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Archive for the 'Living in Philippines' Category

Anong Oras Na? A Must-Read Guide on Philippines Time

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Filipinos are known for following “Filipino Time” (also referred to as “late” in other countries). Despite that, there are still many people in the Philippines who are very much time-conscious. 

As a matter of fact, the Department of Science and Technology initiated a campaign called “Juan Time” several years ago with the aim of promoting the nationwide use of Philippine Standard Time.

That’s good news for anyone who values time. But what does this have to do with this post? Well, in this post, we’re going to learn how to tell the Philippines’ time, using the Filipino language, of course. 
Knowing how to read and tell time is a basic universal skill. And yes, learning how to tell time in Filipino or Tagalog is as easy as 1-2-3. You can always read and tell time in English when you’re in the Philippines, since most Pinoys can understand English anyway. But it’s no question that knowing how to tell time in Tagalog has many benefits and advantages.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. How to Ask for the Time
  2. How Pinoys Tell Time
  3. Hours Divided into Minutes
  4. Time Adverbs
  5. Common Filipino Proverbs about Time
  6. Conclusion

1. How to Ask for the Time

Time

Knowing how to ask for the time is just as important as knowing how to read and tell time. Before anything else, let’s first learn how to ask for the time in Filipino. 

There are different ways you can ask this. Here are some of them:

1 –  What time is it? 

Anong oras na?

This is the most straightforward way of asking “What time is it? in Filipino. It’s rather informal and less polite. You can use this approach when asking someone you’re familiar with, like a friend or colleague. Never ask this way when talking to someone in authority, though.

2 – Do you know what time it is? 

Alam mo ba kung anong oras na?

This is a more polite approach, although it’s not that formal. You can use this question when asking someone you’re not too familiar with, such as a stranger. 

If you want a more polite approach, then use this one:

3 – May I know what time it is already? 

Maaari/Pwede ko bang malaman kung anong oras na? 

If you’re asking an older person or a person in authority, simply add the word po right after ko.

4- Asking What Time Something Will Start or What Time Something Happened

Now, if you want to ask what time something will start, you can simply say: Anong oras magsisimula ang palabas? (“What time will the show start?”)

More examples:

  • “What time is the plane arriving?” 

Anong oras dadating ang eroplano?

  • “What time is the meeting scheduled?” 

Anong oras ang schedule ng meeting? 

  • “What time did the game end last night?” 

Anong oras natapos ang laro kagabi?

2. How Pinoys Tell Time

Marunong ka bang magbasa ng oras? Do you know how to tell time? 

This is a question often asked of young Filipino kids. Just as in other countries, Pinoy kids are taught how to read time and dates at an early age. 

Kid Looking at Clock

In the Philippines, most people use the twelve-hour format. The Filipino word for “hour” is the same word used for “time,” which is oras. This is derived from ‘horas,’ the Spanish word for “time.”

Meanwhile, “o’clock in Tagalog is either la or las, both of which are Spanish for “the.”

There are two general ways of how to read time in Filipino. But before we go there, let’s talk about time markers first. 

1- Time Markers

The basic time markers or references are as follows:

UmagaMorning
TanghaliNoon
HaponAfternoon
GabiEvening
Hating-GabiMidnight
Madaling-ArawMiddle of the night

A – Umaga

Umaga in the Philippines usually begins at 5:00 a.m., depending on what time the sun rises. The time between the rising of the sun and 11:59 a.m. is considered umaga or “morning.” When asked what time it is, and your watch says it’s 10:30 a.m., you respond by saying: Alas diyes y medya ng umaga.

In English, that translates to “10:30 in the morning.” In written form, that would be Alas-10 y medya n.u. N.u. is the abbreviation for ng umaga, or “in the morning.”

The same rule applies when telling time in Filipino at different times of the day.

B – Tanghali

Tanghali, on the other hand, is high noon, and is the time between 12:00 p.m. and 12:59 p.m. When reading time during tanghali, let’s say fifteen minutes past 12:00, you simply say:

Alas dose kinse ng tanghali. 

(Written form: Alas-12 kinse n.t.), kinse being “fifteen” in Spanish.

If you’re not too familiar with Philippine history, the reason there are a lot of Spanish words and expressions in the Filipino language is that the country has been under Spanish rule for more than 300 years. So, don’t be surprised if you come across a number of loanwords in your studies.

Now, back to the lesson.

C – Hapon

Hapon is the Filipino word for “afternoon.” It’s the time between 1:00 p.m. and 5:59 p.m. In written form, it’s abbreviated as n.h., or ng hapon (“in the afternoon”). In Filipino, 3:00 p.m. is spoken as Alas tres ng hapon. and written as Alas-3 n.h.

D – Gabi 

Gabi is the Filipino word for “evening.” You’ll know when it’s gabi in the Philippines once the clock strikes 6:00 p.m. Around this time, most Filipino families are already preparing for the evening meal. In the barrios, mothers are often heard yelling at their children to come home as it’s already dark. 

  • Mga anak, pasok na at alas sais na! Maghahapunan na tayo! 

“Come home now kids! It’s 6 o’clock, and it’s already time for dinner!” 

Gabi lasts from 6:00 p.m. until 12 a.m.

Family Having Dinner

E – Hating-gabi

It’s already hating-gabi, or midnight, once the clock strikes 12 a.m. Unless you’re working night shift, there’s very little chance someone is going to ask you what time it is at this hour.

Woman Sleeping under Moon

F – Madaling Araw

Madaling araw literally means “the day is breaking soon,” madali being “fast” and araw being “day.” As a time marker, however, this phrase translates to “in the middle of the night.” In Filipino, 4:00 a.m. is read as Alas kwatro ng madaling araw.

As mentioned, there are two general ways we tell time in the Philippines: the Filipino way and the Spanish way.

2- The Filipino Way

The Filipino way is a more formal approach to reading and telling time in the Filipino language. Let’s say it’s 10:00 a.m. and you’re asked what time it is. You reply with: Ika-sampu na ng umaga. 

Here’s a table of how to say the time in Filipino for your reference:

TimeIn Filipino we say…
1:00ika-isa
2:00ikalawa
3:00ikatlo
4:00ikaapat
5:00ikalima
5:00ika-anim
7:00ika-pito
8:00ika-walo
9:00ika-siyam
10:00ika-sampu
11:00ika-labing-isa
12:00ika-labing-dalawa

This is how we read exact hours in Filipino:

For 1:00 a.m., we say:

  • Ang oras ay ika-isa ng umaga. 

“The time is one o’clock in the morning.”

For 2:00 p.m., we say: 

  • Ang oras ay ikalawa ng hapon. 

“The time is two o’clock in the afternoon.”

Minuto

What if the clock says it’s 4:15? That’s when we read in hours and minutes. “Minute in Filipino is minuto. When reading the time in hours and minutes, we simply read the equivalent of the minutes in words.

Example: 

  • “It’s five fifteen in the afternoon.” 

Ang oras ay labinlimang minuto makalipas ang ikalima ng hapon.

Labinlima is Filipino for “fifteen,” while makalipas is Filipino for “past.” So that would be the same as saying, “The time is fifteen minutes past five in the afternoon.” 

Speaking of which, learning simple numbers in Filipino is another crucial step in this study, so make sure you find ways to do so.

3- The Spanish Way

Alternatively, you can use the Spanish way of reading time. In the Philippines, this is the more practical and common way people read and tell time. You don’t normally hear people saying, Ang oras ay dalawampu’t-limang minuto makalipas ang ika-siyam ng umaga (“The time is twenty-five minutes past nine in the morning”) unless it’s the disc jockey announcing the time over your favorite A.M. or F.M. station.

Woman in Recording Studio

So, when you ask a Filipino on the streets what time it is and it’s 5:15 p.m., you’ll most likely hear them respond with: Alas-singko kinse. The time marker, which in this case is ng hapon, is omitted unless the person asking has just awoken from a very long sleep over the weekend and has no idea what period of the day it is.

Menos

And then there’s the word menos, which is Spanish for “less.” In reading the time, we can use the term this way:

Ang oras ay menos kinse bago mag alas-kwatro. 

That’s fifteen minutes “minus” or “less” four o’clock, and indicates that the time is a quarter to four or fifteen minutes before four.

Meanwhile, here’s another table for your reference. This time, it’s for the Spanish way of reading time:

TimeAnother way we read time in Filipino is…
1:00ala-una
2:00alas-dos
3:00alas-tres
4:00alas-kwatro
5:00alas-singko
6:00alas-sais
7:00alas-siete
8:00alas-otso
9:00alas-nueve
10:00alas-dies
11:00alas-onse
12:00alas-dose

In order for you to be able to tell time in Filipino, you need to be familiar with Spanish numbers. This post might be able to help you with that.

3. Hours Divided into Minutes

Improve Listening

Reading and telling time in Filipino when hours are divided into minutes is also straightforward, although most Pinoys never read time in this manner.

1- Quarter

The direct equivalent for the word “quarter” in Tagalog is kwarter, but it’s not a commonly used word. That said, “It’s a quarter past seven in the evening,” is read as Alas-siete kinse ng gabi. 

To be more formal, you can say: Ang oras ay labinlimang minuto makalipas ang alas-siete ng gabi. 

2- Half

The Filipino word for “half” is kalahati. When reading 8:30 p.m., you say: Alas-otso y medya ng gabi. Or, in the more formal manner: Ang oras ay kalahating oras/tatlumpong minuto makalipas ang ika-walo ng umaga.

4. Time Adverbs

Using an adverb of time in Filipino when giving the time is very useful. There are a lot of time adverbs available, but we’ll give you a list of only the most commonly used time adverbs in Filipino, with examples of how to use them.

1 – Now/Right Now (Ngayon)

  • Anong oras na ngayon? 

“What time is it now?”

2 – Currently (Kasalukuyan)

  • Ang oras sa kasalukuyan ay sampung minuto makalipas ang ika-siyam ng umaga. 

“The current time is ten minutes past nine in the morning.”

 3 – Today (Ngayon/Ngayong araw)

  • Anong oras ka pupunta doon ngayong araw? 

“What time are you going there today?”

4 – Yesterday (Kahapon)

  • Pasado alas dose ng tanghali sila umalis kahapon. 

“They left past twelve noon yesterday.”

5 – Tomorrow (Bukas)

  • May deyt sila bukas ng gabi. 

They’ll have a date tomorrow evening.”

Man and Woman on Date

6 – Before (Bago)

  • Pinalampas ko ang alas otso ng umaga bago magluto ng agahan. 

“I waited until past eight in the morning before deciding to cook breakfast.”

  • Limang minuto na lang bago mag alas-dose ng hating-gabi. 

“There’s only five minutes left before twelve midnight.”

7 – After (Pagkatapos)

  • Sinundo siya ng drayber pagkatapos niyang tawagan ito ng pasado alas tres ng hapon. 

“The driver fetched her after she phoned him at past three in the afternoon.”

8. Soon/As soon as possible (Sa lalong madaling panahon)

  • Kailangan nilang tapusin ang proyekto sa lalong madaling panahon. 

“They need to finish the project as soon as possible.”

9. Later (Mamaya)

  • Manonood kami ng sine mamaya. 

“We’re going to watch a movie later.”

10. In a while/Shortly (Maya-maya/Sa ilang sandali)

  • Nandiyan na ako maya-maya

“I’ll be there in a while.”

  • Lalapag na ang eroplano sa ilang sandali. 

“The plane will be landing shortly.”

5. Common Filipino Proverbs about Time

Basic Questions

There aren’t a lot of time proverbs in the Philippines, but the few that are there truly echo how Filipinos are supposed to value time. Here are some of them:

1 – “The early comer is better than the hard worker.”

Daig ng maagap ang masipag.

This is a critique against the habit of many Filipinos of being late to meetings and appointments. It suggests that a person who’s always on time will always beat a person who’s more talented but never comes on time.

2 – “Time is gold.”

Ang oras ay ginto.

This doesn’t need much explanation. Time is valuable and must not be wasted.

3 – “Do today what you can do tomorrow.”

Gawin ngayon ang kaya mong gawin bukas.

Filipinos are known to be procrastinators, and are thus said to possess the mañana habit attitude. Mañana is a Spanish word that describes an indefinite time in the future. This proverb is targeted at those who have a habit of saying mamaya na or “later” when asked to work on an important task.

These next two sayings are related to the first three. They’re designed to encourage Filipinos not to put off doing something important—or they may regret their actions in the end.

4 – “Opportunity knocks but once. Grasp it before it disappears.”

Isang beses lang kumatok ang pagkakataon. Hawakan nang mahigpit bago pa ito maglaho.

5 – “What good is grass if the horse is dead?”

Aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo?

6. Conclusion

As promised, learning how to tell time in Filipino is trouble-free. Sure, you’ll need to learn a few basic Spanish terms (or English if it’s not your first language), but overall, it’s not very complicated. However, to accurately tell time—or both the date and time in the Philippines—you’ll need to take your ability to read and speak the Filipino or Tagalog language up a notch.

One way you can do this is through FilipinoPod101, an online portal that provides students who wish to learn Filipino with a way to learn the language and culture of the Philippines in a systematic yet fun and convenient manner. FilipinoPod101 can provide you with countless video lessons if you’re a visual learner, as well as audio tools if you’re the type who loves learning through listening. Most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to learn the Filipino language on your own. We hope you’ll continue to let us join you on your language-learning journey!

Before you go, let us know in the comments what time it is where you are, in Filipino! We look forward to hearing from you.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Filipino

Essential Vocabulary for Directions in Filipino

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Do you know your left from your right in Filipino? Asking for directions can mean the difference between a heavenly day on the beach and a horrible day on your feet, hot and bothered and wondering how to even get back to the hotel. Believe me – I know! On my earlier travels, I didn’t even know simple terms like ‘go straight ahead’ or ‘go west,’ and I was always too shy to ask locals for directions. It wasn’t my ego, but rather the language barrier that held me back. I’ve ended up in some pretty dodgy situations for my lack of directional word skills.

This never needs to happen! When traveling in Philippines, you should step out in confidence, ready to work your Filipino magic and have a full day of exploring. It’s about knowing a few basic phrases and then tailoring them with the right directional words for each situation. Do you need to be pointed south in Filipino? Just ask! Believe me, people are more willing to help than you might think. It’s when you ask in English that locals might feel too uncertain to answer you. After all, they don’t want to get you lost. For this reason, it also makes sense that you learn how to understand people’s responses. 

Asking directions in Philippines is inevitable. So, learn to love it! Our job here at FilipinoPod101 is to give you the confidence you need to fully immerse and be the intrepid adventurer you are.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Around Town in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Talking about position and direction in Filipino
  2. Getting directions in Filipino
  3. Conclusion

1. Talking about position and direction in Filipino

Have you ever tried saying the compass directions of north, south, east and west in Filipino? These words are good to know, being the most natural and ancient method of finding direction. In the days before GPS – before the invention of the compass, even – knowing the cardinal directions was critical to finding the way. Certainly, if you were lost somewhere in the mountain regions now and using a map to navigate, you’d find them useful. Even more so if you and a Filipino friend were adrift at sea, following the stars!

In most situations, though, we rely on body relative directions – your basic up, down, left and right, forward and backwards. Most cultures use relative directions for reference and Filipino is no exception. Interestingly, in a few old languages there are no words for left and right and people still rely on cardinal directions every day. Can you imagine having such a compass brain?

A black compass on a colored map

Well, scientists say that all mammals have an innate sense of direction, so getting good at finding your way is just a matter of practice. It’s pretty cool to think that we were born already pre-wired to grasp directions; the descriptive words we invented are mere labels to communicate these directions to others! Thus, the need to learn some Filipino positional vocabulary. So, without further ado… let’s dive in.

1- Top – tuktok

If planting a flag at the top of the highest mountain in Philippines is a goal you’d rather leave for  adrenaline junkies, how about making it to the top of the highest building? Your view of the city will be one you’ll never forget, and you can take a selfie  for Twitter with your head in the clouds. 

man on the top rung of a ladder in the sky, about to topple off

2- Bottom – ilalim

The ‘bottom’ can refer to the lower end of a road, the foot of a mountain, or the ground floor of a building. It’s the place you head for after you’ve been to the top!

What are your favorite ‘bottoms’? I love the first rung of a ladder, the base of a huge tree or the bottom of a jungle-covered hill. What can I say? I’m a climber. Divers like the bottom of the ocean and foxes like the bottom of a hole. Since you’re learning Filipino, hopefully you’ll travel from the top to the bottom of Philippines.

3- Up – taas

This is a very common and useful word to know when seeking directions. You can go up the street, up an elevator, up a cableway, up a mountain… even up into the sky in a hot air balloon. It all depends on how far up you like to be!

Hot air balloons in a blue cloudy sky

4- Down – pababa

What goes up, must surely come down. This is true of airplanes, flaming arrows and grasshoppers – either aeronautics or gravity will take care of that. In the case of traveling humans who don’t wish to go down at terminal velocity, it’s useful to know phrases such as, “Excuse me, where is the path leading back down this mountain?”

5- Middle – gitna

In Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s characters live in Middle-earth, which is just an ancient word for the inhabited world of men; it referred to the physical world, as opposed to the unseen worlds above and below it. The ancients also thought of the human world as vaguely in the middle of the encircling seas.

When we talk about the ‘middle’, we’re referring to a point that’s roughly between two horizontal lines – like the middle of the road or the middle of a river. While you’re unlikely to ask for directions to the ‘middle’ of anything, you might hear it as a response. For example, “You’re looking for the castle ruins? But they’re in the middle of the forest!”

Castle ruins in a forest

6- Center – sentro

Although similar in meaning to ‘middle’, this word is more specific. Technically, it means the exact central point of a circular area, equally distant from every point on the circumference.  When asking for directions to the center of town, though, we don’t mean to find a mathematically-accurate pinpoint!

Bull’s eye on a dartboard

7- Front – harap

The front is the place or position that is seen first; it’s the most forward part of something.  In the case of a hotel, the front is going to be easy to recognize, so if you call a taxi and are told to wait “in front of the hotel”, you won’t have a problem. It’s pretty cool how just knowing the main Filipino directional words can help you locate something if there’s a good landmark nearby.

8- Back – likod

I once rented a house in a charming little street that was tucked away at the back of a popular mall. It was so easy to find, but my boss took three hours to locate it from 300 meters away. Why? Well, because she spoke no English and I had no clue what the word for ‘back’ was. All she heard, no matter which way I said it, was “mall, mall, mall”.  As a result, she hunted in front of and next to the mall until she was frazzled. 

Knowing how to describe the location of your own residence is probably the first Filipino ‘directions’ you should practice. This skill will certainly come in handy if you’re lost and looking for your way home. 

9- Side – tabi

If the place you’re looking for is at the ‘side’ of something, it will be located to the left or the right of that landmark. That could mean you’re looking for an alleyway beside a building, or a second entrance (as opposed to the main entrance). 

As an example, you might be told that your tour bus will be waiting at the right side of the building, not in front. Of course, then you’ll also need to understand “It’s on the right” in Filipino.

Jeepney taxi parked at the side of a building

10- East – silangan

If you’re facing north, then east is the direction of your right hand. It’s the direction toward which the Earth rotates about its axis, and therefore the general direction from which the sun appears to rise. If you want to go east using a compass for navigation, you should set a bearing of 90°. 

We think of Asia as the ‘East’. Geographically, this part of the world lies in the eastern hemisphere, but there’s so much more that we’ve come to associate with this word. The East signifies ancient knowledge and is symbolic of enlightenment in many cultures.

Monks reading on a boulder in front of a Buddha statue

11- West – kanluran

West is the opposite to east and it’s the direction in which the sun sets. To go west using a compass, you’ll set a bearing of 270 degrees. 

If you were on the planet Venus, which rotates in the opposite direction from the Earth (retrograde rotation), the Sun would rise in the west and set in the east… not that you’d be able to see the sun through Venus’s opaque clouds. 

Culturally, the West refers mainly to the Americas and Europe, but also to Australia and New Zealand, which are geographically in the East. The Western way of thinking is very different to that of the East. One of the most striking differences is individualism versus collectivism. In the West, we grew up with philosophies of freedom and independence, whereas in the East concepts of unity are more important. 

Food for thought: as a traveler who’s invested in learning the languages and cultures of places you visit, you have an opportunity to become a wonderfully balanced thinker – something the world needs more of.

12- North – hilaga

North is the top point of a map and when navigating, you’d set a compass bearing of 360 degrees if you want to go that way. Globes of the earth have the north pole at the top, and we use north as the direction by which we define all other directions.

If you look into the night sky, the North Star (Polaris) marks the way due north. It’s an amazing star, in that it holds nearly still in our sky while the entire northern sky moves around it. That’s because it’s located nearly at the north celestial pole – the point around which the entire northern sky turns. Definitely a boon for lost travelers!

The North Star with the Big Dipper in a night sky

13- South – timog

South is the opposite of north, and it’s perpendicular to the east and west. You can find it with a compass if you set your bearings to 180 degrees. 

The south celestial pole is the point around which the entire southern sky appears to turn. In the night sky of the southern hemisphere, the Southern Cross is a very easy to find constellation with four points in the shape of a diamond. If you come from the southern hemisphere, chances are your dad or mum pointed it out to you when you were a kid. You can use the Southern Cross to find south if traveling by night, so it’s well worth figuring it out!

14- Outside – sa labas

This word refers to any place that is not under a roof. Perhaps you’ve heard talk about some amazing local bands that will be playing in a nearby town on the weekend. If it’s all happening outside, you’ll be looking for a venue in a park, a stadium or some other big open space. Come rain or shine, outside definitely works for me!

A young woman on someone’s shoulders at an outdoor concert

15- Inside – sa loob

I can tolerate being inside if all the windows are open, or if I’m watching the latest Homeland episode. How about you? I suppose going shopping for Filipino-style accessories would be pretty fun, too, and that will (mostly) be an inside affair. 

16- Opposite – kabaligtaran

This is a great word to use as a reference point for locating a place. It’s right opposite that other place! In other words, if you stand with your back to the given landmark, your destination will be right in front of you. 

17- Adjacent – katabi

So, the adorable old man from next door, who looks about ninety-nine, explains in Filipino that the food market where he works is adjacent to the community hall on the main road. ‘Adjacent’ just means next to or adjoining something else, so… head for the hall! 

While you’re marveling at the wondrous and colorful displays of Filipino food, think about how all of these delicious stalls lie adjacent to one another. Having a happy visual association with a new word is a proven way to remember it!

Outdoor food market fruit display

18- Toward – patungo sa

To go toward something is to go in its direction and get closer to it. This word can often appear in a sentence with ‘straight ahead’, as in:

“Go straight ahead, toward the park.”

If you’ve come to Philippines to teach English, you might have to ask someone how to find your new school. Depending on what town you’re in, you could simply head toward the residential area at lunch time. You’ll see (and probably hear) the primary school soon enough – it will be the big fenced building with all the kids running around the yard!

19- Facing – nakaharap

If you look at yourself in a mirror, you’ll be facing your reflection. In other words: you and your reflection look directly at each other.  Many plush hotels are ocean-facing or river-facing, meaning the main entrance is pointed directly at the water, and the beach out front faces the hotel. 

20- Beside – katabi

I know of a special little place where there’s a gym right beside a river. You can watch the sun go down over the water while working out – it’s amazing. What’s more, you can park your scooter beside the building and it will still be there when you come out.

21- Corner – kanto

I love a corner when it comes to directions. A street corner is where two roads meet at an angle – often 90 degrees – making it easier to find than a location on a straight plane. 

“Which building is the piano teacher in, sir?”

“Oh, that’s easy – it’s the one on the corner.”

The key to a corner is that it leads in two directions. It could form a crossroads, a huge intersection, or it could be the start of a tiny one-way cobblestone street with hidden treasures waiting in the shadow of the buildings.

A white and yellow building on the corner of two streets

22- Distant – malayo

When a location is distant, it’s in an outlying area. This Filipino word refers to the remoteness of the site, not to how long it takes to get there. For that reason, it’s a very good idea to write the directions down, rather than try to memorize them in Filipino. Even better, get a Filipino person to write them down for you. This may seem obvious, but always include the location of your starting point! Any directions you’re given will be relative to the exact place you’re starting from.

Man lost on a dusty road, looking at a road map and scratching his head

23- Far – malayo

This word has a similar meaning to the previous one, but it speaks more about the fact that it will take some time to get there. If you’re told that your destination is “far”,  you’ll no doubt want to go by public transport if you don’t have your own vehicle. Get your hands on a road map and have the directions explained to you using this map. Don’t hesitate to bring out the highlighters. 

24- Close – malapit

This word is always a good one to hear when you have your heart set on a very relaxing day in the sun. It means there’s only a short distance to travel, so you can get there in a heartbeat and let the tanning commence. Remember to grab your Nook Book – learning is enhanced when you’re feeling happy and unencumbered. Being close to ‘home’ also means you can safely steal maximum lazy hours and leave the short return trip for sunset! 

A smiling woman lying in a hammock on the beach

25- By – malapit sa

This word identifies the position of a physical object beside another object or a place. A Bed and Breakfast can be ‘by the sea’ if it’s in close proximity to the sea. 

‘By’ can also be used to describe the best mode of transport for your route, as in:

“You can get there by bus.”

26- Surrounding – paligid

If something is surrounding you, it is on every side and you are enclosed by it – kind of like being in a boat. Of course, we’re not talking about deep water here, unless you’re planning on going fishing. Directions that include this word are more likely to refer to the surrounding countryside, or any other features that are all around the place you’re looking for.

A polar bear stuck on a block of ice, completely surrounded by water.

27- All sides – lahat ng dako

Another useful descriptive Filipino term to know is ‘all sides’. It simply means that from a particular point, you will be able to see the same features to the front, back and sides of you. It doesn’t necessarily imply you’ll be completely surrounded, just more-or-less so. Say, for example, you’re visiting the winelands for the day. When you get there, you’ll see vineyards on all sides of you. How stunning! Don’t neglect to sample the local wines – obviously. 

28- Next to – sa tabi

The person giving you directions is probably standing next to you. The place being described as ‘next to’ something is in a position immediately to one side of it. It could refer to adjoining buildings, neighbouring stores, or the one-legged beggar who sits next to the beautiful flower vendor on weekdays. ‘Next to’ is a great positional term, as everything is next to something! 

“Excuse me, Ma’am.  Where is the train station?”

“It’s that way – next to the tourist market.”

29- Above – ibabaw

This is the direction you’ll be looking at if you turn your head upwards. Relative to where your body is, it’s a point higher than your head. If you’re looking for the location of a place that’s ‘above’ something, it’s likely to be on at least the first floor of a building; in other words, above another floor.

‘Above’ could also refer to something that will be visible overhead when you get to the right place. For example, the road you’re looking for might have holiday decorations strung up from pole to pole above it. In the cities, this is very likely if there’s any kind of festival going on.

View from below of a carnival swing, with riders directly above the viewer

30- Under – ilalim

Under is the opposite of above, and refers to a place that lies beneath something else. In the case of directions in Filipino, it could refer to going under a bridge – always a great landmark – or perhaps through a subway. In some parts of the world, you can even travel through a tunnel that’s under the sea!

Of course, you might just be missing your home brew and looking for an awesome coffee shop that happens to be under the very cool local gym you were also looking for. Nice find!

2. Getting directions in Filipino

The quickest and easiest way to find out how to get where you’re going is simply to ask someone. Most people on the streets of Philippines won’t mind being asked at all and will actually appreciate your attempt to ask directions in Filipino. After all, most tourists are more inclined to ask in their own language and hope for the best. How pedestrian is that, though?

Asking directions

I know, I know – you normally prefer to find your own way without asking. Well, think of it like this: you obviously need to practice asking questions in Filipino as much as you need to practice small talk, counting, or ordering a beer. Since you can’t very well ask a complete stranger if they would please help you count to five hundred, you’ll have to stick with asking directions!

We spoke earlier about body relative directions and these tend to be the ones we use most. For example:

“Turn left.”

“Go straight.”

“Turn right.” 

Remember, too, that your approach is important. Many people are wary of strangers and you don’t want to scare them off. It’s best to be friendly, direct and get to the point quickly.  A simple ‘Hi, can you help me?” or “Excuse me, I’m a bit lost,” will suffice. If you have a map in your hand, even better, as your intentions will be clear. 

The bottom line is that if you want to find your way around Philippines with ease, it’s a good idea to master these basic phrases. With a little practice, you can also learn how to say directions in Filipino. Before you know it, you’ll be the one explaining the way!

3. Conclusion

Now that you have over thirty new directional phrases you can learn in Filipino, there’s no need to fear losing your way when you hit the streets of Philippines. All you need is a polite approach and your own amazing smile, and the locals will be excited to help you. It’s a chance for them to get better at explaining things to a foreigner, too. Most will enjoy that!

I advise keeping a few things handy in your day pack: a street map, a highlighter, a small notebook and pen, and your Filipino phrasebook. It would be useful to also have the Filipino WordPower app installed on your phone – available for both iPhone and Android

Here’s a quick challenge to get you using the new terms right away. Can you translate these directions into Filipino?

“It’s close. Go straight ahead to the top of the hill and turn left at the corner. The building is on the right, opposite a small bus stop.”

You’re doing amazingly well to have come this far! Well done on tackling the essential topic of ‘directions’ – it’s a brave challenge that will be immensely rewarding. Trust me, when you’re standing at a beautiful location that you found just by knowing what to ask in Filipino, you’re going to feel pretty darn good.

If you’re as excited as I am about taking Filipino to an even deeper level, we have so much more to offer you. Did you know that we’ve already had over 1 billion lesson downloads? I know – we’re blown away by that, too. It’s amazing to be bringing the world’s languages to people who are so hungry for learning. Let me share some of our best options for you:

  • If you haven’t done so already, grab your free lifetime account as a start. You’ll get audio and video lessons, plus vocabulary building tools. 
  • My favorite freebie is the word of the day, which will arrive in your inbox every morning. Those are the words I remember best!
  • Start listening to Filipino music. I’m serious – it really works to make the resistant parts of the brain relax and accept the new language. Read about it here for some tips.
  • If you enjoy reading, we have some great iBooks for your daily commute.
  • If you have a Kindle and prefer to do your reading on a picnic blanket,  there are over 6 hours of unique lessons in Filipino for you right there.

That’s it for today! Join FilipinoPod101 to discover many more ways that we can offer you a truly fun and enriching language learning experience. Happy travels!

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Essential Vocabulary for Life Events in Filipino

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What is the most defining moment you will face this year? From memories that you immortalize in a million photographs, to days you never wish to remember, one thing’s for certain: big life events change you. The great poet, Bukowski, said, “We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well, that death will tremble to take us.” The older I get, the more I agree with him!

Talking about significant events in our lives is part of every person’s journey, regardless of creed or culture. If you’re planning to stay in Philippines for more than a quick visit, you’re sure to need at least a few ‘life events’ phrases that you can use. After all, many of these are shared experiences, and it’s generally expected that we will show up with good manners and warm wishes.

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Table of Contents

  1. Life Events
  2. Marriage Proposal Lines
  3. Talking About Age
  4. Conclusion

1. Life Events

Do you know how to say “Happy New Year” in Filipino? Well, the New Year is a pretty big deal that the whole world is in on! We celebrate until midnight, make mindful resolutions, and fill the night sky with the same happy words in hundreds of languages. No doubt, then, that you’ll want to know how to say it like a local!

Big life events are not all about fun times, though. Real life happens even when you’re traveling, and certain terminology will be very helpful to know. From talking about your new job to wishing your neighbors “Merry Christmas” in Filipino, here at FilipinoPod101, we’ve put together just the right vocabulary and phrases for you.

1- Birthday – kaarawan

If you’re like me, any excuse to bring out a pen and scribble a note is a good one. When there’s a birthday, even better: hello, handwriting!

Your Filipino friend will love hearing you wish them a “Happy birthday” in Filipino, but how much more will they appreciate a thoughtful written message? Whether you write it on their Facebook wall or buy a cute card, your effort in Filipino is sure to get them smiling! Write it like this:

Maligayang kaarawan

Older Woman Blowing Out Candles on a Birthday Cake Surrounded by Friends.

Now that you know the words, I challenge you to put them to music and sing your own “Happy birthday” song in Filipino! It’s not impossible to figure out even more lyrics, once you start discovering the language from scratch.

2- Buy – bumili

If there’s a special occasion, you might want to buy somebody a gift. As long as you’ve checked out Filipino etiquette on gift-giving (do a Google search for this!), it will be a lovely gesture. If you’re not sure what to buy, how about the awesome and universally-appealing gift of language? That’s a gift that won’t stop giving!

Two Women at a Counter in a Bookstore, One Buying a Book

3- Retire – magretiro

If you’re planning to expand your mind and retire in Philippines, you can use this word to tell people why you seem to be on a perpetual vacation!

Retirement is also a great time to learn a new language, don’t you think? And you don’t have to do it alone! These days it’s possible to connect to a vibrant learning community at the click of a button. The added benefit of a Daily Dose of Language is that it keeps your brain cells alive and curious about the world. After all, it’s never too late to realize those long-ignored dreams of traveling the globe…

4- Graduation – pagtatapos

When attending a graduation ceremony in Philippines, be prepared for a lot of formal language! It will be a great opportunity to listen carefully and see if you can pick up differences from the everyday Filipino you hear.

Lecturer or University Dean Congratulating and Handing Over Graduation Certificate to a Young Man on Graduation Day.

5- Promotion – pagtaas ng ranggo

Next to vacation time, receiving a promotion is the one career highlight almost everyone looks forward to. And why wouldn’t you? Sure, it means more responsibility, but it also means more money and benefits and – the part I love most – a change of scenery! Even something as simple as looking out a new office window would boost my mood.

6- Anniversary – anibersaryo

Some anniversaries we anticipate with excitement, others with apprehension. They are days marking significant events in our lives that can be shared with just one person, or with a whole nation. Whether it’s a special day for you and a loved one, or for someone else you know, this word is crucial to know if you want to wish them a happy anniversary in Filipino.

7- Funeral – libing

We tend to be uncomfortable talking about funerals in the west, but it’s an important conversation for families to have. Around the world, there are many different customs and rituals for saying goodbye to deceased loved ones – some vastly different to our own. When traveling in Philippines, if you happen to find yourself the unwitting observer of a funeral, take a quiet moment to appreciate the cultural ethos; even this can be an enriching experience for you.

8- Travel – bumiyahe

Travel – my favorite thing to do! Everything about the experience is thrilling and the best cure for boredom, depression, and uncertainty about your future. You will surely be forever changed, fellow traveler! But you already know this, don’t you? Well, now that you’re on the road to total Filipino immersion, I hope you’ve downloaded our IOS apps and have your Nook Book handy to keep yourself entertained on those long bus rides.

Young Female Tourist with a Backpack Taking a Photo of the Arc de Triomphe

9- Graduate – makatapos sa pag-aaral

If you have yet to graduate from university, will you be job-hunting in Philippines afterward? Forward-looking companies sometimes recruit talented students who are still in their final year. Of course, you could also do your final year abroad as an international student – an amazing experience if you’d love to be intellectually challenged and make a rainbow of foreign friends!

10- Wedding – kasal

One of the most-loved traditions that humans have thought up, which you’ll encounter anywhere in the world, is a wedding. With all that romance in the air and months spent on preparations, a wedding is typically a feel-good affair. Two people pledge their eternal love to each other, ladies cry, single men look around for potential partners, and everybody has a happy day of merrymaking.

Ah, but how diverse we are in our expression of love! You will find more wedding traditions around the world than you can possibly imagine. From reciting love quotes to marrying a tree, the options leave no excuse to be boring!

Married Couple During Reception, Sitting at Their Table While a Young Man Gives a Wedding Speech

11- Move – lumipat

I love Philippines, but I’m a nomad and tend to move around a lot, even within one country. What are the biggest emotions you typically feel when moving house? The experts say moving is a highly stressful event, but I think that depends on the circumstances. Transitional periods in our lives are physically and mentally demanding, but changing your environment is also an exciting adventure that promises new tomorrows!

12- Be born – ipinanganak

I was not born in 1993, nor was I born in Asia. I was born in the same year as Aishwarya Rai, Akon, and Monica Lewinsky, and on the same continent as Freddy Mercury. When and where were you born? More importantly – can you say it in Filipino?

13- Get a job – makakuha ng trabaho

The thought of looking for a job in a new country can be daunting, but English speakers are in great demand in Philippines – you just have to do some research, make a few friends and get out there! Also, arming yourself with a few Filipino introductions that you can both say and write will give you a confidence boost. For example, can you write your name in Filipino?

Group of People in Gear that Represent a Number of Occupations.

14- Die – mamatay

Death is a universal experience and the final curtain on all other life events. How important is it, then, to fully live before we die? If all you have is a passport, a bucket list, and a willingness to learn some lingo, you can manifest those dreams!

15- Home – bahay

If home is where the heart is, then my home is on a jungle island completely surrounded by the turquoise ocean. Right now, though, home is an isolation room with a view of half a dry palm tree and a tangle of telephone wires.

If you’re traveling to Philippines for an extended stay, you’ll soon be moving into a new home quite unlike anything you’ve experienced before!

Large, Double-Story House with Lit Windows.

16- Job – trabaho

What job do you do? Does it allow you much time for travel, or for working on this fascinating language that has (so rightfully) grabbed your attention? Whatever your job, you are no doubt contributing to society in a unique way. If you’re doing what you love, you’re already on the road to your dream. If not, just remember that every single task is one more skill to add to your arsenal. With that attitude, your dream job is coming!

17- Birth – kapanganakan

Random question: do you know the birth rate of Philippines?

If you’re lucky enough to be invited to see a friend’s baby just after they are born, you’ll have all my respect and all my envy. There is nothing cuter! Depending on which part of the country you’re in, you may find yourself bearing witness to some pretty unexpected birth customs. Enjoy this privilege!

Crying Newborn Baby Held By a Doctor or Nurse in a Hospital Theatre

18- Engaged – makisali

EE Cummings said, “Lovers alone wear sunlight,” and I think that’s most true at the moment she says “yes.” Getting engaged is something young girls dream of with stars in their eyes, and it truly is a magical experience – from the proposal, to wearing an engagement ring, to the big reveal!

In the world of Instagram, there’s no end to the antics as imaginative couples try more and more outrageous ways to share their engagement with the world. I love an airport flashmob, myself, but I’d rather be proposed to on a secluded beach – salt, sand, and all!

Engagement customs around the world vary greatly, and Philippines is no exception when it comes to interesting traditions. Learning their unique romantic ways will inspire you for when your turn comes.

Speaking of romance, do you know how to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” in Filipino?

19- Marry – magpakasal

The one you marry will be the gem on a shore full of pebbles. They will be the one who truly mirrors your affection, shares your visions for the future, and wants all of you – the good, the bad and the inexplicable.

From thinking up a one-of-a-kind wedding, to having children, to growing old together, finding a twin flame to share life with is quite an accomplishment! Speaking of which…

2. Marriage Proposal Lines

Marriage Proposal Lines

Ah, that heart-stopping moment when your true love gets down on one knee to ask for your hand in marriage, breathlessly hoping that you’ll say “Yes!” If you haven’t experienced that – well, it feels pretty darn good, is all I can say! If you’re the one doing the asking, though, you’ve probably had weeks of insomnia agonizing over the perfect time, location and words to use.

Man on His Knee Proposing to a Woman on a Bridge.

How much more care should be taken if your love is from a different culture to yours? Well, by now you know her so well, that most of it should be easy to figure out. As long as you’ve considered her personal commitment to tradition, all you really need is a few words from the heart. Are you brave enough to say them in Filipino?

3. Talking About Age

Talking about Age

Part of the wonder of learning a new language is having the ability to strike up simple conversations with strangers. Asking about age in this context feels natural, as your intention is to practice friendly phrases – just be mindful of their point of view!

When I was 22, I loved being asked my age. Nowadays, if someone asks, I say, “Well, I’ve just started my fifth cat life.” Let them ponder that for a while.

In Philippines, it’s generally not desirable to ask an older woman her age for no good reason, but chatting about age with your peers is perfectly normal. Besides, you have to mention your birthday if you want to be thrown a birthday party!

4. Conclusion

Well, there you have it! With so many great new Filipino phrases to wish people with, can you think of someone who has a big event coming up? If you want to get even more creative, FilipinoPod101 has much to inspire you with – come and check it out! Here’s just some of what we have on offer at FilipinoPod101:

  • Free Resources: Sharing is caring, and for this reason, we share many free resources with our students. For instance, start learning Filipino with our basic online course by creating a lifetime account – for free! Also get free daily and iTunes lessons, free eBooks, free mobile apps, and free access to our blog and online community. Or how about free Vocabulary Lists? The Filipino dictionary is for exclusive use by our students, also for free. There’s so much to love about FilipinoPod101…!
  • Innovative Learning Tools and Apps: We make it our priority to offer you the best learning tools! These include apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Mac OSX; eBooks for Kindle, Nook, and iPad; audiobooks; Roku TV and so many more. This means that we took diverse lifestyles into account when we developed our courses, so you can learn anywhere, anytime on a device of your choice. How innovative!
  • Live Hosts and One-on-One Learning: Knowledgeable, energetic hosts present recorded video lessons, and are available for live teaching experiences if you upgrade. This means that in the videos, you get to watch them pronounce those tongue-twisters, as if you’re learning live! Add octane to your learning by upgrading to Premium Plus, and learn two times faster. You can have your very own Filipino teacher always with you, ensuring that you learn what you need, when you need to – what a wonderful opportunity to master a new language in record time!
  • Start Where You Are: You don’t know a single Filipino word? Not to worry, we’ve absolutely got this. Simply enroll in our Absolute Beginner Pathway and start speaking from Lesson 1! As your learning progresses, you can enroll in other pathways to match your Filipino level, at your own pace, in your own time, in your own place!

Learning a new language can only enrich your life, and could even open doors towards great opportunities! So don’t wonder if you’ll regret enrolling in FilipinoPod101. It’s the most fun, easy way to learn Filipino.

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Talk About the Weather in Filipino Like a Native

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Did you know that every minute of the day, one billion tons of rain falls on the earth? Hard to believe, considering the climate crisis! Of course, all that rain is not equally shared across the planet.

So, would you mention this fascinating fact to your new Filipino acquaintance? Well, small talk about local weather is actually a great conversation-starter. Everyone cares about the weather and you’re sure to hear a few interesting opinions! Seasons can be quite unpredictable these days and nobody knows the peculiarities of a region better than the locals.

FilipinoPod101 will equip you with all the weather vocabulary you need to plan your next adventure. The weather can even be an important discussion that influences your adventure plans. After all, you wouldn’t want to get caught on an inflatable boat with a two-horsepower motor in Hurricane Horrendous!

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Table of Contents

  1. Talking about the weather in Philippines
  2. Words for the first day of spring
  3. Do You Know the Essential Summer Vocabulary?
  4. Must-Know Autumn vocabulary
  5. Winter
  6. FilipinoPod101 can prepare you for any season.

1. Talking about the weather in Philippines

Talking About Weather

If you’re like me, your day’s activity plan is likely to begin with a strong local coffee and a chat about what the sky is doing. After all, being prepared could be the difference between an amazing day and a miserable one! Luckily, it’s not difficult to comment on Filipino weather – just start with these simple words and phrases.

1- The rain is falling on the street – Ang ulan ay bumabagsak sa kalye.

Watercolor artists, take out your paints! You might not be able to venture out on foot today, but just embrace the rain as part of your Filipino experience. When the rain stops, the air will be clean and colours vibrant.

2- The snow has covered everything – Tinabunan ng niyebe ang kalahatan.

A fresh blanket of snow is irresistibly beautiful. Pull on your boots and beanie, and leave your tracks in this foreign landscape. Don’t resist the urge to build a snowman – you need this!

3- Fluffy cloud – mahimulmol na ulap

When you’re waiting for a warm beach day, fluffy white clouds in a blue sky are a good sign. Don’t forget your sunscreen, as clouds will intensify the UV rays hitting your skin.

Fluffy White Cloud in Clear Blue Sky

4- The water froze on the glass – Ang tubig sa baso ay nagyelo.

Night temperatures can get chilly and might freeze the condensation on your windows. A good way to clear them up is with warm salt water.

5- The heavy rain could cause flash flooding – Ang malakas na ulan ay maaaring maging sanhi ng mabilis na pagbaha.

If you’re visiting Philippines in the wet season, it’s important to stay informed when heavy rain sets in, so keep an eye on the weather radar. Avoid river activities and rather spend this time making a home-cooked meal and brushing up on your Filipino weather words.

Heavy Rain in a Park

6- Flood – baha

If you do get caught in a flood, your destination should no longer be ‘home’, but the nearest high ground.

7- The typhoon has hit – Ang bagyo ay dumating.

Not all countries experience typhoons, but you need to know when to prepare for one! It will be very scary if you’ve never experienced one before. Your local neighbours are the best people to advise you on where to take shelter, as they’ve been doing it for generations. Be sure to get the low-down at the first sign of rough weather!

8- Check the weather report before going sailing – Suriin ang ulat ng panahon bago maglayag.

When planning an outdoor activity, especially on a body of water, always be prepared for a change in the weather. Ask your hotel receptionist or neighbour where you can get a reliable daily weather report, and don’t forget your sweater!

Two Men on Sailboat

9- Today’s weather is sunny with occasional clouds – Ang panahon ngayon ay magiging maaraw na may paminsan-minsang pagkulimlim.

Sunny weather is the dream when traveling in Philippines! Wake up early, pack the hats and sunblock and go and experience the terrain, sights and beautiful spots. You’ll be rewarded with happy vibes all around.

10- A rainy day – maulan na araw

Remember when you said you’d save the Filipino podcasts for a rainy day? Now’s that day!

11- Scenic rainbow – dulaan ng bahaghari

The best part about the rain is that you can look forward to your first rainbow in Philippines. There’s magic in that!

12- Flashes of lightning can be beautiful, but are very dangerous – Kumislap na kidlat ay maaaring maging maganda ngunit tunay na mapanganib.

Lightning is one of the most fascinating weather phenomena you can witness without really being in danger – at least if you’re sensible and stay indoors! Did you know that lightning strikes the earth 40-50 times per second? Fortunately, not all countries experience heavy electric storms!

Electric Storm

13- 25 degrees Celsius – antas na 25 Sentigrado

Asking a local what the outside temperature will be is another useful question for planning your day. It’s easy if you know the Filipino term for ‘degrees Celsius’.

14- His body temperature was far above the usual 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit – Ang temperatura ng kanyang katawan ay malayo sa normal na antas na 98.6 Parenhayt.

Although the Fahrenheit system has been replaced by Celsius in almost all countries, it’s still used in the US and a few other places. Learn this phrase in Filipino in case one of your companions develops a raging fever.

15- Clear sky – malinaw

Clear skies mean you’ll probably want to get the camera out and capture some nature shots – not to mention the great sunsets you’ll have later on. Twilight can lend an especially magical quality to a landscape on a clear sky day, when the light is not filtered through clouds.

Hikers on Mountain with Clear Sky

16- Light drizzle – ambon

Days when it’s drizzling are perfect for taking in the cultural offerings of Philippines. You could go to the mall and watch a Filipino film, visit museums and art galleries, explore indoor markets or even find the nearest climbing wall. Bring an umbrella!

17- Temperature on a thermometer – temperatura sa isang termometro

Because of the coronavirus, many airports are conducting temperature screening on passengers. Don’t worry though – it’s just a precaution. Your temperature might be taken with a no-touch thermometer, which measures infrared energy coming off the body.

18- Humid – namamasa

I love humid days, but then I’m also a water baby and I think the two go
together like summer and rain. Find a pool or a stream to cool off in – preferably in the shade!

Humidity in Tropical Forest

19- With low humidity the air feels dry – Sa halumigmig na mababa mararamdaman ang tuyong hangin.

These are the best days to go walking the hills and vales. Just take at least one Filipino friend with you so you don’t get lost!

20- The wind is really strong – Ang hangin ay talagang malakas.

A strong wind blows away the air pollution and is very healthy in that respect. Just avoid the mountain trails today, unless you fancy being blown across the continent like a hot air balloon.

21- It’s windy outside – Mahangin sa labas.

Wind! My least favourite weather condition. Of course, if you’re a kitesurfer, a windy day is what you’ve been waiting for!

Leaves and Umbrella in the Wind

22- Wet roads can ice over when the temperature falls below freezing – Basang daan ay maaaring magyelo kapag ang temperatura ay mas bumaba pa sa pagyeyelo.

The roads will be dangerous in these conditions, so please don’t take chances. The ice will thaw as soon as the sun comes out, so be patient!

23- Today is very muggy – Ngayon ay masyadong maalinsangan.

Muggy days make your skin feel sticky and sap your energy. They’re particular to high humidity. Cold shower, anyone? Ice vest? Whatever it takes to feel relief from the humidity!

24- Fog – hamog

Not a great time to be driving, especially in unknown territory, but keep your fog lights on and drive slowly.

Fog on a Pond with Ducks

25- Hurricane – bagyo

Your new Filipino friends will know the signs, so grab some food and candles and prepare for a night of staying warm and chatting about wild weather in Philippines.

Palm Trees in a Hurricane

26- Big tornado – malaking buhawi

If you hear these words, it will probably be obvious already that everyone is preparing for the worst! Definitely do whatever your accommodation hosts tell you to do when a tornado is expected.

27- It’s cloudy today – maulap ngayon

While there won’t be any stargazing tonight, the magnificent clouds over Philippines will make impressive photographs. Caption them in Filipino to impress your friends back home!

Cloudy Weather on Beach with Beach Huts

28- Below freezing temperatures – temperatura na mas bumaba sa pagyeyelo

When the temperature is below freezing, why not take an Uber and go shopping for some gorgeous Filipino winter gear?

Woman with Winter Gear in Freezing Weather

29- Wind chill is how cold it really feels outside – Maginaw na hangin ay ang tunay na hangin na nararamdaman sa labas.

Wind doesn’t change the ambient temperature of the air, it just changes your body temperature, so the air will feel colder to you than it actually is. Not all your Filipino friends will know that, though, so learn this Filipino phrase to sound really smart!

30- Water will freeze when the temperature falls below zero degrees celsius – Tubig ay magyeyelo kapag ang temperatura ay bumaba sa sero sentigrado.

If you’re near a lake, frozen water is good news! Forgot your ice skates? Don’t despair – find out where you can hire some. Be cautious, though: the ice needs to be at least four inches thick for safe skating. Personally, I just slide around on frozen lakes in my boots!

Thermometer Below Freezing Point

31- Waiting to clear up – naghihintay na magliwanag

Waiting for the weather to clear up so you can go exploring is frustrating, let’s be honest. That’s why you should always travel with two things: a scintillating novel and your Filipino Nook Book.

32- Avoid the extreme heat – iwasan ang matinding init

Is the heat trying to kill you? Unless you’re a hardened heatwave hero, definitely avoid activity, stay hydrated and drink electrolytes. Loose cotton or linen garb is the way to go!

Hand Holding a Melting Ice Cream

33- Morning frost – umagang lamig

Frost is water vapour that has turned to ice crystals and it happens when the earth cools so much in the night, that it gets colder than the air above it. Winter is coming!

34- Rain shower – Pagpatak ng ulan

Rain showers are typically brief downpours that drench the earth with a good drink of water.

35- In the evening it will become cloudy and cold – Sa gabi, ito ay magiging maulap at malamig.

When I hear this on the Filipino weather channel, I buy a bottle of wine (red, of course) and wood for the fireplace. A cold and cloudy evening needs its comforts!

Snow in the Park at Night

36- Thunderstorm – bagyo

Keep an eye on the Filipino weather maps if it looks like a big storm is coming, so you’ll be well-informed.

37- Ice has formed on the window – Ang yelo ay nabuo sa bintana.

You could try this phrase out on the hotel’s helpful cleaning staff, or fix the problem yourself. Just add a scoop or two of salt to a spray bottle of water – that should work!

38- Large hailstones – malalaking bato ng yelong ulan

As a kid, I found hail crazy exciting. Not so much now – especially if I’m on the road and large hailstones start pummeling my windscreen!

Large Hailstones on a Wooden Floor

39- Rolling thunder – pagulong ng kulog

The rumble of rolling thunder is that low-volume, ominous background sound that goes on for some time. It’s strangely exciting if you’re safely in your hotel room; it could either suddenly clear up, or escalate to a storm.

40- Sleet – ulan kasama ng niyebe

Sleet is tiny hard pieces of ice made from a mixture of rain and melted snow that froze. It can be messy, but doesn’t cause major damage the way hail does. Pretty cool to know this word in Filipino!

2. Words for the first day of spring

You know the feeling: your heart skips a beat when you wake up and spring has sprung! Spring will reward you with new blossoms everywhere, birdsong in the air, kittens being born in the neighborhood and lovely views when you hit the trails. Pack a picnic and ask a new Filipino friend to show you the more natural sights. Don’t forget a light sweater and a big smile. This is the perfect time to practice some Filipino spring words!

Spring Vocabulary

3. Do You Know the Essential Summer Vocabulary?

Summer! Who doesn’t love that word? It conjures up images of blue skies, tan skin, vacations at the beach and cruising down the coast in an Alfa Romeo, sunglasses on and the breeze in your hair. Of course, in Philippines there are many ways to enjoy the summer – it all depends on what you love to do. One thing’s for sure: you will have opportunities to make friends, go on picnics, sample delicious local ice-cream and maybe even learn to sing some Filipino songs. It’s up to you! Sail into Filipino summer with this summer vocab list, and you’ll blend in with ease.

Four Adults Playing on the Beach in the Sand

4. Must-Know Autumn vocabulary

Victoria Ericksen said, “If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour,” and I agree. Who can resist the beauty of fall foliage coloring the Filipino landscape? Birds prepare to migrate; travelers prepare to arrive for the best weather in Philippines.

The autumnal equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator, making day and night almost equal in length. The cool thing about this event is that the moon gets really bright – the ‘harvest moon’, as it’s traditionally known.

So, as much as the change of season brings more windy and rainy days, it also brings celebration. Whether you honor Thanksgiving, Halloween or the Moon Festival, take some time to color your vocabulary with these Filipino autumn words.

Autumn Phrases

5. Winter

Winter is the time the natural world slows down to rest and regroup. I’m a summer girl, but there are fabulous things about winter that I really look forward to. For one, it’s the only season I get to accessorize with my gorgeous winter gloves and snug down coat!

Then, of course, there’s ice skating, holiday decorations and bonfires. As John Steinbeck said, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?” Get ready for the cold season with our list of essential Winter words!

Skier Sitting in the Snow

6. FilipinoPod101 can prepare you for any season.

Now that you know how to inquire and comment on the weather in Philippines, you
can confidently plan your weather-ready travel itinerary. How about this for an idea: the next
time you’re sitting in a Filipino street café, try asking someone local this question:

“Do you think the weather will stay like this for a few days?” If you loved learning these cool Filipino weather phrases with us, why not take it a step further and add to your repertoire? FilipinoPod101 is here to help!

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Internet Slang Words in Filipino That Pinoy Millennials Use

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The internet gives birth to different trends every now and then. Among them are internet slang words. Expressions like “ASL please,” “CTC?” and “BRB” used to dominate the internet chat scene, particularly during the era of mIRC and Yahoo! Messenger. Now that we have FB Messenger, Twitter, Viber, and WhatsApp, the list has been expanding and will probably continue to do so.

When sending Filipino text messages or chatting online, knowing the lingo is essential. There’s not a lot of internet slang words in Filipino, but the ones that do exist can be very useful to know when you’re communicating with Pinoy friends online or via text.

In the Philippines, there are Filipino slang words that have been around even before the internet. And then there are Tagalog Internet slang words, or those that were given birth through social media. In this article, we’ll focus on the latter.

But why is it so important to learn slang words used in Filipino text messages and chat rooms? Well, let’s just say you don’t want to be left clueless when chatting with friends in the Philippines, particularly with your millennial friends.

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Table of Contents

  1. Philippines: Text & Net Capital of the World
  2. Most Common Internet/Text Slang
  3. When Shopping Online
  4. Online Gaming Language
  5. Multi-Layered Slang Words
  6. Ease the Confusion with FilipinoPod101

1. Philippines: Text & Net Capital of the World

Various Text Slang Words in Thought Bubbles

The Filipinos are arguably among the most highly social people in the world. It’s probably the reason that you’ll find Pinoys in practically every country and region around the world. We simply love communicating, which is why it’s no surprise that the Philippines has been labeled as “The Text Capital of the World.” One can argue that it’s just because SMS is more affordable than voice calls in the Philippines, and that Pinoys are kuripot (stingy or just thrifty? It’s up to you to decide.), which is why most Pinoys prefer texting. SMS is indeed a cheaper option, but regardless, it can’t be denied that Filipinos have this deep sense of wanting to stay connected with their friends and loved ones, and one way they do that is through SMS chat.

But that’s not all. It seems that Pinoys want to up their reputation to another level, because just recently, the Digital 2019 report done by Social and Hootsuite has revealed that the Philippines is no longer simply the text capital of the world, but is also “The Net Capital of the World.” And that’s an impressive feat, considering that the country is one of the slowest on the planet in terms of internet speed. It seems to me that nothing will ever stop the Filipino people’s desire to stay connected to each other!

Now, without further ado, let’s move on to some of the most common Filipino slang words for text and the internet.

2. Most Common Internet/Text Slang

Technology Words

Filipinos are geniuses when it comes to inventing words and expressions. That said, the list of available Filipino internet and text slang words is so huge that we can’t make them fit in this short article. Nevertheless, we’ll do our best to provide you with the ones you’ll find most useful for everyday use.

Let’s begin!

1- Teks

We want to pay tribute to this very important word by putting it at the top of our list. Teks is the Filipinized form of the word “text,” which refers to a text message sent via Short Message Service (SMS). It’s not very common to see this word anymore, but it’s amusing to know that it’s the same length as its English spelling, “text.”

  • Teks mo ako pag nakauwi ka na.
    “Send me a text message once you get home.”
  • Don’t forget to visit our entry on the most common Tagalog texting slang.

2- Wer na u?

The expression Wer na u? first became popular as a form of textspeak. It’s the code-switching of the question, “Where are you now?” using a combination of English and Tagalog. It was adopted for the internet when social media sites like Facebook became popular.

It’s often followed by Hir na me, or “I’m here already.”

You use this Filipino text slang when you’re first to arrive at a rendezvous and would like to check on the location of the person (or people) you’re meeting.

  • Guys, wer na u? Hir na me.
    “Where are you, guys? I’m here already.”

3- Hir na me.

Just like the previous expression on the list, Hir na me is a form of code-switching, this time for the expression, “I’m here already.” It’s often preceded by Wer na u? although the order of the two is interchangeable. So instead of saying, Were na u? Hir na me, you can also say, Hir na me. Wer na u? In most cases, it can also stand on its own.

  • Guize, hir na me. Bakit ang tagal ninyo?
    “Guys, I’m here already. What’s taking you so long?”

Woman Watching Her Watch

Wer na u, guize? Tatlong oras na akong naghihintay!
(“Where the heck are you, guys? I’ve been waiting for three hours!” )

4- Guize

Speaking of guize, it’s the fourth word on our list, and as you already know from the previous example, it’s a Filipino slang word for “guys.” It’s believed to have been given birth by Jejenese, the sociolect of the Jejemons, which is a popular hipster culture in the Philippines.

  • Guize, pasyal tayo kina Rain!
    “Guys, let’s go to Rain’s place!”

5- OTW/OMW

This is not necessarily from the Philippines originally, but it’s a very popular Filipino slang. It’s shorthand for “On the way” and “On my way,” respectively.

  • Guize, wait lang ha. OTW/OMW na.
    “Please wait for me, guys. I’m on my way.”

Man Scaling Building and Pointing to Camera

6- GBU

Filipinos are a religious people, so we usually end our messages with a little blessing to our text or chat mates. GBU is short for God Bless U, which is text speak for “God bless you.”

  • Ingat. GBU.
    “Take care. GBU.”

7- OL ka ba?

Always wondering whether a friend is online or not? Asking them OL ka ba? is the best way to find out. OL is short for “online.” If someone wants to spend time chatting or texting with you, they’d readily reply with Oo, OL ako. (“Yes, I’m online.” )

8- SLR

What do you say to a friend if you’ve missed replying to their text or chat messages? Simple: SLR.

No, SLR doesn’t stand for “Single-Lens Reflex,” but rather “Sorry, late reply.” In most cases, this initialism is enough as a form of apology for not getting back right away to a friend who texted you.

  • Besh, SLR. Na empty bat ako kanina.
    “Hey girl, sorry if I replied just now. My phone died earlier.”

9- Besh

Since we’re at it, let’s talk about the word besh (sometimes beshie). The expression is simply a variant of the word bes, a word Filipinos use as a shortened form for “best friend.” Keep in mind that this expression is mostly used by females and very seldomly by males.

If you’re a male, we recommend that you use the expression pare or ‘tol instead. While pare is Tagalog for “buddy” or “dude,” ‘tol is the contraction of the Tagalog word utol, which itself is short for kaputol, meaning “sibling.”

Anyway, here’s another sentence using the word besh.

  • Hi, besh! Kamusta ka na? Kailan tayo kakain dun sa bagong Korean restaurant?
    “Hey, girl! How are you? When are we visiting that new Korean restaurant?”

10- Kyah

Kyah is a modern Filipino slang for kuya, which is Filipino for “big brother.” It can also be used to mean “sir,” and is used to refer to a male seller.

  • Kyah, magkano po ang smartwatch?
    “How much is the smartwatch, sir?”

3. When Shopping Online

Computer Sentences

With the global phenomenon that online shopping has become, it’s not very uncommon nowadays to see people selling things on social media. Filipinos, in particular, have taken advantage of this sensation and have themselves come up with their own set of online shopping expressions.

1- HM

HM is short for “How much?” Instead of typing the entire phrase, Pinoy online shoppers simply say HM when inquiring about the price of a certain product. On social sites like Facebook, for instance, you’ll often find the comment section of a particular item for sale flooded with HM from different users.

2- PM is the key

The next time you decide to sell that old sweater you’ve been wanting to get rid of for some time now and someone messages you with HM, you respond with “PM is the key.” PM is short for “Personal Message,” and it’s used to convey the fact that you want to keep the transaction private, and don’t want to disclose the price of the item in public.

  • Buyer: Hi po. HM po ang sweater?
    “Hi! How much for the sweater?”
  • You: PM is the key.
    “Send me a private message for more details.”

3- LP

You’re browsing online for a pair of boots and you find just the exact pair you’ve been looking for. The price is a tad bit higher than what you can afford, though. What do you do? You click that private message button and type in LP? Of course, LP here doesn’t stand for “Long Playing,” which is another word for “album.” It stands for “lowest price,” and is an expression used for bargaining.

  • Hi po. LP po ng boots?
    “Hi. What’s the lowest price you’d accept for the pair of boots?”

4- SKL/FKL

SKL is short for Share ko lang. This expression is commonly used on social media whenever you want to share something online, such as important news, an update regarding a particular hobby, or just about anything you believe people will find interesting. It’s not necessarily an online shopping term, but a lot of people use it when sharing items they’ve bought online.

  • SKL bago kong halaman na binili ko kahapon.
    “Allow me to share this new plant I bought yesterday.”

FKL, on the other hand, stands for Flex ko lang. Flex is a slang term meaning “to show off.” It’s like when you want to show off your muscles by flexing them.

Pinoys usually use this Filipino internet slang by saying, Flex ko lang (insert anything you want to share here).
It works the same way as SKL.

  • Flex ko lang itong bago kong Jordan shoes.
    “Allow me to ‘flex’ my new pair of Jordans.”
  • Check our entry on the top 20 words you’ll need when using the internet.

4. Online Gaming Language

Texting Slang

The Philippine online gaming industry has constantly been on the rise in the last decade, and is forecasted to continue growing. Along with its rise is, of course, the need to invent online gaming language, which is exactly what Filipinos did.

1- Dot-Dot

Dot-dot is the Tagalog slang for DOTA, or Defense of the Ancients, a multiplayer online game that first came out in 2003 and eventually became the go-to video game of many Filipinos, young and old alike. Unless you’re a DOTA player yourself, you probably won’t encounter this word a lot—but if you are, then it’s one of those Pinoy slang words you need to familiarize yourself with.

  • Dot-dot pa more! Bagsak ka tuloy sa exam!

This is a sarcastic way of telling a person that he failed his test because of spending more time playing the popular video game rather than studying.

Dot-dot Pa More!

2- Rak na itu!

This expression means “Let’s rock!” It’s a kind of battlecry, motivating oneself and one’s team members to do their best, while at the same time not forgetting to have fun. It’s also another way of saying, “This is gonna be fun!”

3- Rapsi

The term rapsi is an alternative of the word rapsa, which is the Tagalog slang word for sarap (“delicious”). It’s an expression often used after gaining anything in the game that’s significant, such as an upgrade, a kill, or a special item.

  • Rapsi nitong bagong armor ko!
    “This new armor tastes good!”

4- Ge

Ge is short for sige, which means “sure” or “go ahead.” It’s something you say when you’re agreeing with someone about something. When invited to go on a quest, for instance, you say ge if you want to come.

  • Gamer Friend: ‘Tol, teammates tayo.
    “Hey, man. Let’s be teammates.”
  • You: Ge.
    “Sure.”

5- Kati

Kati is the Tagalog word for “itchy,” and is used to describe a challenging opponent or quest. When faced with an opponent that produces high damage, for instance, you say:

  • Ang kati naman nito.
    “This guy’s tough!”

6- FTW

This is one popular internet slang word, so chances are that you’ve seen it floating around several times already. It’s an acronym for the expression, “For the win,” which was first used in the 60s American game show Hollywood Squares.

Today, online gamers use it after they’ve won a game, especially when they do it for a team. You can also use it when you’re inches away from victory. And it’s not only for gaming. You can also use it if you’re nearing the completion of a project you’ve been working hard on and wanted to share online.

7- GG

Always end a game in good spirits. Win or lose, never forget to say, “GG” after a game. It means “Good game.”

    Do you know that playing games can help you learn faster? This post will show you the reasons why.

5. Multi-Layered Slang Words

And then there are multi-layered slang words, those Tagalog millennial words that need the likes of Sherlock Holmes to decrypt. The following Filipino millennial slang words highlight the genius of Filipino millennials when it comes to inventing new terms and expressions. Just a warning: Some of the words may be confusing at first. But you’ll eventually get the hang of it.

1- SHARKS

Sharks are basically marine animals, portrayed as fearsome creatures waiting for a swimmer to devour. But this isn’t that kind of shark. Sharks as an expression means “Let me see.” The connection isn’t clear at first, but here’s the explanation. The English word “shark” is translated as pating in Tagalog. “Let me see,” or “Can I see,” on the other hand, is patingin. Remove the last two letters and you’re left with pating, which in English is “shark.” Clever, ain’t it?

  • Malamang maganda ang bagong phone mo. Sharks!
    “There’s no doubt your new phone is to die for. Let me see!”

Definitely Not the Shark I’m Talking About!

2- SALT

We all know salt as a condiment, but when it comes to popular internet slang words in Tagalog, salt means “as in.” The explanation is pretty simple. The Tagalog word for “salt” is asin, which sounds like “as in.”

  • Nakakahilo ang mga bagong millennial words ngayon. Salt!
    “This millennial talk is making me dizzy. As in!”

3- SAGS

Let’s go to Filipino tropical fruits this time. Whenever you hear someone use the expression SAGS, they’re implying that something is “forced” or “unnatural,” which in Tagalog is pilit. But what’s the connection? Well, sags is actually short for saging, which is the Tagalog word for “banana.” And what do you do with a piece of banana? Simple. You “peel it.” Get it? Peel it? Pilit? Oh well.

  • Huwag naman masyadong sags ang ngiti mo.
    “You don’t need to force your smile.”

4- SCOOBS

If you’re a 90s kid, or what Pinoys would refer to as Batang 90s, then you’re definitely familiar with Scooby Doo, the talking Great Dane who helps four teenagers solve mysteries involving the supernatural (or not so supernatural, really, if you know what I mean).

Well, the expression scoobs made its way to Millennial language because of him. When a Filipino teenager says scoobs, he’s actually saying “Hell no” or “Can’t be.” Here’s how that happened. Scooby Doo is a Great Dane, right? “Dane” sounds like dein or dehin, which is a slang word for hindi, which in Tagalog means “no” or “not.”

Here’s how to use one of the most popular Filipino slang words:

  • Pupunta ka ba sa U2 concert?
    “Are you going to that U2 concert?”

    Scoobs, bro! Alaws arep.
    “I can’t, man. My budget isn’t enough.”

Alaws, by the way, is slang for wala, which means “none,” while arep is slang for pera, which is the Tagalog word for “money.”

I know. Please bear with me. We have one last word to decipher.

5- GUMPS

This word sounds like goosebumps, or worse, a name for some kind of disease. But, in reality, it simply means “thank you.” How did that happen? “Gumps” came from the word “Gump,” as in Forrest Gump. Yes, that 90s film that starred Tom Hanks. And Tom Hanks is T. Hanks. And T. Hanks is…you got it…thanks!

  • Ang ganda ng suot mo!
    “Your dress is beautiful!”

    Talaga? Gumps!
    “Really? Thanks!”

Woman Looking Over Partner’s Shoulder While He Texts

6. Ease the Confusion with FilipinoPod101

It’s one thing to learn a new language, and it’s another thing to learn a new language within that new language you’re trying to learn. Wow! Even I got confused with that one! But hey, with FilipinoPod101, you can ease the confusion as you study Internet slang words in Filipino.

FilipinoPod101 isn’t your ordinary language-learning system. It provides students with new lessons regularly, so that whether it’s key Filipino phrases or conversation techniques you want to know more about, you can rest assured that there’s a fresh lesson for you to learn.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up with FilipinoPod101 and gain access to exclusive Tagalog lessons, as well as useful blog articles like this one.

And before we forget, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with us in the comments section! What are popular internet and text slang words in your own language?

Until next time!

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Refine Your Tagalog Skills with These Filipino TV Shows

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The television was first introduced to the Philippines in 1953, making the country the first in Southeast Asia (and second in Asia) to welcome what would be referred to by many as the “boob tube” or the “goggle box.” It was ABS-CBN, the leading TV network in the country today, that first gave the television to the Filipino people. Since then, watching Filipino TV shows has been one of the country’s most favorite pastimes, with Filipino families spending a huge chunk of their day in front of the small screen. Even with the advent of the internet and online streaming sites, it can’t be denied that television remains the go-to media platform for consuming content for many Filipinos.

Over the years, we’ve read articles and heard news saying that television is an anti-education tool and that it has many negative effects. While there is some truth in that, there may also be a few redeeming factors to television-watching. For language-learners, in particular, perhaps the most important benefit of watching TV is that it improves reading speed and comprehension, simultaneously providing exposure to other cultures.

Watching TV shows that use the language you’re trying to learn won’t automatically make you an expert in that language, but it sure can bring your skills up another level. For one, it gives you the opportunity to listen to unfamiliar words over and over again. The more you hear how words are supposed to be pronounced, the more familiar you become with them and the more your speaking confidence grows.

The good news is that there are a number of different Filipino TV shows that provide you with the opportunities listed above. Let’s take a look at ten of the top Filipino TV programs you can watch to help you refine your Tagalog while also learning about Filipino culture.

Ready? Here’s our Filipino TV shows list for Tagalog learners!

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Table of Contents

  1. Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK)
  2. Maynila
  3. Wansapanataym
  4. Pepito Manaloto
  5. Matanglawin
  6. Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho
  7. Unang Hirit
  8. Umagang Kay Ganda
  9. Bandila
  10. Biyahe ni Drew
  11. How FilipinoPod101 Can Help

1. Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK)

Maalaala Mo Kaya (abbreviated as MMK) is the longest-running drama anthology series in the Philippines, and in the entire world. It first aired in 1991 and centers on real-life stories of common Filipino people. The title translates to “would you remember,” with each episode chronicling the life of letter senders, depicted by some of the best Filipino drama actors and actresses.

It’s most famous line is, of course, “Dear Charo,” by the host Charo Santos-Concio, who is the show’s presenter.

This Filipino TV drama series is presented in Tagalog, and you can expect to hear rare Tagalog words from time to time. Also expect to be moved by the actors’ and actresses’ touching performances. You may have watched tons of drama series all your life, but you can rest assured that nothing comes close to this one.

    → How well you remember things determines how quickly you can learn a new language.

2. Maynila

You’ll greatly appreciate this drama romance anthology if you’re residing in Manila. This TV show, broadcast by GMA Network, was originally hosted by former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza from 1998 to March this year. Today, his daughter takes his place as the program’s host.

What’s great about this Filipino TV show is that it shows the audience a glimpse of the Filipino culture, as the scenes are sometimes shot in famous Filipino heritage spots. The show’s intro, for instance, highlights some famous tourist spots such as the Luneta Park. You’ll also see shots of calesas (horse-drawn calash), a bangka (native watercraft in the Philippines), and jeepneys (the most popular mode of transportation ubiquitous in the streets of Manila).

Most importantly, the series highlights inspiring stories of Pinoys who face the challenges most common to Manileños.

Oh, and here’s the lyrics to the show’s soundtrack:

Mahal kong Maynila
“My dear Manila”

Sayo’y hindi mawawalay
“With you will never part”

Maynila
“Manila”

Pangarap ko’y mabubuhay
“My dream will come alive”

Paglingap na walang kapantay
“Care that is unparalleled”

Sakaling ako’y lumayo
“If ever I go away”

Sayo’y mananabik
“Surely, you I will miss”

Walang iba sa puso ko kung ‘di Maynila
“There is no one else in my heart but Manila”

Maynila, Maynila
“Manila, Manila”

3. Wansapanataym

You’re probably wondering why the title of the show sounds like “once upon a time.” Well, that’s because it’s a Filipinization of that exact phrase.

Launched in 1997, Wansapanataym is actually a Filipino fantasy anthology for kids. Filipino kids couldn’t wait for the weekend and would get especially excited when Saturday came because it was Wansapanataym once again. This was one of those classic Filipino TV shows that stole its audience’s heart.

The series aired from 1997 to 2005. It had a revival in 2010, but once again ended in April 2019. The good news is that old episodes are aired on Yey! Channel and Jeepney TV.

In 1999, a movie adaptation was released. It told the story of an orphan girl named Anna (played by then-child actress Shaina Magdayao). With the help of her guardian angel, she was able to see her father (played by award-winning actor Christopher de Leon), albeit for a short moment.

    Here’s the official trailer to Wansapanataym: The Movie

4. Pepito Manaloto

Pepito Manaloto is your typical rags-to-riches story. The show stars Pepito (played by Michael V., dubbed “The King of Filipino Parody”), a simple, underprivileged man who was lucky enough to win P700 Million in the lottery.

The show was tagged as a reality-sitcom, not because it was an actual reality show, but because it accurately depicted the life of a typical poor Filipino. It’s a big hit here in the Philippines simply because a lot of Filipinos could relate to the struggles of the protagonist, and like him, desire to get out of poverty.

Pepito’s last name is actually a portmanteau of the words Manalo ( “win” ) and Lotto (“lottery”).

The show isn’t filled with only life lessons, but with lessons for those who wish to take their Tagalog-speaking skills up a notch.

    Here’s one of the episodes of the multi-award-winning TV show seven years after its launch in 2010.

5. Matanglawin

Literally “Hawk’s Eye,” Matanglawin is an educational show hosted by Kim Atienza, and it airs weekly as one of the ABS-CBN Filipino TV shows. And in case you’re wondering, Kuya Kim, as he’s fondly known, is the son of Lito Atienza, the former mayor of Manila and former show host of the TV series Maynila.

The show focuses on science-environmental issues, with Kuya Kim exploring the country for fresh insights, new discoveries, and interesting trivia. He encourages his viewers to be just like a hawk when it comes to investigating—Mapanuri, Mapagmatiyag, Mapangahas! (“Inquisitive, Vigilant, Adventurous!”). And yes, whether you want to learn more about science’s latest discoveries or improve your skills in Tagalog grammar and pronunciation, you’ll definitely benefit a lot from watching this multi-award-winning Filipino TV series!

    Since we’re talking about language, here’s an episode of Matanglawin where Kuya Kim gives us
    some trivia about the ancient writing script of the Philippines—the Baybayin.

    Did you know that FilipinoPod101 comes with a free app designed to help you learn Tagalog faster? Check the app here to find out more.

6. Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho

The show’s international title is One at Heart, Jessica Soho, although it literally translates to Your Heartmate, Jessica Soho. Abbreviated and more popularly known as KMSJ, Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho is an award-winning TV news magazine show that was first aired by GMA in 2004.

The show is hosted by Jessica Soho—a multi-award-winning broadcast journalist—and highlights fascinating stories on current and trending news and events. Millions of Filipinos across the Philippines wait for this show in anticipation every Sunday at eight-forty in the evening. What makes KMJS one of the best Filipino TV shows today is simply that it captivates the hearts of its viewers. A magazine-type TV show, KMJS doesn’t just entertain its audience, but informs them of things they may already know but don’t usually talk about.

If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest Filipino news while keeping your language skills sharp, this is definitely one of the Filipino educational TV shows you should watch.

    → Here’s an interesting episode of KMJS about the importance of learning the language Millennials speak, shown a couple of years ago

7. Unang Hirit

Are you an early bird? If yes, then Unang Hirit is the show for you. Unang Hirit literally means “First Strike.” The morning newscast goes live at four fifty-five in the morning and is GMA Network’s way of jumpstarting the day.

Hosted by the country’s top TV journalists of today (Arnold Clavio, Suzie-Entrata Abrera, Ivan Mayrina, and Mariz Umali, to name a few) Unang Hirit knows just what trending news to collect and share with the public. The field journalists, in particular, know what’s actually going on in the country and can confirm and add valuable information to issues being discussed in the studio.

Unang Hirit turned twenty on December 6, 2019. As the country’s longest-running morning show, it’s one of the top current Filipino TV shows to watch as you start your day.

    → Want to improve your time-reading skills in Filipino? Check out this lesson straight from our FilipinoPod101 page.

Unang Hirit’s news segment is called Unang Balita (“First News”). You can catch this show on Live Stream on the GMA News YouTube channel.

8. Umagang Kay Ganda

Umagang Kay Ganda (UKG) is Unang Hirit’s counterpart and is broadcast by ABS-CBN. It literally means “a morning so beautiful,” and true to its title, it is indeed one of those Tagalog news programs that gives you a reason to thank God for another day, every day.

The show premiered in 2007 and has become the network’s longest-running morning show.

Just like GMA’s Unang Hirit, UKG rolls out news headlines from the previous day.

What makes UKG unique, though, is the interaction and participation of the audience. And then there’s the lively and fun on-air discussions by the hosts Anthony Taberna, Amy Perez, Winnie Cordero, Ariel Ureta, Tina Marasigan, and Gretchen Ho. There’s no doubt you’ll learn a thing or two about Tagalog just by watching and listening to the exchanges by these extraordinary Pinoy TV journalists!

    → Did you know that UKG was awarded just recently with ‘Best Educational Morning TV Program’ in the first-ever College of Education Mass Media Choice Award of the University of Batangas? Here’s the video.

9. Bandila

If you’re a night owl, Bandila should be a great option for you. It’s a late-night (the show starts at eleven-ten p.m.) newscast presented by ABS-CBN and hosted by TV anchors Karen Davila and Julius Babao.

Bandila is Tagalog for “flag,” and as you might guess, one of the aims of the program is to take on issues that take place wherever the Filipino flag is being represented.

The show takes on the hottest issues of the day, with the hosts adding their own perspective and analysis to them.

One of the most unique segments of the program is Selfie Balita ( “Selfie News” ) wherein viewers are given the opportunity to film their own reports.

Here’s an episode of Bandila which aired during 2019’s holiday season, featuring Filipinos’ creativity in carving fruits and vegetables into Christmas ornaments.

    → A country’s national flag is its way of portraying its people and culture to the rest of the world. If you’re studying the Filipino language, it’s crucial that you’re aware of words and phrases associated with the Philippine flag.

10. Biyahe ni Drew

Anyone visiting the Philippines and learning the Tagalog language shouldn’t miss GMA Network’s Biyahe ni Drew. The show is hosted by actor and show host Drew Arellano, winner of three “Best Travel Host” awards for two different television travel shows.

According to its YouTube channel description, the show is “a travel show in the Philippines that takes its viewers on a budget-friendly adventure.”

Indeed, Biyahe ni Drew is filled not only with travel hacks, but with bucket list ideas and tips on how you can save money when traveling not only in the Philippines but also in international destinations.

If you want to see some of the most beautiful spots in the Philippines or abroad without leaving your room, and at the same time improve your Tagalog, Biyahe ni Drew is one of the best Filipino TV shows to watch.

Watch this episode of Biyahe ni Drew where our guy, Drew Arellano,
takes us with him to the sixth most visited city in Asia—Seoul, South Korea!

11. How FilipinoPod101 Can Help

Now you may be wondering how to watch Filipino TV shows in the first place.

Most of the shows on this Filipino TV series list are still currently being broadcast by their respective TV networks in the Philippines. You don’t have to be in the country, though, to have access to these exciting and educational programs—they’re also available on The Filipino Channel or TFC Filipino TV. And in case you’ve missed an episode, don’t worry because most of these TV programs also have their own YouTube channels where you can check out episodes you’ve missed, as well as old episodes you want to revisit.

Don’t think watching television is enough to enhance your Tagalog? Well, that’s the exact reason FilipinoPod101 is here. As a leading language-learning system, FilipinoPod101 provides learners with practical methods for studying Tagalog. That way, wherever you are in the Philippines—whether you’re commuting, enjoying a meal at a restaurant, or having a normal conversation with a friend—you can be confident that you’re speaking fluent Tagalog.

Did you enjoy our list of top TV shows in the Philippines for Tagalog learners? Let us know in the comments section if you have more Filipino TV shows in mind that you think should be on this list as well!

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