Dialogue - Filipino



ganoon in that manner
gaya similar to, like
noon at that time, in the past
ka you (singular)
Kamusta Hello, How are you?, How?
Salamat Thanks (informal)
mabuti good, fine
naman accordingly; the same manner; likewise; similarly
na now; already

Lesson Notes



The Focus of this Lesson is Greetings in Filipino


Kamusta is a very useful word. It is commonly used as a greeting between people who have just met, up to close relationships. Kamusta is also used to ask the current state of a person, place, thing, or an event. It is customary that upon meeting or seeing a person, whether it's the first meeting or not, kamusta should be used. If the person is really close, he/she would use ikamusta which is in the future tense of the verb in saying ikamusta mo na lang ako sa pamilya mo which translates to "please send my regards to your family." The greeting kamusta generally requires a response mabuti (naman) which works the same with the English greeting how are you and the response "Fine. Thanks" if the person is doing well.

Kamusta and Musta

Kamusta is used in both formal and informal situations and also used for both feminine and masculine. It doesn't have a plural form and is used in the same way whether the subject is singular or in plural form. Musta is a more informal slang that people commonly use among close friends.

  1. Kamusta na sila? (plural subject)
    "How are they?"
  2. Musta na? (informal)
    "How are you?

Examples from this Dialogue

  1. Kamusta.
    "Hello/How are you?"
  2. Kamusta ka na?
    "How have you been?"

Sample Sentences

  1. Kamusta na ang mga proyekto natin? (thing)
    "How are our projects doing?"
  2. Kamusta na si Inay? (person-feminine)
    "How is my mother?"

Language Tip

To emphasize more, Uy! is usually used before Kamusta. Uy! Kamusta? which literally means: "Hey! How are you?" Although, it is more commonly used in informal situations and between close friends. 

Cultural Insights

Meeting Customs in the Philippines

No specific gesture is required and varies among Filipinos, although there are some commonly used gestures such as a handshake for formal/business relations. Among friends waving their hands when they see each other before saying kamusta is very common. Most women greet their close female friends with a kiss on the cheek while at the same time uttering kamusta. Filipino men sometimes pat each other on the shoulder if they are close friends as a greeting. The common and general response to Kamusta? is Mabuti (naman) even if the person isn't doing well. This shows how optimistic Filipinos view their life even if they are going through some hardships.

Lesson Transcript

Gina:Hi and welcome to the Absolute Beginner series at FilipinoPod101.com. This is season 1, lesson 1, First Encounters in Filipino. I’m Gina.
Betsey: Kamusta! And I’m Betsey.
Gina: The two of us will be your guides through your first steps in learning Filipino.
Betsey: You said it Gina! So just sit back, relax and enjoy the series with us!
Gina: That’s right! Because we’ll make sure that you’ll have a great time learning Filipino.
Betsey: Alright! So Gina, what will we be talking about in this lesson?
Gina: For this first lesson, we’ll learn how to say “hello” in Filipino in the daytime.
Betsey: That sounds great! The conversation will take place on the street, right?
Gina: Yes. It takes place between two people.
Betsey: Luisa and Ana know each other, but their relationship is formal, so they’ll be using formal Filipino.
Gina: Okay, let’s listen to the conversation.
Gina: Okay, so it’s time now to learn some interesting points about Filipino culture. So Betsey, what’s it like in the Philippines when people meet each other on the streets?
Betsey: Well Gina, when you meet someone in the Philippines, it is customary to greet them with “Kamusta”.
Gina: Are there any specific gestures needed?
Betsey: No. However, depending on the situation there are some common gestures used.
Gina: Hmm. So for business settings…
Betsey: A handshake would be best.
Gina: Oh that seems familiar. How about among friends?
Betsey: When you see your friends, you should wave your hands while saying “Kamusta”.
Gina: How about among women?
Betsey: Most women greet their close female friends with a kiss on the cheek while at the same time saying “Kamusta”.
Gina: How about among men?
Betsey: Filipino men sometimes pat each other on the shoulder if they’re close friends, as a greeting.
Gina: Ok, so Betsey, how should I respond when Filipinos greet me on the streets?
Betsey: The common and general response to “Kamusta?” is “Mabuti”.
Gina: Which means “Well” or “Fine”, right? But how about if I’m not feeling well?
Betsey: Filipinos mostly still say “mabuti” . Filipinos are very optimistic people, so they try to keep things positive regardless of their actual feelings.
Gina: Wow, that’s nice to hear!
Betsey: Isn't it?
Gina: Let`s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Gina: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. What do we have first?
Betsey: The first word is “ka”.
Gina: Which means “you”. So Betsey, how should we use it?
Betsey: “ka” is commonly used in questions and commands in Filipino. But “ka” is never used to start a statement or a question.
Gina: I see. So does it usually follow a verb, an adjective, or a phrase describing the subject?
Betsey: Yes it does.
Gina: Can you give us some examples?
Betsey: Sure. Let’s try to use “ka” after a verb. “Kumain ka ba?”.
Gina: It means ‘Did you eat?’.
Betsey: And now let’s try to use “ka” after an adjective. “Magaling ka ba?”.
Gina: ‘Are you good?’. This could mean “are you good at something?” It’s context dependent. Now, let’s try to use it in a phrase.
Betsey: “Kamusta ka na?”.
Gina: ‘How are you now?’. Great! How about in a command?
Betsey: “Kumain ka ng saging”
Gina: You should eat bananas.
Betsey: Finally, let’s use “ka” in a statement. “Maganda ka”.
Gina: Which means “You’re Beautiful”. Okay, now let’s move on to the next word.
Betsey: The next word is “na”.
Gina: Which means “now” or “already”.
Betsey: Yes. “na” emphasizes that the action being described has already been done, is currently being done, or is about to be done.
Gina: It sounds very flexible to me. So it can be used along with the present, past and future forms of the verbs?
Betsey: That’s right.
Gina: Let’s give the listeners some examples. First, let’s use it in the present form.
Betsey: Okay. “Kumakain na”
Gina: “Now eating”. This can refer to any number of people. Again, it is context dependent. Now let’s use it in the past.
Betsey: “Kumain na”.
Gina: “Has already eaten.”. Good. Finally, let’s use it in the future.
Betsey: “Kakain na”.
Gina: “Will eat now.” Great! Betsey, I’ve noticed that “na” usually follows verbs, right?
Betsey: That’s right. “na” never starts the sentence in Filipino.
Gina: Alright! Let’s move on to our final word…
Betsey: It’s “Mabuti”
Gina: ...which means “fine” or “good” and expresses the current state of the person or subject.
Betsey: “Mabuti” can be used to describe the condition of people, places, events, and things. And “Mabuti” can stand alone as a sentence itself.
Gina: Isn't this also the general response to “Kamusta”?
Betsey: Yes, and we learned that earlier in the lesson.
Gina: All the words we talked about here can be used in formal and informal Filipino, right?
Betsey: Yes and they can also be used by both genders.
Gina: Fantastic! Okay, now let’s get to this lesson’s grammar point.
Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to greet someone in Filipino.
Betsey: And to ask them how they are feeling.
Gina: So “Hello” in Filipino is…
Betsey: “Kamusta!”
Gina: “Hello” in Filipino can be used as a greeting between people of any level of closeness. For example, people who have just met, or people who have a close relationship too.
Betsey: It’s also customary that whenever you meet someone, you should greet them with “kamusta”.
Gina: Okay, so now how do we ask “How are you?” in Filipino?
Betsey: “Kamusta?”
Gina: And it’s the same with “Hello”?
Betsey: That’s right. This shows how Filipinos are always concerned about other people, since the word “Kamusta” greets people and at the same time asks how they’re doing. “Kamusta” is also used to ask the current state of a person, place, thing, or event.
Gina: So if we want to ask the current state of a person, for instance “How is my mother?”
Betsey: You could say “Kamusta na ang aking nanay?”
Gina: How about if I want to ask the current state of a thing, say, “How is the project?”
Betsey: That’s “Kamusta na ang proyekto?”
Gina: So Betsey, if I meet up with my really close friend, I just have to say “Kamusta” right?
Betsey: That’s right. However, you can also say “Ikamusta mo na lang ako sa pamilya mo”
Gina: ...which means “Please send my regards to your family”.
Betsey: Yes. Since you are close friends, it is customary that you would also be familiar with your friend’s family, and greet them like you would greet your friend. This shows how close family ties are in the Philippines.
Gina: That’s nice! So Betsey, the word doesn't change for informal and formal Filipino right?
Betsey: It doesn't. You can use “Kamusta” in both informal and formal Filipino. Although, in informal Filipino, the shortened version “musta” can also be used.
Gina: Finally, do I need to respond when people greet me?
Betsey: Yes, and can you remember what the general response is?
Gina: “Mabuti!” Which means “Fine”.
Betsey: Good job! Now listeners, if you need to reinforce what you've learned in this lesson, please check the lesson notes.


Gina: Okay, that’s it for this lesson.
Betsey: Thank you for listening everyone.
Gina: And see you next time
Betsey: Paalam.