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Your Guide to Lupang Hinirang, the Philippine National Anthem

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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!

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

Filipino Classroom Phrases

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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:

Greetings

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
PisikaPhysics
Musika at Sining Music and Arts
Araling PanlipunanSocial Studies
SikolohiyaPsychology
EkonomikaEconomics
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.

LapisPencil
Aklat/LibroBook
PapelPaper
KuwadernoNotebook
PantasaSharpener
GuntingScissors
PangkulayColoring Pen
PanukatRuler
PolderFolder
PandikitGlue
PamburaEraser
KalkuleytorCalculator
BaunanLunch Box
PisaraBlackboard
TisaChalk
MesaTable
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!

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

Essential Filipino Restaurant Phrases For a Great Dining Experience

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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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Filipino Animal Names

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The Philippines is home to over 50,000 different animal species, many of which are endemic to the archipelago. In the last decade, sixteen new species of mammals have been discovered in the country, and the rate of endemism is likely to rise. Because of this, it’s only natural for Tagalog learners to study the names of animals in Filipino—especially those animals that are native to the Philippines. 

Filipinos are animal lovers by nature. Because the Philippines is primarily an agricultural country, a large portion of the population lives in rural areas where animals (both domesticated and wild) roam free.

In this guide, you’ll learn the names of over 80 animals in Filipino, from common housepets (and pests) to farm animals…and from the largest mammals to the tiniest bugs and insects. We’ll also teach you the names of animal body parts in Filipino, as well as a few useful animal-related idioms in Tagalog. (For instance, what does itim na tupa mean?)

I know you’re excited, so let’s get started!

Several Types of Pets

Filipinos are animal lovers by nature.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Animals in the Home
  2. Animals on the Farm
  3. Animals in the Wild (Land Animals)
  4. Animals in the Water (Marine and Freshwater Animals)
  5. Bugs and Insects
  6. Birds, Reptiles, and Amphibians
  7. Animals at the Zoo
  8. Animal Body Parts
  9. Filipino Animal-Related Idioms and Expressions
  10. Improve Your Vocabulary with FilipinoPod101!

1. Animals in the Home

Filipinos have long been considered dog lovers, and you’ll seldom see a home in the Philippines without one. 

In many cultures, dogs are considered best friends—but in the Philippines, the practice of keeping dogs as pets goes beyond this concept. Here, dogs are primarily kept as a means of warding off burglars and intruders. They’re like a furry alarm system of sorts. 

Over the past two decades, the practice of keeping cats has also become popular in the country. And while it’s illegal to keep exotic animals as pets, it’s not unusual to find a tarantula or scorpion in glass enclosures in some homes.

aso“dog”
pusa“cat”
kuneho“rabbit”
daga“rat” / “mouse”
loro“parrot”

In case you’re wondering if it’s common for Filipino families to keep guinea pigs, hamsters, or bearded dragon lizards, the answer is yes. However, there are really no Tagalog equivalents for their names.


2. Animals on the Farm

Half of the population of the Philippines is found in rural areas. This means it’s not uncommon to see children playing with goats or sheep, or riding behind water buffalos and horses. Many Filipino families whose main source of income is farming (i.e., planting crops) also raise fowls, including chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. Some families also raise pigs and cows to supplement the family income. Below is a list of the names of common farm animals in Tagalog.

kalabaw“water buffalo”
Although the carabao, or the Philippine water buffalo, has long been held as the country’s national animal, it is not recognized as such by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Though its national status is unofficial, it’s one of the most significant animals in Filipino culture; many claim that it symbolizes the hardworking nature of the Filipinos.
baka“cow”
kambing“goat”
baboy“pig”
manok“chicken”
tandang“rooster”
sisiw“chick”
kabayo“horse”
tupa“sheep”
pato“duck”
bibi“duckling”
gansa“goose”
pabo“turkey”
pugo“quail”

    Speaking of family, this lesson will help you learn how to talk about your family in Filipino.

Someone Plowing with Carabao

The carabao is a symbol of the hardworking and persevering nature of the Filipino people.

3. Animals in the Wild (Land Animals)

The forest area of the Philippines has significantly decreased since the 1960s. Today, only seven million hectares of the country’s land is forested. What’s sad is that less than one million hectares of forested land remain untouched. The good news is that the country is making significant advances toward reforestation. Having said that, here’s a list of animals you’ll find in the wild and their names in Filipino.

usa“deer”
baboy-ramo“boar”
paniki“bat”
unggoy“monkey”
oso“bear”
lobo“wolf”
ardilya“squirrel”
There’s a species of squirrel that’s endemic to the Philippines—the Philippine tree squirrel—which can be found in the islands of Palawan, Bohol, Samar, Leyte, and Siargao. Interestingly, there has been a squirrel invasion in Metro Manila lately, which experts believe is the result of some people illegally breeding squirrels in the city.

About the Filipino name, the word is of Spanish origin, meaning “chipmunk.” Today, Filipinos usually refer to the animal as iskwirel.

    Palawan is a top destination for tourists in the Philippines. Learn more about this beautiful island teeming with wildlife in this lesson here.

4. Animals in the Water (Marine and Freshwater Animals)

The waters of the Philippines are a popular destination for divers, considering their impressive range of marine life. The country’s list of freshwater animals is just as impressive. Here are the most common marine and freshwater animals in the Philippines with their equivalent Filipino names.

pating“shark”
balyena“whale”
dugong“sea cow”
lumba-lumba“dolphin”
pugita“octopus”
pusit“squid”
hipon“shrimp”
ulang“lobster”
alimango/alimasag“crab”
salungo“sea urchin”
The sea urchin is also referred to as santol-santolan in Tagalog, which is a reference to the round-shaped fruit of the Santol tree.
talaba“oyster”
tahong“mussel”
kabibe“clam”
tulingan“tuna fish”
bangus“milkfish”
igat“eel”
hito“catfish”
karpa“carp”


5. Bugs and Insects

There are over 20,000 species of insects in the Philippines, 70% of which are native to the archipelago. Many of them (like the red fire ant) are quite invasive. Nevertheless, one cannot deny that a lot of these bugs actually make the world a better place to live in. Familiarize yourself with the Filipino names of the most common insects and bugs you’ll find in the Philippines.

langgam“ant”
langaw“fly”
lamok“mosquito”
kuto“head lice”
pulgas“flea”
gagamba“spider”
putakti“hornet” / “wasp”
ipis“cockroach”
bubuyog“bee”
paru-paro“butterfly”
gamu-gamo“a small moth”
alitaptap“firefly”
salagubang“beetle”
The term kuliglig is most commonly associated with cicadas, although it’s also used to refer to crickets. It’s probably because of the chirping sound the cricket makes, which is sometimes mistaken for the same noise produced by cicadas.
garapata“tick”
tipaklong“grasshopper”
tutubi“dragonfly”
For red perchers, which are a larger species of dragonfly, the term used is tutubing baka or tutubing kalabaw. As you’ve learned, baka is Filipino for “cow,” while kalabaw is Filipino for “water buffalo.” Both terms are rather appropriate for describing this larger-sized variety of the insect.

Meanwhile, for the smaller cousin of the dragonfly, which is the damselfly, the term is tutubing karayom. Karayom is the Filipino term for “needle,” which perfectly describes the needle-like appearance of the damselfly’s abdomen.
uod“caterpillar” / “insect larva”
In Filipino, any worm-like creature is referred to as uod, whether it’s an earthworm, a caterpillar, or a maggot.
higadThis refers to caterpillars, too, but most particularly to itchy worms.
anay“termite”
alupihan“centipede”
suso“snail”
surotThis refers to bugs in general, but most particularly to bed bugs.

A Little Kid Looking at a Caterpillar on a Leaf through a Magnifying Glass

In Filipino, any worm-like creature is referred to as ‘uod.’

6. Birds, Reptiles, and Amphibians

There are over 600 species of birds that are endemic to the Philippines, as well as up to 80 species of amphibians and over 150 species of reptiles. The following lists of animals in Filipino represent but a few of them. 

A- Birds

agila“eagle”
lawin“hawk”
tagak“heron”
kalapati“pigeon” / “dove”
sisne“swan”
buwitre“raven”
uwak“crow”
kuwago“owl”
maya“sparrow”

B- Reptiles and Amphibians

ahas“snake”
sawa“python”
bayawak“monitor lizard”
pagong“turtle”
hunyango

This refers to any tree-dwelling lizard that can change the color of its skin at will. Most Filipinos use this term to refer to chameleons.
butikiThis is a general term for small lizards or the common house gecko.
tuko“tokay gecko”
The term tuko is derived from the sound the tokay gecko makes. According to superstitions, you can know if it’s going to rain or not by counting the number of times the tokay gecko croaks. If it ends in an odd number, then it’s definitely going to rain soon.
palaka“frog”

A Gecko

In the Philippines, it’s believed that the number of times a tokay gecko croaks will tell you whether it’s going to rain soon or not.

7. Animals at the Zoo

Many animals that are popular around the world are not endemic to the Philippines. That doesn’t mean you won’t find any of them here. Here’s a list of wild animals in the Philippines you’ll only find in captivity:

leon“lion”
tigre“tiger”
elepante“elephant”
soro“fox”

If you’re wondering about animals like giraffes, cheetahs, jaguars, chimpanzees, and hippopotamuses, you’ll also find them in captivity here, usually in zoos. However, there really aren’t any Filipino terms for these animals. We just call them by their English names, sometimes with a Filipino accent. For instance, you’ll hear “giraffe” being pronounced as dyirap.

8. Animal Body Parts

Now, let’s look at some words you might use while describing or talking about animals in Filipino. Here’s a vocabulary list of animal body parts you need to become familiar with:

buntot“tail”
pakpak“wing”
balahibo“feather” / “fur”
kaliskis“scale”
palikpik“fin”
pangil“fang”
kuko“nail” / “claw”
sungay“horn”
tuka“beak”
galamay“tentacle”
talukabthe shell of a turtle, in particular
koronathe crown of birds or fowls

9. Filipino Animal-Related Idioms and Expressions

Like most cultures, that of the Philippines has no shortage of animal-related idioms and expressions. Here are the most common ones:

Filipino expressionMay daga sa dibdib
Literal translation“Having a mouse inside one’s chest”
This expression is often used to refer to someone who’s being fearful or nervous.

Para kang may daga sa dibdib. 
“You’re such a coward.”

Filipino expressionKasing dulas ng hito
Literal translation“As slippery as a catfish”
This refers to a clever person who just can’t be caught in the act. A similar idiom in English would be “as slippery as an eel,” which refers to a person from whom you can’t get a straight answer—a person who cannot be trusted.

Ang dulas talaga ni Cardo. Parang hito. 
“Cardo is as slippery as a catfish.”

Filipino expressionBalat-kalabaw
Literal translation“Carabao-skinned” or “Carabao hide”
This expression refers to a person with skin as thick as that of a carabao or water buffalo. In other words, one who is insensitive and shameless.

Balat-kalabaw ka. Hindi ka na nahiya. 
“You’re such a thick-skinned person. Don’t you ever feel shame?”

Filipino expressionUtak bolinao
Literal translation“Bolinao-brained” or “Fish brain”
This is an idiom used to mock someone with low intelligence. Utak means “brain” in Filipino, and bolinao is the Tagalog name of the Philippine anchovy, a very small marine water fish.

Hindi mo nasagutan? Utak bolinao ka talaga. 
“You weren’t able to answer it? You’re such a fish-brain.”

Filipino expressionUtak-talangka
Literal translation“Crab-brained”
Yes, there’s “fish brain” in Filipino, and there’s also “crab brain.” Unfortunately, this expression has been associated with Filipinos for a long time now, with Filipinos themselves claiming many of their countrymen have what’s referred to as a “crab mentality,” or the attitude of pulling others down just to get to the top.

Huwag tayong maghilahan pababa. Huwag tayong utak-talangka. 
“Let’s stop pulling each other down. It’s time we got rid of our crab mentality.”

Filipino expressionItim na tupa
Literal translation“Black sheep”
This is the exact equivalent of the English idiom used to describe a disreputable member of a family or community.

Sa mata ng Ama ako’y isang itim na tupa. 
“I’m a black sheep in the eyes of the Father.”

Filipino expressionAhas
Literal translation“Snake”
Like in most cultures, the snake is often associated with people who have a questionable reputation—someone who would strike you without you knowing it. A traitor, in other words.

Ahas ka talaga, Manuel. Niloko mo ako! 
“You’re such a snake, Manuel! You tricked me!”

Filipino expressionMabahong isda
Literal translation“Stinky fish”
This is from a line of a famous poem wrongly attributed to Dr. Jose Rizal. This is not a common Filipino idiom, but based on the context of the poem, someone is mabahong isda if they should be ashamed of their lack of love for their own language and country.

Filipino expressionKapag pumuti ang uwak at umitim ang tagak
Literal translation“When the crow turns white and the heron turns black”
This is an expression that means something is impossible and will never happen. Sometimes, using only the first part (or only the second part) is enough to make your point.

Pakakasalan lang kita kapag pumuti na ang uwak. 
“I will marry you when the crow turns white.”


Someone Holding a Catfish in Water

Kasing dulas ng hito (“As slippery as a catfish”)

10. Improve Your Vocabulary with FilipinoPod101!

Did you find this list of the names of Filipino animals helpful? Let us know in the comments! 

Know that this is just a small part of what you should master when learning the Filipino language. If you want to learn more than just a vocabulary list of Tagalog animal names, FilipinoPod101 is here to help.

At FilipinoPod101, you can enjoy a wide range of free resources to help you take your Filipino vocabulary to the next level. Whether you need material for learning grammar, practicing your pronunciation, or exploring the Philippine culture, you can rest assured that FilipinoPod101 has it all.

FilipinoPod101 is unique in the sense that we employ an advanced approach that caters to the specific needs of our students. For instance, we provide students with our MyTeacher service, which is designed to help learners master the Filipino language in the shortest amount of time possible. With this feature, students can have 1-on-1 lessons with a professional Filipino teacher and receive real-time feedback to help them fast-track their learning.

All this and more if you sign up now with FilipinoPod101!

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Filipino Love Phrases: How to Say “I Love You,” in Tagalog

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Filipinos are known to be very romantic. In fact, Filipinos are ranked as the fourth most romantic lovers in the Asia-Pacific, despite the reality that the Filipino culture of courtship has significantly evolved over the past several decades. 

Before, a young Filipino man would serenade the love of his life to express his feelings for her in a gesture called harana. Courtship slowly shifted from the traditional serenading to phone calls and love letters. The grand arrival of the internet and the mobile phone eventually gave way to online dating. 

So, in modern times, how does one say “I love you,” in Tagalog?

Despite the gradual changes to courtship and dating in the Philippines, what remains are the utterances used in expressing one’s feelings and the passion behind them.

Whether you’re planning to have a romantic relationship with a Filipino or already have one, it’s vital for you to learn some of the most common Tagalog love phrases. And that just scratches the surface of what you’re going to learn in this article!

A Statue of Cupid

O Love! Thou all-omnipotent one,
Who sporteth ev’n with sire and son;
Once sworn to thee, a heart then on
Defies all else: thy will be done.
– Francisco Balagtas, 1788-1862

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Confessing Your Affection: Pick-up Lines and More
  2. Falling in Deeper: Saying “I Love You,” and More
  3. Take it One Step Further: “Will You Marry Me?” and More
  4. Filipino Endearment Terms
  5. Must-know Filipino Love Quotes
  6. Learn More Important Tagalog Phrases with FilipinoPod101!

1. Confessing Your Affection: Pick-up Lines and More

The Filipino term for courtship is panliligaw. Unlike in many Western societies, courtship in Philippine culture is indirect and a bit more subdued. Men don’t want to come off as mayabang (“presumptuous” or “arrogant”) or presko (the term literally means “fresh,” but in this context, it means “aggressive”), so when they’re interested in a woman, they have to be discreet and somewhat mysterious at first.

The courtship starts with the manliligaw (the one who courts) asking the nililigawan (the one being courted) out on a date, oftentimes with a chaperone. But even before that, the young man must know to choose his words carefully in order to avoid rejection.

Pwede bang malaman ang pangalan mo?“May I know your name?”
While courtship in the Philippines often happens between two people who are familiar with each other or have known each other for a long time, it’s not unusual for two strangers to enter courtship and fall in love. If you’re interested in a person, you should always start by asking for that person’s name. If the other person is interested, they might give you their name, and you can take things from there.

Pwede bang hingin ang phone number mo?“May I have your phone number?” “Is it okay if I ask for your phone number?”
Texting and online messaging are the primary means of communication in the Philippines. If you want to keep in touch with a girl you like, what better way than to ask for her phone number? Or, if you’d like to ask for her social media name, you can say:

Pwede ba kitang i-add sa social media? / “Can I add you on social media?”

May gagawin ka ba…?“Will you be busy…?”
A Filipino guy won’t directly say to a girl that he likes her. Instead, he’ll show interest by asking her:

May gagawin ka ba sa Sabado? / “Will you be busy this coming Saturday?” 

Or:

May gagawin ka ba mamayang gabi? / “Will you be busy tonight?”

It’s an indirect way of saying, “Let’s go out on a date. I want to get to know you more.”

Gusto sana kitang yayain na lumabas.“I was wondering if you would like to go out with me.”
This is what you say when the girl responds with, “I don’t have any plans yet. Why?” 

By this time, the girl already has a hint that you’re interested in her. If she’s also interested in you, she’ll say yes. Even if she’s not interested (yet), she might still say yes to get to know you more.

Gusto kita. “I like you.” 
Traditionally, Filipino women didn’t like it when their manliligaw moved too fast in terms of courtship. But with the passing of time and the infiltration of Western influence on the Philippine culture of courtship and dating, it’s now common for two individuals to enter into a romantic relationship without having to go through the long process of panliligaw. When a young man sees a lady he likes, he asks for her name and phone number, and then directly says to her:

Gusto kita. / “I like you.” 

He can also say:

Type kita. / “You’re my type.”

Most Filipinas are still very conservative, though, and prefer men who play by the rules. Some would even prefer a guy who’s torpe (someone who doesn’t know how to court, extremely shy, or simply playing innocent) over someone who’s too direct.

That said, it’s not uncommon to hear phrases like:

Matagal na kitang gusto. / “I have liked you for a long time.” 

This usually comes from a guy who has finally mustered the courage to express his affections, oftentimes after being exposed.

And if the girl also likes him, she answers with:

Matagal na rin kitang gusto. / “I feel the same way.”

Pwede bang umakyat ng ligaw?“Can I court you?” 
This is where the actual courtship takes place. 

Perhaps you’re wondering why the word umakyat is used here. The root word is akyat, which means “to climb.” Houses in the Philippines during the Spanish era usually had multiple levels. This was true both for the Bahay na Bato (concrete house) and the bahay kubo (nipa house). When a man planned to court a woman, he would do so by serenading her with an acoustic guitar. He would call out toward the window of the second level where the woman’s room was, and from there, the young woman would look down at the young man as he began to serenade her. After all the singing, the man would ask for the lady’s permission by saying:

Maaari ba akong pumanhik? / “Can I go up?”

If the woman was interested, she would say:

Sige, pasok ka. / “Sure, come inside.”

This phrase of “going up to court someone” has been a part of Filipino tradition since, and until now, it’s the same expression used by men when asking permission to court a girl.

Pwede ba kitang maging kasintahan? “Would you be my girlfriend?”
The first stage of courtship culminates with the man asking the woman this question. This is the part where the man expects to receive the woman’s matamis na ‘oo’ or “sweet ‘yes’” so they can officially be together.

Asian Coworkers Chatting with Each Other After Work

“Hi, I’m Will. God’s will.”

    This lesson will help you learn how to introduce yourself in Filipino.

2. Falling in Deeper: Saying “I Love You,” and More

In this section, you’ll learn how “I love you,” is actually said in Filipino, plus more expressions used for showing affection between two lovers.

Mahal kita. “I love you.”
To confess your love in Filipino, you use these two simple words. If you follow our blog, you’ve probably come across some topics where we’ve explained how the pronoun kita works. It’s actually the subject ko (“I”) and the object ka (“you”) combined. It stands for ko ka, which is never used but always replaced with kita. So, when you say Mahal kita, you’re actually saying, Mahal ko ka, which is literally “Love I you.”

But what if you want to say to someone that you love them very much? In that case, you could say:

Mahal na mahal kita. / “I love you very much.”

Here, we see a reduplication of mahal. To express extravagant love without reduplication, you could say:

Sobrang mahal kita. / “I love you very much.”

Hindi kita mabura sa isipan ko.“I can’t get you out of my head.”
This is what you say to someone to let them know that you’re crazy about them. The word bura is Tagalog for “erase,” so this expression basically means, “I can’t erase you from my head,” with “head” being the word isipan, which is literally “mind.”

Sabik na sabik na ako sa iyo.“I miss you very much.”
The word sabik means “eager,” so by saying that you are sabik about somebody, you’re saying that you’re eager to see that person. There’s no direct translation in Tagalog for the word “miss” or “missing” in terms of an emotional longing, so we use the Filipino word for “eager” instead. Most Filipinos nowadays seldom use the word sabik, so you can just say: Miss na miss na kita.

Baliw na baliw ako sa’yo.“I’m so crazy about you.”
Lovesickness can make anyone go crazy. There are simply times where it’s impossible to wrap your arms around the person you’re in love with. This is especially true among Filipino couples who are in a long-distance relationship.

Sobrang in lab ako sa iyo.“I’m so in love with you.” 
This is just another way of telling someone you’re crazy about them. In lab is a loanword, or rather a loan expression, from the English “in love.” This is an informal phrase.

Gustong-gusto kitang makita.“I want to see you badly.”
When you miss someone badly, the only thing you want is to see them again soon. That’s where this expression comes in. Another version is: 

Gustong-gusto na kitang makasama/makapiling. / “I want to be with you so badly.”

Ikaw ang lahat sa akin.“You are everything to me.”
This may sound cliche, but each culture probably has its own version of this expression. Filipinos don’t use this in regular conversations; it’s only used in formal contexts, like when you’re writing a poem or a love letter. This five-word romantic expression is also the title of a song popularized by Filipino singer Martin Nievera in the 90s. And yes, the song perfectly embodies the message that the expression is trying to convey.

A Man Whispering Something in a Woman’s Ear

Sobrang in lab ako sa iyo. / “I’m so in love with you.”


3. Take it One Step Further: “Will You Marry Me?” and More

Pagkahaba-haba man daw ng prusisyon, sa simbahan din ang tuloy. 
“The procession may be long, but it will surely still end up in the church.”

This famous Filipino proverb perfectly describes traditional Filipino courtship, particularly how arduous and long the process can be when the rules of the game are strictly followed. At the end of the day, it’s not the guy who’s richer and better-looking who wins, but the one who perseveres until the end. Before the grand church procession happens, however, one must first learn how to ask the million-dollar question in Filipino. But first, let’s meet the parents!

Gusto kitang ipakilala sa mga magulang ko.“I’d like you to meet my parents.”
It’s a common saying in the Philippines that when you’re courting a girl, you’re also courting her entire family, particularly her parents. When a girl invites you to come over to her place to meet her parents, it means she likes you. On the other hand, when it’s the guy who makes the invitation, it means he’s serious about the relationship. It’s not always the case, but this is one of the first signs that a guy plans to propose real soon.

Magpakasal na tayo.“Let’s get married.”
The Filipinos have adopted the Western tradition of proposing marriage with the giving of an engagement ring, sometimes in public. Nevertheless, a simple Magpakasal na tayo (“Let’s get married”) should be sufficient.

Gusto kitang pakasalan“I want to marry you.”
This is another version of the previous phrase. This one is a bit indirect, though, and may come off as a simple desire to get married rather than an actual proposal. 

Pakasalan mo ako.“Marry me.” 
This one’s more straightforward. Even though courtship in Filipino culture begins slowly, when the right time comes, the man should not be afraid to show his true intentions.

Mo is an indirect object pronoun that means “you.” Literally, Pakasalan mo ako is “Marry you me.”

Papayag ka bang magpakasal sa akin? “Will you marry me?”
For those of you wondering how to say “Will you marry me?” in Filipino, this is probably the closest that you can get. 

Papayag is the future tense of the verb payag, which means “to conform” or “to agree.” In this context, its closest translation in English is “willing.” In English, the question would sound like: “Are you willing to get married to me?”

Pakakasalan kita. “I will marry you.”
Nothing could be more direct than this one. It’s not a question but a statement, a sort of promise even. If you want to reassure a Filipina that you intend to marry her, then tell her this.

Magsama na tayo.“Let’s move in together.”
Filipinos are very conservative and religious. Some people say this is a result of the Philippines having been under Spanish rule for over 300 years. Others say it’s just that conservatism is a trait of Asian people. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that living together before marriage is a practice that’s not widely accepted in the Philippines. People are becoming more open-minded nowadays, however, and it’s not unusual for couples to live together and even start a family before marriage.

Mag-anak na tayo.“Let’s have kids already.”
It’s common to find three generations living together in a Filipino household. Since the Philippines is primarily an agricultural country, great importance is given to child-rearing. The more children there are in a family, the greater the chance that the family’s livelihood will be sustained. However, there has been a shift in the mindset of young Filipino couples nowadays when it comes to having children. For most couples, career should be given priority. But once either of the two feels it’s time to have kids, they would say: 

Gumawa na tayo ng anak. / “Let’s start making babies.”

A Man on One Knee Proposing to a Woman on a Bridge

Papayag ka bang magpakasal sa akin? / “Will you marry me?”


4. Filipino Endearment Terms

Filipinos never use Tagalog terms of endearment. Such terms can only be found in literature, or are sometimes heard spoken by the older generation. Nowadays, Filipino couples make use of English terms to address each other romantically. They use terms like “honey,” “babe,” “darling,” or “sweetheart.” But for the sake of this lesson, allow us to show you some of the most common Filipino terms of endearment.

Irog“Darling,” “Beloved,” “Dear”
Irog is an old Filipino term which could mean “darling,” “beloved,” or “dear.” No one uses this term in regular conversations, though. You’ll mostly encounter this word as a lyric in a love song. Here’s one line from the song Solomon by Filipino indie band Munimuni:

O irog dinig mo ba
Ang pagtibok ng aking puso?

“O darling, do you hear 
the beating of my heart?”

Sinta“Love,” “My love”
Sinta is another old-fashioned term of endearment that is synonymous with “love.” Calling someone sinta is like saying in English, “my darling.” It’s the root word of kasintahan, which means “girlfriend” or “boyfriend.” Just like irog, you will seldom hear the word sinta used in normal conversations.

Mahal“Love”
One of the definitions of the Filipino word mahal is “expensive” or “valuable.” Interestingly, the word is also the Filipino word for “love.” When you tell someone Mahal kita, you’re essentially saying that the person is dear to you.

Pangga“My love”
Pangga is a variant of the Visayan term palangga, which means “to love” or “to have a strong affection for someone.” It’s the equivalent of the Tagalog mahal, and while it’s Cebuano and Hiligaynon in origin, it’s now very common to hear it spoken by Tagalog-speaking people.

Beh“Baby”
Beh is a Filipino slang term for “baby.” It’s often used between two lovers, but it’s not uncommon to hear it being used between very close friends, particularly between two females.

5. Must-know Filipino Love Quotes

In the past, Filipino love quotes were mostly from classic Tagalog love songs, movies, or literature, such as those written by the great Filipino poet, Francisco Balagtas. These days, you’ll usually get them from what the younger generations refer to as hugot. This is the Filipino term for “pull out,” like when you’re pulling money from a deep pocket. If you search the web using the keyword “Filipino love quotes,” you’ll be amazed that most of the results are not purely classic love quotes, but modern “hugot lines.” These lines are usually given birth by deep emotional experience, such as falling in (or even out of) love. 

Now that you have some cultural context, here are some of the most common love quotes in Filipino…

Ang puso ko ay pumili, at ang pinili ay ikaw.“My heart made its choice, and it chose you.”
It’s not uncommon for a Filipina woman to have more than one suitor. Even until a couple of decades ago, it was a usual occurrence that two or even three suitors would visit a girl in her home at the same time. The first one to arrive would court first, and the rest would wait for their turn like true gentlemen. At the end of the day, the girl would make her choice. Only the best man would win.

Ibibigay ko ang lahat sa’yo, maging ang araw at ang buwan, pati bituin ay aking susungkitin.“I’ll give you everything, the sun, the moon, and even the stars in the sky.”
This is one of the oldest Filipino pick-up lines. It may not guarantee success nowadays, but there are probably still a lot of Filipinas out there who prefer this kind of romantic line over something cheesy like, “Is your dad a terrorist? ‘Coz you’re the bomb!”

Ang pag-ibig parang taxi, agawan.“Love is like queuing for a taxi. People fight to get a ride.”
This is a more modern Filipino love quote. The person who invented this probably had to overcome several obstacles and competitors just to get the attention of the woman he loves. I’m not sure if he ended up successful, but it’s interesting that he compared love to the taxi queuing system in the Philippines, which requires you to be patient and assertive at the same time if you want to get a ride.

Nang dumating ka sa buhay ko, naging makulay ang mundo ko.“When you came into my life, my world became colorful.”
What a beautiful description of what it means to find love! Indeed, for many of us, the only thing that could light up our world is the love of our life!

Mag-ingat sa lalaking matamis ang dila.“Beware of sweet talkers.”
Scams and scammers are rampant these days, but did you know that love scams are not new? Filipino men are known to be malambing (“sweet”), but girls will know when you’re genuine with your intentions or are simply sweet-talking them. Avoid being matamis ang dila or you’ll come off as a player.

A Man and Woman Having Drinks on a Date

Kay tamis ng kanyang mga salita! / “How sweet his words are!”

6. Learn More Important Tagalog Phrases with FilipinoPod101!

This has been a long lesson on how to say “I love you,” in Tagalog, and we could still go on and on because there are actually many more love phrases in Filipino and cultural details to explore! 

To learn more important Filipino phrases, why not just create your account on FilipinoPod101.com? With FilipinoPod101, you’ll learn more than just romantic Filipino phrases and Tagalog pick-up lines. Here, you’ll learn the basics of Filipino grammar, including how to construct sentences properly, pronounce difficult Tagalog words, and appropriately apply Filipino expressions to any situation.

FilipinoPod101 is unlike any other online language learning platform. Here, you can study lessons that are tailored to perfectly match your requirements. And with our MyTeacher service for Premium PLUS members, you can learn how to speak fluent Tagalog in no time with the help of a Filipino teacher who will provide you with guidance and ongoing assessment. 

What are you waiting for? Become part of the FilipinoPod101 community today! And if you found this post helpful, don’t hesitate to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Why learn Tagalog? Here are 10 compelling reasons.

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Why learn Tagalog or Filipino when there are other languages to choose from? If you’re studying Tagalog as a second language, there’s a chance that you’ve been asked this question once or twice. But even if you’re still in the process of deciding whether to study Tagalog or not, this is a valid question to ask yourself.

Is the Filipino language so significant that you should spend more than 1000 hours to learn and master it? As a Filipino, I would say that our language may not be too sophisticated, but there are more reasons to study it than you could think of. From widening your professional network to making new friends or finding more opportunities for romance, there are just so many reasons for you to consider it.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about the top 10 reasons why it makes sense to study the language of the Pearl of the Orient Seas. You’ll soon find out why knowing how to speak one of the most dynamic languages in the world is worthy of your passion!

A Man Studying Late at Night with Coffee

Is Filipino so significant that you should spend 1000 hours studying it? Absolutely!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. The Philippines is rich in culture and beauty.
  2. Filipino is an interesting language to learn.
  3. It will deepen your connection with the Filipino people.
  4. It’s a stepping stone to learning more languages!
  5. Filipinos are all over the world!
  6. The Philippines is one of Asia’s hottest tourist destinations.
  7. Learning Tagalog will open up more opportunities for you.
  8. Learning a new language has many self-improvement benefits.
  9. You’ll have something to pass on to the next generation.
  10. Filipino / Tagalog is not that difficult to learn.
  11. Learning Filipino is Easier and More Fun with FilipinoPod101!

1. The Philippines is rich in culture and beauty.

Filipino is the national language of the Philippines, and it’s spoken by 45 million people. This is more than enough reason to learn the Filipino language. But besides the fact that Filipino is widely spoken worldwide, a more important reason to learn the language is that those who speak it belong to a country that’s rich in culture and beauty.

That said, the Philippine culture is worthy of your time and attention. Studying it is enriching, and being able to understand and speak the Filipino language will further improve your experience as you explore the history of the Philippines.

The Filipino culture is a fascinating one. Of all the peoples in the world, Filipinos are known to be among the most resilient—if not the most resilient. They always manage to rise above obstacles; even when faced with the most difficult of challenges, they always pick themselves up and move on.

Filipinos also hold tradition and heritage in high regard. Family life is especially important. Special occasions, such as festivals, reunions, or birthday celebrations should never be missed.

If you want to study Philippine culture, knowing even just basic Tagalog can be very useful in understanding the history, customs, and traditions of the Filipino people.


2. Filipino is an interesting language to learn.

The diversity of the Philippines as a culture makes its language very interesting to learn. For example, the Filipino language actually developed through a complex process. What does this mean? If you don’t know it already, Filipino/Tagalog is not a pure language. That’s because the Filipino race is made up of various ethnic groups, each influencing the national language in some way. 

Even the early ancestors of the Filipinos were not originally from the archipelago, but were Negritos from Asia who arrived in the country through land bridges. These people had their own language, but they later adopted the language of other races who also came to settle in the Philippines from neighboring countries. 

Moreover, as part of the Austronesian family of languages, the Filipino language has been influenced by Malay, Indonesian, Sanskrit, Chinese, and many others. Its development was also significantly impacted by the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, as well as the arrival of the Americans and the Japanese. And for those who love to study languages and their origins, this collection of facts should be an exciting reason to study Filipino!

3. It will deepen your connection with the Filipino people.

There’s a huge chance that you know someone who’s Filipino, whether it’s a colleague, a friend, a romantic partner, or even a relative. (Who knows, you may even have Filipino blood flowing in your veins!) Learning the language will definitely help take your relationships with these people to a deeper level. 

As you might know already, language is our superpower. It’s the key to the success of the human species. It’s the key to the effectiveness of any relationship. In a way, it’s because of language that we are who we are. 

When you speak the same language as the people you’re communicating with, the connection goes beyond simply being able to understand each other. When you’re a foreigner and you speak to a Filipino in his or her language, you’re acknowledging that person’s uniqueness. And that leaves a lasting impression that helps strengthen your bond with them.

One of the things you’ll surely appreciate when you visit the Philippines is the hospitality of the Filipino people. In particular, you’ll find the older generation to be the best people to talk to. Talking with the lolos and lolas (elders) will surely be an enriching experience for you. They’re the ones who have lived through many of the historical changes in the country, and they won’t hesitate to share with you all their amazing encounters from the past several decades!

An Old Asian Couple

Talking to the lolos and lolas will surely be an enriching experience for you!

4. It’s a stepping stone to learning more languages!

Tagalog is a bit more difficult to learn than French or Italian. In one of our blog posts, we mentioned that it takes a total of 1100 hours to learn and master the language, so once you master it, there’s no stopping you from learning more languages—even the more difficult ones! 

In that sense, it will help boost your confidence. If you were able to overcome the complexity of Tagalog verb conjugation or the pronunciation difficulties posed by some Tagalog words, what could stop you from learning other languages?

5. Filipinos are all over the world!

The Philippines has a population of 110 million people, 10 million of which currently live outside the country either as immigrants or overseas contract workers. A great reason as to why you should learn Tagalog is that doing so will help you communicate with Filipinos all around the world. 

There’s just no denying that Filipinos are everywhere. You go to work, and one or two of your colleagues or higher-ups are Filipinos. You attend the church service on Sunday and many of the attendees are Filipinos. You probably know this already, but Filipinos are very religious and won’t miss the opportunity to be at church on a Sunday. You’ll also find them in the park or the children’s playground. You’ll find them in the malls and on the street. The guy next door may even be a Filipino! 

So, if you come to think of it, there’s always that chance you’re going to have to communicate with a Filipino on a daily basis—no matter which part of the world you’re in. And while most Filipinos are good communicators in English and could easily learn any language or dialect, it would be great if you could speak and understand Tagalog yourself and be able to communicate with them in their own language.

6. The Philippines is one of Asia’s hottest tourist destinations.

There’s no question that the Philippines is one of the best tourist spots in the world. I have no doubt that it’s even on your bucket list! Learning the language of the locals will help you get the most out of your experience as you visit the country as a tourist. 

Of course, it’s possible to enjoy your tour of the country while speaking only English since most Filipinos understand the language. In fact, aside from the beautiful beaches, awesome surfing spots, and mesmerizing tourist attractions, one of the reasons many foreigners love visiting the country is that they can get by with English alone. If you want to make a lasting impression, though, you’ll want to invest time in learning Tagalog, even if it’s just the basics.

You’ll also have a more convenient time getting around if you know Tagalog. When riding the jeepney, for instance, you won’t have to wonder what bayad (fare), sukli (change), or para (stop) means. You’ll also amaze the locals with your Tagalog speaking skills as you converse with them, whether that’s asking them for directions or telling them how beautiful the Philippines is!

A Guy Surfing

With over 7,000 islands and a coastline of 36,279 km, the Philippines is home to some of the best surfing spots in the world!


7. Learning Tagalog will open up more opportunities for you.

Whether it’s getting a job, being promoted at work, finding more business partners, or even making new friends, more doors will open for you in the Philippines if you can speak Tagalog well. The Philippines may be a developing country and the work system may not be as efficient compared to that of other countries. However, the main advantage of working here is that the cost of living is generally low. In fact, that’s one of the reasons many foreigners decide to live, study, or work in the Philippines.

You could already live comfortably in many cities within the archipelago on $800 a month. And yes, it’s possible to earn more than that here in the country if you know which opportunities to take advantage of. And knowing how to speak Filipino is definitely one way to open more doors for you!

8. Learning a new language has many self-improvement benefits.

Aside from simply being able to understand and speak a new language, learning a language other than your native tongue can bring many self-improvement benefits.

A- You will become a better listener.

Anyone can easily express what they feel with words, but not everyone has the skill to listen. And listening is a very important life skill. If you want to have an authentic connection with another person, for instance, you’ll want to learn how to listen without interrupting. One way you can develop that skill is by learning a new language. When doing so, you have no choice but to master the art of listening, as listening is important if you want to master the accent, tone, and pronunciation of a word. 

B- Your creativity will improve.

Learning a new language is a lot like piecing a puzzle together. When you’re just starting, you may be able to understand several words—but not all—and this forces you to be more creative with your approach. It’s not a surprise that a particular study shows bilinguals think outside the box more than monolinguals do.

A Group of Friends Having Dinner and Drinks Together

Learning a new language can make you a better listener.

C- You will learn things faster.

No mental training is superior to learning a new language. It stretches your cognitive agility to the limit, and without a doubt, this form of mental exercise can do more for your brain than you know. It improves your memory retention, helps your brain absorb information better, enhances your focus, and helps significantly reduce your learning curve. That’s because language learning forces your brain to take in fresh information and not simply re-learn something that you already know.

D- You will be more self-confident.

I mentioned earlier that learning Tagalog will increase your self-confidence when it comes to learning more languages. And that translates to other areas of your life, too! Learning a language means dealing with obstacles  and problems you’ve never faced before. This develops within you a mental toughness that will help get you through any life challenges you may encounter in the future.


9. You’ll have something to pass on to the next generation.

One of the most important benefits of learning Tagalog is that it gives you a legacy to pass on to the next generation. This is especially true if you’re a Filipino who was born and raised outside of the Philippines and would like to rediscover your heritage. Yes, there are millions of Filipinos living outside the Philippines, but many of them wouldn’t know how to respond to Kumusta ka? (“How are you?”)

But then, there’s more to passing on the heritage of the Filipino language to your children than simply making sure they know how to speak their nation’s language. By learning Filipino and teaching it to the future generation, you’re also standing up for what your ancestors fought for. Men like Dr. Jose Rizal shed ink and blood to preserve the Filipino identity. If not for brave heroes like him, the Filipinos wouldn’t be enjoying the freedom they have now. And remember: If not for men like him, who knows what the national language of the Philippines would be?

10. Filipino / Tagalog is not that difficult to learn.

This isn’t to say that Filipino is easy to master. But it is easier to learn compared to some languages, especially if English is your first language. Some sources rank Tagalog as the tenth easiest Asian language to master, making it easier than Thai, Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese. Here are some reasons why you won’t have a difficult time learning Filipino:

  • Filipino uses the Latin script.
    The modern Filipino alphabet is composed of 28 letters, and this includes all 26 letters of the ISO basic Latin alphabet. The Spanish Ñ and the digraph Ng make up the two additional letters. And in case you’re wondering, the five vowel sounds are pretty much the same as in English, and there are only 16 consonant sounds in contrast to the 21 in English.
  • The words are pronounced the way they’re spelled. 
    This is one of the best aspects of the Filipino language. It’s a phonetic language, so learning how words are pronounced won’t really involve a lot of tongue-twisting on your part.
  • Most Filipino words have a direct equivalent in English and other languages.
    This makes learning vocabulary very simple. Yes, there are a few words here and there that are unique to the Filipino language, but most words have an equivalent in English. Add to that the fact that many Filipino words have been borrowed from more than a dozen other languages.
  • Filipino word order / sentence structure is flexible.
    Filipino follows the V-S-O (Verb – Subject – Object) word order, but what makes it unique is that there are up to six ways you can write or say a specific sentence while still conveying the same meaning.

Verb conjugation may be a little bit trickier, but at the end of the day, learning all these things is much like learning how to drive or play a sport. It may be challenging at first, but the more you practice, the more you’ll get used to it—and before you know it, it’s become second nature to you!

Four Kids Playing with Bubbles and Laying in the Grass

Learning Filipino gives you an opportunity to pass on a legacy to the next generation.


11. Learning Filipino is Easier and More Fun with FilipinoPod101!

I was serious when I said learning Filipino is not that difficult. Things can get even easier if you have someone to help you with your journey of studying and mastering the language of the Philippines. 

You’ve probably come across many language learning systems and are wondering where to learn Tagalog online for the best experience. I can reassure you that you’ve never found anything quite like FilipinoPod101. With us, you can make your Tagalog learning experience easier and a lot more exciting! 

Start by signing up for a free account today. Once you’re in, you’ll gain access to a wide range of free resources you can use to start your learning journey. This is in addition to other useful tools, such as a Filipino dictionary, lists of Tagalog vocabulary, and various lessons like those found on our blog page.

One reason we’re confident to say that learning Filipino is easy and that you should start today is that FilipinoPod101 offers a special Premium PLUS feature: MyTeacher. With MyTeacher, you can learn the Filipino language through a guided learning system where you’ll have one-on-one interaction with a real Filipino teacher. This means you’ll constantly be receiving guidance and feedback, making sure you’re always leveling up!

I hope you enjoyed this post on why you should learn Tagalog. Don’t hesitate to let us know what you think by dropping your thoughts in the comments section! Cheers!

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30 Filipino Proverbs for Everyday Life

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The Filipino culture is saturated with all kinds of traditions, beliefs, and superstitions, many of which are either illogical or impractical. Despite this, it’s also rich in proverbs that contain ageless wisdom. Known as salawikain in Tagalog, Filipino proverbs are bits and pieces of knowledge passed down orally from one generation to another. Their main purpose is to relate perceptions and little truths that have been tested through time.

There are many things from my childhood I will never forget. Among them are the Filipino proverbs that were taught to me by my parents and elders, and the ones I read from the once-popular Tagalog children’s magazine Pambata, which featured a comic strip entitled ‘Mga Salawikain ni Lolo Brigido.’

In this article, allow me to share with you some of the most celebrated proverbs that Filipinos have grown to love over the years.

A Man in Deep Study

Ang kapaitan ng pag-aaral ay mas kanais-nais kaysa kapaitan ng kamangmangan.
“The bitterness of studying is preferable to the bitterness of ignorance.”

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Proverbs About Character and Wisdom
  2. Proverbs About Life and Living
  3. Proverbs About Work and Success
  4. Proverbs About Relationships
  5. Miscellaneous Filipino Proverbs
  6. Learn Filipino Proverbs Plus Much More With FilipinoPod101!

1. Proverbs About Character and Wisdom

Every culture has its own ideals concerning how one should act, and its own ideas of what it means to be wise. So what better way to begin our Filipino proverbs list than with some proverbs on character and wisdom? 

#1

FilipinoAnuman ang gagawin, pitong beses iisipin.
Translation“Whatever you do, think about it seven times.”
This old Filipino saying is a reminder that every action has a consequence. Filipinos are known for being procrastinators, but we can be impulsive in many ways as well. Filipino parents who have grown in wisdom often use this very proverb to tell their young and more daring offspring not to be hasty when making decisions.

Huwag kang mag padalos-dalos. Bago ka mag desisyon, mag-isip ka muna ng pitong beses.
“Don’t rush. Think carefully before you make a decision.”

#2

FilipinoAng hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan, hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.
Translation“He who forgets where he came from will never reach his destination.”
This proverb is usually attributed to Dr. Jose Rizal, although there’s evidence it didn’t originate from him. There’s no question that this is one of the most popular Filipino proverbs, and one that’s often on the lips of Filipino people. There are several ways it can be interpreted, but many people use it to refer to the importance of repaying a favor.

Matuto kang lumingon sa pinanggalingan mo. Kung hindi dahil sa akin, hindi ka aasenso ng ganito.
“Learn to look back where you came from. If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t be as successful as you are today.”


#3

FilipinoAng karanasan ay mabuting guro.
Translation“Experience is the best teacher.”
Probably every culture has a version of this proverb. It reminds us that life is a series of experiences, a series of learning opportunities.

Ayaw mo kasing makinig, kaya ngayon, ang pinagdaanan mo na ang nagturo sa iyo.
“You didn’t want to listen, so now your experience became your teacher.”

#4

FilipinoUbos-ubos biyaya, pagkatapos nakatunganga. 
Translation“Spend lavishly and you end up with nothing.”
The word ubos is Filipino for “nothing is left.” It’s repeated here to emphasize a point. In this case, it’s used to refer to spending all your blessings in one go. Nakatunganga, on the other hand, is “to be idle.” It can also refer to the act of staring blankly into space, the exact expression someone has on their face after learning they have no money left.

Bakit mo inubos ang pera mo? Nakatunganga ka diyan ngayon.
“Why did you spend all your money? Now, you don’t know what to do.”

#5

FilipinoWalang nakasisira sa bakal kundi sariling kalawang.
Translation“Nothing destroys iron except its own rust.”
This proverb has two meanings, although the first one is similar to the second. It’s a metaphor that could mean no one can hurt you as much as the people who know you well, such as a family member or close friend. In the same manner, no one can destroy your reputation as much as you can—that is, if you keep on doing what is wrong and dishonorable.

Sisirain ka ng sarili mong kalawang kapag hindi ka nagbago.
“Your own rust will destroy you if you don’t mend your ways.”

#6

FilipinoLaging nasa huli ang pagsisisi.
Translation“Regret is always at the end.”
No one regrets their action at first. Being sorry about something always comes after the damage has been done. If you think about it, this proverb complements our first proverb (the one about pondering deeply about a decision before acting on it). 

Pag-isipan mo ‘yan ng pitong beses. Tandaan mo, laging nasa huli ang pagsisisi.
“Evaluate your next step very carefully—think about it seven times. Remember, regret is always at the end.”

A Sad Child Being Punished

Laging nasa huli ang pagsisisi.
“Regret is always at the end.”

2. Proverbs About Life and Living

We all strive to live the best life we can, but it’s not always easy and our path is not always clear. Here are some Filipino proverbs about life and living to give you some cultural perspective on the topic. 

#7

FilipinoAng buhay ay parang gulong, minsang nasa ibabaw, minsang nasa ilalim. 
Translation“Life is like a wheel: Sometimes you’re up, and sometimes you’re down.”
They say life is full of ups and downs, and we can’t expect to be happy all the time. This proverb is a reminder of that truth. The earlier you come to terms with it, the fewer frustrations you’ll have in life. A popular version of this proverb is: Ang buhay ay weather-weather lang. (Life is like the weather.)

Huwag kang makampante. Nasa ibabaw ka ngayon, pero hindi mo alam baka bukas nasa ilalim ka na.
“Don’t be overconfident. You may be at the top now, but you never know if you’re going to be at the bottom tomorrow.”


#8

FilipinoNasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa. 
Translation“To be merciful is God’s; to act is man’s.”
The bahala na mentality, or the concept that the future is up in the air, is deep within the psyche of the Filipino people. Many Filipinos fail to reach their true potential because of this.

“I did my best. I’ll just pray that God will do the rest?”

This proverb is a direct rebuke to that mentality, and it’s very similar to the famous motto, “God helps those who help themselves.”

Kumayod ka kung gusto mong umasenso. Nasa Diyos nga ang awa, pero nasa tao ang gawa!
“Work hard if you want to succeed. God is gracious, but nothing will happen to you if you remain idle!”

#9

FilipinoHabang may buhay, may pag-asa.
Translation“As long as there is life, there is hope.”
Filipinos are among the most resilient of peoples, and this proverb speaks of this truth. Various threats loom so largely every day that we sometimes feel that our situations are hopeless. But if one thing is true, it’s that we should never lose hope as long as there is breath in our lungs.

Alam ko nahihirapan ka na, pero huwag mong kalimutan na habang may buhay, may pag-asa.
“I know you’re having a very difficult time, but never forget that as long as there is life, there is hope.”

#10

FilipinoPag may hirap, may ginhawa.
Translation“When there is a difficulty, there is also a relief.”
This is somewhat similar to the previous proverb about life being full of ups and downs. Most assuredly, life is full of paradoxes and dilemmas. But even if we’re facing hardships right now, we should never forget that we’ve also experienced many good things in the past—and we’ll experience more in the days to come! So don’t lose hope. A wise man once said, “Should we accept from God only good and not adversity?”

#11

FilipinoKalabaw lang ang tumatanda. 
Translation“Only carabaos grow old.”
There’s a reason that the carabao, or the water buffalo, is the national animal of the Philippines. As a symbol of hard work, the carabao is a tough, powerful, and tireless beast. But even an animal as majestic as the carabao grows old and eventually dies. Our grandparents used to quote this proverb to remind everybody that growing old is all in the mind and that anyone can stay as young and strong as they want by maintaining a positive outlook on life. In other words, “Age is just a number.”

Lola, tama na ang trabaho. Magpahinga ka na.
Hmp! Kalabaw lang ang tumatanda!

“Grandma, you need to get some rest from work.”
“Hmph! Only carabaos grow old!”

#12

FilipinoAng masamang damo ay matagal mamatay.
Translation“Weeds don’t die easily.”
This proverb has long been used to describe evil people, particularly why they always seem to live longer. It’s somewhat related to the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” and its opposite, “Why do good things happen to bad people?” 

Indeed, we often perceive the wicked to be prospering more than they deserve, but let us not forget that both good and bad are part of life. Perhaps one of the purposes of this proverb is to remind us that it’s impossible to completely rid our lives of evil. All we can do is accept this fact, resist evil, and strive to be better individuals. 

Meanwhile, some people quote this proverb after narrowly escaping death. 

Huwag kayong mag-alala sa akin. Masamang damo ako.
“Don’t be too worried about me. I don’t die easily.”

Three Old Women and an Old Man Laughing and Playing Cards

Kalabaw lang ang tumatanda.
“Only carabaos grow old.”

3. Proverbs About Work and Success

Every culture has something to say about the value of hard work and what it takes to be successful. Below are some common Filipino proverbs on the topic to inspire and motivate you! 

#13

FilipinoHangga’t makitid ang kumot, matutong mamaluktot. 
Translation“Learn how to curl up while the blanket is short.”
Blankets are an important part of life in the Philippines. They protect not only against the cold, but also against mosquitoes and other bugs. In poor communities, a blanket can be a luxury. This proverb advises that if your blanket is too short, learn to bend your knees so that it can cover your entire body. In other words, learn to adjust to your circumstances. 

As we’ve already learned, life has its ups and downs. Be content with what you have at the moment. Work hard and save until you reach the point where you can indulge in a bit of luxury.

Matuto ka munang mamaluktot habang naghahanap ka pa lang ng trabaho.
“Learn to save first while you’re still looking for a job.”

#14

FilipinoPag may tiyaga, may nilaga. 
Translation“If you persevere, you will reap the fruits of your labor.”
In rural Philippines, the nilaga or stew is considered a reward after a hard day’s work. If a Filipino worker doesn’t work hard enough, he won’t have enough money to buy the ingredients for this nutritious dish. This proverb motivates us to work hard because if we persevere, success—and perhaps a delicious bowl of nilaga—will be waiting for us at the end. 


#15

FilipinoDaig ng maagap ang masipag. 
Translation“Promptness wins over diligence.”
To be maagap means to be proactive. You can be hardworking and persevering, but if you’re not mindful of what’s going on around you, you’ll risk losing your work and its potential rewards. 

Be a hardworking individual. Be excellent in what you do and never quit until you’ve completed your task. But in the process, don’t forget to stay alert and ready. In the end, a quick-witted person will win over someone who seems to work non-stop.

#16

FilipinoAng kita sa bula, sa bula rin mawawala.
Translation“What comes from bubbles will disappear in bubbles.”
In a time when get-rich-quick schemes are becoming more and more rampant, nothing could be more valuable than this proverb. The word bula is Filipino for “bubble.” And as you know, bubbles can be attractive and mesmerizing sometimes. But just as fast as they appear, so do they disappear in the blink of an eye. Don’t fall for schemes that promise quick riches. As the saying goes, the way to get rich quickly is to do it slowly.

#17

FilipinoAng umaayaw ay di nagwawagi, ang nagwawagi ay di umaayaw. 
Translation“A quitter never wins; a winner never quits.”
There’s a time to quit and there’s a time to persevere and endure. This is a very straightforward proverb, reminding us that it ain’t over till the fat lady sings. After all, no one who quit prematurely became a champion in life.

Huwag kang aayaw kaagad dahil ikaw din ang matatalo sa huli.
“Don’t quit easily because you’ll only end up being the loser in the end if you do.”

#18

FilipinoPera na, naging bato pa.
Translation“What you thought was money turned out to be stone.”
This is an expression of regret, often said by people who thought they were able to make a profit out of something. In the end, what they thought was a genuine opportunity turned out to be a scam. An excellent reminder that true success cannot be obtained overnight.

Nagsisi ako na sumali ako sa negosyo na ‘to. Pera na naging bato pa.
“I regret joining this business. The money I invested simply turned into stone.”


Beef Nilaga

Pag may tiyaga, may nilaga.
“If you persevere, you will reap the fruits of your labor.”

4. Proverbs About Relationships

Lasting relationships are some of the most precious things in life, but they can also be the most trying. Here are a few Filipino proverbs about love, family, and friendship to give you some perspective. 

#19

FilipinoAng matapat na kaibigan, tunay na maaasahan. 
Translation“You will know a true friend in time of need.”
Perhaps you’re more familiar with, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” 

It’s easy to attract people into our lives when we’re experiencing success. But when everything seems to be falling apart, these so-called friends will be nowhere to be found. Those who are truly loyal to us are those who will stay by our side to support us, even when they know they’ll get nothing in return.

#20

FilipinoAng pag-aasawa ay hindi biro, ‘di tulad ng kanin, iluluwa kung mapaso. 
Translation“Marriage is not a joke. It is not like food that you can spit out when it is too hot to chew.”
Marrying a person means marrying their entire family. This is especially true in a culture like that of the Philippines, where married couples tend to live together with either of the couple’s side of the family. True enough, strife between husband and wife often involves family members from each side. But then, this old Filipino proverb helps us understand that marriage is a lifetime commitment and not something you can throw away once you get tired of its flavor.

-Isasauli ko na siya sa nanay niya.-Anong akala mo sa relasyon niyo?
Parang kanin na pag napaso ka iluluwa mo lang?

-“I’m going to return her to her parents.”
-“What do you think of your relationship? Do you think it’s like rice that you can simply spit out when you get burned?”

#21

FilipinoAnak na di paluluhain, ina ang patatangisin.  
Translation“An undisciplined child will leave his mother in tears.”
This is the Filipino equivalent of the Biblical proverb that says, “He who spares the rod hates his son.” Spanking a child for bad behavior may be taboo in Western countries, but in the Philippines, it has been common practice to hit a child with a stick as a form of discipline. Many Filipinos forty years old and above would tell you they’re thankful that they lived in a generation when it was okay to hit a child to keep them in check. That’s not to say that it’s still okay today. After all, there are many ways to discipline an unruly child. What this proverb is telling us is that children should never be spoiled if they are to grow up bringing honor to their parents and themselves.

#22

FilipinoHindi magbubunga ng santol ang mabolo. 
Translation“The mabolo tree will not bear a santol fruit.”
Speaking of honor, in Asian countries like the Philippines, society places much importance on honoring one’s parents. This proverb is used in both a positive and a negative sense. 

When society sees a child growing up to become as successful and noble as his parents, they conclude that the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. If that same child ended up going the opposite direction, he would be labeled a “black sheep,” a “rotten fruit” that is just as rotten as the tree he had fallen from.

#23

FilipinoPagkahaba-haba man daw ng prusisyon, sa simbahan din ang tuloy.  
Translation“The procession may be long, but it will surely still end up in the church.”
As a primarily Catholic country, the Philippines has several religious festivals, most of which are celebrated with long processions. No matter how long and slow the procession may be, one can be sure that its final destination is the church. 

Filipinos liken long engagements to a religious procession. For some couples, it takes years before the decision to finally settle down is made. The journey toward marriage may be full of ups and downs, but like religious processions, they end up in front of the church altar where they say their “I do’s.”

#24

FilipinoKapag binato ka ng bato, batuhin mo ng tinapay.
Translation“When someone throws a stone at you, throw back a piece of bread.”
This reminds us of one of the sayings in Scripture: “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” 

In life, you’ll encounter people who will oppress you and do their best to bring you down. It’s tempting to take vengeance against such people, but no proverb is more full of wisdom than this one, telling us not to retaliate. What will we gain if we fight fire with fire? The best way to deal with conflict is to neutralize the situation. As a famous man once wrote, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 


A Newly Married Couple Running between Rows of Cheering Family Members

Pagkahaba-haba man daw ng prusisyon, sa simbahan din ang tuloy.  
“The procession may be long, but it will surely still end up in the church.”

5. Miscellaneous Filipino Proverbs

To wrap up, here are a few more Tagalog proverbs for the road. 

#25

FilipinoMadaling sabihin, mahirap gawin.  
Translation“Easier said than done.”
This particular proverb is often directed toward proud people who always fall short of accomplishing the very thing they proudly boasted of being able to do with ease. Such people often miscalculate the difficulty of a task, put off doing it, and then end up realizing they shouldn’t have been overconfident.

#26

FilipinoAng taong nagigipit, sa patalim kumakapit. 
Translation“A desperate person will cling to a knife.”
There’s a moral dilemma to this proverb. Would you sentence a man who had committed a crime, or would you pardon him because he only did what he did because he had to feed his family? Let us know in the comments section how you would interpret this proverb.

#27

FilipinoAng taong walang kibo, nasa loob ang kulo. 
Translation“A quiet person hides his anger.”
Have you ever noticed that the calmer a person looks on the outside, the more capacity that person has for mischief? A colleague may seem peaceful because he doesn’t talk a lot. But be careful when dealing with that person, because one reason he may be reserved is that he doesn’t know how to express himself. And more often than not, it’s those kinds of people whose emotions are raging inside. They’re like a volcano that has remained dormant for a long time, only to erupt violently without warning.

Mag-ingat ka kay Dante. Nasa loob ang kulo niyan.
“Be careful with Dante. He may seem calm, but he can be very violent.”

#28

FilipinoAng naglalakad nang matulin, pag natinik ay malalim. 
Translation“A person who walks fast will have a deeper wound when he is pricked.”
We live in a generation where we’re bombarded with lies telling us that bigger and faster are better. As a result, we often prefer fast food over home-cooked meals; we sign up with get-rich-quick programs instead of working hard from the bottom up. 

This proverb encourages us not to be hasty, but to take things slowly, thinking carefully about our actions. He who hurries often gets wounded the deepest, so don’t get distracted by false promises of shortcuts and quick success.

#29

FilipinoMagbiro ka sa lasing, huwag sa bagong gising.  
Translation“Throw a prank on a drunk man, but never on someone who has just woken up.”
It’s not uncommon to see prank videos on the internet these days, and the two groups of people we often see falling victim are those who are drunk and those who are deep asleep. If you’ve ever been startled awake, you know for sure that it’s not a pleasant feeling. You’ve probably even wished you were drunk because it would have made the situation easier to forget. 

Before the age of the internet and before online pranks became popular, this proverb reminded Filipinos never to prank someone who’s sleeping or had just woken up. Our ancestors had been there, and they realized the results weren’t pretty.

#30

FilipinoAng taong naniniwala sa sabi-sabi ay walang tiwala sa sarili.  
Translation“The person who believes in rumors has no self-confidence.”
A more popular version of this proverb goes, Ang maniwala sa sabi-sabi, walang bait sa sarili. In English, “The person who believes in rumors has no common sense.” 

Indeed, a person who easily believes what they hear or read about has no self-respect. And there’s no better generation to begin applying this proverb than the one we’re in, where fake news and internet hoaxes run amuck.

    → Boost your confidence with this lesson on improving your Filipino speaking skills.

A Child Drawing a Mustache and Beard on Their Sleeping Father

Magbiro ka sa lasing, huwag sa bagong gising.
“Throw a prank on a drunk man, but never on someone who has just woken up.”

6. Learn Filipino Proverbs Plus Much More With FilipinoPod101!

We’ve talked about some of the most famous Filipino proverbs here, but did you know that you can learn even more with FilipinoPod101? Add more Tagalog words to your arsenal, improve your pronunciation, and fall even deeper in love with Filipino culture by signing up with FilipinoPod101. Here, you’ll find unlimited resources that will help you in your Filipino language studies.

And if you want to speed up your learning, you can always avail yourself of MyTeacher, a FilipinoPod101 Premium PLUS feature that pairs you up with your own personal teacher. He or she will give you one-on-one lessons and continual feedback, so you’ll know how much you’re improving.

Before you go: Did we forget any Filipino proverb that you believe should be on this list? Feel free to let us know in the comments, or discuss your favorite ones with your fellow Filipino learners!

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Manila Travel Guide: The Top 10 Places to Visit in Manila

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Manila may not be the same since the lockdown started, but what remains is the fact that it’s one of the best and most important places to visit in the Philippines. This is especially true if you have a desire to study the language and culture of the Filipinos. 

In this Manila travel guide, we’ll take a look at the top ten places to visit in Manila. Whether or not you’ve been to Manila before, you’ll find this guide invaluable. Here, you’ll learn the best times to visit the region, which landmarks and tourist spots to see, and which words and phrases to use when conversing with the locals.

So, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s take a ride to the capital of the Philippines—Manila!

Metro Manila at Night.

Metro Manila at night.


Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Before You Go
  2. Must-See Places for a 1-3 Day Trip
  3. Highly Recommended Places for a 4-7 Day Trip (or Longer)
  4. Survival Filipino Phrases for Travelers
  5. Make Your Manila Tour More Meaningful by Learning Tagalog

1. Before You Go

Before Manila became the great city it is today, it was a walled settlement for Muslims during the late sixteenth century. When the Spanish arrived in 1571, the settlement was destroyed; in its place was built another walled settlement, this time a city called Intramuros. Since then, Manila has been the capital of the Philippines.

Today, Metro Manila has a land area of 42.88 km² (or 16.56 mi.²) and is home to 1.78 million residents. It’s a highly urbanized area and is considered the most densely populated city proper in the world. Every year, the city welcomes over a million tourists, with major destinations including Rizal Park, the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex, and the historic Intramuros.

Planning to visit Manila soon?

There’s really no “best time” to visit Manila. There are only two seasons in the Philippines—dry and rainy—and it’s up to you to decide which season you think is best for traveling. Some people love taking tours during the summer months, while others don’t really care about getting wet. As for me, I prefer to tour the place during the Christmas season (December-January) when it’s cooler and there are more attractions to see. 

You’re lucky if you have friends or relatives in Manila who would be kind enough to let you stay at their place free of charge, although there are many affordable hotels and Airbnbs in Manila. I lived in Manila for a season, and I have visited the place with my family every year for the past ten years. You could say that I’m an expert when it comes to touring the country’s capital. 

That said, allow me to give you some practical tips I’ve learned over years of back-and-forth trips to Manila:

1. Travel light.

I can’t stress this enough. Whether you’re staying in Manila for a couple of days or a full two months, remember to carry with you only what can be considered truly essential. 

I take my family with me to Manila every year and spend two to three weeks there. In the past, we would carry two large suitcases, fearing we would lack clothes to wear. Over the years, we’ve learned that it’s possible to travel with only a few essentials. 

I suggest you carry two to three sets of dri-fit shirts and a pair of pants. Manila can be hot and humid, and dri-fit shirts will keep you cool. These things also dry quickly, so you can be sure you won’t run out of fresh clothes to wear. Most importantly, these clothes are a lot lighter than most fabrics.

2. Check the weather.

The Philippines has a tropical climate, which means it rains all year round—yes, even on some days during the summer. There’s always a chance that it’s going to rain. Before heading out, make sure you’ve checked your favorite weather-prediction app to see what the weather will be. I recommend wearing comfortable clothing if there’s no chance of rain, although it’s always good to have your umbrella on hand just in case.

3. Check Google Maps in advance.

Get the most out of Google Maps or any other map application you may have installed on your phone. Manila is a big city, and you’ll want to be familiar with the streets and landmarks before you start your trip. I can’t count how many times using a map has helped me find the places I needed to visit with ease. It’ll also come in handy when you need to find the nearest restaurant or cafe for a quick bite.

4. Wear comfortable footwear.

You’re going to do a lot of walking, especially if you’re planning to visit Intramuros and Rizal Park, so be sure to wear comfortable sneakers. Flip-flops are okay, too, but I wouldn’t recommend them if you’re planning to go someplace crowded like Divisoria or Quiapo. As for me, I usually wear a pair of boots or sneakers when going around Manila. Sneakers are perfect when you need to keep a light-footed pace. Boots, on the other hand, will make sure your toes are protected in busy and crowded places.

5. Consider using public transportation.

Unless you’re traveling with a child or someone with a disability, I would recommend using public transportation when touring Manila. It will not only let you experience the entire trip like a local would, but it will also save you from a lot of headaches induced by looking for a spot to park.

6. Bring enough water (and snacks!).

You’ll be losing a lot of bodily fluids from either the heat or humidity, so make sure you carry enough water with you. Don’t forget to bring some snacks, too, in case you get hungry in the middle of your stroll.

7. Be aware of rush hour times.

This is arguably the best travel tip anyone could give you regarding your visit to Manila. You’re probably aware that Manila has one of the worst traffic situations on the planet, and the city even ranks as one of the top ten worst places to drive in the world. It’s good to schedule your arrival at the airport in the morning, because the roads usually get busy and crowded starting at around five in the afternoon.

8. Observe safety in crowded places.

We all need to observe safety when going out these days, but not considering any viral or bacterial infection you might acquire, you need to be alert when roaming the streets of Manila. I suggest that you leave all jewelry behind when going out. And like me, you might want to wear a small fanny pack around your waist (hidden under your shirt) to store your phone and some cash.

This does bring us to an important question: Is it safe to visit Manila? 

Yes, Manila is safe for tourists. But just as you would do in any country you were visiting, you’ll want to be aware of your surroundings when touring Manila. 


2. Must-See Places for a 1-3 Day Trip

Manila may not have picturesque sceneries of mountains, or seas, or waterfalls, or sunsets, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in iconic tourist attractions! You’ll be amazed that there are, hidden amid the traffic and the crowds, beautiful landmarks and attractions in Manila that are a must-see for first-time visitors. 

1 – Intramuros

When speaking of Manila tourist spots and attractions, the Walled City of Intramuros always seems to come up first. I got the chance to visit this historic place several months ago, and the experience was just breathtaking! 

The word Intramuros came from Intra, which means “within,” and Muros, or “fortification.” In short, Intramuros means “within walls.” Did you know that the entire 64 hectares of Intramuros used to be the city of Manila? All the other regions outside the walls of the city were considered probinsya, or “province.” The walls were first constructed in the sixteenth century under the initiative of a Jesuit Priest named Antonio Sedeno. The walls were built to protect the city from constant threats from foreign invaders.

One day is enough to enjoy most of the beautiful spots inside Intramuros, although you might want to spend up to three days here to fully experience the place. I suggest you start your tour at Fort Santiago. Here, you’ll find the Jose Rizal Museum, where the hero was detained right before his execution. This spot alone will already take you an hour or two, so you’ll want to start your tour very early in the morning. From there, you can head straight to the Manila Cathedral—but not until after you’ve caught a quick glimpse of Plaza Roma just in front of the church.

You should be hungry by this time, but thankfully, there are many restaurants and cafes to choose from. Once you’ve had your fill, go straight to Casa Manila, a small mansion made of stone and wood that depicts the colonial lifestyle during the Spanish era. If you still have time, don’t miss the Bahay Tsinoy Museum, which is just a block away from Casa Manila. You can tour the entire place by foot, but in case you get tired, there are always e-trikes (electric tricycles) for your convenience.


2 – Luneta Park

Anyone who has only seen Luneta Park in pictures would think that it’s simply a 58-hectare piece of land with a bronze statue of the national hero of the Philippines at the center. But your perspective will change once you see it in person, and you’ll realize that it’s full of beautiful scenery, shaded with trees and dotted with fragrant flowers.

Located in Ermita, Manila, this park stands in what used to be Bagumbayan; it’s adjacent to Intramuros and faces the shores of Manila Bay. It’s in this very place where Jose Rizal was executed on December 30, 1896, and so the park is also officially known as Rizal Park. 

If you’re visiting this place, I suggest you head straight to the Rizal Execution Site. The entrance fee is only Php 20 (about 0.40 USD). Inside, you’ll be welcomed by an oversized diorama that depicts notable events in the life of Rizal, including his execution. Take time to experience zen inside the Japanese garden and be transported to old Peking inside the Chinese garden. And don’t forget to take a selfie with the famous Rizal Monument, albeit only from a distance.

3 – National Museum Complex

The National Museum Complex consists of the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of Anthropology, and the National Museum of Fine Arts. These three are all located within the vicinity of Rizal Park and are constructed with a Neoclassical architectural design. 

The National Museum of Fine Art is just six minutes away from the entrance of Intramuros, if you’re traveling on foot. It’s here where you’ll find the famous Juan Luna painting, the Spoliarium. Other important works you’ll get to see here are the Parisian Life (also by Luna) and the Assassination of Governor Bustamante and His Son by Félix Resurrección Hidalgo. 

Walk another three to five minutes and you’ll reach the National Museum of Anthropology, which houses ethnological and archaeological artifacts, including costumes, tools, and carvings. Wondering what language and script the early Filipinos used? Head straight to the fourth floor of the museum, and there you’ll find the Baybayin Gallery, where artifacts of ancient and traditional scripts of the Philippines are displayed.

If you’re a nature-lover, you’ll definitely fall in love with the National Museum of Natural History. This is the twin building of the National Museum of Anthropology and it’s located at the southern side of the Agrifina Circle in Rizal Park. Here, you’ll enjoy six floors of different species of plants and animals found in the Philippines, with each gallery representing a different ecosystem where those species are found.

Entrance to The National Museum Complex is free, but be aware that you’ll be required to leave your backpack at the counter. Also, touring one building alone will take you a couple of hours or even more, so you’ll want to set aside one day to visit all three museums.

3. Highly Recommended Places for a 4-7 Day Trip (or Longer)

Staying longer than a couple days? Here are other things to visit in Manila once you’re done seeing Intramuros, Rizal Park, and The National Museum Complex.

4 – Bonifacio Global City

Bonifacio Global City, or BGC among the locals, is an emerging business district within the city of Taguig in Manila. The place is named after the Filipino hero Andres Bonifacio and used to be a part of the Philippine Army Camp. This 240-hectare city is popular among locals and tourists alike, considering that it’s more modern-looking than its surrounding cities. It’s a melting pot of pop culture and is one of the best places to visit in Manila at night for its vibrant nightlife. 

Aside from residential buildings, BPO companies, malls, and restaurants, other places to visit at BGC with the family are the Mind Museum, the MiracleArt Happy Museum, Lego Certified Store BGC, and KidZania Manila.

You won’t run out of options when it comes to hotels since there are more than a dozen choices for lodging in BGC. Buses, jeepneys, and taxis are also available as modes of transportation.

5 – Resorts World Manila

If you want to experience some world-class entertainment, then the Resorts World Manila is for you. It’s conveniently located across the Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and is home to a variety of prestigious, world-renowned hotel brands, including Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Hilton, and Belmont. 

For many people, the first thing that comes to mind when they hear “Resorts World” is “casino.” Indeed, this place offers world-class gaming, but what piques my interest about RW Manila is the Newport Performing Arts Theatre. Here, you can see live production shows, concerts, and musical plays.

If you plan to visit RW Manila, here’s a complete guide on how to get there.

6 – Quiapo Church

Constructed in Baroque style, the Quiapo Church is one of the most historic religious landmarks in Manila and the Philippines in general. One reason is that it houses the Black Nazarene, an image of the suffering Christ that’s considered to be miraculous. In fact, the church is properly called Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, although it’s canonically known as the Parish of Saint John the Baptist.

Three times a year, a procession is held in honor of the Black Nazarene. The largest of these three is the January 9 Traslación (“transfer”), a solemn re-enactment of the image’s transfer from its original shrine in Intramuros to the Quiapo Church, its current location.

Every Friday, a novena for the Black Nazarene is held in the church, and it’s attended by thousands of Roman Catholic devotees. Getting to the church won’t be difficult. You only need to find a way to the LRT 1 station either by bus or jeepney. Alternatively, you can take a cab since it’s only nine minutes away if you’re coming from Intramuros or nearby areas.

7 – Cultural Center of the Philippines

For those who are interested in learning more about the unique culture and art of the Philippines, the Cultural Center of the Philippines is the place to see. It’s located at Roxas Boulevard, just fifteen minutes away from Terminal 2 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Founded in 1966, this performing-arts center was designed by the great Filipino architect Leandro Locsin.

The center provides information about theatre in the Philippines and has been a reliable venue for classical music and ballet for a long time now. It promotes local and indigenous artists, although it has also hosted several international artists, such as New York Philharmonic, Bolshoi Ballet, and the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra.

There are two main theatres in the complex, both able to accommodate theatre performances as well as show films. Libraries and galleries are located on the third floor of the building. If you wish to see pre-Spanish Philippine art exhibits, then head to the fourth floor.

Visit the CCP website to stay updated on shows and events.

8 – Ayala Museum

This state-of-the-art museum, located at the heart of Makati City in Manila, features four floors of wonderfully curated Filipino culture exhibits. Another must-see attraction if you’re bringing the entire family with you, the Ayala Museum highlights sixty dioramas that present a stunning visual narrative of the Filipino people. For years, this exquisite presentation has been the nucleus of every Ayala Museum visit. There’s also the super collection of indigenous textiles representing communities of indigenous Filipinos from the Cordilleras in the north and Mindanao in the south.

You’ll also get to enjoy an exclusive art collection of the works of Fernando Zobel, the man behind the Ayala Foundation and the Ayala Museum itself. Within the collection, you’ll find paintings, sketches, and photographs of the artist.

Perhaps the highlight of the museum is the exhibition of over 1,000 gold objects that date back to as early as the tenth century. A visit here is truly unique, as many of the artifacts here have never been revealed to the public. That said, taking pictures inside the “Gold of Ancestors” gallery is prohibited.

To learn more about the Ayala Museum, feel free to visit their website’s About page.

9 – SM Mall of Asia

Filipino shopping malls are insane, and the SM Mall of Asia is proof of that. After a day’s tour in some of the top Manila spots mentioned here, take some time to shop and dine at one of the largest shopping malls in the country. You can get all the essentials you’ll need for your Manila stay here. It’s not your average shopping mall, though. Inside, you can also enjoy some unique activities and experiences, such as the SM Skating Rink, an Olympic-sized skating rink where skating competitions are sometimes held. Or, how about visiting the SM MOA By the Bay Amusement Park? Yes, that’s how big this mall is! 

The best thing about this place is that you won’t have to look elsewhere for places to stay while in Manila, as there are condominium units for rent just within the premises. Oh, and by the way, SM MOA is an average of only thirty minutes away by car from most of the attractions mentioned in this article.

10 – Binondo, Quiapo, and Divisoria Markets

A tour of Manila wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the three most popular markets in the area: The Binondo, Quiapo, and Divisoria Markets. 

Binondo is known as the Chinatown of Manila. Some even say it’s the oldest Chinatown in the world, having been established in the sixteenth century. This place is famous for what is known as the “Binondo Food Crawl.” In fact, you can’t call yourself a true-blue foodie until you’ve gone to Binondo. Don’t miss this place if you want to try some of the most mouthwatering authentic Chinese dishes in the world!

Go up north from the Binondo Market and a fifteen-minute walk away is Divisoria. Here, you’ll get to experience a taste of “the real Manila.” This place is one of the busiest in the area because this is where the locals go shopping for really cheap products, be it clothing, cell phone cases, bags, or food. It used to be noisy and chaotic, but thanks to the efforts of the government, it’s much cleaner and more organized now.

From here, you can walk toward the Bambang LRT station and take the train headed south. Get off by the Carriedo Station, head east another six to seven minutes by foot, and you’ll see the Quiapo Market. You’ll realize that the Quiapo Market is just in front of the Quiapo Church, so coming here is hitting two birds with one stone. Just like Divisoria, Quiapo Market is home to some great finds in terms of clothes, accessories, electronic items, and of course, food!


4. Survival Filipino Phrases for Travelers 

Filipinos are hospitable people, and Manileños are no exception. You can approach a local anytime you need help and you can expect to be accommodated 100% of the time. As long as you know English, you don’t need to worry about communication issues, since most Filipinos can speak and understand the language. But locals will still appreciate you learning a few basic Tagalog phrases, especially if your English isn’t fluent. 

Here are some Filipino survival phrases you can use to make your Manila tour a lot more fun and convenient.

Kumusta po kayo?“How are you?” / “Hello.”
Maraming salamat po.“Thank you very much.”
Paalam!“Goodbye!”
Paumanhin po.“Excuse me.”
Mabuti.
Ayos ito.
“Good.”
“This is very good.” / “This is okay.”
Paumanhin, pero hindi ko po maintindihan.“Pardon, but I can’t understand.”
Pwede po bang malaman kung saan may palikuran?“May I know where the restroom is?”
Magkano po ito?“How much is this?”
Bigyan po ninyo ako nito.
Gusto ko po nito.
“Please give me some of this.”
“I want some of this.”
Tulong!“Help!”

Notice that the word po is present in almost all of these phrases. That’s because it indicates politeness or respect, and should be used when speaking to a stranger (especially someone who’s older).


Two Ladies Buying Outfits

Magkano po ito? (“How much is this?”)

Make Your Manila Tour More Meaningful by Learning Tagalog

Visiting Manila and touring all the beautiful attractions it offers will be worth your while, whether you can speak Filipino or not. However, wouldn’t you agree that your Manila travels would be more meaningful after learning Tagalog first

With FilipinoPod101, you can learn the fundamentals of the Filipino language in just a short amount of time. We offer all the resources you’ll need to study the basics, including pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary.

Want to speed up your learning progress? No problem! FilipinoPod101 offers the MyTeacher guided learning system, which allows you to enjoy a learning process exactly tailored to your needs. FilipinoPod101 also has a YouTube channel that’s regularly updated to provide fun and engaging audio and visual lessons for our aspiring learners.

To experience all of this and more, sign up now for a free account on FilipinoPod101.com! And if you liked this post, feel free to show your appreciation in the comments section below!

By the way: Which of these locations do you most want to visit, and why?

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English Words Used in Filipino: How Much Taglish Do You Know?

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In your interactions with native Tagalog speakers, don’t be surprised to hear a few English words thrown in. Some refer to this mixing of the two languages as Taglish, while others call it Philippine English or Filipinism. The practice of using English words or phrases in a uniquely Filipino way has been around for decades, and it usually leaves English-speaking foreigners scratching their heads. Yes, that’s what this kind of Filipino-speak produces at times: confusion. 

If you’re a foreigner studying the Filipino language and desire to truly master it, this is one aspect of the language you must not overlook, as 99% of Filipinos speak in this manner. To help you navigate this crazy world of English words used in the Filipino language, we’ve crafted this guide to Taglish and loanwords. 

Let’s dive in!

A Man Who Is Unsure about Something

Is that Tagalog or English? Oh, it’s Taglish.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. An Introduction to Taglish
  2. Taglish Examples
  3. Loanwords vs. Taglish
  4. English Words Derived from Filipino
  5. Expand Your Vocabulary of Tagalog and Taglish Words with FilipinoPod101

1. An Introduction to Taglish

Taglish is now a part of everyday life in the Philippines, but it wasn’t always so widely accepted. Once upon a time, people would laugh at you and mock you for speaking Tagalog mixed with English

Its prominence today either indicates that Taglish is one difficult adversary to bring down or that Filipinos are simply that malleable. Or perhaps it’s just inevitable that a mixed language such as Taglish would become a part of such a diverse, mixed-race nation.

It’s difficult to find someone who speaks pure Filipino nowadays. But perhaps that’s only because not all English words have direct equivalents in Filipino and vice-versa. And that’s how Taglish works, by the way: you simply switch from Filipino to English whenever necessary to best deliver the message you’re trying to convey. 

Let me give you an example:

If you wanted to say you’re going to be late for your class, you’d say something like:

  • “Gosh, I’m going to be late for my class.”

In pure Filipino, you can say that as:

  • Naku, mahuhuli na ako sa klase ko.

In Taglish, you say that as:

  • Naku, male-late na ako sa klase ko.

Notice how “late” was inserted into the sentence?

Here’s another example:

  • “We need to study for our exams.”

In pure Filipino, you can say that as:

  • Kailangan nating mag-aral para sa ating pagsusulit.

In Taglish, it would be something like:

  • Kailangan nating mag-study para sa exams natin.

Coño English takes this to another level. The word coño has Spanish origins, but in Filipino, it refers to the language that has originated from the younger generations of rich Filipinos from Manila. It’s also used to refer to the people who speak this language, oftentimes carrying a negative connotation.

Here are some examples of Coño English:

EnglishTagalogCoño 
You’re so good in Filipino!Ang galing mo naman sa Filipino!You’re so galing naman sa Filipino!
Don’t poke the balloon.Huwag mong tusukin ang lobo.Don’t make tusok the balloon.
Man, it’s so hot in here!Grabe, ang init dito!Grabe, so hot naman here!

A Woman about to Pop a Balloon in a Sleeping Man’s Face

Don’t make tusok the balloon! (“Don’t pop the balloon!”)

    Speaking of confusion, here’s a lesson on how to tell someone that you don’t understand their Filipino.

2. Taglish Examples

You’ll hear English spoken almost everywhere when you’re in the Philippines. In addition to the code-switching we discussed in the previous section, Taglish can also refer to English words adapted to Filipino, but given different meanings than the original words. This isn’t unique to the Philippines, and many other countries (particularly Asian ones), have this habit of giving alternative meanings to English words. Let’s check out a few that are used in Filipino.

1. Adidas

We all know Adidas as a brand of sports clothing. Filipinos know that, too. But in the Philippines, the term ‘Adidas’ has another meaning: barbecued chicken feet sold as street food. The dish is called this because the three main toes on chicken feet resemble the three stripes that represent the famous brand.

  • Tara! Kumain tayo ng adidas sa may kanto. (“C’mon! Let’s eat some adidas at the corner.”)

2. Bad Trip

This term could refer to a trip that went bad or to an unpleasant experience triggered by psychoactive drugs. In Tagalog, however, it’s used to describe the feeling of being disappointed or frustrated about something, like when you’re late for work but the traffic is heavy.

  • Bad trip na traffic ‘to! (“This heavy traffic is wearing on my nerves!”)

3. Blooming

This is a British expression used to emphasize annoyance over something. It could also refer to flower production in plants. In the Philippines, it’s used to describe a person who’s looking unusually good as a result of a lifestyle change.

  • Wow! Blooming ka ngayon ah! (“Wow! You look blooming today!”)

4. Chancing

In English, “chancing” is the present participle of the word “chance.” In Filipino, it refers to the act of taking advantage of another person sexually, as in taking a “chance” to touch someone without being noticed. It’s also spelled as tsansing.

  • Huwag mo nga akong tsansingan! (“Enough with your sexual advances!”)

5. Double Deck

When something is “double-decked,” it has two layers or levels, such as in a “double-decker bus.” In the Philippines, however, it refers to a bunk bed.

  • Ayokong matulog sa double-deck. Baka mahulog ako. (“I don’t want to sleep in a double-deck. I might fall.”)

6. Feeler 

In the insect world, ‘feelers’ are the antennae that bugs use to “feel” the world around them. It could also refer to a question or suggestion one uses to find out another person’s thoughts or opinions. But Filipinos use this term to describe an individual who comes across as narcissistic.

  • Sino nagsabi na cute ka? Feeler ka talaga! (“Who told you you’re cute? You’re such a feeler.”)

7. High Blood

This is a medical term that refers to having high blood pressure. In the Philippines, it’s used to describe a person who’s always cranky or who seems to have an anger management issue.

  • Bakit high blood ka na lang palagi? (“Why are you high blood [cranky] all the time?”)

Two Women Chatting Over Coffee

Mag-milk tea ka muna. High blood ka na naman eh. 
(“You’re cranky again. Why don’t you have some milk tea first?”)

8. Maniac

This term is used to describe a person who exhibits extreme symptoms of wild behavior, someone who has some sort of mental illness and becomes violent when having episodes. It is manyak (or manyakis) in Tagalog, and it’s used to describe a pervert. 

  • Parang siyang manyak makatingin sa akin. (“He stares at me like a manyak [pervert].”)

9. Napkin

A napkin is a small piece of cloth or paper that is used during a meal to clean one’s lips and fingers. A napkin can also be worn to protect one’s clothes when eating. Filipinos use the term to refer to sanitary pads, used by women for hygienic purposes during “that time of the month.”

  • Ate, bilhan mo ako ng napkin na *whisper*. (“Ate, please buy me some *whisper* napkin [sanitary pads].”)

10. Racket

A racket is a piece of sports equipment similar to a bat but with a round netted frame used for badminton or lawn tennis. In Tagalog, however, it’s used to refer to a money-making scheme or a gig.

  • Balita ko may panibagong raket ka naman daw? (“I heard you have a new racket [gig].”)

*Trivia: Many Filipinos mistakenly refer to a badminton shuttlecock as “racket.”

11. Salvage

The meaning of the word “salvage” is reversed in Tagalog. While its original meaning is to save or protect someone or something, Filipinos use it to refer to the act of murdering someone and dumping the body. Interestingly, it’s spelled similarly to the Spanish word salvaje, which means “wild” or “untamed,” and which Filipinos now use to describe an evil person.

  • May bangkay na nakita sa labas. Salvage daw sabi ng mga pulis. (“There’s a dead body outside. The policemen say it’s salvage.“)

12. Tomboy

The Tagalog word tomboy is used to describe female homosexuals. It’s not too far off from its original definition in English, which refers to a girl who enjoys things or activities often associated with males.

  • Tomboy na talaga ako dati pa. (“I’ve been a tomboy since way back.”)

13. Traffic

In English, the word “traffic” is a noun that refers to vehicles moving on a road. In the Philippines, it’s a negative term used as an adjective referring to heavy traffic.

  • Grabe ang traffic kanina kaya na-late ako. (“The traffic was so heavy this morning, which is why I was late.”)

Did you know that you can take advantage of the heavy traffic by learning Tagalog inside your car?

14. Cowboy 

A cowboy is an animal herder who tends cattle. In Filipino, you’re a “cowboy” if you’re not picky and don’t easily complain over an inconvenience.

  • Okay lang sa akin kumain ng balut. Cowboy ‘to no. (“I don’t mind eating balut. I’m a cowboy, you know.”)

3. Loanwords vs. Taglish

So far, we’ve looked at borrowed English words that have different meanings in Filipino. Now, we’re going to examine a few English loanwords in Filipino that have been integrated into the language while retaining their original meanings (or a similar meaning).

1. Adik (Addict)

Adik means to be addicted to something. 

  • Na-adik ka na yata sa nilalaro mo ah? (“It seems you’ve been addicted to that game.”)

2. Bakwit (Evacuate)

The word bakwit came from the English word “evacuate,” which means to remove something from a place of danger to a place of safety. In the Philippines, bakwit is used in the same manner.

  • Nagbakwit sila dahil sa bagyo. (“They evacuated because of the typhoon.”)

3. Babay (Buh-bye)

Babay is the direct translation of “Buh-bye” in Filipino. You can also check here to learn other ways Filipinos say “goodbye.”

  • Mag-babay ka na sa kanila. (“Say your goodbyes to them now.”)

4. Disko (Disco)

Disko is from the word “disco,” a club where people dance to popular music. The term became popular in the 80s, but you will seldom hear it being used these days.

A Man and Woman Dancing while Wearing Silly Costumes

Mahilig mag disko si Lola nung dalaga pa siya. 
(“Grandma used to frequent disco bars when she was younger.”)

5. Keri (Carry)

Keri is from the English word “carry,” which means to support the weight of an object or to lift an object from one place to another. In the Philippines, the term refers to the ability of a person to overcome a difficult task.

  • Kilala kita. Keri mo ‘yan. (“I know you. You can do it.”)

6. Kodak (Kodak, the brand)

Filipinos started using the term kodak to refer to photographs and the act of taking pictures back when film photography and the Kodak brand were at the height of their popularity.

  • Kodakan mo naman ako. (“Will you take my picture, please?”)

7. Tambay (Stand by)

Tambay was derived from the phrase “stand by,” which has several meanings in English. It could refer to the act of remaining loyal to someone in a time of need, or the readiness for immediate deployment. It could also refer to being present while something undesirable is happening and yet failing to do something to help. It’s to this last definition that the Tagalog word tambay seems closest. In Filipino, a tambay is an adult who is capable of working and yet chooses to hang around and do nothing except eat and play.

  • Tama na ang tambay. Maghanap ka ng trabaho! (“Stop being a lollygagger. Go look for a job!”)

8. Lobat (Low battery)

Filipinos love inventing words. One such word is lobat, which is Tagalog for “low battery.” No one is more familiar with the term than the people who live in the “Texting and selfie capital of the world.”

  • Naku, lobat na ang cellphone ko. Kailangan ko nang mag-charge. (“Gosh, my phone’s battery is almost drained. I need to charge it now.”)

9. Pulis (Police)

Pulis is the Filipino term for “police.” Whichever region you go to in the Philippines, you’ll hear people using this same word when referring to cops.

  • Gusto niyang maging pulis paglaki niya. (“He wants to be a policeman when he grows up.”)

10. Traysikel (Tricycle)

The French may have been the ones who invented the first tricycle, but there is no place in the world where this three-wheeled vehicle is found more abundantly than the Philippines. In many places in the country, the traysikel is used as some sort of taxicab. And like taxis, they can be a vehicle-for-hire or used to travel over a fixed route.

  • Kaunti lang ang traysikel dito sa lugar namin. (“We don’t have a lot of tricycles here in our place.”)

11. Wais (Wise)

Pronounced as |wa-is|, this word is derived from the English “wise.” Unlike the word of its origin, though, it doesn’t necessarily mean showing knowledge, experience, and good judgement. It’s more often used to describe a cunning or crafty person.

  • Naisahan mo na naman ako. Wais ka talaga! (“You got the better of me again. Such a crafty person you are!”)

Aside from learning Taglish, learning Tagalog slang can help improve your Filipino.

4. English Words Derived from Filipino

Loanwords make up 80% of the English language. No wonder it is spoken in almost all parts of the world! This time, let’s check out some English words borrowed from Filipino. 

1. Boondocks

The word “boondocks” is defined as a remote or isolated region. It came from the Filipino word bundok, which refers to mountains or uncharted areas beyond a coastal district.

  • Walang internet sa bundok kung saan sila nakatira. (“There is no internet in the mountains where they live.”)

2. Calamondin

Calamondin refers to a small, evergreen citrus fruit tree, commonly known as “calamansi” in Tagalog, but as “kalamunding” in some parts of the Philippines.

  • Kilala ang lugar sa kanilang mga pananim na kalamansi o kalamunding. (“The place is known for its numerous Calamondin plants.”)

3. Carabao

The carabao is a type of water buffalo that’s native to the Philippines. The word “carabao” came from the Visayan word karbaw, which in Tagalog is kalabaw.

  • Mas malakas pa yata siya sa kalabaw. (“He seems to be stronger than a carabao.”)

4. Cogon

Cogon is identified as a type of noxious weed that grows in the Southeastern United States. It’s from the Tagalog word cogon, which refers to a rhizomatous grass commonly used for thatching the roofs of traditional Filipino houses.

  • Ang bubong ng bahay nila ay yari sa dahon ng cogon. (“The roof of their house is made of cogon leaves.”)

5. Cooties

“Cooties” is a children’s term referring to a fictitious childhood disease believed to be transmitted by obnoxious people or children of the opposite sex. It was also the nickname given to lice during the First World War. It’s believed to have come from the word kuto, which is a Filipino and Austronesian term for head lice.

  • Sobrang dami ng kuto ni Anya. (“Anya has a lot of head lice.”)

6. Jeepney

This is a combination of the words “jeep” (a type of military vehicle made by GP in the 60s) and “jitney” (an American term for ‘taxi’).

  • Balita ko ay aalisin na ng gobyerno ang mga bulok na jeepney at papalitan ng mga modernong minibus. (“I heard the government is going to get rid of all the old jeepneys and replace them with modern minibuses.”)

First time riding a jeepney? Here are some key phrases you need to be familiar with if you’re riding a jeepney in the Philippines.

7. Machin

Machin refers to a long-tailed macaque species. The term is derived from matsing, which is Filipino for “monkey” or “ape.”

  • Wais man ang matsing, naisahan pa rin siya ng pagong. (“The monkey might be clever, but the tortoise was able to outsmart him still.”)

8. Salacot

This one is from the word salakot, which refers to a broad-brimmed hat made of lightweight organic material used in rural areas in the Philippines.

  • Magsuot ka ng salakot nang hindi masunong ang balat mo. (“Wear a salacot so you won’t get a sunburn.”)

9. Yo-Yo

The name of this popular stringed toy is believed to have come from either the Ilocano or Tagalog term yoyo, which could mean “come, come,” or “return.”

A Red Yoyo

The name of this popular stringed toy is believed to have been derived from either the Ilocano or Tagalog term yoyo, which could mean “come, come,” or “return.”


Expand Your Vocabulary of Tagalog and Taglish Words with FilipinoPod101

Taglish is just one of the things you’ll find interesting about the language and culture of the Philippines. If you want to discover other exciting things about the country, its language, and its people, I suggest you sign up for a free account on FilipinoPod101.com today.

There’s no better way to learn Filipino online than through our website, where you’ll be provided with all the free resources and materials you’ll need to improve your vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation.

Want to take your learning to another level? MyTeacher is here for you! This is a unique feature that lets you have one-on-one lessons with your very own Filipino teacher, who will give you real-time feedback so you’ll know how much you’re improving.

That’s all for our guide on Taglish words and English words with different meanings in Filipino! Feel free to drop your thoughts in the comments section so we know what you think of this post. Until next time!

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An Overview of the Filipino Culture and Traditions

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Studying and learning about different cultures helps us understand why certain groups of people see the world the way they do. If you’re studying the Filipino language, it makes sense to gain a deeper understanding of the Filipino culture, as well. Doing so will help you better appreciate every new Filipino word or expression you learn.

The Filipino culture is quite complex, having been influenced by many different cultures. Each value and belief is applied to people’s daily lives, revealing how significant the nation’s history is. Yet despite the impact of other cultures on the character and behavior of Filipinos, it’s interesting to know that there are still many values unique to this group of people. Thus the expression Onli in da Pilipins (“Only in the Philippines”).

Come with me, and together let us discover the values, beliefs, customs, and traditions that make the Filipino people who they are.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Values and Beliefs
  2. Philosophy and Religion
  3. Family and Work
  4. Art
  5. Food
  6. Traditional Holidays
  7. Gain a Deeper Understanding of Filipino Culture with FilipinoPod101

1. Values and Beliefs

Filipino culture and traditions are founded on several shared values and beliefs, a few of which we’ll cover here.

A- Filipino Hospitality

Hospitality is a trademark of the Filipino people, and one can argue that there are no people in the world more hospitable than the Filipinos. Visit the country and you’ll be amazed at how welcoming the people are. What’s amazing is that this trait of kindness toward visitors is not confined to those who can afford to offer welcome gifts in the form of food and entertainment. Even the not-so-rich would be willing to offer their last plate of rice to a stranger visiting their little shack.

B- Regionalism

Filipinos are known for being regionalistic. It’s said that this value was promoted during the Spanish era to keep the Filipinos divided, thus making it easier to manipulate them. Whether this is true or not, it’s clear that Filipinos hold on to this value dearly, claiming that their region is better than others—or even the best in the country. This can be viewed as a negative trait, and true enough, this particular value system has caused a lot of negativity, especially when politics are brought into the picture. But if you look at it from another perspective, it’s simply proof that Filipinos value that which belongs to their fold.

C- Bayanihan

Filipino culture values bayanihan, or the concept of teamwork. It refers to a community of Filipinos coming together for a cause. The term is derived from bayan, which is Tagalog for “country” or “community.” In the past, the term was used to describe the house-moving tradition in rural areas of the Philippines, where a group of about twenty young men would volunteer to carry the house of a certain family to a new location. Most of these houses were made of nipa and other lightweight, indigenous materials. To express their gratitude, the family would prepare food for the volunteers to share. Today, the bayanihan spirit remains alive, which is evident in the way many Filipinos volunteer to help fellowmen who are in need.

Bayanihan

Bayanihan

D- Adaptability

One cannot overemphasize the fact that Filipinos are adaptable. They can easily adjust to any culture or situation, which is evidenced by the fact that there is a Filipino community in every major country or city in the world. Send them to a foreign country and they’ll soon be speaking the language fluently. Send them to a place where no Filipino has ever set foot, and soon there will be a Filipino community flourishing. This ability to adapt helps them make do with what little they have and find joy even in the simple things. It’s because of this outstanding trait that Filipinos find it easy to make a mark in the world.

E- Humor

Humor plays a huge role in Filipino culture. I’m not talking about jokes and comedy per se, but the ability of the Filipino people to find joy and humor in even the direst of situations. Yes, Pinoys make jokes all the time⁠—whether among family, friends, or strangers. The jokes could be about anything, too—a new colleague, the family next door, politics. Filipino humor goes beyond those things, though. Even in the midst of a crisis, you can expect Filipinos to find ways to make light of the situation. Whether it’s a typhoon, an earthquake, or even a pandemic, no misadventure can crush the Filipino spirit.

2. Philosophy and Religion

Two of the major Filipino culture characteristics are its strong religious community and its superstitious nature. Let’s briefly look at a few common philosophies and beliefs! 

A- Hiya & Utang na Loob

The Filipino concept of hiya, translated as “shame” or “embarrassment,” has always been seen in a negative light. It’s at the core of another Filipino concept: utang na loob, or indebtedness.

Utang means “debt,” and loob means “inside,” although in this case, it refers to “inner self.” When you owe someone a favor, you feel deep inside that you need to return it someday, one way or another. And that’s where hiya comes in. Only Filipinos who carry this virtue will understand the concept of indebtedness and the importance of returning favors.

But then there is also hiya apart from the sense of indebtedness. It’s a gut feeling that you have when you’re in a certain situation and you know you’ve got what it takes to contribute and make a positive impact:

Nakakahiya naman kung hindi ko iaalay ang aking sarili para sa aking bayan. 
“What a shame it would be if I didn’t offer myself in the service of my country.”

Seen from this perspective, hiya is a virtue, the act of setting aside one’s own desires for the benefit of other people. 

B- Bahala Na Mentality: A Double-Edged Sword

The pre-colonial Filipino mentality of bahala na translates to “it’s up to you” in English. It’s said that it was derived from the expression Bathala na (“It’s up to Bathala“), Bathala being the god the native Filipinos worshipped. For example:

Wala na tayong pambili ng bigas. Bahala na ang Diyos sa atin. 
“We have no money left to buy rice. May God have mercy on us.”

It’s a double-edged sword in the sense that it expresses faith and trust on the one hand, and on the other it expresses mediocrity. Filipinos are creative and hardworking, but many of us sometimes choose to sit and wait for some higher power to solve our problems with us.

C- Filipino Superstitions

Filipinos are arguably the most superstitious people on the planet. They tend to believe things that would seem illogical to people of other cultures. This is not surprising, though, since Filipinos are also very religious. One would think that people would be more rational in this day and age, yet superstitions still play a huge role in the daily lives of the Filipinos:

  • Sweeping the floor at night will sweep good fortune out of the household.
  • Serving pancit (noodles) during celebrations will promote long life.
  • It’s bad luck for siblings to get married in the same year.
  • Don’t go home immediately after attending a wake to “shake off” evil spirits.

These are just some of the hundreds or even thousands of superstitions that many Filipinos still hold on to even to this day. There may be downsides to believing in superstitions, but to believers, they help promote and maintain a positive mental attitude.

D- Christianity in the Philippines

The Philippines is dubbed as the only “Christian” nation in Southeast Asia and is ranked as the fifth most Christian country in the world. It’s not because all of its people are Christians, but because 93% are. Filipinos are among the most religious people in the world, which is not surprising considering their strong superstitious nature.

Holy Family

Filipinos are a very religious people.


3. Family and Work

There are a few key Filipino cultural traits related to family and work that will help you better understand the nation as a whole. Let’s take a look.

A- Family Ties

A pillar of Filipino culture, family values tend to promote strong familial ties. The hospitality of the Filipino people is not only seen in how they treat their guests, but also in how they treat their family members. In the Philippines, it’s common for households to be made up of extended family members. This means that families are not only composed of the parents and their children, but also of grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and nephews.

In other cultures, when a person turns eighteen, they are considered an adult and encouraged to live on their own, away from their family. But in Filipino culture, living with parents until the day one gets married is considered the norm. One advantage of this practice is that elderly Filipinos seldom worry about being sent to nursing homes. A huge drawback, though, is the issue of family members meddling in each other’s affairs. For Filipinos, however, the feeling of satisfaction and security that a huge family brings outweighs any disadvantage that may come with having an extended family.

B- Filipino Children as Retirement Plans

This is not something Filipinos should be proud of, but unfortunately, it’s a common mindset of many Filipino parents today that one of the purposes of bearing children is to have someone to take care of them financially when they grow old. This is based on the philosophy of hiya and utang na loob. This wasn’t always the case, though. In the past, Filipino parents would opt to have dozens of children, not primarily as retirement plans, but as assurance that someone would continue the family business when they’re gone.

C- Pride and Modesty at Work

Filipinos, like most Asian people, value the concept of “saving one’s face,” which means they’ll go out of their way to make sure people won’t think bad about them. This is very evident in the workplace, where the Filipino worker would do his best to avoid embarrassing situations and to make sure his reputation is not compromised.  

Filipinos also take pride in their work, but above all else, they value relationships. This is why they prefer work environments that are welcoming and friendly.


D- Crab Mentality

Crab mentality is not unique to the Filipino people, but this kind of mindset has been associated with Pinoys over the past few decades, particularly among communities of Overseas Contract Workers. The concept is derived from the instinct of talangka (“crabs”) to pull their fellows down with their claws while trying to get out of the bucket with which they were caught.

This culture of infighting often prevents Filipinos from achieving unity. You’ll hear unfortunate stories of Filipinos working abroad scamming and betraying their fellows in their desire to stay ahead of them.

E- Sipag at Tiyaga

Despite all the negative values associated with the Filipino worker—such as being tamad (“lazy”) and palaging late (“always late”), or their love of tsismosa (“gossip”)—there is no question that Filipinos are among the most hardworking people in the world. That is because they value sipag at tiyaga (“hard work and perseverance”). They’re also dependable and responsible, traits that can be attributed to their having a sense of filial obligation (the responsibility to take care of people who depend on them).

A Hardworking Man

Filipinos place a huge value on sipag at tiyaga (“hard work and perseverance”).

4. Art

In Filipino culture, art reflects the nation’s diversity. The Malays, Chinese, Indians, Muslims—all these cultures have had a huge influence on Filipino art. 

A- Music & Dance

Music in the Philippines has evolved so much in the last several centuries. Before the Spanish came, Filipino music was limited to folk songs, which reflected the life of rural Filipinos. Many of the traditional Filipino songs also have a strong connection with nature and are often accompanied by gongs and chimes.

Filipino dance has evolved in the same way, beginning with indigenous dances of different ethnic groups and eventually evolving with modern society. The era of the Americans in the Philippines has seen the gradual introduction of more dynamic dances, which the Filipinos incorporated into their own. Before the rise of American and European dances in the country, however, there were the Tinikling (“bamboo dance”), Cariñosa, and Maglalatik, folk dances that continue to show the diverse culture of the Philippines.


B- Visual Arts

The earliest Filipino paintings can be found in pre-Spanish ritual pottery, such as the Manunggul jar, a burial jar excavated from the Tabon Caves in Palawan. Early Filipinos, such as the Pintados (tattooed indigenous Visayan tribes), also manifested their talent in painting through tattoos. In the sixteenth century, artistic paintings were introduced to the country when the Spaniards arrived. A century later, Filipinos started producing paintings in the European tradition using a mixture of landscape, religious, and political inspirations. 

Damian Domingo created various religious paintings, while Juan Luna and Felix Hidalgo were both known for their political art pieces. Fernando Amorsolo, on the other hand, utilized postmodernism in his paintings, which depicted Filipino culture.

20181227_153916

Many of Fernando Amorsolo’s sketches are on display at the Philippine National Museum of Fine Arts.

C- Architecture

Before any other culture arrived in the country, Filipino architecture was limited to the bahay kubo (nipa huts) built using indigenous materials like bamboo and coconut. The bahay kubo was gradually replaced by the bahay na bato (stone houses) when the Europeans came. Only the nobles could afford this more expensive architecture, though, and the peasants remained in their nipa huts.

Today, most of the historic structures you’ll see in the country have not only Spanish influences, but also Austronesian, Chinese, and American influences. Looking at the architecture of old and new Catholic churches in the country, however, it’s clear how much influence the Spaniards have had in Filipino architecture.

5. Food

Filipino culture and food go hand in hand. Food culture in the Philippines has been heavily influenced by Westerners, but Filipinos have still been able to preserve important culinary traditions.

Eating Like a True Filipino

The typical Filipino eats five times a day. There’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and snacks referred to as merienda, eaten in-between the three main meals. Rice is the main ingredient in any Filipino meal. And unlike in Western cultures, the courses—kanin (“rice”), ulam (meat or seafood eaten with rice), and sawsawan (“dip”)—are served simultaneously.

The Filipinos have adopted the Western way of eating, that is, with spoons, forks, and knives. Still, the Filipinos have never forgotten the practice of eating with their hands. This practice is often associated with poor families who can’t afford to buy utensils, but the truth is, all Filipinos whether rich or poor understand that nothing is more appetizing than eating with your bare hands.

Cooked Rice Inside A Rice Cooker

In the Philippines, rice makes the world go round. No. In the Philippines, rice is life.

6. Traditional Holidays

The Philippines is heavily influenced by Roman Catholic traditions, with 86% of its people belonging to the said religion. There are holidays based on major events and celebrations that are non-religious in nature, but most of the holidays in the country are related to religion. The Ati-atihan, Dinagyang, and Sinulog festivals, for instance, are all celebrated in honor of the Santo Niño, a Spanish term Roman Catholics use to refer to the Christ Child.

A-  Ati-Atihan

The Ati-atihan is held every January and is observed in several towns in Aklan, Panay. The term means “to imitate the Ati,” with Ati referring to the local name of the Aeta people who are believed to have been the first settlers on the island. The festival was given a Christian meaning later on, with the people incorporating the Santo Niño into the festivities. During the main day of the festival, dance groups wearing body paint and colorful costumes march on the streets, dancing to music produced by marching bands. Ati-atihan is referred to as “The Mother of All Festivals” in the Philippines, having influenced other festivals in the country (including Dinagyang and Sinulog).

B- Dinagyang

If Ati-atihan is the Mother of All Festivals, Dinagyang is “The Queen of All Festivals.” That’s because even if it was only inspired by the Ati-atihan festival, it has become more successful in building a reputation for itself as a tourist attraction. Perhaps it’s because the festival is held in Iloilo City, the most urbanized city on the island of Panay. During the week of the festival, over 200,000 tourists—including local celebrities and politicians—visit the city. 

Just like Ati-atihan, Dinagyang is celebrated every January, particularly during the fourth Sunday of the month. The three-day affair consists of religious processions, too, but its highlights are the street dance competition and the food festival.

C- Sinulog

Sinulog is another major festival held in honor of the Santo Niño, this time in Cebu. Just like the Ati-atihan and Dinagyang, it’s celebrated every January and attracts up to two million people from over the country. The religious aspect is to be expected of the festival, but aside from that, what makes this a much-celebrated event are the street parties and the Sinulog dance competition.

D- Masskara

The Masskara festival is a major festival held every October in Bacolod City. The term is a pun on the word maskara, which is Filipino for “mask.” It’s also a blending of the English word “mass,” referring to a large group of people, and the Spanish cara, which means “face.” The government started the festival in 1980 to encourage its people during a time of economic crisis. Today, the Mardi Gras-like festival is one of the most popular festivals in the Philippines, with its street dances, live music, and food fests witnessed by thousands of locals and tourists.

E- Panagbenga Flower Festival

The Panagbenga Flower Festival is held every February in Baguio City. It was started as a tribute to the flowers of the city, as well as a way to encourage the people to rise up from the tragedy of the devastating Luzon earthquake in 1990. The term Panagbenga is of Kankanaey origin, and means “A time of blossoming” or “A season of blooming.” The Panagbenga Flower Festival is a month-long festival celebrated with colorful costumes, native dancing, and parades.

F- Lenten Season

The Lenten Season is the most significant religious observance in the country. It starts on Ash Wednesday, which is forty days before Easter Sunday. It’s on this day that you’ll see Catholics returning from church with their foreheads marked with a cross made of ash. The highlight of the season is the Holy Week, referred to as Semana Santa, which begins on Palm Sunday and culminates on Easter Sunday. 

The highlight of the week is Good Friday, which is a solemn day that both Catholics and Protestants consider to be a day of much prayer and fasting. Superstitious Catholics, in particular, believe that Jesus Christ is actually dead during this time of the year and warn people against getting hurt. Any wounds acquired during Good Friday, according to them, will never heal. Some say you will have to wait until the next Holy Week for it to heal.

G- Christmas Season

The Christmas season in the Philippines officially starts on December 16, the first day of Simbang Gabi, a nine-day series of masses occurring as early as three o’clock in the morning. For most Filipinos, however, Christmas unofficially starts on the first day of September (the first month on the calendar that ends in –ber), and ends on January 6 (the day of the feast of the Three Kings, otherwise known as the Epiphany). 

Starting September 1, you’ll see many houses decorated with Christmas lights, Christmas wreaths, and what is known as the Christmas Parol, a star-shaped lantern. During the week of the Simbang Gabi, Catholic churchgoers can be seen flocking to the churches at dawn. It’s also during this time that the famous Puto Bumbong (purple rice cake steamed in small bamboo tubes) will start being sold outside of churches.

In the Philippines, Noche Buena is the most exciting part of Christmas. It’s Spanish for “Good night,” but in the Philippines, it’s the night before Christmas. This is a time when family members gather and share a meal after hearing the midnight Mass.


H- Feast of the Black Nazarene

The Feast of the Black Nazarene is the ultimate symbol of religiosity in the Philippines. Every year on January 9, millions of devout followers of the Poong Itim na Nazareno (Almighty Black Nazarene) gather in the streets of Manila to join in the procession of a life-size black Jesus statue carrying the cross. The procession usually starts at Rizal Park and ends at the minor basilica in Quiapo. Few religious celebrations worldwide can match the Feast of the Black Nazarene, with millions of devotees doing all they can to get a hold of the statue, believing that it can perform miracles, such as granting petitions and healing terminal diseases.

Feast of the Black Nazarene

Traditional Filipino festivals, such as Dinagyang, Sinulog, and Masskara are celebrated in Mardi Gras fashion.

7. Gain a Deeper Understanding of Filipino Culture with FilipinoPod101

We’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg with this Filipino culture overview. There’s still a lot more you can learn about how Filipinos think about and perceive the world, and one good place you can start is FilipinoPod101.com.

FilipinoPod101 is one of the best places to learn the Tagalog language online, and in addition to our free resources and our grammar lessons, we also offer all you need to better understand and appreciate Filipino culture.

Sign up today and enjoy a number of exclusive learning materials, including our Premium PLUS MyTeacher feature where you can have one-on-one interactions with your personal Filipino teacher. He or she will provide you with ongoing guidance and assessment as you continue enhancing your Filipino skills.

That’s all for this post! Don’t think twice about dropping a comment below should you have any questions about what we’ve shared here or if you have any additional insights!

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