4 Easy Ways To Say Cheers In Tagalog

Cheers In Tagalog - A photo of people clanking glasses.

Have you ever heard a Filipino ask, tara, inom tayo? In this article, we will walk you through the concepts of drinking in the Philippines and how you can express cheers in Tagalog like a real Pinoy.

Whether you are learning Tagalog as a way to connect with your Filipino friends and family or just mainly tired of saying the plain old “cheers,” you do not have to worry anymore because we have got you covered. Prepare to “Filipinize” yourself with our smart list of Tagalog vocabulary for drinking below.

How To Say Cheers In Tagalog?

Google Translate may say that tagay is the official equivalent of cheers. But in reality, the Tagalog language actually does not have an equivalent for the aforesaid English word.

Rather, Filipino locals use encouraging words such as to take a “shot” or “chug” as one down an alcoholic beverage. If you want to learn more Tagalog in a fun and comprehensive way, you should try the Ling app. It’s one of the best language learning apps available on Google Play and App Store. Grab the 7-day free trial now!

Why Are Shared Glasses And Pulutan Special In Filipino Drinking?

In the Philippines, when you’re out drinking, you might see people passing around just one shot glass, and everyone takes a turn drinking from it. It’s a cool thing they do, no matter who you are – rich, poor, local, or tourist.

This way of drinking is all about being together and treating everyone the same. It’s like saying, “We’re all friends here.” Sharing the same glass is their way of showing trust and making sure everyone feels included.

Traditionally, drinking sessions are commonly partnered with sumptuous food or pulutan. Filipinos’ all-time favorite dishes are Adobong Mani (roasted peanuts with salt), Sisig (made with chopped pork, onions, and chilies), Tokwa’t Baboy (chopped tofu and pork), Chicharon (crispy fried pork rinds or belly), and pork barbecue.

But why is pulutan so important? Well, it’s because pulutan helps you not get drunk too fast. Also, it gets everyone excited because members get to talk about what pulutan they’ll bring. This way, everyone enjoys the night, the chat, and the tasty bites.

Why Saying ‘Po’ Isn’t Needed In Filipino Drinking Sessions?

Unlike in the manner we say thank you in formal and informal situations, we do not have to add the word po when chugging alcohol with older people and people of authority. Why? Because during casual drinking sessions, the atmosphere is more relaxed and informal.

This means that the polite Tagalog word po is often skipped to create a friendly, equal setting where everyone can feel like part of the group, regardless of age or status. But it’s totally up to you if you want to be polite and show your Tagalog speaking skills. With that being said, you may simply sit back, listen to stories being shared, relax, and have a good time as you say tagay.

Cheers In Tagalog - A photo of drinking bottles.

The Concept Of Drinking In The Tagalog Language

In the Tagalog language, the most common translation for the verb “drink” is inom. This basically refers to the act of swallowing liquids and, in this case, alcoholic beverages. This word is so unique that it can be used to express different scenarios in reference to drinking.

For instance, adding the conjugation -an to the word inom can significantly change it’s meaning of this word. Take note of our examples below.

Note: Have you ever heard a Filipino ask you out by saying, tara na at mag-inuman? The word mag-inuman is a variation of the word inuman, which directly translates to “to drink together.”

Filipino Slang For Drinking

There are other ways by which you can express your desire to drink in the Tagalog language. The words below are the Filipino slang that you can use to sound more native.

Beverages In The Tagalog Language

Now that you know the basics of saying cheers in Tagalog, you might be wondering what exactly popular Filipino drinks you can pair with inuman. Basically, a quick Google search might tell you that serbesa is the Tagalog counterpart of the English word “beer.” Sounds familiar?

Well, serbesa actually came from the Spanish word “cerveza” which also refers to the same thing. We did not add it to the list since native Filipinos do not actually use this word anymore.

*Note: Tuba, Basi, Laksoy, Tapuy, and Lambanog are some of the leading Philippines alcoholic beverages that are exported from the country. You can find these drinks mostly in the provinces, where locals treat them as special beverages.

Sample Scenario Before Drinking Session

Now, let us say a native suddenly comes to you for a quick chat inside a bar and ends up with you two in a drinking session. A typical conversation may be structured in the format below. You can even say cheers in Tagalog after knowing them!

The Essence Of Drinking In The Philippines

Now that you know how to say cheers in Tagalog, you should also understand that drinking is deeply rooted in fostering connections and sharing joyous moments together. Before we wrap up, let’s take a moment to appreciate how these traditions bring people closer and create unforgettable memories.

The Joy Of Drinking

Don’t we all just love drinking? For most of us, this can be a passage rite by which people can form strong bonds with colleagues and friends as they are downing alcoholic beverages. Its very concept plays a major role in the country since alcohol is more commonly consumed on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, ceremonies, and other Philippine festivals. So, when there’s a reason to celebrate, you can bet there’s drinking involved that brings everyone closer, like one big happy family.

The Role Of The Tanggero

In the Philippine drinking culture, friends usually gather around the table and will receive a drink from a single tanggero. The word tanggero in Tagalog is that person who is assigned to refill drinks and pass the shot glass around to every person at the table.

Think of the tanggero as the party’s MVP. He (but can be a ‘she’ in this modern day) to make sure everyone’s glass is full and the fun keeps rolling. It’s a special job that keeps the good times flowing.

The Significance Of Shared Drinking

Shared drinking sessions, aside from being the act of drinking itself, symbolize unity and trust among friends and family. The practice of passing a single glass, while not unique to the Philippines, emphasizes the communal spirit and collective enjoyment of the moment. So, as a member of the drinking session, when you’re passing that glass around, you’re being part of something bigger, a shared moment that everyone remembers.

how to say cheers in Tagalog - A photo of friends toasting beer glasses.

Final Thoughts

If you’re learning Tagalog to connect with friends and family in the Philippines, remember that each new word, especially those from the lively drinking culture, brings you closer to them. You’re unlocking a new level in a game where every phrase lets you bond more deeply.

So next time you’re at a Filipino gathering, surrounded by chatter and laughter, lift your glass and say, “Tagay!” Notice that instantly, you’re not someone who wants to learn Tagalog anymore; you’re part of the circle, sharing in the joy with them. Sure, you need to learn how to say cheers in Tagalog, but it’s more than that. Appreciate the feeling of being at home, surrounded by friends who now see you as one of their own.

FAQs: Cheers In Tagalog And Filipino Drinking Culture

Q: What are common toasts during Filipino celebrations?
A: Besides tagay, Filipinos often say Mabuhay during toasts at celebrations, which means “long live” or “cheers to life.”

Q: How do Filipinos celebrate with drinks during traditional festivals?
A: During festivals, Filipinos often enjoy local drinks like Tuba or Lambanog, and the communal spirit is high, with everyone joining in group toasts and singing.

Q: Are there specific drinking songs in the Philippines for toasting?
A: Yes, Filipinos often sing traditional songs like Inuman Na by Parokya ni Edgar during drinking sessions, which adds to the festive atmosphere.

Q: What’s the etiquette for refusing a drink in the Philippines?
A: If you need to refuse a drink, it’s polite to simply say Pasensya na, hindi ako umiinom (Sorry, I don’t drink) with a smile. Filipinos are generally understanding about personal choices.

Q: Can non-alcoholic beverages be used for ‘tagay’ in the Philippines?
A: Absolutely! Non-alcoholic drinks like sodas, juices, or even plain drinking water are perfectly acceptable for tagay if you prefer not to consume alcohol.

Q: Is it common to give toasts at Filipino business gatherings?
A: Yes, in more formal business settings, a toast may be given to celebrate a new partnership or success, often with a simple Tagay or “Cheers.”

Update By: Jefbeck

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