong ba kayo? “Do you have any questions?”
May mga katanungan? “Any questions?”
Sino ang nakakaalam ng sagot? “Who knows the answer?”
Sino ang makakasagot sa tanong? “Who can answer the question?”
Pakisulat ang sagot sa pisara.“Please write the answer on the board.”
Pakiulit ng sinabi mo. “Say it again, please.” / “Please repeat what you said.”

Classroom Supervision

Tumigil muna kayo sa pagsasalita. “Everybody stop talking please.”
Tumingin kayo dito. “Look this way.”
Makinig kayo sa sinasabi ni Kiana. “Listen to what Kiana is saying.”
Hayaan niyo na muna iyan sa ngayon. “Leave that one for now.”

Male Teacher Handing the Chalk to a Student Raising Her Hand

Pakisulat ang sagot sa pisara. (“Please write the answer on the board.”)

    ➜ No student is greater than their teacher. If you want to be a great student of the Filipino language, you will need to have a great teacher. Our lesson entitled The Power of a Good Filipino Teacher shares insights on how important it is to find a good language teacher.

3. Phrases To Use When Asking for Clarifications

Asking for clarification is part of learning. It’s a great way for students to learn new information and better understand what has just been taught. Most teachers allow their students to ask questions regarding the lesson only after giving the lecture. 

Some would take a break midway to give students the opportunity to process what they have heard and ask for clarifications. A few others don’t mind if their students raise a question in the middle of the lesson. Just remember to ask politely and use the expression po as much as possible when addressing the teacher.

Hindi ko po maintindihan.“I don’t understand.”
Pwede niyo po bang ulitin? “Can you please repeat?”
May gusto po akong itanong.“I would like to ask something.”
May tanong po ako. “I have a question.”
Pakiulit po ng mga tagubilin.“Please repeat the instructions.”
Nahihirapan po akong ayusin ang pangungusap na ito. “I’m having trouble fixing this sentence.”
Turuan niyo po akong baybayin ito. “Please help me spell this one.”
Ano daw ang sabi ng guro natin?“What did our teacher say?”

    ➜ Asking questions is the fastest way for you to learn about something. Here are other common Filipino questions you need to be familiar with.

4. Phrases To Use When Explaining Absences and Tardiness

As much as we all love learning and would never want to be late or absent, there are times when we can’t help but miss school. This is where the importance of knowing how to provide reasons for your absence or delay comes in. 

Reasonable Excuses

Pasensya na po kayo kung hindi ako nakapasok kahapon. “I apologize for not being able to attend yesterday.”
Ipagpaumanhin niyo po kung nahuli ako sa klase. “I’m sorry if I’m late for class.”
Masama po ang pakiramdam ko kahapon. “I wasn’t feeling well yesterday.”
May importante po kaming lakad. “We had an important thing to attend to.”
Wala pong magbabantay sa kapatid ko. “No one’s around to look after my younger sibling.”
Nasiraan po ang sinasakyan kong bus. “The bus I took broke down.”
Bumaha po sa kalye namin kaya hindi ako makalabas. “Our street was flooded, so I couldn’t go out.”

Somewhat Silly Excuses

There are valid excuses for being late or absent, and there are somewhat silly ones. But believe it or not, a lot of students still use them. You can’t fool teachers, though, especially the more experienced ones. Years of teaching have honed their intuition and will instantly know if you’re just making up your reasons for being tardy.

Namatay po ang lola ng nanay ko.“My mom’s grandma passed away.” 

*This is one of the most abused reasons for being absent in school. Students use this all the time since teachers rarely verify the truth of the claim considering that it’s a sensitive issue. The claim becomes suspect, though, if the same student has used it more than a couple of times. The teacher would then ask, Andami mo naman yatang lola? (“It seems that you have too many grandmothers.”)
Hindi po natuyo ang mga damit ko.“My clothes didn’t dry all the way.”
Hindi po nag-alarm yung orasan namin.“Our alarm clock didn’t go off.”
Naiwan ko po sa dyip ang takdang-aralin ko.“I left my homework in the passenger jeepney.”
Namatay po ang pinsan ng lolo ko. “My grandpa’s cousin died.”
Nakatulog ako sa tren at bumaba sa maling istasyon. “I fell asleep on the train and woke up at the wrong station.”

A Man Holding an Alarm Clock in Disbelief, Signifying that He’s Late

Hindi po nag-alarm yung orasan namin. (“Our alarm clock didn’t go off.”)

    ➜ Learning how to give an excuse is an important aspect of good communication. In our lesson What’s Your Filipino Excuse, we share with you tips on how to give reasons for not being able to do something.

5. When Talking About Your Favorite Subjects

In the Philippines, most of the names of school subjects are in English. Most have Filipino translations, but they are only used in written communication and seldom in daily conversations. For instance, you won’t hear your classmate say Nagawa mo ba ang proyekto natin sa Sikolohiya? Instead, it’s Nagawa mo ba ang project natin sa Psychology? (“Were you able to work on our project in psychology?”). 

However, it’s still important to learn the Filipino equivalent of the names of common school subjects since they are what you will use when writing formal or academic papers in Filipino. Here’s a list of these subjects and their equivalent in English:

List of Subjects

Wika at Gramatika/Balarila Language and Grammar 
Matematika Mathematics
Agham / SiyensiyaScience
Kimika Chemistry
Musika at Sining Music and Arts
Araling PanlipunanSocial Studies
Relihiyon at EtikaReligion and Ethics
Edukasyong Pantahanan at PangkabuhayanHome Economics and Livelihood Education

Talking about school subjects:

Simulan na natin ang proyekto natin sa Araling Panlipunan.“Let’s start working on our project in Social Studies.”
Tulungan mo ako sa bagong paksa na tinalakay natin sa Wika at Gramatika.“Please help me with the new lesson we discussed in Language and Grammar.”
Magaling ako sa Musika at Sining.“I’m good at Music and Arts.”
Wala tayong takdang-aralin sa Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan.“We don’t have homework in Home Economics and Livelihood Education.”

6. When Talking About Common School Supplies

School supplies are often a subject of daily conversations, which is why it’s so important to learn this type of classroom vocabulary in Filipino. Below is a list of Tagalog words describing the names of writing and learning tools and their English translation.

PangkulayColoring Pen
BaunanLunch Box
Silya / UpuanChair

And here are a few examples of how to talk about the objects in the list above:

Pwede bang makahiram ng lapis?“May I borrow a pencil?”
Nawawala ang pambura ko.“My eraser is missing.”
Pahiram naman ng libro mo sa Balarila.“Let me borrow your grammar book.”
Hindi ko yata nadala ang kuwaderno ko.“I don’t think I brought my notebook with me.”
Pwede daw gumamit ng kalkuleytor sabi ni titser.“Teacher said we can use a calculator.”

A Person Using a Calculator

Pwede daw gumamit ng kalkuleytor sabi ni titser. (“Teacher said we can use a calculator.”)

7. How FilipinoPod101 Can Help

This guide has introduced you to basic Filipino classroom phrases that will surely help enhance your classroom experience. Here, you have learned how to greet your teachers and classmates in Tagalog, how to ask for clarifications, and how to express yourself when giving reasons for tardiness and absences. You also learned common instructions and commands used by teachers inside the classroom. And finally, you learned how to talk about school subjects. 

Did we miss anything that you believe should be in this guide too? Let us know in the comments!

And if you want to learn more than just Tagalog classroom phrases, we highly recommend that you sign up for a free lifetime account here at FilipinoPod101 where you can experience innovative Filipino language learning and learn all you need to know about Filipino. That includes grammar, pronunciation, basic sentences, frequently used vocabulary, and other important Filipino lessons you will need in your language learning journey. All this while finding out more about Filipino culture too!

For a more strategic approach to online Filipino learning, we also have MyTeacher, a premium feature we offer students who want to receive one-on-one coaching from an actual Filipino teacher. Don’t wait! Join FilipinoPod101 today and enjoy innovative language learning!

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Essential Filipino Restaurant Phrases For a Great Dining Experience


The Philippines has so many good restaurants. And when we say that, we mean that traditional Filipino food is not only unparalleled in taste and quality but that there are many places to eat in the country that let you experience authentic Filipino cuisine. For a foreigner visiting the Philippines, the overall quality of your experience eating at a Filipino restaurant is determined not only by the quality of the restaurant itself but also by how well you are familiar with Filipino restaurant phrases. 

Knowing how to book a restaurant, compliment a staff, or order food in Filipino may not be vital but can significantly improve your overall experience dining at a Filipino restaurant. For that reason, we made this guide just for you. Here, you will learn how to make a reservation at your favorite restaurant in the Philippines, converse with the waiter, ask for the bill, give a tip, and much more!

A Beautiful Semi-outdoor Restaurant Setting

The Philippines has so many good restaurants.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Making Dining Plans
  2. Time to Dine
  3. After Dining
  4. Tipping Etiquette
  5. Learn More Than Just Filipino Restaurant Phrases with FilipinoPod101!

1. Making Dining Plans

Depending on which restaurant you plan to visit, you may have to make reservations in advance. The best restaurants in big cities like Manila are usually full, so you’d want to find out first which days there aren’t a lot of customers. A simple check on Google will show you the opening hours and popular times of a restaurant you’re considering. For instance, the award-winning Spiral restaurant at Sofitel Philippine Plaza, known for its Filipino international dining, is usually busy on Saturdays during lunch, among other times.

For regular restaurants, a reservation is usually not necessary. However, it’s not unusual to find yourself in long queues occasionally, especially during the weekends. 

Booking a restaurant in the Philippines isn’t that complicated. Thanks to the Internet, you can now find all the information you need about the restaurant of your choice online. Most restaurants have a social media page where you will find details on how to make a booking.

The following are some useful phrases you can use whenever you want to make a reservation at a Filipino restaurant, plus questions you can ask to get more information about the restaurant.

Gusto ko po sanang magpareserba para sa tatlong tao. “I’d like to make a reservation for three people.”
Posible bang ipareserba ang buong restawran?“Is it possible to book the whole restaurant?”
Magpapareserba sana ako para mamayang gabi.“I’d like to make a reservation for this evening.”
Para sa darating na Biyernes. “For this coming Friday.”
Sa ika-sampu ng Enero, alas siyete ng gabi. “On January 10th, at 7 in the evening.”
Bukas ba kayo ng Linggo? “Are you open on Sunday?”
Anong oras kayo nagbubukas? “What time do you open?”
Hanggang anong oras kayo? “Until what time are you open?”
Pwede ba ang mga bata? “Are children welcome?”
Lima kami, kasali na ang isang bata. “There are five of us, including one child.”
Kung maaari ay yung malapit sa bintana. “If possible, a table near the window, please.”
May mga mesa ba kayo sa labas?“Do you have some tables outdoors?”
Marami bang kumakain kapag Sabado? “Is it usually full on Saturdays?”
May parking ba para sa PWD?“Do you have parking spaces for PWDs?”
May daanan ba para sa wheelchair?“Do you have wheelchair access?”

A Man Calling Having a Phone Conversation

Posible bang ipareserba ang buong restawran? (“Is it possible to book the whole restaurant?”)

    ➜ You don’t want to approach your first Filipino restaurant experience empty-handed. Learn how to choose menu items in Filipino even before you pick up that phone to make a reservation!

2. Time to Dine

Restaurant culture in the Philippines is the same as in any culture in the world. There will be waiters and waitresses to take your order and assist you. Depending on the restaurant, there may also be complimentary drinks and appetizers. But regardless of where you choose to dine, your entire dining experience will start with you asking for the menu. 

Do you need to be familiar with Filipino food vocabulary? Not necessarily, although it’s going to help. We have a couple of lessons here and here that will help you become more familiar with words and phrases related to food.

1- Before Placing Your Order

You can get the waiter’s attention simply by saying “Weyter,” which means “waiter” in Filipino. And if the one serving you is a female, you can simply address her as “Miss.” You can then follow that up by using any of the following phrases:

Pwede ko bang makita ang menu?“Can I see the menu?”
Gusto ko pong makita ang menu. “I would like to see the menu.”
Pakiabot po ng menu.“Please give us the menu.”
Patingin po ng menu.“Please show us the menu.”
Ano ang specialty niyo dito? “What’s your specialty in this restaurant?”
Ano ang pinakasikat niyong pagkain dito? “What’s your most popular dish?”
Anong mairerekumenda mo?“What would you recommend?”
Mairerekumenda mo ba ito?“Would you recommend this?”

A Man Calling the Waiter’s Attention.

    ➜ If you’re eating as a walk-in guest, restaurant staff may ask you a couple of questions, like how many of you are there and where you may like to be seated. Be sure to take this lesson on how to get a seat in a restaurant so you’ll know how to respond with no hesitations.

2- When You’re Ready to Order

So, you’re ready to order. If that’s the case, you will need to learn the following expressions so you’ll know what to say to the staff assisting you when it’s time for you to place your order.

Handa na kaming umorder. “We’re ready to order.”
U-order na kami.“We are ordering now.”
Pakikuha ng order namin.“Please take our order.”
Bigyan mo kami nito.“Please give us this one.”
Gusto ko nito.“I’d like to have this one.”
Dalawa nito.“Two of these.”
Isang basong tubig.“A glass of water.”
May kasama bang inumin ito?“Are drinks included?”
May karne ba ito ng baboy? “Does this one have pork in it?”
Pwede mo bang ulitin ang order namin?“Can you please repeat our order?”
Gaano po katagal namin kailangang maghintay sa pagkain? “How long do we have to wait for the food?”
Ikaw? Anong gusto mo?“How about you? What do you want?”

    ➜ “Can I see the menu?” Our lesson on how to order at a restaurant breaks down this common expression so that you understand what each word means in Filipino. Plus, get to learn other alternatives you can use.

3- Making Special Requests

There are times when you need to make special requests when eating at a restaurant. Perhaps you need to ask for more wine. Maybe you want more than just some good, basic Filipino food. Or maybe you want to let the staff know you’re allergic to certain ingredients. Whatever it is, here are expressions you can use to convey your intentions.

Pwedeng magpadagdag ng ____?“Could I get another ___?”
Pakibigyan kami ng isa pang pares ng kutsara at tinidor.“Please give us another pair of spoons and forks.”
Pakidagdagan ang table napkin.“Please add more table napkins.”
Bawal ako sa hipon. “I am allergic to shrimp.”
Kaunting bawang lang kung maaari.“Not a lot of garlic, please.”
Gusto kong palitan ito ng _____.“I would like to replace this one with _____.”
Pwede ko bang palitan ito ng _____?“Can I replace this one with _____?”
Pakipalitan ito ng ______.“Please replace this one with _____.”
Gusto ko pa ng wine kung maaari.“I would love some more wine, please.”
Pwede mo ba kaming malipat sa ibang mesa?“Can you move us to another table?”

4- Time for Dessert!

A visit to a good Filipino restaurant is not complete without dessert. Here’s what a simple conversation may look like between you and the staff when they ask you if you’d like to have some.

A: Natuwa po ba kayo sa pagkain?
(“Did you enjoy your meal?”)

B: Oo, natuwa kami nang husto.
(“Yes, we enjoyed it a lot.”)

A: Gusto niyo po ba ng panghimagas?
(“Would you like some dessert?”)

B: Sige, anong meron?
(“Sure, what have you got.”)

A: Mayroon kaming halo-halo, minatamis na saging, ube halaya, at maja blanca.
(“We have halo-halo, sweetened banana, ube halaya, and maja blanca.”)

B: Ano yung minatamis na saging?
(“What’s minatamis na saging?”)

A: Saging na saba na nilagyan ng arnibal at maskubadong asukal.
(“It’s Saba banana with syrup and muscovado sugar.”)

B: Sige, bigyan mo kami niyan. Salamat!
(“Okay, please give us that one. Thanks!”)

5- Making Complaints and Giving Compliments

No restaurant is perfect, and every once in a while, you may find it necessary to voice out your concern regarding food or service quality. At the same time, it’s important to offer a compliment whenever it’s appropriate.

Medyo maalat ang sabaw. “The soup is a bit salty.”
Kulang sa lasa ang paella.“The paella lacks flavor.”
Masyadong matamis.“It’s too sweet.”
Medyo matabang.“It’s a bit bland.”
Tamang-tama ang timpla ng luto niyo. “The flavor is perfect.”
Sobrang sarap ng mga pagkain dito. “The food here is so delicious!”
Siguradong kakain ulit ako dito!“I’ll be eating here again for sure!”
Salamat sa pag-asista sa amin ngayong gabi.“Thank you for assisting us this evening.”

    ➜ Learning how to make complaints in Filipino is crucial as it will teach you the right words to use and the right tone and approach when voicing out your concern. And yes, we have a lesson for that!

A Couple Ordering Food at a Restaurant

Gusto ko nito. (“I’d like to have this one.”)

3. After Dining

You’re done with your meal, and you’re ready to leave. You can either go directly to the cashier to pay for your food or call the waiter’s attention to have your bill delivered to your table. Use the following phrases to let the staff know that you’re ready to pay for your food.

Magbabayad na kami. “We are going to pay now.”
Pakibigay na lang ng bill namin. “Our bill, please.”
Handa na kaming magbayad. “We are ready to pay.”
Pakibalot ng isang ito.“Can I have a to-go box for this one, please?” 
Lit. “Please wrap this up.”
Tumatanggap ba kayo ng card? “Do you accept card payments?”
Hahatiin namin ang bayad. “We’re going to split the bill.”

4. Tipping Etiquette

The Philippines has a non-tipping culture, so you don’t have to oblige yourself to give a tip. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be appreciated if you did. Feel free to leave a tip if you feel that the food and the service were excellent. In the same manner, don’t feel pressured to leave any tips if you feel that you don’t have to. Just keep in mind that some restaurants may have a no-tipping policy. To be sure, you can use the following phrases to ask whether tipping is allowed or express your intention to leave a tip.

Tumatanggap ba kayo ng tip? “Do you accept tips?”
Saan pwedeng magbigay ng tip? “Where do I leave a tip?”
Gusto ko sanang magbigay ng tip. “I would like to leave a tip.”
Nag-iwan ako ng tip para sa iyo.“I left a tip for you.”

A Waitress Serving Food to a Couple

Tumatanggap ba kayo ng tip? (“Do you accept tips?”)

    Asking for the check in Filipino isn’t as simple as it sounds. It’s a good thing we have a lesson to help you learn all the necessary words and expressions for perfecting this simple request.

5. Learn More Than Just Filipino Restaurant Phrases with FilipinoPod101!

Being able to speak Tagalog and know common restaurant phrases in Filipino will make life easier for you when you’re eating at a Filipino restaurant. In this guide, you’ve learned some of the most useful Filipino expressions to use when making reservations, ordering food, and tipping at a restaurant. Are there other words and phrases you wish we have included on this list? Let us know in the comments section.

If you love this guide, consider signing up for a free lifetime account at FilipinoPod101 where you can learn more than just Tagalog restaurant phrases. Here, you can learn and master everything about the Filipino language, including grammar, pronunciation, sentence structure, and of course, Filipino culture. Plus, you’ll learn how to use Tagalog in various scenarios in daily life. And did we mention that you can enjoy studying all this in a fun and innovative way?

Speaking of innovation, what will make your experience with FilipinoPod101 even more exciting is the MyTeacher feature, a Premium service that lets you learn Filipino at your own pace and with the guidance of an actual Filipino teacher. So, what are you waiting for? Join FilipinoPod101 today and start speaking Filipino like a local!

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The Ultimate Guide To Filipino Conversation Skills


Filipino conversation skills are important to learn when you’re studying the Filipino language. One reason is that conversations play a significant role in language development. Not only will it help you express your thoughts and ideas, but it will also improve your listening skills. After all, conversation skills are about being able to talk fluently and knowing how to listen well at the same time. In other words, you’ll learn more about the Filipino language in actual conversations than inside the classroom. 

With that, you’ll need something to help you get started. In this guide, you will find the resources you need to improve your conversation skills. You’ll specifically learn how to create a script that you can use to introduce yourself confidently. You’ll also learn which exact reaction phrases, filler words, conversation starters, and questions to use and when.

When you’ve mastered all that, meeting new people and making new friends, whether in school or at work, will no longer be one of your concerns.

A Group of Colleagues at Work Having a Conversation

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Crafting Your Language Profile
  2. Filipino Reaction Words & Expressions
  3. Filipino Filler Words
  4. Common Questions and Answers in Filipino
  5. Filipino Conversation Starters
  6. Tips for Improving Your Conversation Skills
  7. How FilipinoPod101 Can Help

1. Crafting Your Language Profile

There are two things to consider when creating and developing your language profile:

  1. It must be relevant.
  2. It must fit your context.

You might ask, “Relevant to what?” When making a language cheat sheet (an appropriate term to describe a language profile), you want to ensure that it’s practical. It’s easy to get examples of phrases and expressions from textbooks. Still, the question is, do they apply to you and your circumstance? 

One question you’d want to ask is: “In what context will I be able to benefit most from my language profile?” There could be hundreds or even thousands of answers to that one question, but the most common situation you’ll be able to use a language cheat sheet is when you’re meeting new people. For that reason, it makes sense to build your language profile around this idea. 

Here’s what a language profile in Filipino may look like:

Ako nga pala is Rene, tatlumpung-taong gulang mula sa Australia. Nandito ako sa Pilipinas para mag-aral. Kumuha ako ng kurso sa Business sa isang unibersidad dito sa Maynila. Magta-tatlong taon na ako dito. Ang karaniwang ginagawa ko sa bakanteng oras ko ay magbasa. Minsan, namamasyal ako sa mga museo at sa mga makasaysayang lugar sa siyudad kasama ang mga kaibigan ko.
“I am Rene, thirty years old from Australia. I am here in the Philippines to study. I took a Business course at a university here in Manila. I have been here for three years. What I usually do during my spare time is read books. Sometimes, I visit museums and historical places in the city with my friends.”

As you can see, you can start with a quick self-introduction and then follow it up with other interesting details, such as what you do for a living or where you go to school. You can change some of the details depending on your specific context and the situation. Here are a few ideas:

  • Kakalipat ko lang dito. (“I just moved here.”)
  • Lumipat ako dito noong 2017. (“I moved here in 2017)
  • Nagustuhan ko ang klima dito. (“I fell in love with the climate here.”)

  • Taga-rito ang napangasawa ko.  (“I married a Filipino/Filipina.”) (Lit. “The person I married is from here.”)
  • Nabighani ako sa ganda ng Pilipinas. (“I was fascinated by the beauty of the Philippines.”)
  • Nais kong dito na mamalagi.  (“I want to stay here for good.”)

  • Mahilig din akong magbisikleta.  (“I also love to cycle.”)
  • Pumunta sa dalampasigan. (“To go to the beach.”)
  • Kumain ng pagkaing Pilipino.  (“To eat Filipino food.”)

Now that you have an idea of how to craft your language cheat sheet let’s get it on with phrases and expressions you will need to improve your conversation skills.

2. Filipino Reaction Words & Expressions

Filipinos can be emotional. We love expressing ourselves and have so many words and phrases to help us convey what we feel. From feelings of love, being surprised, frustrated, or amused, you can rest assured that there’s a Filipino word for it. In this section, we will look at some of the most common expressions you can use as responses to a conversation starter. For instance, how would you respond when someone shares with you some good news? How about when someone tells you about an awful experience they’ve had?


A: Namili ako ng mga halaman kahapon. (“I went to buy some plants yesterday.”)

B: Talaga? Anong mga binili mo? (“Really? What kind of plants did you buy?”)
B: Talaga? Sama ako sa’yo sa susunod! (“Really? Let me come with you next time!”)

Ayos lang ako.

A: Kumusta ka? Antagal nating hindi nagkita. (“How are you? It’s been a long time.”)

B: Ayos lang ako. Ikaw? (“I’m fine. And you?”)
A more formal way to respond to Kumusta ka? would be Mabuti, which means “good” or “fine.”

Oo, tama ka.

A: Ikaw yung bago naming kapitbahay, diba? (“You’re our new neighbor, right?”)
B: Oo, tama ka. Kumusta? (“Yes, you’re right. How are you?”)

A: Ito ba ang sinasabi mong kailangang baguhin? (“Is this the one you said that needs editing?”)
B: Oo, tama ka. Maraming salamat. (Yes, you’re correct. Thank you so much.”)

Ayos yan ah!

A: Alam mo bang na-promote ako sa trabaho? (“Did you know that I was promoted at work?”)

B: Ayos yan ah! Dapat kumain tayo sa labas. (That’s awesome! We eat out and celebrate.”)

Pasensya na.

A: Baka gusto mong makipagpalitan ng shift? (“I was wondering if you would swap shifts.”)

B: Pasensya na, may aasikasuhin ako sa Sabado. (“I’m sorry, but I have something to do on Saturday.”)


A: Nagkasakit daw ang nanay niya. (“He said his mom is sick.”)

B: Naku! Sana gumaling siya kaagad. (“Oh my! I hope she gets better soon.”)


A: Sabi niya sinigawan daw siya nung lalaki kaya niya sinuntok. (“He said the guy shouted at him, which is why he punched him.”)

B: Grabe! Ginawa niya yun? (“Gosh! He actually did that?”)


A: Dumating na yung mga binili kong komiks! (“The comic books I ordered are here!”)

B: Astig! Tara tignan natin! (“Cool! C’mon, let’s take a look at them.”)

Ay sayang!

A: Hindi natuloy ang lakad namin kasi nag-lockdown. (“Our trip was cancelled due to the lockdown.”)

B: Ay sayang! Sige lang, sa ibang araw na lang siguro. (“Aw, too bad. That’s fine. Some other time, perhaps.”

    ➜ These are just a few reaction words and phrases to get you started. Be sure to check out our blog entry on Intermediate Filipino Phrases to learn more!

A Man Who Couldn’t Believe What She’s Hearing from a Friend

Grabe! Ginawa niya yun? (“Gosh. He actually did that?”)

3. Filipino Filler Words

Regardless of how much you’ve practiced your Tagalog, and no matter how prepared you are, there will be times that you will struggle with remembering certain words. That’s where fillers come in. Fillers are unacceptable when you’re making a speech, but they serve a purpose when you’re having casual conversations. Filler words may seem meaningless, but they can save you from a lot of embarrassment by giving you a chance to think of what to say next. The following are some of the most common Filipino filler words to help you sound like a local.

Filipino: Ano…English equivalent: “Uhm…” (Literally “What”)
Bigyan mo ako nung ano…yung matamis na kulay dilaw na kendi. (“Please give me one of those…uhm…sweet yellow candies.”)

Si ano…nakalimutan ko na pangalan niya. (“Uhm…him…I forgot his name.”)

Filipino: Diba?English equivalent: “Right?” (Literally “Isn’t it?”)
Nakapunta na ako dun, diba? Diba? Bakit di ko maalala? (“I’ve already been there, right? Right? Why can’t I remember?”)

Binigay ko sa’yo yung susi diba? Nakita niyo na binigay ko diba? Diba? (“I gave you the keys, right? You guys saw that I did give it to her, right? Right?”)

Filipino: Kuwan?English equivalent: “Uhm?” (Literally “That thing”)
Yung inorder mo online…kuwan…dumating na kanina. (“That thing you ordered online…uhm…it arrived earlier.”)

Nahanap mo na ba yung kuwan…yung charger ng telepono ko? (“Were you able to find the…uhm…my cellphone charger?”)

Filipino: AyEnglish equivalent: “Oh?” / “Aww”
Ay. Bakit di matutuloy? (“Aww. How come it’s not happening?”)

Ay, oo nga no? (“Oh, you’re right.”)

Filipino: ParangEnglish equivalent: “It’s like” (Literally “Supposedly”)
Yung parang…gusto mo siyang gawin pero ang hirap. (“It’s like…you want to do it, but it’s hard.”)

Parang ano…basta…kalimutan mo na lang. (“It’s like…nevermind.”)

Filipino: KasiEnglish equivalent: “It’s because…uhm” 
Kasi…ano…wala ako sa bahay kahapon. “It’s because…uhm…I wasn’t home yesterday.”

Ano kasi…sinamahan niya lang ako. Magkaibigan lang talaga kami. “Uhm…he just accompanied me. We’re just friends, really.”

Filipino: AyunEnglish equivalent: “So…yeah” / “There it is”
Kaya ayun…nag taxi na lang kami. “So yeah…we just took the taxi.”

Ayun! Naalala ko na. Bernard ang pangalan niya. “There it is! I remember now. His name’s Bernard.”

Two Women Having a Conversation

Ayun! Naalala ko na. Bernard ang pangalan niya. “There it is! I remember now. His name’s Bernard.”

    ➜ There are over a dozen Filipino filler words that you could learn besides the ones on this list. You can find more here.

4. Common Questions and Answers in Filipino

Questions make conversations interesting and meaningful. In fact, most exchanges are initiated by asking questions. From the very basic “How are you” to more complex and more personal queries, here are some Filipino questions you can use to start a conversation and some common responses to come with them.

“How are you?”

Q: Kumusta ka?

A: Mabuti naman. Salamat. (“I’m fine. Thank you.”)
A: Ayos lang ako. Ikaw, kumusta ka naman? (“I’m doing great. How about you?”)

“What’s your name?”

Q: Anong pangalan mo?

A: Samuel. Ikaw? (“Samuel. And you?”)
A: Lenny ang pangalan ko. Ikinagagalak kitang makilala. (“My name is Lenny. I’m glad to meet you.”)

“How did you learn to speak Tagalog?”

Q: Paano ka natuto magsalita ng Tagalog?

A: Sumali ako sa FilipinoPod101 (“I joined FilipinoPod101.”)
A: Kalahating Pilipino ang tatay ko. (“My father is half-Filipino.”)

“Where are you from?”

Q: Taga saan ka?

A: Sa Paris ako lumaki, pero mag-iisang dekada na ako dito sa bansa.  (“I grew up in Paris, but I’ve been in the country for almost a decade now.”)
A: Taga Austria ang pamilya ko. (“My family is from Austria.”)

“Do you know how to speak Tagalog?”

Q: Marunong kang mag-Tagalog?

A: Oo, kaunti. Kakalipat ko lang dito. (“Yes, just a bit. I just moved here.”)
A: Oo naman. Matagal na ako dito sa Pilipinas. (“Yes, of course. I’ve been here in the Philippines for a long time.”)

“What have you been up to lately?”

Q: Anong mga pinagkakaabalahan mo ngayon?

A: Nagtuturo ako ng gitara sa mga bata tuwing Sabado.  (“I teach kids how to play the guitar on Saturdays.”)
A: Tinatapos ko ang thesis ko. (“I’m finishing my thesis.”)

“Where did you finish your studies?”

Q: Saan ka nakapagtapos ng pag-aaral?

A: Sa Kyoto University ako nagtapos. (“I graduated from Kyoto University.”)
A: Ngayong taon pa lang ako magtatapos. (“I’m only graduating this year.”)

“What made you consider studying Filipino?”

Q: Bakit mo naisipang mag-aral ng Pilipino?

A: Napamahal na ako sa Pilipinas kaya naisipan kong aralin ang wika at kultura nito. (“I fell in love with the Philippines, so I decided to learn its language and culture.”)
A: Nais kong dito na bumuo ng pamilya. (“I decided that this is where I will start a family.”)

Two Men Greeting Each Other

Anong mga pinagkakaabalahan mo ngayon? (“What have you been up to lately?”)

5. Filipino Conversation Starters

Filipinos are great at conversations. Whether you’re attending a social gathering, having lunch at school or the workplace, or simply doing your grocery shopping, you want to be ready anytime in case you meet a Filipino friend who wants to have a chat.

Here are conversation starters to help build your confidence.

  • Kumusta ang unang araw mo dito?
    “How’s your first day here?”
  • Matagal na kayong magkakilala ni Anne?
    “How long have you and Anne known each other?”
    Lit. “Have you and Anne known each other for a long time?”
  • Kumusta? Pwede ba akong sumabay sa inyong kumain?
    “Hi. How are you? Is it okay if I join you for a meal?”
  • Kumain ka na ba? 
    “Have you eaten already?”
  • Kumain tayo sa labas pagkatapos ng trabaho. 
    “Let’s eat out after work.
  • Nagawa mo ba iyong takdang-aralin natin sa Accounting?
    “Were you able to work on our assignment for Accounting?
  • Mahilig ka din bang magbasa? 
    “Do you also like to read?”
  • Nakikinig ka din ba ng mga podcast? 
    “Do you also listen to podcasts?”

6. Tips for Improving Your Conversation Skills

There is no best way for improving Filipino conversation skills. However, you will feel more confident conversing with the locals when you have mastered the basic rules. Here are simple techniques you can apply in both formal and informal situations. 

1- Listen Before You Speak

Conversations are sometimes more about listening than talking. One of the best ways to improve your conversation skills is by practicing active listening. It’s all about being present in the conversation and paying careful attention to what the other person says. People with good communication skills don’t simply wait for their turn to speak but ensure that they register what they hear.

A great way to stay focused is to paraphrase what your conversation partner is saying back to them. For instance, if someone is talking about wanting to go to the beach, you might say, “So, it’s been a long time since you’ve been to the beach? Which place do you want to visit when you have the opportunity?”

2- Find Common Ground

Nothing keeps a conversation going than when you and your partner are talking about things that both of you love, whether general preferences, activities, or hobbies. Try talking about what you’re passionate about and see whether the other person responds. If it turns out there’s nothing common between you two, it’s still possible to get the conversation going by sharing how you feel. This approach is called pivoting. Rather than simply focusing on facts, you try to steer the conversation to emotions. 

A: I went to the National Museum yesterday.
B: Oh, great. I seldom visit such places myself, but there’s something special about learning your country’s history, would you agree?
A: I agree. It’s an entirely unique experience. There’s something about it that opens your mind to a new world.
B: I understand what you mean…[continue sharing]

3- Move Past Small Talk With Personal Questions

Small talk helps you get the conversation started, and that’s it. After a while, it can get uninteresting. Find an opportunity to move past it toward more meaningful, or if possible, more personal topics. Try asking questions that ask for the other person’s opinions, such as “What did you think about the conference?” Or, go for questions that give the other person a chance to talk about their passion, desires, and ambitions. For example, you can ask, “How come you’re so passionate about what you do?”

4- Practice As Often As You Can

Conversation skills are so-called for a reason. They require practice for you to get better at them. To get better at them, you need to practice every chance you get. If the idea intimidates you, remind yourself that you’re learning a new language and that it’s not about perfection but about being relevant. Remind yourself that it’s about being yourself, that it’s not about being someone you’re not. 

5- Be Approachable

Striking a conversation with a person you’ve met for the first time can be scary. After all, you don’t want people to discover that you’re yet to master their language. However, the only way for you to be really good at the language you’re learning is to have conversations with people who speak that language, whether or not you know them. 

Appearing confident and approachable plays a huge role when you’re talking to new people. Standing straight, looking at the other person’s eye, and smiling can all make a big difference. 

6- Be Authentic

It’s tempting to want to focus on being witty when you’re having a conversation. People tend to gravitate toward quick-witted individuals, don’t they? However, rather than trying to sound funny or clever, you’d want to be genuine and authentic. Your goal for having a conversation is for other people to know who you truly are, so be yourself. It’s going to be less stressful and will take so much pressure off of you. 

7- Don’t Be Afraid To Take A Break

Finally, always remember that it’s okay to take a break when you’re nervous or anxious. Avoid speaking too fast just to get the entire thing over with as soon as possible. This will only cause you to lose your focus, stammer, and say the wrong thing. Take things slowly. If you need to speak slowly, do so. It’s also important to remove yourself from a situation that’s causing you to have social burnout. If you’re in a social gathering, politely tell the other person or persons that you need to go somewhere for a while and return when you’re ready to talk again. Or if you need to leave early, just express your intention kindly and leave.

A Man and Woman Enjoying a Conversation

Be genuine and authentic in a conversation. It will take so much pressure off of you.

7. How FilipinoPod101 Can Help

Your Tagalog conversation skills play an integral role in your ability to express yourself when conversing in Filipino. In this guide, you learned exactly how to take those skills to another level. One is by learning how to craft your personal language profile (or cheat sheet as we call it). Another is by familiarizing yourself with various expressions to use in various circumstances. Did we forget to add anything? Let us know in the comments section!

Meanwhile, why don’t you join FilipinoPod101 and learn more than just how to improve Filipino conversation skills? Here at FilipinoPod101, you can enjoy a wide range of free resources to help you with mastering the Filipino language. Whether it’s audio lessons, vocabulary lists, or blog entries like the one you’re reading right now, you can rest assured that there’s a resource that suits your learning needs.

And did we mention MyTeacher? MyTeacher is a premium feature that provides you with one-on-one coaching with a private teacher. With MyTeacher, you can receive real-time feedback on your progress. That way, you’ll know exactly where you are at every time in your journey of learning the Filipino language! 

What are you waiting for? Sign up for a free lifetime account today!

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A Practical Guide on How to Start a Conversation in Filipino


Knowing how to break the ice by starting a conversation is an important social skill. You don’t have to be an eloquent speaker to achieve it, though. The key is confidence. However, to gain confidence, you need to know exactly what to say to gain other people’s trust—all the more if you’re trying to strike a conversation using a language you’re just learning. But that’s the reason we’re making this guide. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to start a conversation in Tagalog.

The good news is that Filipinos are not intimidated by small talk. As a matter of fact, most Filipinos welcome it. That said, you shouldn’t worry if you’re not very fluent in the Tagalog language yet. Filipinos are generally friendly, and if you allow them, they might even offer you a tip or two when it comes to initiating a conversation with someone.

But look no further because, in this guide, we’ll give you some of the most common Filipino basic conversation starters that you can use whether you’re meeting new people at a party, at work, or in school. And, yes, we’ll also offer you some tips on how to break the ice when going out on a date.

Four People Conversing Over Some Coffee

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Conversation Starters for Mingling and Socializing
  2. Conversation Starters for First Day at a New School or New Job
  3. Conversation Starters for a First Date
  4. Conversation Starters to Reconnect with a Friend
  5. How FilipinoPod101 Can Help

1. Conversation Starters for Mingling and Socializing

Filipinos love to socialize. It’s not uncommon for families to throw parties and invite friends and colleagues, whether for a grand family reunion, an annual fiesta, a thanksgiving celebration, or a birthday party. Social gatherings in the Philippines are not too formal, though. But even in formal gatherings, people are not expected to speak formally. As long as you approach every conversation with respect and politeness, you won’t have any problem at all.

Oh, before anything else, you need to understand that most Filipinos no longer speak Tagalog 100% of the time, especially those living in the cities. Don’t be surprised if you hear someone speak in Taglish or if someone inserts English words within sentences. Still, there’s nothing wrong with conversing in pure Tagalog and learning common Tagalog phrases, and that’s why we didn’t include a lot of Taglish in this guide. After all, it’s more impressive to hear a non-native speaker speak in straight Filipino.

Without further ado, here are a few ways you can break the ice when meeting new people at a social event.

1- General conversation starters

  • Saan kayo nagkakilala ni Richard? “Where did you and Richard first meet?”
  • Paano mo nakilala si Annie? “How did you meet Annie?”
  • Matagal na kayong magkakilala? “How long have you known each other?” Lit. “Have you known each other for a long time?”
  • Magkasama kayo sa trabaho? “Are you guys colleagues at work?”
  • Saan ka pala nagtatrabaho? “Where do you work, by the way?”
  • Aling kumpanya ang pinagtatrabahuhan mo? “Which company do you work for?”
  • Anong hanapbuhay mo? “What do you do for a living?”
  • Anong negosyo mo? “What kind of business are you into?”

2- When talking to a group

  • Anong mga pinagkakaabalahan ninyo? “What keeps you guys busy?”
  • Anong pinakapinananabikan niyong parte ng kaganapan ngayon? “What part of this event are you most excited about?”
  • Nakadalo na ba kayo sa ganitong klaseng pagtitipon? “Have you been to this kind of event before?”

3- Conversation starters over food

  • Mukhang masarap yang nakuha mo ah? “What you got there looks delicious.”
  • Mukhang masarap yang kinakain mo ah? “What you’re eating there looks delicious.”
  • Ito na yata ang pinakamasarap na paella na natikman ko. Hinda ba? “This is probably the best paella I have tasted. Would you agree?”
  • Natikman mo ba yung lechon nila? Ang lutong ng balat! “Were you able to taste the roasted pig? The skin is perfectly crunchy!”
  • Kukuha pa ako ng pagkain, gusto mo din ba? “I’m going to get more food. Would you like to come?” / “I’m going to get more food. Is there anything I can get you?”

A Man and a Woman Laughing while Toasting at a Party
    Knowing how to introduce yourself properly is the key to a successful first-time conversation. Our lesson on Basic Self-Introduction in Filipino should help you with that!

2. Conversation Starters for First Day at a New School or New Job

The first day at work or school is always the most exciting, but it’s also the most nerve-wracking. The scenarios are quite different when you’re talking about the first day at work since most people already know each other. In school, you’re usually not the only one who’s new, which means you’re not the only one who’s nervous about meeting strangers. Don’t worry because we’ve got you covered in both situations.

Most Filipino greetings start with “kumusta?” or “how are you?” Don’t just stop there, though. Be creative and follow it up with another question.

Here are general conversation starters that you can use whether you’re at work or in school.

  • Kumusta? Unang araw ko dito. Ikaw? “Hi. It’s my first day here. How about you?”
  • Kumusta? Ako nga pala si Carol. Anong pangalan mo? “Hi. I’m Carol, by the way. What’s your name?”
  • Kumusta? Pwede ba akong sumabay sa inyong kumain? “Hi. How are you? Is it okay if I join you for a meal?”
  • Ilang taon ka na dito? “How long have you been here?” Lit. “How many years have you been here?”

And here are conversation starters you can use after the first few days in school.

  • Magkaklase ba tayo sa Biology? “Are you in my Biology class?” Lit. “Are we classmates in Biology?”
  • Napansin kita sa Calculus kanina. Ang galing mo pala. “I noticed you in Calculus earlier. You’re good!”
  • May sinalihan ka na ba na club? “Have you joined any club yet?”
  • Pupunta ako sa silid-aklatan. Gusto mong sumama? “I’m going to the library. Would you like to come?”

Now, here are conversation starters you can use on your first day at the office.

  • Sa IT department ako naka-assign. Ikaw? “I’m from the IT department. You?”
  • Saang departamento ka? “Which department are you in?”
  • Sa aling proyekto kayo magkasama? “Which project are you working on together?”
  • Anong trabaho mo dito? “What’s your job here?”
  • Matagal ka na bang nagtatrabaho dito? “Have you been working here for a long time?”

If you know someone who’s also new to the job, you can use the following expressions to make them feel comfortable.

  • Kumusta ang unang araw mo? “How’s your first day?”
  • May maitutulong ba ako? “Can I help with anything?”
  • Huwag kang mag-atubiling magsabi kung may kailangan ka. “Don’t hesitate to let me know if you need anything.”

After a while, you’ll get more comfortable with your colleagues, and that’s the time you can use more personal conversation starters like the following:

  • Matagal na akong naghahanap ng ganyang sapatos. Saan mo nabili? “I’ve been searching for a pair of shoes like that one. Where did you buy it?”
  • Ang ganda naman ng suot mo. Bagay sa’yo. “Your shirt looks nice. It suits you.”
  • Kumusta ang bagong proyekto niyo? “How’s your new project going?”
  • Kumain tayo sa labas pagkatapos ng trabaho. Yayain natin si boss. “Let’s eat out after work. Let’s invite the boss.”
  • Inuman tayo pag natapos na natin ang proyekto. “Let’s celebrate with a drink once we’ve completed the project.”

A Woman Carrying a Tray with Some Food

Kumusta? Pwede akong sumabay sa inyong kumain? “Hi. How are you? Is it okay if I join you?”

3. Conversation Starters for a First Date

Filipinos are outgoing, but most prefer to maintain a conservative attitude when it comes to first dates, especially the ladies. Since it’s the first date, your aim is to get to know the other person. And what better way to do that than by having deep and meaningful conversations? You have to start by breaking the ice, though. Try to keep things slow at first and gradually move on to more intimate topics only when the two of you have started to feel a lot more comfortable with each other.

Here are a few expressions you can say to your date on your initial engagement.

  • Bagay sa iyo ang suot mo. “Your dress suits you.”
  • Ang ganda mo naman. “You’re really beautiful.”
  • Naghintay ka ba nang matagal? “Did you wait long?”
  • Saan mo gustong pumunta? “Where do you want to go?”
  • Saan mo gustong kumain? “Where do you want to eat?”
  • Nasubukan mo na bang kumain sa… “Have you tried dining at…?”

And once things start to heat up between the two of you…

  • Gusto mo bang manood ng sine pagkatapos nating kumain? “Would you love to watch a movie after we eat?”
  • Napanood mo ba yung… “Have you seen…?”
  • Nagustuhan mo ba ang pagkain? “So, did you like the food here?”
  • Sabihin mo lang kung may gusto ka pang kainin. “Just let me know if there’s anything else you want to try on the menu.”

You’ll know when it’s time to talk about the more serious stuff, and when that happens, here are some things you can talk about with your date.

  • Taga saan ang pamilya mo? “Where is your family from?”
  • Dito ka ba lumaki? “Did you grow up in these parts?”
  • Anong mga hilig mo? “What are your interests?”
  • Ano pala ang paborito mong… “What’s your favorite [insert subject here], by the way?”
  • Mahilig ka ba sa mga aso/pusa? “Do you like dogs/cats?”
  • Anong ginagawa mo sa bakanteng oras mo? “What do you do in your free time?” 
  • Anong pangarap mong trabaho? “What would be your dream job?”
  • Mas pipiliin mo bang magtrabaho sa umaga o sa gabi? Are you a morning person or a night owl?”
  • Sa aling mga lugar ka na nakapunta? Where have you traveled? 
  • Mas pipiliin mo bang nasa bahay ka lang o yung namamasyal? “Are you more of an indoors or outdoors person?”
  • Anong mga hanap mo sa isang lalaki/babae? “What traits do you look for in men/women?”

This last one is either a bit straightforward or cheesy. You will know if your date is comfortable with such questions, but still, use it with discretion.

A Man Surprises His Date with Some Flowers

4. Conversation Starters to Reconnect with a Friend

In this day and age, you might think that the term “reconnecting” doesn’t seem to apply to friendships anymore, considering that social media has made it very easy for people to chat with or call one another anytime. However, you might be surprised to find out that people are more disconnected these days than twenty or thirty years ago.

That’s where the following conversation starters come in. In the Philippines, there’s an English expression people use when meeting a friend whom they haven’t seen for a long time. It’s the expression “Long time no see.” You can use this phrase too, of course, although it’s not the best way to reconnect with someone. The following are much better alternatives that you can use to reconnect, whether via chat, text, or email.

  • Ano na ang balita sa iyo? “What’s up with you these days?” Lit. “What’s the news about you?”
  • May gagawin ka ba sa Linggo? “Do you have anything to do this Sunday?”
  • Kumusta ka na? Kita tayo. “How are you? Let’s meet.”
  • Ang tagal na nating hindi nagkita ah. Kape tayo sa Sabado? “We haven’t seen each other for a long time. Coffee this Saturday?”
  • Ilang buwan na mula nung huli tayong nagkita. Dalawin mo naman ako minsan. “It’s been months since we’ve last seen each other. You should visit me sometime.” 
  • Uy, may ikukuwento ako sayo. Pwede bang tumawag? “Hey, I’ve got something to tell you. Can I call?”
  • Pwede mo ba akong tulungan? “Can you help me with something?”
  • Saan ka na nagtatrabaho ngayon? “Where do you work now?”
  • Dun ka pa rin ba nakatira sa condo mo dati? “Do you still live in that same condo of yours?”
  • Balita ko umuwi ka raw. Kita tayo! “I heard you’re in town. Let’s meet!” Lit. “I’ve received news that you’ve come home. Let’s see each other.”

A Woman Texting on Her Phone

Balita ko umuwi ka raw. Kita tayo! “I heard you’re in town. Let’s meet!”

5. How FilipinoPod101 Can Help

In this guide, we introduced you to the most practical conversation starters in Tagalog for beginners. Today, you learned how to strike up a conversation when meeting new people at parties, at work, and in school. You also learned conversation starters to make your first date successful and memorable.

Are there any other Tagalog words or expressions you feel should have been included in this guide? Or is there a Tagalog conversation example that’s not very clear to you? Let us know in the comments below! But whether we missed anything or not, we believe that the ones we’ve included here should be enough to give you the confidence to converse with native speakers.

To feel even more confident with your skills, why not join FilipinoPod101? At FilipinoPod101, you can enjoy innovative language learning tools you won’t find elsewhere. Whether it’s tools for improving your grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation or materials to help you learn Tagalog and the Filipino culture better, you can rest assured that FilipinoPod101’s got your back.

Did we mention that you can also enjoy one-on-one coaching with MyTeacher? With this premium feature, you can receive detailed feedback on your progress, so you know exactly where you are in your journey of learning Filipino.

What are you waiting for? Sign up now!

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Talking About Your Nationality in Filipino


The Filipino nationality always draws attention. Everywhere they go, Filipinos make a name for themselves, globally and in different industries—thus the term “Filipino pride.” Pride for one’s nationality is not exclusive to Filipinos though. Regardless of your race, when you visit another country, you are always excited to let everyone know where you are from and what your nationality is. The question, however, is whether you know how to introduce yourself in a way that will impress your listeners. 

If you’re visiting the Philippines, for instance, a really good way to pique someone’s interest is to let them hear you introduce yourself in Tagalog. That’s what this guide is for. In this blog post, you’ll learn how to ask someone their nationality, how to tell someone what your nationality is, and what common patterns you can use to do so—all in Filipino, of course!

Hands of People from Different Races Joined Together

It’s important to have pride in one’s nationality.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Different Nationalities in the Philippines
  2. How Do You Ask Someone Their Nationality in Filipino?
  3. How Do You Tell Someone Your Nationality in Filipino?
  4. Sentence Structure to Use When Talking About Your Nationality in Filipino
  5. How FilipinoPod101 Can Help

1. Different Nationalities in the Philippines

1 – Major Ethnolinguistic Groups in the Philippines

Before we proceed to learn how to talk about one’s nationality in Filipino, let’s first explore the different nationalities in the Philippines. While the Philippines is considered one nation, it is made up of over a hundred ethnolinguistic nations—175 to be exact. As an archipelago, the Philippines is composed of 7,640 islands and 18 regions. Each of these regions is represented by different ethnolinguistic groups. The Tagalogs are the largest of these groups, most of whom live within the National Capital Region. The Cebuanos, who inhabit the islands of Cebu, Siquijor, and Bohol, come second. 

Here’s an overview of the largest ethnolinguistic groups in the Philippines today.

Ethnolinguistic GroupPopulationRegion
Tagalog30,000,000NCR, Calabarzon
Cebuano9,125,637Central Visayas
Ilocano8,074,536Region I (Ilocos Region)
Hiligaynon7,773,655Region VI (Western Visayas), Soccsksargen Region
Bicolano6,299,283Region V (Bicol Peninsula)
Waray3,660,645Region VIII (Eastern Visayas)
Zamboangueño367,278Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula)
Kapampangan 2,784,526Region III (Central Luzon)
Pangasinense1,823,865Region I (Ilocos Region)
Surigaonon367,278Region XIII (Caraga Region)

Most of the people from each of these regions can understand and speak Filipino or Tagalog. However, not everyone can understand or speak each other’s local dialects. It’s also not unusual for non-native Tagalog speakers to have their own accent when speaking in Tagalog.

2 – Top Nationalities Visiting the Philippines Every Year

This time, let’s find out which countries the Philippines receives the most visitors from each year. The data below is from 2019, but it should show which countries consider the Philippines a top tourist destination. As you can see, South Korea and China are at the top of the list. They are followed by the United States, Japan, and Taiwan. The country received 8 million tourists in 2019 and currently ranks 51st in the world in terms of tourist numbers.

CountryVisitor Arrival (2019)Nationality (English)Nationality (Filipino)
South Korea1,989,322KoreanKoreano
United States1,064,440AmericanAmerikano
United Kingdom209,206BritishBriton

Flags of Different Countries

The thousands of tourists visiting the Philippines each year are a testament to the beauty of the country and the hospitality of its people.

2. How Do You Ask Someone Their Nationality in Filipino?

The Filipino word for “nationality” is nasyonalidad. In the Philippines, when people want to ask about one’s nationality, they either use this word or the Filipino word for “race,” which is lahi. The word dugo or “blood” is also used from time to time. And, since Filipino has both formal and informal speech, it makes sense to learn how to ask someone their nationality in both formal and informal Tagalog.

1 – Formal

It’s not all the time that you’ll encounter a Filipino using formal speech or need to use formal speech yourself. Nevertheless, it’s still essential to familiarize yourself with it. When we speak of formal Filipino, the difference is usually in the types of words used. For instance, instead of saying ipinanganak (“was/were born”), we use isinilang. And, instead of saying pwede (“can”), we use maaari. Let’s see a few examples to understand how this works:

  • Maaari mo bang sabihin kung ano ang iyong nasyonalidad? 
    (“Can you tell what your nationality is?”)
  • Maaari bang malaman kung saang bansa ka nanggaling? 
    (“May I know which country you are from?”)
  • Saang bansa ka isinilang? 
    (“What country were you born in?”)
  • Ikaw ba ay isang [nationality]? 
    (“Are you [nationality]?”)
  • Ikaw ba ay may lahing Portuges?
    (“Do you have Portuguese blood?”)
  • Nais ko po sanang malaman kung ano ang nasyonalidad ninyo.
    (“I was wondering if you could tell me what your nationality is.”)
    (Literally: “I would like to know what your nationality is.”)

2 – Informal

Another thing that separates informal Filipino from formal Filipino is that it’s often straightforward and may or may not include polite introductory words. That makes the sentences significantly shorter.

  • Ano ang nasyonalidad mo? 
    (“What is your nationality?”)
  • [Nationality] ka ba? 
    (“Are you [nationality]?”)

    *Notice that this translates the same way that the formal Ikaw ba ay isang [nationality]? does, but it is less formal and more direct.
  • Sa Pilipinas ka ba lumaki? 
    (“Did you grow up in the Philippines?” / “Were you raised in the Philippines?”)
  • Sa aling bansa ka galing? 
    (“Which country did you come from?”)
    (Literally: “In which country did you come from?”)
  • Mayroon ka bang lahing Kastila?
    (“Do you have Spanish blood?”)

Two Women Talking

Mayroon ka bang lahing Kastila? (“Do you have Spanish blood?”)

    How does formal Filipino work? This video lesson will teach you everything you need to know about the subject.

3. How Do You Tell Someone Your Nationality in Filipino?

Talking about your nationality in Tagalog is relatively easy. If you’re comfortable discussing the subject of race or ethnicity with a Filipino friend, here are some sentence patterns you can follow:

  • Sa Amerika ako ipinanganak. 
    (“I was born in America.”)
  • Ang aking pagkamamamayan ay Singaporean. 
    (“My citizenship is Singaporean.”)
  • Isa akong Griyego. 
    (“I am Greek.”)
  • Australyano ako, pero sa Inglatera ako lumaki. 
    (“I am Australian, but I grew up in England.”)
  • Dito ako sa Pilipinas ipinanganak, pero sa Dubai na ako lumaki. 
    (“I was born here in the Philippines, but I spent most of my life in Dubai.”)
  • Dual citizen ako ng Amerika, pero isa akong Thai.
    (“I’m a dual citizen of America, but I am Thai.”)
  • Ruso ako. 
    (“I am Russian.”)

If you don’t want to talk about your nationality, you can respectfully decline using the following phrases:

  • Pasensya ka na pero ayaw kong pag-usapan ang mga ganitong paksa.
    “I’m really sorry, but I don’t want to talk about these kinds of topics.”
  • Ibang bagay na lang ang pag-usapan natin kung maaari.
    “Let’s just talk about something else, if possible.”
  • Pwede ba nating baguhin ang paksa?
    “Can we change the subject, please?”

Two Colleagues Having a Conversation While Walking

Dito ako sa Pilipinas ipinanganak, pero sa Dubai na ako lumaki. (“I was born here in the Philippines, but I spent most of my life in Dubai.”)

4. Sentence Structure to Use When Talking About Your Nationality in Filipino

Earlier, we listed the top nationalities visiting the Philippines each year. In this section, we’ve expanded that list to include the capital city and primary language of each country.

From this list, you can develop a basic pattern for speaking about your nationality in Filipino.

CountryNationality (Filipino)Capital CityLanguage(English)Language(Filipino)
South KoreaKoreanoSeoulKoreanKoreano
United StatesAmerikanoWashington, D.C.EnglishIngles
United KingdomBritishLondonEnglishIngles
MalaysiaMalayKuala LumpurMalayMalay
IndiaIndiyanoNew DelhiHindiIndiyano

Using the data above, let’s construct a self-introduction that you can use to tell someone what your nationality is. Let’s start with the most common pattern, where you first mention which country you came from.

  • Taga Australia ako. 
    (“I am from Australia.”)

Next, you can mention what your nationality is.

  • Isa akong Australyano. 
    (“I am an Australian.”)

You can also mention which city you live in.

  • Nakatira ako sa Canberra.
    (“I live in Canberra.”)

After which, you can mention what language you speak.

  • Ingles ang pangunahing wikang gamit ko. 
    (“English is my native language.”)

If you know other languages, you can mention that too.

  • Marunong din akong mag-Mandarin. 
    (“I also know how to speak Mandarin.”)

Putting all of these together, you get the following sentence:

  • Isa akong Australyano.  Nakatira ako sa Canberra. Ingles ang wikang gamit ko pero marunong din akong mag-Mandarin.
    (“I am an Australian. I live in Canberra. English is the primary language I use, but I also know how to speak Mandarin.”)

The following are various other ways to talk about your nationality and the language (or languages) you speak in Filipino.

  • Pilipino ako. Ipinanganak ako sa Maynila. Ang wikang gamit ko ay Tagalog.
    (“I am a Filipino. I was born in Manila. The language I use is Tagalog.”)
  • Koreano ako na lumaki sa Seoul, pero Filipino citizen ako, at marunong akong magsalita ng Ingles at Pilipino.
    (“I’m a Korean who was raised in Seoul, but I’m a Filipino citizen, and I know how to speak both English and Filipino.”)
  • Amerikano ako, pero sa London na ako namalagi mga dalawang dekada na.
    (“I’m an American, but I have been residing in London for two decades now.”)
  • Sa New Zealand ako lumaki at namalagi ng mahabang panahon, pero mayroon akong pasaporte ng Pilipinas dahil Pilipino ako.
    (“I grew up in New Zealand and lived there for a long time, but I do have a Philippine passport since I am Filipino.”)
  • Isa akong Taiwanese. Hindi pa ako masyadong marunong mag Tagalog.
    (“I’m Taiwanese. I’m not that fluent in Tagalog yet.”)
  • Ang aking mga ninuno ay nagmula sa Tsina, partikular sa Beijing.
    (“My ancestors came from China, specifically Beijing.”)
  • Singaporean ako na lumaki sa Australia. Marunong akong mag Mandarin at Malay.
    (“I’m a Singaporean who grew up in Australia. I am fluent in both Mandarin and Malay.”)
  • Pilipino ang tatay ko at Haponesa naman ang nanay ko. Marunong akong magsalita ng Tagalog at Hapones.
    (“My dad is Filipino and my mom is Japanese. I know how to speak both Filipino and Japanese.”)
  • May lahi akong Pranses at Kastila. Nag-aaral pa lang akong magsalita ng Pilipino.
    (“I am of French and Spanish descent. I’m just learning to speak Filipino.”)
  • Ayon sa birth certificate ko, sa Ehipto ako ipinanganak. Pero Pilipino talaga ako, at magaling akong mag-Tagalog.
    (“According to my birth certification, I was born in Egypt. But I am Filipino, and I can speak Tagalog very well.”
  • Sa Moscow ako ipinanganak at lumaki. Ruso ang aking ama at Malay naman ang aking ina.
    (“I was born and raised in Moscow. My father is Russian, and my mother is Malay.”)
  • Pilipino ako, pero mayroon akong dugong Pranses at Aleman sa panig ng aking ina.
    (“I am Filipino, but I have French and German ancestry on my mother’s side.”)
  • Swedish ako, pero meron akong Philippine citizenship.
    (“I am Swedish, but I have Philippine citizenship.”)

A Man and a Woman Having Coffee Together

May lahi akong Pranses at Kastila. (“I am of French and Spanish descent.”)

    Learning how to tell others what your nationality is in Filipino is vital if you wish to communicate like a native. Just as important is learning these 10 basic lines for self-introduction.

5. How FilipinoPod101 Can Help

In this guide, you’ve learned how to say the names of different nationalities in Filipino as well as how to talk about your nationality when introducing yourself. Are there other names of countries and nationalities that you wish had been included here? Let us know in the comments section below!

Before you leave, don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog entries and lessons. Here at FilipinoPod101, you’re sure to find a lesson that’s tailored to your learning needs, whether you’re at the beginner level, intermediate level, or advanced level.

We have free resources and lessons for you to begin with. Video and audio lessons are available so that you don’t just read but also hear how Filipino words are pronounced. We also have slideshows, wordlists, and flashcards designed to help you learn vocabulary words by heart.

And if you want to take things to another level, our MyTeacher service is here for you. Available with a Premium PLUS subscription, MyTeacher provides you with a personal teacher who will give you real-time feedback and guidance so that you can speak fluent Filipino in no time!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino

Speak Like a True Local with These Advanced Tagalog Phrases


The origin of Tagalog vocabulary and its significant grammatical differences compared to English make it relatively difficult for many people to master. The Foreign Service Institute has listed Tagalog as a Category III language, making it as challenging to learn as Hebrew, Greek, and Russian. The good news is that everything should be smooth sailing once you’ve gotten past the hurdles of things like verb–pronoun relationships, verb conjugation, vocabulary, and pronunciation. And, if you’re reading this guide on advanced Tagalog phrases, it means you’ve gotten past those hurdles. It also means you’re ready to take on more challenging aspects of the Filipino language.

Don’t worry: challenging doesn’t always mean complex, and advanced doesn’t necessarily mean intimidating. In this guide, you’ll encounter words and phrases that you won’t typically hear in everyday speech. Here, you’ll be introduced to expressions reserved for things like academic writing, resume writing, and formal business meetings. Moreover, you’ll have the opportunity to express your ideas and opinions more effectively by learning advanced Filipino idioms.

A Man Climbing a Mountain

Are you ready to take the challenge?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Useful Phrases for Formal Speech and Writing
  2. Power Phrases for Resumes
  3. Smart Phrases for Business Meetings
  4. Advanced Idioms, Sayings, and Proverbs for Everyday Usage
  5. How FilipinoPod101 Can Help

1. Useful Phrases for Formal Speech and Writing

The following phrases are not something you’ll get to use or hear every day. They are often used in formal speech and writing. You may not always be given the opportunity to use them, but when the right time comes, it’s better that you have them in your arsenal of advanced Filipino phrases.

Una sa lahat“First of all”
Una sa lahat, nais kong kilalanin…
“First of all, I would like to acknowledge…”

Ayon sa / Ayon kay – “According to”
Ayon sa pananaliksik…
“According to research…”

Bagkus – “On the contrary,” “Rather”
Bagkus, ang problema na ito ay maaari sanang maiwasan.
The problem, rather, is supposed to be preventable.

Bukod dito “Moreover” Literally: “Besides this”
Bukod dito, mahalagang maunawaan natin ang mga layunin ng pag-aaral na ito.
“Moreover, it is vital for us to know the objectives of this study.”

Nang sa gayon – “So as to,” “In order to”
…nang sa gayon ay maisulong ang patuloy na pananaliksik ukol sa paksang ito.
“…so as to promote ongoing research on this topic.”

Sa madaling salita – “In other words”
Sa madaling salita, ang proyekto ay dapat na mapondohan sa lalong madaling panahon.
“In other words, the project must be funded as soon as possible.”

Ganun din “In the same manner”
Ganun din, hindi ito nangangailangan ng espesyal na pagsasanay.
“In the same manner, it doesn’t require any special training.”

Gayunpaman – “However”
Gayunpaman, marami ang hindi nakakaalam nito.
“However, many are not aware of this.”

Sa kabila nito – “Nevertheless”
Sa kabila nito, hindi tayo dapat magmadali sa paggawa ng mga konklusyon.
“Nevertheless, we must not be in haste to make conclusions.

Sa kabaliktaran – “By contrast”
Sa kabaliktaran, ang mga tumanggap ng gamot ay nagpakita ng mga palatandaan ng paggaling.
“By contrast, those who received the drug showed signs of recovery.”

A Group of Scientists Doing Some Research

Ayon sa pananaliksik…(“According to research…”)

2. Power Phrases for Resumes

Formal or business writing in the Philippines is primarily done using the English language. In the Philippines, having a good command of English gives one the advantage of securing a job. Being able to speak English fluently is seen as equivalent to being able to effectively interact with other cultures. That doesn’t mean you can’t write your resume in Filipino. If you’re a foreigner, being able to write a resume in fluent Tagalog is a sign of knowledge and dedication. It will show the employer that you’re serious about your application and are also creative and willing to think outside the box.

Kakayahang magtrabaho nang may mataas na antas ng kawastuhan
“Ability to perform with a high degree of accuracy”

Kakayahang magkamit ng namumukod-tanging resulta sa mga proyekto
“Ability to achieve outstanding project results”

Magpakita ng positibong imahe
“Projects a positive image”

Makipag-usap nang malinaw at may kabuluhan
“Communicates clearly and concisely”

Gamitin ang buong kakayahan
“Uses ability to the fullest”

Magpakita ng malikhaing imahinasyon
“Displays creative imagination”

Kakayahang gumawa ng matatag na desisyon na may kumpyansa sa sarili 
“Ability to make firm decisions with confidence”

Tunay na maaasahan at mapagkakatiwalaan sa pagtupad ng mga tungkulin
“Exceptionally reliable and trustworthy in accomplishing tasks”

Kakahayang bumuo ng makabaong diskarte at pamamaraan sa pagkumpleto ng proyekto 
“Ability to develop new strategies and methods for completing a project”

Inuuna ang interes ng organisasyon bago ang personal na kaginhawaan
“Places organizational interest ahead of personal convenience”

Man Showing Ability to Multitask

Palagi kong ginagamit ang aking buong kakayahan.
“I always use my ability to the fullest.”

3. Smart Phrases for Business Meetings

While English may be the primary means of communication in the Philippine corporate world, Tagalog steals the limelight during business meetings. Unless there are any non-Filipino speakers at the conference, everyone is free to use a mix of English and Tagalog as a medium for expressing their thoughts and opinions. That said, it’s always an advantage to know some formal Filipino words and expressions when at a meeting, as it gives the impression that you know what you’re talking about and that you’re there to do business.

Simulan ang pagpupulong – “To start the meeting”
Simulan na natin ang pagpupulong.
“Let’s start the meeting.”

Talakayin ang mungkahi – “To discuss the proposal”
Nais kong talakayin natin ang iminungkahi ni Ginoong Rodriguez.
“I would like us to discuss what Mr. Rodriguez has proposed.”

Isulong ang proyekto – “To promote the project”
Kailangan na nating maisulong ang proyekto sa lalong madaling panahon. 
“We need to move the project forward as soon as possible.”

Makabagong estratehiya – “Innovative approach”
Sa araw na ito, mag-iisip tayo ng mas makabagong istratehiya.
“Today, we will think of a more innovative approach.”

Pamunuan ang kalakaran“To lead the trend”
Maaari nating pamunuan ang mga kalakaran sa ekonomiya sa halip na sumunod lamang. 
“We can lead the trends in the economy instead of simply following.”

Matugunan ang takdang-petsa“To meet the deadline”
Huwag kang mag-alala. Magagawa nating matugunan ang takdang-petsa. 
“Don’t worry. We will be able to meet the deadline.”

Napakaraming rekisitos “Red tape” Literally: “So many requirements”
Mahirap maiwasan ang napakaraming rekisitos, ngunit hindi ito imposible. 
“It’s hard to avoid the red tape, but it’s not impossible.”

Magbigay-pugay “To give honor”
Bago ang lahat, nais kong magbigay-pugay sa ating punong tagapamahala.
“Before anything else, I would like to give honor to our chief executive.”

Tubong lugaw  – “a business enterprise with returns far exceeding the investment
”Literally: Profit from selling porridge
Subukan natin ang ideya ni Diane. Maliit man ang kita, pero tuloy-tuloy. Tubong-lugaw, ika nga.
“Let’s try Diane’s idea. The income for each sale may be small, but it’s sustainable. Soon, our returns will far exceed what we’ve invested.” 

Maging maagap “To be proactive”
Maging maagap tayo sa pagpili kung paano gagamitin ang mga oras natin. 
“We need to be proactive in how we use our time.”

A Group of People in a Meeting

Maaari nating pamunuan ang mga kalakaran sa ekonomiya sa halip na sumunod lamang.
“We can lead the trends in the economy instead of simply following.”

4. Advanced Idioms, Sayings, and Proverbs for Everyday Usage

The Filipino language has some of the most captivating idioms and proverbs. Referred to as salawikain or sawikain in Tagalog, sayings or idioms play an essential role in Filipino culture. They are passed down from one generation to another, primarily through oral tradition, and are often humorous (or even bizarre) while still offering practical wisdom from older times.

Itaga mo sa bato. – “Mark my words” 
Literally: “Hack it against a rock”
Hahanapin mo din ako pag wala na ako. Itaga mo iyan sa bato. 
“You will look for me when I’m gone. Mark my words.”

Maghahalo ang balat sa tinalupan. “All hell will break loose.”
Literally: “The peel will mix with the ones peeled”
Pag nalaman kong niloloko niyo ako, maghahalo ang balat sa tinalupan.
“When I find out that you’re trying to fool me, all hell will break loose.”

Namamangka sa dalawang ilog – “Cheating”
Literally: “Rowing a boat on two rivers at the same time”
Ayan ang napapala mo sa pamamangka mo sa dalawang ilog.
“That’s what you get for cheating.”

Pupulutin sa kangkungan – “End up in a dumpster”
Literally: “Will be picked up from a cluster of water spinach”

Note: In the Philippines, the bodies of victims of summary executions are often thrown in ponds covered by a dense growth of water spinach.
Pupulutin ka sa kangkungan kapag hindi mo inayos ang buhay mo.
“You might end up in a dumpster if you don’t behave.”

Kahit lumuha ka ng dugo – “You won’t be forgiven no matter what you do”
Literally: “Even if you shed tears of blood”
Hindi kita pagbibigyan kahit lumuha ka pa ng dugo. 
“I will never grant your desire, not even if you shed tears of blood.”

Naghahabi ng kuwento “Exaggerating,” “Telling a lie”
Literally: “Weaving a story”
Mahilig talaga maghabi ng kwento si Joel makakuha lang ng kliyente.
“Joel will do anything to attract clients, even weave a fascinating story.”

Suntok sa buwan – “A task that is next-to-impossible to accomplish”
Literally: “A punch to the moon”
Ang mahulog ang loob niya sa akin ay suntok sa buwan.
“To have her fall in love with me is next to impossible.”

Harangan man ng sibat – “No matter what it takes”
Literally: “Even when stopped by a spear”
Hindi nila iuurong ang kaso harangan man sila ng sibat.
“They will not drop the case no matter what happens.”

Maghanap ng karayom sa gitna ng dayami – “To do a seemingly impossible task”
Literally: “To look for a needle in the middle of a haystack”
Sa sitwasyong iyan ay parang naghahanap lamang siya ng karayom sa gitna ng dayami.
“The way things are going, it seems that he’s just wasting his time on something that’s impossible to accomplish.”

Magdildil ng asin – “Be so poor that you have to eat salt (with rice) for meals,” “To be poor as a rat”
Literally: “Bunch up salt with one’s fingers”
Mag-aral ka nang mabuti kung ayaw mong magdildil ng asin habangbuhay.
“Study hard if you don’t want to end up poor as a rat.”

A Hand Peeling Some Carrots

Maghahalo ang balat sa tinalupan.
“All hell will break loose.”

    ➜ Access this lesson to learn more common Filipino idioms.

5. How FilipinoPod101 Can Help

Congratulations! With these advanced Filipino phrases, you’ll be able to communicate in Tagalog more fluently and more confidently! Are there other advanced Tagalog words and phrases you wish we had  included on this list? Let us know in the comments. 

That said, you know that the phrases on this list are not all there is. Here at FilipinoPod101, you can further enhance your skills with lessons from our archives and other free resources. You can rest assured that there’s a lesson tailored to your needs, whether it’s about vocabulary, key Filipino phrases, or grammar.

And speaking of tailored lessons, if you wish to take a more personalized approach to learning Filipino, you can do just that with MyTeacher. This service is included with a Premium PLUS subscription, and it gives you access to exclusive lessons and lets you enjoy 1-on-1 coaching with a professional Filipino teacher. With this approach, you’ll be able to track your progress in real time and have someone guide you in choosing the most appropriate learning path based on your needs. 

Sign up with FilipinoPod101 now to enjoy all these features and more!

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The Ultimate Guide to Intermediate Filipino Phrases


You’re reading this guide for one reason—you’re ready to move on to the next level of Filipino proficiency! And there is no better feeling than being more confident with a language that you’ve worked hard to master. Now that you’ve gotten past the beginner stage, it’s time for you to learn a few intermediate Filipino phrases that you can naturally use in conversations.

The words and phrases you learned at the beginner level will serve as the foundation of your continued Filipino studies. The ones you’ll learn this time will help you have more fluent conversations with native speakers. They’ll also guide you through conversations when native speakers use expressions that are normal to them but may be unfamiliar to you.

We will specifically introduce you to phrases you can use to: 

  • Talk about past events
  • Make plans for the future
  • Provide reasons and explanations
  • Make recommendations or complaints

Finally, we’ll teach you which phrases to use as responses during daily conversations.

Four Friends Having a Conversation while Having Coffee Drinks

The phrases you’ll learn here will help you have more fluent conversations with native speakers.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Let’s Talk About the Past!
  2. How About the Future?—Making and Changing Plans
  3. I’ll Tell You Why—Giving Explanations and Citing Reasons
  4. …And Why Not—Making Recommendations and Complaints
  5. Talaga! And Various Responses for Everyday Conversations
  6. Etiquette Phrases for Social and Business Settings
  7. Go a Level Higher with FilipinoPod101!

1. Let’s Talk About the Past!

Filipinos love to socialize. When they do, you can expect the atmosphere to be filled with kwentuhan (the act of sharing stories). To avoid feeling out of place, you should learn how to talk about your own past experiences in Filipino. If you’ve come across our entry on Filipino verb conjugation, you should have an idea of how to conjugate Tagalog verbs to form the past tense. The following list of intermediate Filipino phrases should also help you share your own kwento (stories).

Namasyal kami kahapon.
We went to see places yesterday.
Literally: Strolled we yesterday.

Ang saya-saya namin!
We had lots of fun!
Literally: Very happy we!

Notice how the word saya (fun) was reduplicated in this sentence. In Filipino grammar, the full reduplication of a word indicates intensity. Take note, too, that the same sentence could be translated as “We are very happy,” which is in the present tense. In this case, identifying whether the statement is in the past or present tense will depend on the context.

Doon ako nagtatrabaho dati.
I used to work there.
Literally: There I worked before.

Dalawang linggo akong hindi nakalabas.
I wasn’t able to go out for two weeks.
Literally: Two weeks I wasn’t able to go outside.

The word Linggo also means “Sunday” in Filipino. You’ll know which is which since the first letter for “Sunday” is capitalized.

Bumisita sila rito noong makalawa.
They came over the other day.
Literally: Visited them here two days ago.

Apat na taon na kaming nakatira dito.
We’ve been residing here for four years.
Literally: Four years already we living here.

Nagbakasyon kami sa Dubai noong pasko ng 2017.
We went for a vacation in Dubai on the Christmas of 2017.
Literally: Had vacation we in Dubai on Christmas of 2017.

A Job Interview

Doon ako nagtatrabaho dati. (“I used to work there.”)

2. How About the Future?—Making and Changing Plans

Filipinos are quite flexible. We love making plans, but we don’t mind making changes if the situation calls for it. 

Talking about the future in Filipino is just as simple as talking about the past. All you need to do is mind your verb conjugation. Below are several intermediate-level Tagalog phrases you can use to make or change plans with your new Filipino friends. 

Pwede ka ba sa Linggo?
Are you available this coming Sunday?
Literally: Available you on Sunday?

Pwede bang sa Sabado na lang tayo magkita?
Would it be possible for us to meet on Saturday instead?
Literally: Can Saturday only we meet?

Kape tayo bukas!
Let’s have coffee tomorrow!
Literally: Coffee us tomorrow!

Perhaps you’re wondering how the word kape (“coffee”) functions here as a verb. In formal speech, this sentence is supposed to be Magkape tayo bukas, with the prefix mag- indicating that the verb is in the future tense. In informal speech, shortening a word is often acceptable. Also, in colloquial Filipino, it’s not unusual for some nouns to be used as verbs. Other examples include mag-gitara (to play the guitar), mag-telepono (to use the phone), and mag-bus (to take the bus).

Anong oras tayo magkikita?
What time shall we meet?
Literally: What time we will meet?

Baka pwedeng sa makalawa ka na lang umalis.
Perhaps you should stay with us for two more days.
Literally: Maybe it’s possible two days from now you will leave.

Notice how the word makalawa in this sentence means “in the next two days.” As shown in one of the previous examples, it could also mean “two days ago.”

Sa ibang araw na lang natin pag-usapan.
Let’s just talk about it some other time.
Literally: Next time only we talk about.

Pasensya ka na pero may gagawin ako sa Sabado.
I’m sorry, but I have something to do on Saturday.
Literally: Sorry you but doing something I on Saturday.

The word pasensya is also the word for “patience.” For this reason, you could also use it when asking someone to be patient with you.

A Guy Talking on the Phone and Watching TV with a Remote in His Hand

Pasensya ka na pero may gagawin ako sa Sabado. (“I’m sorry, but I have something to do on Saturday.”)

3. I’ll Tell You Why—Giving Explanations and Citing Reasons 

You can expect any conversation to reach a point where you’ll have to give an explanation about a choice you made. There’s no specific formula for doing so, as it could be as simple as giving a quick reason or as complex as citing your entire rationale. It helps that the Filipino sentence structure is similar to that of English and that most conjunctions used in English have direct equivalents in Filipino. To get you started, we have listed below a few intermediate phrases in Filipino for giving your reasons. 

Ginawa ko iyon dahil yun ang tama. 
I did it because it was the right thing to do.
Literally: Did I that because it was right.

Pinili ko ito dahil una sa lahat, alam kong gusto mo ang kulay. Pangalawa, kasya siya sa bulsa mo. At pangatlo, sulit ang presyo. 
I chose this because first of all, I know you love the color. Second, it fits in your pocket. And third, it’s worth the price.
Literally: Chose I this because first of all, know I like you the color. Secondly, fits it in your pocket. And thirdly, it’s worth the price.

Sana makasama kayo para marami tayo. 
I hope you can come so we can all have fun.
Literally: Hopefully you can join so there’s many of us.

Most Filipinos are highly extroverted. As they say, the more the merrier!

Huwag kang maingay para hindi magising ang bata.
Don’t be too loud so that the baby doesn’t wake up.
Literally: Don’t you noisy so not wake up the child.

Napagod ako kaya hindi na ako sumama.
I was so tired, so I decided to stay.
Literally: Tired I so didn’t I come along.

4. …And Why Not—Making Recommendations and Complaints

We’ve established that Filipinos love to share stories. Filipinos are very friendly, and we will share our life experiences even with complete strangers! That’s what makes us great at giving recommendations (and non-recommendations). One thing you should know about giving recommendations and making complaints in Filipino is that we often use full reduplication. Oftentimes, this is to convey intensity or to emphasize how much we liked or disliked an experience. Examine the phrases below along with their literal translations to better understand this concept.

Subukan mo yung pagawaan ng sasakyan sa may kanto. 
Try the car repair shop on the corner.
Literally: Try you the maker of vehicles there in the corner.

Ito na ang pinakamasarap na adobo na natikman ko!
This is the most delicious adobo I have ever tasted!
Literally: This is already the most delicious adobo tasted by me!

Hinding-hindi ka magsisisi sa pagpunta dun!
You will never regret going there!
Literally: Never ever you will regret in going there!

Masarap ang kape nila!
Their coffee is great!
Literally: Delicious the coffee of theirs!

Huwag na huwag mong subukang pumunta sa lugar na yun!
Never ever try to go to that place!
Literally: Do not you try going to place that is there!

Kailangan pa nilang pagbutihin ang serbisyo nila.
They still need to improve their service.
Literally: Need still they improve the service of theirs.

A Businesswoman Exiting a Store with an Umbrella and a Cup of Coffee

Masarap ang kape nila. (“Their coffee is great!”)

    No one wants to be around a person who always complains. However, it’s another thing to know how to make complaints in order to raise awareness and promote improvement. Learn how to make complaints in Filipino on our website.

5. Talaga! And Various Responses for Everyday Conversations

Now, let’s go over some responses used in everyday conversations. These are the phrases you’ll hear or use yourself to express surprise, excitement, annoyance, or disappointment.

1 – Talaga?!

A: Namasyal kami kahapon. (“We went to see places yesterday.”)
Literally: Strolled we yesterday.

B: Talaga? Saan kayo pumunta? (“Really? Which ones?”)
Literally: Really? Where you went?

2 – Ang galing!

A: Marunong na siyang magbisikleta. (“He now knows how to ride a bicycle.”)
Literally: Know already he/she to ride a bicycle.

B: Wow! Ang galing naman! (“Wow! That’s really impressive!”)
Literally: Wow! Very good!

3 – Magandang balita yan!

A: Sa wakas! Makakauwi na si Tatay! (“Finally! Dad will be able to come home!”)
Literally: In the end! Coming home already Father!

B: Magandang balita yan ah! (“That’s good news!”)
Literally: Good news that is!

4 – Grabe!

A: Walong taon na kaming hindi nagkikita ni Teddy. (“Teddy and I haven’t seen each other in eight years.”)
Literally: Eight years already us have not see each other Teddy.

B: Grabe. Ang tagal-tagal na. (“Gosh. It’s been so long.”)
Literally: That’s serious. It’s so long already.

5 – Astig!

A: Diyan ako nagtatrabaho dati. (“I used to work there.”)
Literally: There I worked before.

B: Astig! Kaya pala ang galing mo pagdating sa mga kompyuter. (“Cool! So that’s why you’re so good with computers.”)
Literally: Tough! That’s why good you are when it comes to computers.

6 – Sayang!

A: Pasensya ka na pero may gagawin ako sa Sabado. (“I’m sorry, but I have something to do on Saturday.”)
Literally: Sorry you but doing something I on Saturday.

B: Sayang naman. May ibibigay sana ako sa iyo. (“Too bad. I was going to give you something.”)
Literally: What a waste. There is something to give hopefully I to you.

7 – Niloloko mo ba ako?!

A: Pwede bang sa Sabado na lang tayo magkita? (“Would it be possible for us to meet on Saturday instead?”)
Literally: Can Saturday only we meet?

B: Niloloko mo ba ako? Alam mong may trabaho ako pag Sabado. (“Are you kidding me? You know I have work on Saturdays.”)
Literally: Are you fooling me? Know you that have work I when Saturday.

8 – Mabuti naman kung ganon.

A: Makakalabas na daw ako sabi ng doktor. (“The doctor said I could go out.”)
Literally: Go out already I said the doctor.

B: Mabuti naman kung ganon. (“That’s good to know.”)
Literally: Good if that is the case.

Someone Whispering a Secret

Talaga?! (“Really?!”)

6. Etiquette Phrases for Social and Business Settings

There’s no question that Filipinos are hospitable. We place high value on politeness and respect, especially in formal settings. The following are useful intermediate Filipino phrases to learn by heart so you’ll know just what to say when you’re in a social or business setting.

Pasok po kayo.
“Please come in.”
Literally: Enter you.

A more formal way of saying this is to use the word tuloy (“to continue”) instead of pasok (“to enter”).

Ikinagagalak ko kayong makilala. 
“Pleased to meet you.”
Literally: Pleased I you to know.

Maupo po kayo. 
“Please have a seat.”
Literally: Have a seat you.

Walang anuman.
“You’re welcome.”
Literally: It’s nothing.

Sabihin niyo lang po kung may mga katanungan kayo.
“Please let us know if you have questions.”
Literally: Say you if there are questions you.

Salamat po sa pagbisita. 
“Thank you for coming.”
Literally: Thank you for visiting.

Inaasahan ko ang tugon ninyo.
“I look forward to hearing from you.”
Literally: Expecting I the response of you.

Ingat po kayo sa biyahe.
“Have a safe trip!”
Literally: Take care you in trip.

An Older Man Welcoming a Family of Three into His Home

Tuloy po kayo. (“Please come in.”)

7. Go a Level Higher with FilipinoPod101!

We’ve covered some of the most useful intermediate Filipino phrases in this article. If there is a useful intermediate Filipino phrase or expression that you feel should have been included in this entry, let us know in the comments. 

Meanwhile, did you know that you could learn more and improve your language skills by signing up for FilipinoPod101? At, you can get exclusive access to even more resources designed to help you take your Filipino speaking skills to another level. You can rest assured that there are lesson materials and learning tools to suit your needs, from video presentations and audio lessons to vocabulary lists and blog entries just like this one.

Speaking of which, don’t forget to try out MyTeacher, a Premium PLUS service that provides personal 1-on-1 coaching so that you can enjoy lessons that are tailored to your needs and goals. 

Happy learning!

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Refine Your Tagalog with Our Filipino Podcast List


Listening is the most important part of learning a new language. Yes, you need to master the basics of writing and speaking, but everything should start with listening. Even newborn babies go through a period of silence where all they do is listen to and absorb the sounds around them. 

It’s no secret that Filipino (or Tagalog) is a difficult language to master. One easy aspect of learning Filipino, however, is that the words are spelled as they’re pronounced. This makes listening to Filipino podcasts easy and enjoyable, even for relatively new learners. And if you’re wondering whether there are any Filipino-made podcasts that are worth listening to, you may be surprised to discover that there are actually a lot

Filipinos are among the best communicators in the world. In this entry, we’ll introduce you to some of the most sought-after podcasts from Filipino creators. From sports and comedy to relationships and current issues, you can rest assured that there’s something out there made exactly for a Filipino learner like you!

A Woman Lying in the Grass with Her Eyes Closed and Headphones on

Listening is the most important part of learning a new language.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Filipino
  2. The Best Podcasts for Learning Filipino
  3. Tricks for Learning Filipino More Effectively with Podcasts
  4. Enhance Your Comprehension Skills with FilipinoPod101

1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Filipino

Ask learners of any language what they want to improve first, and you’ll get “speaking” nearly a hundred percent of the time. Seldom will you encounter students who are as eager to improve their listening and comprehension skills as they are their speaking skills. And that’s understandable. After all, there’s nothing more exciting than finally being fluent in a language we’re studying. However, what most students fail to recognize is that fluency all starts with comprehension. 

So, how can listening to popular Filipino podcasts help you tap into your listening skills (and subsequently, your speaking skills)? 

1. By listening to podcasts to learn Filipino, you’ll be able to understand native speakers a lot better when they speak. That’s comprehension. 

2. The more you listen to how words are pronounced, the more your own pronunciation skills will improve. Listening to Filipino podcasts means spending time learning the proper accent for speaking in Tagalog. 

3. You’ll master how words should be connected and how they should flow when you’re speaking. This will allow you to sound more like a native speaker and a lot less like Google’s AI translator. Now that’s fluency!

Convinced? Then let’s check out some of the best Tagalog podcasts you should start listening to.

Two Businesswomen Chatting and Laughing in an Outdoor Setting

Listening to podcasts will help you understand native speakers a lot better.

2. The Best Podcasts for Learning Filipino 

1. The Linya-Linya Show 

Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Theme: Comedy

First on our list is The Linya-Linya Show. It’s the perfect podcast for those who are just starting to learn Filipino, as the hosts speak in a clear manner and at a moderate speed in most episodes. This is a lighthearted podcast featuring Filipino writer Ali Sangalang and comedian Victor Anastacio. At the time of this writing, the show has a total of 159 episodes. In each one, the duo talks about random yet meaningful things that an average Filipino experiences on a daily basis: fatherhood, motorcycles, rap battles, and even antics from their own youths. 

2. Ganap: An Okay Fight Podcast 

Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Theme: Comedy, Filipino Culture

What happens when you turn a Filipino drinking session into a podcast? Ganap: An Okay Fight Podcast is what you get. 

This Filipino comedy podcast may have only fourteen episodes, but it should be enough to introduce you to Filipino culture. Not to mention that each episode is an excellent tool for improving your listening skills. Why? As mentioned, the episodes are technically drinking sessions that were recorded and aired online. That means you can often expect to hear more than one voice speaking at the same time. But since it’s a regular merrymaking activity, you can expect the language to be limited to what you’d hear Filipinos use on a normal day.

3. Tsaastrology

Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Theme: Comedy, Astrology

With over a hundred episodes, Tsaastrology presents a unique approach to podcasting. It’s an improv comedy podcast hosted by three friends who talk about everything—not just under the sun but under the entire cosmos, so to speak. However, each episode focuses on a specific horoscope, with the hosts giving advice about love, relationships, career, and life in general. You can expect to hear some Taglish (as you would in any other Filipino podcast), but you can rest assured that 90% of the conversations are in Filipino.

4. The Wrestling-Wrestling Podcast

Level: Advanced
Theme: Sports, Wrestling

You probably weren’t expecting to find a podcast about wrestling here, and definitely not one that’s Filipino-made. But, believe it or not, entertainment wrestling is as big in the Philippines as it is in any other country. The Wrestling-Wrestling Podcast is proof of that. Hosted by three veteran Pinoy podcasters, The WW Podcast has been around since 2014. I would say that this particular podcast is best for advanced learners; it requires careful listening as the hosts switch between English and Tagalog all the time.

5. PumaPodcast

Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Theme: Current Issues

PumaPodcast is a podcast like no other. It’s not an individual show that focuses on one major theme, but rather a curation of multiple podcasts dealing with a range of subjects. Listening to each episode will not only help you improve your comprehension of the Filipino language, but it will also keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings in the Philippines and around the world. The hosts and their guests often mix English and Tagalog, so feel free to key in on the points where the speakers are using 100% Tagalog.

6. Boiling Waters PH 

Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Theme: Dating & Relationships

Boiling Waters PH is the go-to podcast for people seeking relationship advice. According to the two unnamed male hosts, the podcast deals with all the stuff about dating and relationships that people don’t usually dare to talk about. There are instances in each episode where the hosts and their guests speak in English, but 95% of the podcast is pure Tagalog. And since this show talks about love, expect the choice of vocabulary to be uncomplicated. So yes, if you’re a beginner, this is one of the podcasts you should listen to.

English Words Typed on Several Small Slips of Paper

Listening to Filipino podcasts will help you master how words should flow when you’re speaking.

7. Ang Walang Kwentang Podcast 

Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Theme: Current Issues, Pop Culture

The term walang kwenta literally means “useless” in English. But if there’s one word to describe Ang Walang Kwentang Podcast, it’s definitely not that one—that is, if your goal is to learn Filipino. The podcast is hosted by well-known Filipino filmmaker Antoinette Jadaone and writer/actor/spoken word artist Juan Miguel Severo. There are about a hundred episodes centering on various subjects, most of which are related to pop culture and trending issues. Both of the hosts speak in Tagalog 95% of the time, which makes this the perfect podcast for those who want to enjoy entire episodes without having to skip around.

8. Walwal Sesh 

Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Theme: Mental Health, Dating & Relationships

One of the best Filipino podcasts to listen to while you’re in the car or commuting via bus or train, Walwal Sesh revolves around the topics of love, mental health, equality, and the things that really matter. The three hosts know what they’re talking about, each having a medical background. One of them is actually a medical doctor, so you can rest assured that they’re precise when talking about self-care, anger management, sex, and depression. What you’ll love about this podcast is that the hosts rarely interrupt each other, which will allow you to really concentrate on each word as you listen.

9. Creepsilog 

Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Theme: Horror, Crime, Mystery

For those of you who are into horror and murder mysteries, Creepsilog is the perfect Pinoy podcast for you. The series has some touches of humor to it, which makes it even more interesting. Hosted by Gideon Mendoza and Glenn Tabarejos, Creepsilog now has over 170 episodes under its belt. The fascinating stories in each episode should motivate you to listen intently and to research the meaning of new words and expressions—that way, you can more easily figure out how each plot goes down. You’ll find this notable Filipino podcast on Spotify.

10. Telebabad Tapes

Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Theme: Relationships, Filipino Culture

The term telebabad is a 90s expression that refers to the habit of teenagers back then to spend especially long hours on the phone. As the title of the podcast suggests, Telebabad Tapes revolves around topics one would not hesitate to spend hours discussing. The show is hosted by husband-and-wife duo Wincy Ong and Cj de Silva. Each episode is usually centered around a pop-culture item, whether that be a song, movie, or special occasion. It then progresses into a more serious discussion about that item. If you want to find out what it meant to be a Filipino teen back in the 90s, this is the podcast for you. Oh, and the hosts converse in fluent Tagalog 95% of the time, making this podcast a great tool for boosting your comprehension skills.

11. FilipinoPod101

Level: Beginner to Advanced
Theme: Language Learning

What better way to learn Filipino than by listening to a podcast that directly teaches the language? FilipinoPod101 offers a wide range of podcast episodes that focus on different aspects of the Filipino language. What makes FilipinoPod101 audio lessons unique is that they’re designed to make learning fun and enjoyable. That means you can’t expect lessons that come straight out of textbooks, but ones that you can apply right away. For instance, there are lessons about words related to eating, ways to learn new words, and how to talk about your daily routine in Filipino. 

12. Woke Up PH

Level: Advanced
Theme: Politics, Current Events

Woke Up PH is a one-of-a-kind podcast. Its main aim is to “wake up” the country’s youth to the issues that are most pressing for the Filipino people. The subjects discussed in each episode are especially relevant to young people. The podcast has only 12 episodes (all aired in 2019), but each one exudes so much insight that’s still relevant two years later. Most of the episodes are in English, with only a few featuring Filipino dialogue. Just pick the ones that you believe will help you with your Filipino-language studies the most. We can’t not include it on this list, as it’s actually one of the most noteworthy Filipino-made podcasts right now.

A Radio DJ with Headphones on

Hosts of Filipino podcasts speak fluent Tagalog, which means you won’t have a hard time following every word they say.

3. Tricks for Learning Filipino More Effectively with Podcasts

We’ve established that listening to podcasts is one of the best ways to take your comprehension skills to the next level. We’ve also presented you with the top Filipino podcasts to help you improve your Tagalog. Now, here are some tips on how you can learn more effectively with the podcasts on our list.

1 – Pick a podcast that talks about your interests.

While it’s true that you’ll benefit from podcasts regardless of their theme, there’s an advantage to listening to those that cover the stuff you’re interested in. Being interested in the topics at hand will motivate you to listen intently so that you don’t miss anything. 

2 – Find the right time to listen.

Sure, you can listen anytime and anywhere. That’s one advantage of using podcasts to learn Filipino. However, it’s going to be difficult to retain anything when you’re tired or sleepy. As much as possible, you’ll want to listen to your favorite podcast at the times when you’re most alert. This will allow you to focus on the content better and increase your chances of remembering what you’ve heard.

3 – Don’t hesitate to rewind when necessary.

I remember when the internet didn’t exist yet, and we had to keep on rewinding and playing our favorite song on the cassette player just to pick up the lyrics. That’s a good technique when learning a language via a podcast. There will always be times when the person you’re listening to is speaking too fast or mumbling their words. Every time you fail to catch a word or phrase, don’t hesitate to click the rewind button to listen again.

4 – Take notes.

When there’s a word you don’t understand, don’t just press “rewind” to listen again. Be sure to write words down, too, particularly those that are not familiar to you. Taking notes is an effective study strategy as it forces you to pay attention. Aside from simply writing down new words, you can also write down your thoughts on the podcast or even draft a summary. This will help you understand and remember things better.

5 – Play it in the background as often as you can.

One advantage of listening to podcasts to learn Filipino, or any language for that matter, is that you can play episodes in the background while you’re doing other things. I know multitasking is not a good idea in general, but being a passive listener has its benefits at times. Many of the songs you probably know by heart today were songs you used to hear on the radio. Even if you didn’t intentionally listen to them, you became familiar with the lyrics over time. The same principle works here, provided that you take time to listen to each episode again and again.

6 – Find a friend you can learn with.

Finally, find someone you can learn with. It could be a fellow Filipino learner, or it could be a Filipino friend who can help explain to you what difficult words, phrases, and expressions mean. Learning with someone who knows the language is an advantage as you get to receive instant feedback and insights. Not to mention that it’s more fun to learn in a small group setting.

Four Friends

It’s more fun to learn Filipino with friends.

4. Enhance Your Comprehension Skills with FilipinoPod101

That’s it for our list of the best Tagalog podcast shows for improving your comprehension skills. There are definitely a lot more, and if you know a couple that didn’t make this list, comment their names below so we can all check them out.

Before you leave, don’t forget to go through our free learning resources here at You now know that we even have our own podcast to help you improve your Filipino! 

But that’s not all. Here at, you can have access to a wide range of features designed specifically to help you master the Filipino language. One such feature is MyTeacher, a Premium PLUS service that lets you learn Filipino 1-on-1 with your own personal instructor. Want to take your language skills to the next level?

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Tagalog Phrases for Beginners


Being able to advance from one level to the next when learning a new language is so satisfying. Nothing beats the excitement of knowing that you’ll soon be able to communicate using a language other than your own. This is especially true when learning Filipino, a language influenced by so many other languages. Before you can move on to the next level, though, you’ll first need to master Tagalog phrases for beginners. There is no skipping this step.

The good news is that basic Filipino phrases are not that difficult to pick up. Most Filipino words have direct English translations, and the word order is also similar to that of English. Moreover, in this article, we have prepared more than a couple dozen basic Filipino phrases for beginners that you’ll find invaluable as you journey toward mastery of the Filipino language. To finish strong in your language learning race, you need to start strong.

We’ll start with the fundamentals of how to greet people and introduce yourself, and then we’ll cover some indispensable phrases to use when you’re out shopping or dining with friends. Finally, we’ll introduce you to essential phrases for an emergency.

People Lined Up and Getting Ready for a Race

To finish strong in your language learning race, you need to start strong.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Greetings and Self-introductions
  2. Courtesy Phrases & Social Expressions
  3. Dining & Shopping Phrases
  4. Asking for Help
  5. Learn Filipino Beginner Phrases and More at!

1. Greetings and Self-introductions

While Filipinos are friendly and hospitable, most relationships within the Filipino culture have formal beginnings. When meeting someone for the first time, it’s important to be polite and respectful, not only with your words but also with your body language. Whenever appropriate, greet someone with a soft handshake. This is not necessary when you’re simply asking for directions, though, or when acknowledging someone you’re familiar with on the street. Below are some of the most common Filipino greetings to use when meeting someone.

“Hello.” / “How are you?”

Magandang araw. 
“Good day.”
Literally: Beautiful day.

Magandang umaga.
“Good morning.”
Literally: Beautiful morning.

Magandang tanghali.
“Good noon.”
Literally: Beautiful noon.

Magandang hapon.
“Good afternoon.”
Literally: Beautiful afternoon.

Magandang gabi.
“Good evening.”
Literally: Beautiful evening.

Always remember to use po when addressing someone older or higher in rank than you. Also, instead of using the first person singular (ka, mo, or kita), use the third person plural (kayo, nila, or inyo) to convey politeness.

Mabuti naman po. Kayo po? 
“I’m fine. And you?”
Literally: Fine also. You?

Just like in other cultures, introducing yourself and asking the other person their name (or the other way around) is the first thing to do when meeting someone new. 

Anong pangalan mo?
“What’s your name?”
Literally: What is name your?

Pwede ko bang malaman ang pangalan mo?
“May I know your name, please?”
Literally: May I know the name your?

Ano pong pangalan nila? [Formal]
“May I know your name, please?”
Literally: What name their?

Ako si (name).
“I am (name).”

Ako nga pala si (name).
“I am (name), by the way.”
Literally: I by the way am (name).

(Name) pala ang pangalan ko.
“My name is (name), by the way.”
Literally: (Name) by the way the name my.

With the number of ways you can structure sentences in Filipino, you might be wondering which one of these phrases you should use. The truth is that you can use any of them, as they are all appropriate for both formal and informal situations. Here are some useful Tagalog phrases for introductions that will show you how flexible the Filipino sentence structure is:

Taga saan ka?
“Where are you from?”
Literally: From where you?

Taga (residence) ako.
“I am from (residence).”
Literally: From (residence) I.

Saan ka nakatira?
“Where do you live?”
Literally: Where you live?

Sa (residence) ako nakatira.
“I live in (residence).”
Literally: In (residence) I live.

While asking someone’s age in other cultures may be considered rude, in the Philippines, it’s okay to do so even when you’ve just met the person. However, you have to time it correctly and wait until the other person seems to have become more comfortable with your conversation. A straightforward way to ask someone their age would be:

Ilang taon ka na?
“How old are you?”
Literally: How many years you already?

Some Filipinos may be taken aback by this, but they will still give you a response if they feel you can be trusted with sensitive information. A less aggressive approach would be to say:

Maaari/Pwede ko bang malaman kung ilang taon ka na?
“May I know how old you are?” / “Would you mind if I asked your age?”
Literally: May I know if how many years you already?

If you’re the one being asked, you could answer with something like this:

Trenta na ako.
“I am thirty years old.”
Literally: Thirty already I.

To express your pleasure of meeting someone, you could say:

Ikinagagalak kong makilala ka. [Formal]
“It is my pleasure to meet you.” / “It is nice to meet you.”
Literally: With pleasure I know you.

And finally, don’t forget the most important Filipino greeting of all:

Mano po.
Use this phrase when performing the pagmamano gesture.

A Businesswoman Introducing Two of Her Colleagues to Each Other

Ikinagagalak kong makilala ka. (“It is my pleasure to meet you.”)

How to Address People

An important part of basic Filipino greetings and self-introductions is the proper use of honorifics. Here are the fundamental Filipino honorifics you should be familiar with:

This is a term used to address an older male you’re not acquainted with.

This is a term used to address an older female you’re not acquainted with.

This term means “big brother,” but it’s also used to address a male stranger.

This term means “big sister,” but it’s also used to address a female stranger.

Ginoo [Formal]

Ginang [Formal]

When attached to a name, a linker is used between the title and the name of the person, particularly for the term mama. For instance, “Ice cream man” would be Mamang sorbetero, and “Mr. Supervisor” would be Ginoong Tagapamahala.

2. Courtesy Phrases & Social Expressions

Not only are Filipinos hospitable, but they are also courteous and polite. When in the Philippines, you’ll notice that the people here tend to be very warm and friendly. Be sure to express your own friendliness and politeness by using the following courtesy phrases and social expressions.

Pasok ka.
“Please come in.”
Literally: Enter you.

Pasok po kayo. [Formal]
“Please come in.”
Literally: Enter you all.

Mawalang galang po.
“Excuse me.”
Literally: Without disrespect.

Paumanhin po. / Ipagpaumanhin po ninyo.
“I’m sorry.”

Ipagpatawad po ninyo. / Patawad po. 
“Please forgive me.”
Literally: Please pardon you all.

“Thank you.”

Maraming salamat.
“Thank you very much.”
Literally: Many thanks.

Salamat po. [Formal]
“Thank you.”

Walang anuman.
“You’re welcome.”
Literally: It’s nothing.


Magkita tayo ulit.
“See you soon.”
Literally: Meet us again.

Kitakits. [Slang]
“See you!”

Hanggang sa muli. 
“Until next time.”
Literally: Until the once more.

“Take care.”


Walang anuman.
“You’re welcome.”

Walang problema. 
“No problem.”


Pagpalain ka sana.
“I wish you good luck!”
Literally: Be blessed you hopefully.

Binabati kita!
Literally: I am greeting you.

A Couple Greeting and Inviting Another Couple into Their Home

Pasok kayo. (“Please come in.”)

3. Dining & Shopping Phrases

Filipinos love to eat! And shop! That means there are a lot of wonderful places for you to shop and dine during your stay in the Philippines. The following beginner phrases in Tagalog will prove useful whether you’re dining in prestigious restaurants or simply buying something from the sari-sari (“miscellaneous”) store. 

1 – When Dining

Kain tayo.
“Let’s eat.”
Literally: Eat us.

Nagugutom na ako.
“I’m hungry.”
Literally: Hungry already me.

Pwede kong makita ang menu? 
“May I see the menu?”
Literally: Allowed I see the menu?

Pwede mo ba akong bigyan ng… 
“Could you give me some…”
Literally: Allowed you I give of…

Gusto ko ng…
“I’d like to have…”
Literally: Like I of (something)…

Pahingi ng tubig.
“May I have some water, please?”
Literally: Please give water.

Ang sarap nito! 
“This is delicious!”
Literally: Delicious this is!

Busog na ako. 
“I’m full.”
Literally: Full already I am.

2 – When Shopping

Magkano po ito?
“How much is this?”
Literally: How much this?

Mayroon ba kayo ng…
“Do you happen to have…”
Literally: There is you have…

Saan banda ang mga panlalaki/pambabae/pambata?
“Where is the men’s/ladies’/kids’ section?”
Literally: Which location is for men/women/kids?

Pwede mo akong kunan ng size 29?
“I’d like a size 29, please.”
Literally: Will you get me a size 29?

Mayroon kayong size 10 ng sapatos na ito?
“Do you have a size 10 for this pair of shoes?”
Literally: Is there you size 10 of shoes that this?

Saan ako pwedeng magbayad para sa mga ito? 
“Where can I pay for these items?”
Literally: Where I can pay for all of this?

Magkano lahat ang babayaran ko? 
“How much is my bill?” / “How much will I pay altogether?”
Literally: How much all of payment my?

Someone Handing Over Their Credit Card to Pay for Something in a Store

Magkano lahat ang babayaran ko? (“How much will I pay altogether?”)

4. Asking for Help

Whether you’re in an emergency or simply want to ask someone to translate a difficult word for you, it’s important to know the exact words to say when asking for help. You’re in good hands in the Philippines because Filipinos are always ready and willing to help without asking anything in return. Arm yourself with these basic Tagalog phrases for travel so you’ll always know how to get help when you need it. 

1 – When Communicating

Marunong ka bang mag-Tagalog?  
“Can you speak Tagalog?”
Literally: Knowledgeable you to speak Tagalog?

Nakakaintindi ka ba ng Tagalog? 
“Do you understand Tagalog?” 
Literally: Can understand you of Tagalog?

Oo, nakakaintindi ako ng Tagalog. 
“Yes, I understand Tagalog.”
Literally: Yes, can understand I of Tagalog.

Hindi ako marunong mag-Tagalog.
“I don’t know Tagalog.”
Literally: Cannot I know to speak Tagalog.

Marunong akong mag-Tagalog nang kaunti. 
“I know a bit of Tagalog.”
Literally: Knowledgeable I to speak Tagalog a bit.

Hindi ko maintindihan. 
“I don’t understand.”
Literally: Do not I understand.

Pakiulit ng sinabi mo. 
“Please repeat what you said.”
Literally: Please repeat of what said you.

Ano ang ibig sabihin ng salitang ito? 
“What does this word mean?”
Literally: What is desired to say of word this?

2 – When Asking for Directions

Nawawala ako.
“I’m lost.”
Literally: Lost I.

Alam mo ba kung saan banda ang embahada? 
“Do you know where the embassy is?”
Literally: Know you if where location of embassy?

Saan po banda ang istasyon ng bus? 
“Where is the bus station?”
Literally: Where location the station of bus?

Paano po pumunta sa kalye na ito? 
“How do you get to this street?”
Literally: How get to street that this?

Saan ang pinakamalapit na kainan? 
“Where is the nearest restaurant?”
Literally: Where the nearest that place to eat?

3 – When in an Emergency


Tulungan ninyo ako! 
“Help me!”
Literally: Help you all me!

Pakitulungan niyo po ako! 
“Please help me!”
Literally: Please help you all me!

Tumawag kayo ng pulis! 
“Call the police!”
Literally: Call you all of police!

Tumawag kayo ng ambulansya! 
“Call an ambulance!”
Literally: Call you all of ambulance!

Kailangan ko ng doktor! 
“I need a doctor!”
Literally: Need I of doctor!

A Tourist Asking Someone for Directions

Paano po pumunta sa kalye na ito? (“How do you get to this street?”)

5. Learn Filipino Beginner Phrases and More at!

So, what did you think of our collection of Tagalog phrases for beginners? If you feel like there are other phrases we should have included on this list, let us know in the comments below. 

If you want to learn more than just basic Filipino phrases for beginners, you can always sign up to become part of the FilipinoPod101 community. Here at, you can learn the Filipino language in a fun and engaging way. All of our lessons—from the free resources and blog posts, to the audio and video lessons—are designed to meet the needs of learners at all levels.

Looking for a course with lessons tailored to your needs? You can get that with MyTeacher, a Premium PLUS service that grants you the privilege of learning Tagalog with a dedicated Filipino teacher. With this feature, you can enjoy 1-on-1 lessons and receive real-time feedback and guidance.

So, sign up now and get ready to speak Filipino like a native!

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