5 Best Ways To Love In Tagalog Language

5 Best Ways To Love In Tagalog Language

Looking to add a little spice to your interactions with locals or maybe even woo that special someone? Understanding the different terminologies for the word LOVE in Tagalog is key. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the 5 best, most authentic ways to convey love in the Tagalog language – from casual, friendly banter to deeper devotion that makes your heart melt because at the end of the day, who doesn’t love love?

Mag irog - couple in Love In Tagalog

Are Filipinos Romantic?

As a Filipino, I can definitively say that romance, passion, and affection are deeply woven into our culture. We pride ourselves on being some of the most devoted, poetic lovers – and our expressive language certainly reflects that! We Pinoys are simply not afraid to be vocal when it comes to matters of the heart. In fact, we even had a Lovapalooza festival before!

In fact, torrid tales of romance are the stuff of legend here. Just look at classic Filipino folk stories like Daragang Magayon, which tells the tale of the lovely Mayon volcano being born from the passionate love between a princess-turned-mountain and a brave warrior. We have no shortage of myths depicting fated love.

Beyond storytelling, Filipinos openly share loving words and gestures on a daily basis as well. Walk the streets of Old Manila on a weekend evening, and you’re bound to encounter young couples strolling arm in arm, unabashedly laughing together without a care. Even the older generation abounds with stories of lifelong matrimony, my own grandparents still exchange little gifts and notes to this day!

So, to answer the question, YES! Filipinos are romantics! We express our affection generously through romantic ballads, sweet handwritten letters in florid script, promises whispered over dinner dates, you name it!

Example of pagibig - love in Tagalog

Love In Tagalog Language


If I had to choose the single best Tagalog word to sum up “love” in all its forms, I would say it’s “pag-ibig.” This flowing word encompasses that ineffable feeling of affection, fondness, and deep caring that can flow between friends, sweethearts, and family members.

At its heart, pag-ibig means to “love.” And it’s that warmth, protection, and nurturance that we feel when we let someone into our lives in an intimate way, whether short-term or for a lifetime partnership forged through mutual pag-ibig!

Unlike technical or scientific English, there are no separate terms distinguishing “love” for friends or relatives from romantic feelings towards a partner or spouse. For us, they all stem from the same selfless concept of devoting yourself to another’s happiness.

Casually, pag-ibig can be sprinkled into everyday banter. Here are just a few examples:

  • “Sinasabi ko lang ang pag-ibig ko para sa‘yo” (I’m just saying my love for you)
  • “Hanggang kailan magtitiis ang pag-ibig mo sa kanya?” (How long will your love endure for him?)
  • “Hayaan mo siyang malaman ang pag-ibig mo sa kanya.” (Let him know of your love for him.)


If you really want to express fondness and admiration for someone special in an affectionate way, I’d highly suggest the term “pag-sinta.” This profoundly tender Tagalog word conveys a gentle, patient type of emotional love and caring.

Whereas pag-ibig paints with broad strokes, encapsulating love overall, pag-sinta speaks more to that specific fondness shared privately between two people. It’s the sort of patient, faithful affection that emerges slowly between best friends over the years or that tangible electricity firing between two lovers destined for a lifelong commitment.

Pag-sinta beautifully implies you “feel for” someone, with all the underlying devotion that comes with such depth of feeling. You could translate it as “to care deeply and fondly for.”

Here’s pag-sinta in charming action:

  • “Ang Pag-sinta mo sa kanya ay malalim.” (Your fondness for him is profound.)
  • “Hindi mo maitatanggi ang pag-sintang ito.” (You cannot deny this tender affection.)
  • “Ipinahahayag ko ang aking pag-sinta sa ‘yo.” (I profess my fondness for you.)


If you’re looking to woo someone in true poetic Filipino fashion, the evocative word “pag-irog” passionately conveys romantic affection and profound fondness between lovers, sweethearts or those destined to be star-crossed partners.

This dramatically romantic term originates from an old Tagalog verb, “irog,” meaning “to say or declare one’s love to a woman.” So you can see it carries deep undertones of chivalrous prose and flourishes pulled straight from sonnets or ballads!

While the phrase has an old-fashioned ring, it’s still used in traditional Tagalog love songs and poems today to poetically refer to one’s flame or muse. Here is pag-irog used in its most romantically lyrical form:

  • “Ang pag-irog ko ay ‘di matitinag.” (My loving affection cannot be shaken.)
  • “Ipinahahayag ko ang pag-irog ko sa ‘yo, Giliw.” (I declare my fondness for you, Beloved.)


Out of all the wonderful Tagalog terms that capture a sense of caring affection, I’d say “pagmamahal” is the closest direct translation we have for the English concept of familial or unconditional “love.” And perhaps, you’ve heard it before from the lines “Mahal kita,” right?

Unlike romantic varieties like pag-irog, pagmamahal has more of a generalized, expansive meaning – it refers to that boundless care and acceptance we first experience from parents, then comes to encompass all the close platonic loves of our lives.

  • “Nararamdaman ko ang pagmamahal mo.” (I feel your caring love.)
  • “Salamat sa pagmamahal!” (Thank you for the love!)
  • “Ipadala mo and aking pagmamahal sa pamilya mo.” (Send my love to your family.)


A wonderfully tender term in Tagalog for conveying heartfelt affection is “paggiliw.” This is a gentle, sweet word used for beloved friends or lovers that aptly translates to “fondness” or “endearment.”

Paggiliw has an underlying warmth and patience to it – implying care over the long haul versus short sparks of passion that quickly fade. You would express paggiliw for someone dear whom you want to have an abiding, lifelong connection with, slowly nurtured.

Unlike English terms, paggiliw does not differentiate levels of affection. The fondness and loyalty conveyed for a best friend would be equivalent to that shared with one’s committed lover or spouse. There is a moving selflessness to paggiliw that touched me deeply. Here it is in touching context:

  • “Dama ang paggiliw sa pagitan natin.” (The fondness between us is palpable.)
  • “Ang paggiliw ko sa ‘yo ay mananatiling matibay.” (My fondness for you remains steadfast.)

Ready To Say Mahal Kita?

I hope this breakdown has shown you just how beautifully diverse the Tagalog language can be when conveying romantic or platonic love and affection. From the profound life-bond of paggiliw to dramatic declarations of attraction with pag-irog, the possibilities to connect on a deeply emotional level are endless!

While nothing replaces immersing yourself in Tagalog culture and dialects in person, apps like the Ling app can help you gain confidence in pronunciations and conversing organically in various contexts. Give it a try now!

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