August 02, 2016

Getting Settled: 10 Useful Filipino Phrases You Can Use When Commuting

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    FOREIGNERS COMMUTE. Photo grabbed from


    Going around Metro Manila can be somewhat confusing, what with the various modes of transportation and not to mention, its traffic system. Although it’s always convenient to own a private car or to just hire a cab, you also need to get familiarized with the other transport system, more so how to use them. It also always helps to know basic Filipino phrases that will be really helpful as you travel around the Philippines. Here, we list some of the phrases that may come in handy once you explore the country a la local!

    1. Bayad *po. (pronounced as bah-yad po). Say this phrase when you pay your fare. It’s used in jeepneys, taxi cabs, and tricycles. When riding in a bus, the ticket person will be the one to go to your seat to ask for your fare. When in the MRT, you will need to line up at the ticket booth to get your ticket so you don’t need to say this phrase.

    2. Para po. (pronounced as pa-ra po). You say “para po” when you need to get off the vehicle. This means “stop.” It’s commonly used in jeepneys, taxi cabs, and tricycles. Sometimes, it is also used when getting off the bus; however, you can’t use the phrase when riding the train because it has designated stations where they stop.

    3. Manong, sukli po? (pronounced as ma-nong, suk-lee po). Say this phrase when you want to ask for your change. For example, if you’re already near your destination and the driver hasn’t returned your change yet, you should ask for it by using this phrase. “Manong” means older man, which is what the locals usually call the drivers.

    4. Magkano po? (pronounced as mag-ka-noh po).This phrase means “How much?” Ask this if you’re not sure how much the exact fare is. Take note: The Philippines has a law that gives 20% fare discount for students, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities. Sometimes you need to show your identification card to prove this. Be sure that you are given the right amount of change.

    5. Pakibaba po ako sa… (pronounced as “pa-kee-baba po ako sa). Say this phrase when you’re not sure where your destination is, so you ask the driver to get you off at the exact location. This phrase can be used in jeepneys, taxi cabs, buses, and tricycles. When riding the train, the station names are located every stop and there’s a map printed on the walls so you’ll know where to get off.

    On this part, we give you a list of the words that you may find helpful even as a driver or a passenger:

    6. Kaliwa means left or turn left

    7. Kanan means right, or turn right

    8. Diretso means straight ahead

    9. Malayo means far

    10. Malapit means near

    11. Hinto means stop.

    *The word “po” is used to denote politeness in the Filipino culture, especially when the one you’re speaking to is older than you.

    Here’s to hoping that this list will help you get familiarized with the culture of transportation in the Philippines. Do you know other phrases which are not included in the list? Comment below!

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