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Posts about Philippines

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Fall in love with the Philippines

With the majestic islands, abundant natural resources, effervescent people and colorful culture it’s not difficult to fall in love with The Philippines. 


The Philippines, also known as the Pearl of the Orient Seas is a sovereign island country in Southeast Asia situated in the western Pacific Ocean. It consists of about 7,107 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions: LuzonVisayas, and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City; both are part of Metro Manila. It can be found on the East of Vietnam and North of Indonesia. It’s composed of more than 7,000 small, sandy, sunny, relaxing, exotic and beautiful islands. Our little clutch of islands makes for one long stretch of beach – more than 15,500 kilometers. Here, no one is more than two hours away from a beach-side lounge chair — which explains why everybody knows how to smile and have fun!


Long ago, these islands were home to Indo-Malays and Chinese merchants. Then in 1521, Spanish explorers led by Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan discovered them. They named the archipelago “Felipinas” after Spain’s Philip II, and introduced Christianity to the people.


The explorers saw the islands’ potential for commerce, with Manila and Cebu as strategic trading ports. They established the seat of government in Cebu, later moving it to Manila in 1571. The islands were a colony of Spain from the 16th to the 19th century, for a total of 333 years.


The Filipinos waged Asia’s first nationalist revolution in 1896. On June 12, 1898, they won their independence from Spain.

After the Spaniards left, the Americans came, introducing their educational and legal systems, as well as their democratic form of government. They ruled for 48 years until World War II broke out in 1941.

Japanese troops invaded the country on December 8, 1941 and stayed for four years. The US forces returned to liberate the Filipinos and finally recognized Philippine independence on July 4, 1946.



Filipinos are made up of more than 175 ethnic groups around the Philippines and are a mosaic of influences throughout hundreds of years of history shared with neighbors and faraway colonizers. The Filipino identity, with its Austronesian roots, was developed with Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Spanish and American influences.


Hospitality, a trait displayed by every Filipino, makes these people legendary in Southeast Asia. Seldom can you find such hospitable people who enjoy the company of their Western visitors. Perhaps due to their long association with Spain, Filipinos are emotional and passionate about life in a way that seems more Latin than Asian.


The Filipino character is actually a little bit of all the cultures put together. The bayanihan or spirit of kinship and camaraderie that Filipinos are famous for is said to be taken from Malay forefathers. The close family relations are said to have been inherited from the Chinese. The piousness comes from the Spaniards who introduced Christianity in the 16th century. Hospitality is a common denominator in the Filipino character and this is what distinguishes the Filipino. Filipinos are probably one of the few, if not the only, English-proficient Oriental people today. Pilipino is the official national language, with English considered as the country's unofficial one.



The Philippines has two official languages – Filipino and English.

Filipino is based on Tagalog, the predominant dialect from the Luzon mainland, and is used nationally to communicate among the ethnic groups. There are seven (7) other widely used languages: Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicolano, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense. Apart from these, there are more than 176 local dialects!

In every region in the world that speaks English, you’ll notice unique slang and quirky usage. These different ways of using English add to the language, make it stay alive and keep it evolving. While the Philippines is already recognized worldwide as one of the top English-speaking communities in Asia, there are still some Pinoys who are prone to using words or sentences that mean something else to native English speakers.


Some useful words & phrases in Tagalog

Here is a list of some useful words & phrases in Tagalog, the main Filipino dialect used in Metro Manila & may be understood in most parts of the Philippines.

It is useful to note that Tagalog words are pronounced exactly as they are spelled. Each vowel represents one separate syllable.  Just as "papaya" is pronounced "pa-pa-ya," the word "marunong" is pronounced "ma-ru-nong", the word "magsalita" is pronounced "mag-sa-li-ta". 
It is always wise to add the word "po" to sentences as a form of respect or formality when speaking to elders or those you have just met or are not close with.


Do you know how to speak English?

I don't know how to speak Tagalog.

Marunong po ba kayong magsalita ng Inggles? 

Hindi po ako marunong magsalita ng Tagalog.


How are you? / Hi. / Hello.

I'm fine

Good morning

Good afternoon

Good evening

Thank you

You're welcome

My name is ...

What is your name?

Kumusta? / Kumusta ka? (Informal. (May also be used to say "hello.")


Magandang umaga

Magandang hapon

Maganding Gabi

Salamat po

Walang anuman.

Ang pangalan ko ay...

Anong pangalan mo? (informal) / Ano po ang pangalan ninyo? (formal)


Sorry / Excuse me

Where is the washroom?



What is that?


Can you please help me?




Pasensya na po.

"Nasaan po ang C.R.?" (as in "Comfort Room." This is colloquial / slang, widely used.  Use this and you will more likely be understood than if you use "washroom", "restroom", or "W.C.")

Ano po 'yan?(referring to something nearer) / Ano po 'yon?(referring to something far)

Maaari n'yo po ba akong tulungan?





Can you take (drive) me to...? 

I'm lost

I'm looking for...

I'm looking for...

I'm looking for...

Can you show me on a map how to get there?

Where is...?

Left/ Please turn left
Right / Please turn right
Straight ahead / Go straight ahead
In front
When is...?
...the train arriving?
What time is...?

Pwede nyo po akong dalhin sa...?

Nawawala po ako.

Hinahanap ko po ang... (a place)

Hinahanap ko po si... (a person)

Naghahanap po ako ng... (a thing)

Maaari bang ipakita nyo sa mapa paano po pumunta doon?

Nasaan po ba ang...?

Kaliwa /  Kumaliwa po kayo.
Kanan / Kumanan po kayo.
Diretso / Diretso lang po.
Sa harap
Sa likod
Sa taas
Sa baba
Kailan po ang...?
"Kailan po ang dating ng tren?"
Anong oras po ang...?


How much is this?

Too expensive

May I ask for a bargain? / Please lower the price.

Keep the change.
You haven't given me enough change.
You've given me too much change.
Do you have this in a different color?
Do you have this in a different size?


Magkano po ito?

Masyadong mahal. / Ang mahal naman.

Pahingi naman po ng tawad. / Tawad naman po. / Babaan nyo naman po ang presyo.
Sa inyo nalang po ang sukli.
Kulang po ang sukli.
Sobra po ang sukli.
Mayroon ba kayong ibang kulay?  (Then specify color in English)
May ibang size ba kayo nito? (Then specify size in English)
Mas malaki
Mas maliit



Maybe / Might
Please do


Can / May
Can't / May not
I want/ I like
I want a...
I don't want/ I don't like
I need a...
I don't need...

Incorrect / Wrong

Yes - Oo (informal). Opo (formal)
No - Hindi (informal). Hindi po (formal)
Maybe / Might - Siguro / Baka
Sige (can also mean "go / go ahead") / Sige na! (Please do! with emphasis)
Don't - Huwag
Pwede / Maaari
Hindi pwede / Hindi maaari
Gusto ko (informal) / Gusto ko po (formal)
Gusto ko ng... (informal) / Gusto ko po ng... (formal)
Ayaw ko (informal) / Ayoko (slang) / Hindi ko po gusto (formal)
Kailangan ko ng ... (informal) - Kailangan ko po ng ... (formal)
Hindi ko kailangan. (informal) / Hindi ko po kailangan. (formal) 


Philippine cuisine

Philippine cuisine (Filipino: Lutuing Pilipino or Pagkaing Pilipino) consists of the food, preparation methods, and eating customs found in the Philippines. The style of cooking and the food associated with it have evolved over many centuries from their Austronesian origins to a mixed cuisine of Malay, Indian, Spanish, Chinese, and American, as well as other Asian Indian cuisine adapted to indigenous ingredients and the local palate.

The Filipinos have a variety of weird or exotic foods that Foreigners might or might not love but should definitely try.

A balut is a fertilized duck (or chicken) egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell

Haluhalo or Halo-halo

Haluhalo or Halo-halo is a popular Filipino dessert with mixtures of shaved ice and evaporated milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans, jello and fruits. It is served in a tall glass or bowl.

Tapa - Tinapa
Tapa/Tinapa: dried and smoked. Tapa refers to meat treated in this manner, mostly marinated and then dried and fried afterwards.

Durian is a fruit native in Davao City. Don’t judge the fruit by its smell. Despite its foul smell, durian is creamy and sweet.

Noodle dishes are generally called pancit. Pancit recipes primarily consist of noodles, vegetables, and slices of meat or shrimp with variations often distinguished by the type of noodles used.

Adobo is one of the most popular Filipino dishes and is considered unofficially by many as the national dish. It usually consists of pork or chicken, sometimes both, stewed or braised in a sauce usually made from vinegar, cooking oil, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, and soy sauce.


How do I go around The Philippines?
Even if the Philippines has 7,107 islands, it is easy to go from one place to another because there are various forms of transportation that is available to take or bring someone to a particular destination. If you are planning a trip here, it’s important to be familiarized with these so here are some of the popular means of transportation. 


1. All around the Philippines, you would see a parade of vehicles with vibrant graffiti designs. Jeepneys, are the most common mode of transportation for the Filipinos.
This iconic vehicle symbolizes the artistry, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship of the Filipino people.

Tricycles in the Philippines resemble the auto rickshaws of India and the tuk-tuks of Thailand and other Asian countries, except that the cab is attached to the right side of the motorcycle instead of being in front or at the back. Tricycles can be seen on the side streets and some subdivisions and normally used for short-distance travel. With the stronger horsepower of a motorcycle, the tricycles sometimes are hired to ferry people and merchandise from the market.


The Philippines being an archipelago composed of 7,107 islands, it is inevitable that some form of transport will be needed to go from one island to a neighboring one. For short inter-island travel, the motorized bancas are the first choice. Primarily used by individual fishermen, the motorized bancas are now used as a faster means of transportation. Some resorts make use of bigger ones to ferry guests from port to resort and back.


This can be considered the silent version of tricycles, since bicycles are used, with a passenger cab attached to the side or in front. The driver uses pedal power to transport passengers. Normally you will see pedicabs on side streets and some subdivisions which do not allowed tricycles to enter. Pedicabs can seat a maximum of three passengers.

These are smaller versions of buses that can ferry passengers for terminal to terminal. Depending on where the minibuses are operating, they are either used for short distance or for longer land travel, particularly in some far-flung areas where any other means of transportation are few and/or limited. They can carry people, livestock and other merchandise. Minibuses do not have air conditioning and seats are small and spaced close together.


During the latter years of the Marcos era, the Metro Manila Light Rail Transit System (LRT) was established to provide cheaper and faster direct routes from Baclaran in Parañaque to Monumento in Quezon City, primarily to decongest the Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA), a major thoroughfare. There are 29 LRT stations. In 1999, the Manila Metro Rail Transit System (MRT) started operations, traversing EDSA from Taft Avenue in Pasay City to North Avenue in Quezon City, a total of 13 stations.


Three major airlines – Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air and Air Philippines service the domestic routes while several smaller airlines offer charter flights to and from selected destinations. Taking a plane is the fastest mode of transport for inter-island travel, and available almost every day of the week, except on some areas. Rates are higher than sea travel but most airlines offer discounts to those traveling with a single hand-carry or no luggage.

Watch these videos to know why everything’s MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES!