Posted by: neblinoso | December 8, 2009

Tagalog Talk

I had hoped to learn some tagalog before my arrival in the Philippines, but due to my work schedule, i was unable to find any free time to do this.  During the course of my stay,  though, i have learned a few words here and there, although not as many as i would have liked.

It can sometimes be frustrating being in room with people who are having conversations in which you have no clue what they are saying.  I think it’s more frustrating that i am unable to join, contribute, or even enjoy the conversation and instead am resolved to sitting in silence, catching a few words here and there but having no real clue what the topic is or if someone made a joke or what.  No matter how much i’ve felt at home here, this is the one instance that always reminds me i am a foreigner.

These are some of the words i’ve tried to commit to memory or i’ve heard so often, i finally asked what they meant:

Bayad po = This is what to say when handing your money to the driver of a jeepney.  Loosely translated, it means, “here’s my fare, sir.”

Para = stop!  You can also say this when riding a jeepney if you want to get off.

Ka in = come eat. Generally said when someone passes you by while you are eating.

Mabuhay = welcome

Kumusta ka na = good day; a general greeting

Ako po si = my name is . . .

Salamat = thank you

Sarap = delicious

Sarat = snub nose – I learned this word when i was learning the previous.  You definitely don’t want to get the two mixed up.

Pero = but

Magandan = beautiful

Diretso = straight – I kept hearing this word spoken to drivers during our weekend trips and sometimes when i was in a taxi and after some time, finally asked its meaning.  I believe it is very similar to the Spanish word.

Ma nong (or Ku ya) = older brother – This word is a term of endearment used a lot to refer to our driver or sometimes the waiter.

Sige = yes/ok/continue – I hear this a lot at the end of sentences or conversations.



  1. Naks.!! You’re learning fast. Though I admit, saying the word or phrase is more difficult than writing them. Same goes for us when it comes to english writing and speaking.

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