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Useful Expressions in Tagalog
Although majority of the Filipinos you’d meet when you travel to the Philippines are fluent in English, it wouldn’t hurt to try learning several expressions in Tagalog that would sure to be useful when you go shopping or use public vehicles to go and fro different parts of the country.
“Magkano po ito?” – This basically means “how much” in English. The “po” is a word that’s used to show respect and which is added usually in the end of a sentence but may also be placed in the middle, as you can very well see in the example.
Filipinos are always delighted whenever they get to meet a tourist who’s good enough to make an effort to learn their native language. Practice saying this phrase so you can impress Filipino vendors. Who knows, they might give you a large discount on your purchases in return?
“Paano po pumunta ng (your destination)?” – If you want to ask for directions on how to get to your destination, this is the phrase to remember and use. It’s quite easy to find yourself lost in the streets of Manila with all its twists and turns so never hesitate to ask for directions if you feel you’re already lost.
“Salamat po!” – That translates to “thank you” in English. Filipinos are quite polite and they put a lot of importance in exchanging greetings. If you want to feel right at home when you travel to the Philippines, practice saying “thank you” whenever someone provides you help or any form of service.
You may also try using the following greetings: “magandang umaga” (good morning), “magandang hapon” (good afternoon), “magandang gabi” (good evening), “kamusta po kayo?” (how are you), “walang anuman po” (welcome) and “paumanhin po” (sorry).
“Paki ___” – Paki is the Filipino word for “please” and you may use it in the beginning of the sentence when you want to request for something to be done.
“Paki bagalan po ang pagsalita ninyo” – This phrase is used when you want someone to speak more slowly.
“Hindi po ako marunong mag-Filipino. Pwede niyo po ba sabihin iyon sa English?” – Quite a mouthful, isn’t it? But this is the most important phrase that you have to learn when you travel to the Philippines. Simply put, it means that you’re not fluent in Filipino so you would appreciate it if they speak to you in English.
Remember though, when you’re in doubt and you find it impossible to get your point across, simply approach the nearest policeman and ask for help. They’re sure to understand English and solve your problems in no time!