20 Basic Tagalog Phrases For Travel and Shopping

December 12, 2020

There are a lot of different words that you should know about in Tagalog. However, if you find yourself commuting in the lively streets of Manila or shopping in the ever-popular Divisoria, learning some of the basic Tagalog phrases can help your overall experience. In today's article, we have listed the most common native-sounding Tagalog phrases that you can use anywhere and anytime in the Philippines.

The Philippines is a haven in Asia due to its unique culture and incredible sets of islands and beaches. But wait! This country has so much more to offer than its bustling tourism industry. You see, the Pearl of The Orient Seas also prides itself with its traditional jeepneys and tricycles that have been around since 1945!

Even today, you might set foot out of the NAIA and see for yourself how these modes of transportations are still widely used. So, if you are planning to pay a visit to the Philippines, I highly recommend that you experience riding these instead of booking a plain-old Grab-not only is it cheaper, but it can help in engaging yourself with the locals.

While transportation is one of the things you might be interested in, I bet that most of you will go head over heels once you see for yourself the Philippines' budget shopping capital known as Divisoria.

This budget-friendly place in Manila's earliest and biggest marketplace since 1909, and it is quite cool to know that it still exists. A huge number of tourists actually visit this place due to its fantastic location and the wide array of affordable items that you can get.

Therefore, why not visit Divisoria by riding a jeepney, right? 🙂

Basic Tagalog Phrases For Commuting

Listed below are 11 of the most used expressions that Filipinos say during a commute. Please be sure to read the contexts to see when you should use a particular phrase because it can make or break the communication between you and the local.

For instance, Filipinos use the "Paki abot po ng bayad" only when they are in the jeepney. While you may also say it when riding the tricycle to sound polite, it may sound unnatural.

Tagalog Translation Context
Para po This is my stop. This particular word came from the Spanish "parar" which means to stop. You can use this word when you want the jeepney to stop.
Paki abot po ng bayad Please pass my payment to the driver. Given the design of the jeepney, you may find yourself sitting in the far ends near the entrance, in the middle, or somewhere near the driver. For instances where you are seated far from the driver, you may say this phrase to ask locals to help you hand over the payment.
Sukli po ng… May I have the change for… To remind the driver to give you your change for the fare, you can burst out loud and say this phrase. The structure is usually like this one "Sukli po ng bente?" (Translation: may I have the change for 20 pesos?)
Sa tabi lang po Please stop on the side. You can use this word when you want the tricycle or the jeepney to make a complete stop.
Pakihatid po ako sa… Please take me to… You can say this to the taxi drivers as you hop into a car. The basic structure is "Pakihatid po ako sa + name of the location."
Saan po ang sakayan/terminal? Where is the terminal? Feeling lost on where you can find bus terminals? Ask any local using this Tagalog phrase to get instant directions.
Paano pumunta sa… How do I get to… Want to visit a particular place you found on social media? Ask the locals around by using the structure "Paano pumunta sa + name of the location"?
Dadaan po ba ito sa… Will this pass by… Unsure of whether the local jeepney or bus will pass by a particular place? Ask the bus conductor or driver using this Tagalog phrase.
Pabili po ako ng ticket papunta sa… I want to buy a ticket from here to… If you are going to ride the MRT or LRT (train lines in the Philippines), you can ask the kind ate (sister) or kuya (brother) at the cashier's window to get hold of your very own ticket.
Papunta ba ito sa… Is this the way to… While Google Maps can be a friendly travel buddy, nothing beats the traditional way of asking question. If you feel that you are not walking on the right path, just use this phrase to ask any local using the structure "Papunta ba ito sa + name of the location"?
Kaliwa / Kanan Left / Right If you are going to ask about directions, it is highly recommended for you to memorize the words kanan  and kaliwa. So, if a Filipino tells you kumanan ka sa may puting bahay, that directly means that you need to make a right turn at the white house.

Basic Tagalog Phrases For Shopping

The Philippines is the best place to get wholesale prices and the biggest discounts. To make your experience in Tutuban Center and 168 Mall (both located in Divisoria) even more special, try to use the phrases below when dealing with the store attendants.

Tagalog Translation
Magkano ito? How much is this?
Walang tawad? Can the price be reduced?
Gusto ko ito I want this
Pabili ng isa I'll buy one (Confused about the Tagalog counting? Read this)
Ang mahal naman It is too expensive
Ano ang tapat na presyo? How much is the lowest price?
Nasaan ang sukli? Where is the change? (to remind the vendor of your change)
May iba pa kayong kulay? Do you have other colors for this one?
May iba pa bang disenyo? Do you have other designs/style for this?

Pro tip: Just finished a transaction? Feel free today "Salamat po" or thank you to make the local smile warmly at you 🙂

Speak Tagalog with Confidence Today!

Unlike other languages, Tagalog is fairly easy to memorize even if it holds a unique set of words influenced by different cultures from all over the world. If you can speak basic Spanish or even English, I bet that you will have so much fun navigating the sameness of some expressions in Tagalog. In fact, most of the words and phrases are mainly based around English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and Malay words! In short, it is an exciting melting pot!

Interested to learn more Tagalog language vocabulary words like how to express the basics to the most complex ideas? For extra reinforcement in the Tagalog language, be sure to check out the Ling App. This handy-dandy training buddy features fun mini-games and quizzes that can motivate you to practice and explore more about your target language day by day.

Explore the Philippines with style by using the most native Tagalog expressions from the Ling app today!

Start learning Tagalog for free now

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