The title is actually a misnomer. Tagalog is in fact just one of the languages spoken in the Philippines, mostly by people in the northern part of the archipelago. The national language is called Filipino but since about 80 percent of words in Filipino are Tagalog, I think the reason for the erroneous allusion is obvious. I am not an expert so I’d leave the debate to academics.
There are very obvious and practical reasons why it is important to learn Tagalog words or phrases when visiting the Philippines. “People are strange when you’re a stranger, everything’s different when you’re alone,” as how The Doors in a popular song puts it. Here are 10 Tagalog words you might find useful when you are in a club or bar. There is no guarantee they can get you a date, but trust me you will find them useful.
1. Ano ang pangalan mo? Ako nga pala si (put your name or alias here)?
English: What’s your name? By the way I am (name or alias here)?
2. Ako ay mula sa (put your country or state here)? Taga-saan ka?
English: I am from (country or state)? Where are you from? (note: By this, you are asking her which part of the Philippines she comes from).
3. Anong gusto mong kainin?
English: What do you want to eat? (literally, though awkward sounding in English). Some variations you might want to look into: Anong gusto mong _____________:
a. inumin (drink)
b.panoorin (see/watch) – if you’re inviting her to a movie
c. pag-usapan (talk) – if you want to ask her what she wants to talk about
d. malaman (know) – hence, “anong gusto mong malaman?” is “What do you want to know?”
4. Ihahatid na kita.
English: I can drive you home (if you want). This is actually a polite way of asking if you can drive her home. Get this right and she may even ask you to drive her somewhere else.
5. May gagawin ka ba mamayang gabi?
English: Are you free tonight?
6. Gusto ko makatikim ng lutong-bahay.
English: I want to try homecooked (Filipino) dishes. (Why? Why not. Pretty self-explanatory)
7. Pwede mo ba akong samahan?
English: Can you accompany me to…. You can add these words to qualify:
a. manood ng sine – see a movie
b. kumain – eat (lunch, dinner or snack)
c. sa (name of place here) – so literally, “Pwede mo ba ako samahan sa Cebu” means Can you accompany me to Cebu.
8. Wala na akong pera
English: I am short of cash (This phrase seemingly does not belong in the crowd but trust me it will become handy).
9. Pasensya na may hinihintay ako.
English: Sorry but I am expecting somebody.
10. Pasensya na may gagawin ako mamaya.
English: Sorry but I am not free tonight.
I’ll try to post more next time, depending on readers’ feedback. Good luck.