6 Easy Ways To Greet Happy Birthday In Tagalog

Happy birthday in Tagalog - A photo of a birthday party decorations

Maligayang kaarawan is exactly how the locals say happy birthday in Tagalog. But what are the other ways to say it, and how do they usually celebrate birthday parties in the Philippines? Find out more about their traditions and what to expect if you ever get invited to one of their salu-salos in this post today! To help you get started, this post includes comprehensive information about Filipino birthdays, greetings, authentic Tagalog songs, and other related concepts.

Filipino celebrations are among the largest in the world, and they have retained that distinction to this day. In fact, even OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) from across countries gather around to do their potlucks and celebrate special occasions in the most Filipino ways. And if there is one thing you should always expect, celebrations involve a lot of food- not finger food and wine but buffet style that is enough to feed the whole neighborhood! Interested to know more? Read on about this below.

How To Say Happy Birthday In Tagalog

Did you know that one of the unique characteristics of Filipinos is their enthusiasm for celebrating any kind of occasion? May it be Christmas, New Year, Festivals, and most especially birthdays!

Technically, Filipinos combine two major terms when sharing their joyful Tagalog greetings, and these are the Tagalog words “maligaya” (which is directly translated in English as “happy or merry’”) and “kaarawan” (which refers to anniversaries or birthdays!) Take note of the list to say happy birthday in Tagalog below so that you go beyond the traditional greetings and create a more meaningful interaction.

Here are some other related words and statements that you might hear during Filipino birthday celebrations. Take note of these 11 entries below so that you know exactly what they mean.

The Birthday Songs In The Tagalog Language

There are basically two major songs that you can typically hear during birthday celebrations. These include the traditional birthday song and the funny and informal song, Hapi Bertday. However, please note that Filipinos also use the English version frequently, especially if you are dining in a restaurant.

English And Tagalog Version Of The Birthday Song

Let’s start with the most common birthday song that is sung in most parts of the world. In the Philippines, you’ll hear this at children’s birthday parties, your relative’s birthdays, and other formal birthday celebrations.

English And Tagalog Version Of The Birthday Song For Drinking Sessions

In a delightful contrast, the Hapi Bertday” by Beerhouse Gang is a playful rendition often sung among young people, friends, and loved ones in a more casual setting or, mostly, in drinking sessions with friends. This song adds a sense of humor and light-heartedness to the celebration. It playfully nudges the celebrant to satisfy the guests, creating camaraderie and cheer in the birthday celebration.

How Do Filipinos Celebrate Birthdays?

No one parties like Filipinos do. Aside from the fact that they are one of the countries known to have the longest celebration for the holidays, there is also one extremely special occasion that Filipinos look forward to… the epic birthday celebration!

1. Birthdays In The Philippines: A Celebration Of Life

For most locals, birthdays are not just symbols that you are aging every year. For real Pinoys (adjective related to Filipino descent) out there, birthdays are perfect for celebrating life with family and friends over some mouth-watering dishes and fizzy drinks.

2. Milestone Birthdays

Basically, there are four major birthday milestones being celebrated: the first birthday, the seventh, the 18th (for girls) or what is fondly called the debut, and the 21st (for boys).

3. Gift-Giving Traditions

In each of these Filipino birthday celebrations, note that giving a small gift is also a tradition, especially if you were personally invited. However, if you are like a family member or are actually part of the family, you can never go wrong with monetary gifts! If you really have nothing to give, helping out with the preparations and cooking is much more appreciated in the Filipino culture.

4. The Celebration Begins With Faith And Ends In Food

Given that the Philippines is a Roman Catholic country, it is common for family members to start the celebration with a mass. After the mass, you will instantly be invited to a salu-salo (the Tagalog term referring to a banquet or feast) where you will get to fight your way for some lumpiang shanghai, birthday cakes from famous brands in the Philippines like Goldilocks and Red Ribbon and pancit canton (which is believed to be a symbol of long life)!

5. Inclusive Filipino Celebrations

What makes this part even more special is the fact that during this special feast, it’s highly possible for you to meet the rest of the clan. This is because Filipino parties include the whole family: friends (and sometimes even the friends of the friends), relatives, co-workers, and even some kapitbahays (or local neighbors in English).

6. Karaoke: A Filipino Birthday Party Staple

More importantly, be ready to belt out a few Karaoke songs because every Filipino gathering always involves singing karaoke. As a tip to wow and impress your Filipino friends, start by practicing some famous classic karaoke pieces like Ang Huling El Bimbo by Eraserheads and Narda by Kamikaze.

7. Sharing The Bounty And The Tradition Of Leftovers

As a hallmark of a true Filipino epic celebration, most of the closest family members and guests are usually allowed to pack leftover food once the party ends.  Understandably, since the locals love preparing dishes, there is usually so much food left, which is why the host usually passes around the plastic containers so that guests can choose which food they want to take home.

How Do You Say Happy Birthday In Tagalog?

The way Tagalog speakers say Happy Birthday in Tagalog is maligayang kaarawan

However, many Filipinos will also say maligayang bati when singing the Happy birthday song.

Other Vocabulary To Express Happy Birthday In Tagalog

Do you want to sound like a native Tagalog speaker? Here is the list of Tagalog vocabulary that you can practice on your own. We’ve also added some Tagalog slang to surprise your Filipino friends and family!

EnglishTagalogSound
Are you celebrating your birthday soon?Malapit ka na bang magdiwang ng iyong kaarawan?
How did you come up with this birthday concept?Paano mo naisip ang konseptong ito sa kaarawan mo?
Here is your gift for your birthday!Ito ang iyong regalo para sa iyong kaarawan!
You should treat us! It’s your birthday anyway!Palibre ka naman! Birthday mo eh!
Do you want to eat at Jollibee on your birthday?Kain tayo sa Jollibee sa birthday mo?
I’m happy on my birthdayMasaya ako sa aking kaarawan

Take note that many Filipinos use English words to replace deep or advanced Tagalog words to sound informal or casual. Most Filipinos do not use the word kaarawan or magdiwang/magdiriwang in modern times. But, it’s best to still memorize these words and phrases in Tagalog to really be familiar with the language.

Happy birthday in Tagalog how to celebrate - A photo of girl friends eating desserts

Frequently Asked Questions About Happy Birthday In Tagalog

How Do You Casually Greet Your Friend Happy Birthday In Tagalog?

Local Tagalog speakers will just casually say happy birthday or even use the slang ‘pi birthday as a way to sound really friendly. You can jokingly say pakaen ka naman! which means treat us food! This is usually a Tagalog joke said to your friends if they have money to spend to celebrate something.

Are You Required To Give A Birthday Gift To Your Filipino Friend?

To simply answer this question, no, gifts are optional in any kind of event. Filipino culture has a different perspective when it comes to giving gifts. Filipinos will really feel appreciated when given a gift. On the other hand, some Filipinos give gifts to other people they visit as a courtesy and show of good manners.

How Do I Surprise My Filipino Friend For Their Birthday?

You can surprise your Filipino friend by showing up on their birthday! Aside from gifts, your presence at their birthday celebration is the best surprise. But, if you’ve already said yes to their invitation before, you can also surprise them with memorabilia about your friendship. A lot of Filipinos are very sentimental and will really find it touching that you made an effort to strengthen your good relations with your Filipino family and friends.

Want To Improve Your Tagalog? Check Out Ling!

Looking forward to adding a few more words and phrases while learning Tagalog? Other than saying happy birthday in Tagalog related to this Asian language, you should learn even just the basic phrases. It is time for you to download the Ling app. Tailored for total beginners, this application is like a full-blown language course right in your pocket! It will teach you the basics and the easiest tricks while ensuring that you progress every day so long as you practice for at least 10 minutes.

From the native conversational phrases, language features, tricky grammar points, and the culture of the Philippines, this application has got you covered! Install it today and start your journey on the right foot with an easy-to-navigate learning buddy, the Ling app.

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