Learning useful words and phrases when traveling to the Philippines allows you to maximize your travel experience whether you choose to stay in the city, countryside, or both.

While Filipinos speak and understand English, it is important to at least know some basic Bisaya, Tagalog or Filipino(Philippines’ National Language) words and phrases.

Filipino Phrases You Should Know

The Philippines is one of the most explored places when talking about tropical countries. But more than the stunning beaches and breathtaking views, what captures the hearts of tourists is their interaction with the Filipinos. It’s one thing to visit a place, and a whole new different thing to experience it. Here are some key phrases which will help you survive and enjoy your trip to the Philipines.

1 “Po” and “Opo”

“Po” and “opo” are words used in sentences to make it sound polite. These are usually used when talking to elderly or strangers. “Opo” means yes, “Hindi po” means no. “Po” is often added at the end of the sentence like “Pasensya na po” (Sorry) or “Salamat po” (Thank you).

2 “Kumusta?”

Want to start a conversation with someone? Try asking “Kumusta?” (How are you?). It’s a sure way to spark some small talk! “Mabuti naman” (I’m fine) is the typical answer to this question, but “Kumusta” can also be used as a simple greeting like “Hey there”.

3 “Magkano po ito?”

As you travel to different places, you’d want to bring some souvenirs home to your family and friends. When buying something, you can simply ask “Magkano po ito?” (How much is this?).

“How much is this” is an useful Phrases When Travelling the Philippines

If the store owner is in a good mood, ask for a discount like a pro with “Wala po bang tawad?” (No discount?). Speaking in Tagalog plus flashing some big smile can get you a big discount!

4 “Bayad po!”

This phrase is used when you’re paying. As you extend your hand to give the bill, you say “Bayad po!” which literally means “here’s the payment”.

5 “Para po!”

There is a lot of public transportation in the Philippines. In provinces, jeepneys, tricycles, motorcycle, and bus are the most common ways to get around the area. When it’s already your stop, you just say (more like shout) “Para po!”. It means “I want to get off now”.

6 “Paano po pumunta sa…”

It’s really hard to get around the town with such limited knowledge of the language. While Google is there to help, remote areas usually don’t have a stable reception. Number six Phrases When Travelling the Philippines.

When relying on your Tagalog skills, one phrase can get you anywhere: “Paano po pumunta sa (name of place)?” This means “How do I get to…?” Directions can be confusing, but here’s some cheat sheet: “kanan” – right, “kaliwa” – left, “diretso” – straight ahead.

7 “Salamat po!”

And of course, nothing beats being able to say thank you after a fun trip. As you ask for help in directions, or after eating, it’s important to say your thanks. “Salamat po!” will surely put a smile on their expecting faces.

Filipino Top 10 Most Useful Phrases When Traveling the Philippines

While the Philippines is considered to fare well when it comes to English, there are lots of tourist destinations that are located in far-off islands. It’s still best to know a thing or two about their language. After all, talking to the locals makes your experience more authentic and alive. Good luck!

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What are your favorite useful phrases when travelling in the Philippines?

Photo by Beegee49

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We are a dynamic team consisting of young and passionate - minded individuals who love Belgium and the Philippines. Our common desire is to bring and share valuable contents around culture, travel, relationship, family values, culinary, and lifestyle.

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