“Have You Eaten Yet?” and Other Ways to Say Hello in Filipino

May 1, 2017

ways to say hello in Filipino
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“Have You Eaten Yet?” and Other Ways to Say Hello in Filipino

There are many universal ways to greet someone abroad, and a simple smile or head-nod goes a long way. In the Philippines, even a cheery “hello” will be understood by everyone. But, if you want to impress the locals, learn these Filipino expressions to put yourself a cut above the rest. Whether formal, funny, or just plain silly, here are 5 ways to say hello in Filipino:

fruit palawan

1. Kumain ka na ba?

Literal Translation: Have you eaten yet?
Meaning in context of a greeting: How are you?

Filipinos are very concerned about whether you’ve eaten or not. If you are someone’s guest, you can be assured that you will never go hungry.

“Are you hungry?”
“Oh no, I just ate, thanks.”
“Ok, I’ll make you some food.”


2. Kumusta ka?/Kumusta po kayo (formal)

Literal Translation: How are you?
Meaning in context of a greeting: This is the most popular way of saying “how are you?” and can operate as a greeting as well as a question. Basically it’s like saying, “what’s up?”

Kumusta ka na, a more casual expression, is the equivalent to saying, “what’s up yo?” Don’t use that expression with older adults. Show some respect to your elders!

baguio philippines

3. Saan ka pupunta?

Literal Translation: Where are you going?
Meaning in context of a greeting: Just a friendly greeting, not really meant to be intrusive, or even a real question for that matter. Simple answers in return are acceptable: home, town, just there, that way, etc.

“Saan ka pupunta? Where are you going?”
“Dyan lang, Just there.”


4. Saan Ka Galing?

Translation: Where did you come from?
Meaning in context of a greeting: Another friendly greeting that’s not actually asking a real question. Simple answers are once again best.

“Saan ka galing? Where did you come from?”
“Doon, Over there.”

baguio market fresh frogs
This guys wants to say hello!


5. Hoy!

Translation: Hey!
Meaning in context of a greeting:“Hey you!” This is basically the really informal way of calling someone’s attention. It’s usually complimented with a lot of waving and hand signaling.

“HOY! Pare! HEY! Buddy!”
“Hoy! Kumusta! Hey! What’s up?”


And now you know! Hope you learned something useful today. Want to learn more about Filipino culture? Browse my Food & Culture articles to your heart’s content.

Don’t forget to sign up for the mailing list to get updated on my upcoming memoir of living in the Philippines. For more info about the book, go here.

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Filipino American with a passion for making a difference. Writer. Blogger. Dreamer. Adventurer.

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