Glossary of Filipino Terms

Aking - Conjugated "My" in the Tagalog language.

Ayuda - Help

Ate - Literally translates to "big sister" but is used to refer to a woman similar in age to you. 

Bakla - An effeminate man

Bangka - traditional Filipino boat with double outriggers.  

Baon - Supply of provisions taken to school, work or on a trip.

Beki (slang) - a homosexual person.

Biro Lang - Just joking.

Bisaya - The Visayan language, spoken in the Visayas region, Palawan and Mindanao.   

Boodle Fight - a buffet style meal where the food is served in the middle of a long table lined with banana leaves. It usually consists of rice in the middle and a variety of different sides dotted throughout. Participants line around the table and all eat together there. 

Butiki - A small lizard or gecko. Basically a symbol for the Philippines due to their ubiquitous nature. 

Carinderia - A small road-side restaurant that serves local and traditional home-cooked food. For one payment, you will have your choice of two to three dishes plus a generous serving of rice. 

Datu - Chief

Farang - A Thai word for a European or other foreigner. 

Habal-habal - A motorbike for hire that has a make-shift extension placed across the seat, wear 2-3 passengers can sit habal habal or close together. 

JeepneyA leftover from the American colonial period; army jeeps were converted by locals and put to use as a public service. They are still one of the most popular methods of public transport in the Philippines. 

Kubo - A type of stilt house indigenous to the Philippines, commonly (although not always) made from a fibrous material called "nipa". 

Kuya - Literally translates to "big brother" but is used to refer to a man similar in age to you.

Mahal - My love

Mana Po - A sign of respect given to elders by young Filipinos. The hand of the elder is taken and touched to the forehead of the younger. 

Masarap - Delicious

Mga Paraw (plural) - Various double rigger sail boats in the Philippines. 

Munggo - Mung Bean Soup. A cost effective meal made predominately of mung bean. 

Noli Me Tangere - An 1887 novel by national hero Jose Rizal published during the Spanish colonial period. 

Parol - Ornamental lantern displayed at Christmas.

Pasalubong - Souvenir

Pasko - Christmas

Pera - Money.

Pulutan - Bar snacks

Puso - Heart

Puting Tao - White person. Puti = white, ng = adjective link, tao = person.  

Salakot - A traditional light-weight hat, generally cone shaped and often made from bamboo or palm leaves. 

San Miguel Beer (San Mig) - A brand of beer made in the Philippines by the San Miguel Corporation. It's basically the only beer you need when in the Philippines. 

Serbesa - Beer (Tagalog spelling).

Sorpresa - Surprise

Sulit - Worth it. Good value. 

Swerte - Lucky

Syempre - Of course

Tabo - A small, round container with a handle, used for personal cleaning.   

Tagay - Cheers

Tao - Person

Thong (Australian slang) - Foot ware. Also known as flip-flops or slippers. 

Ulam - Dish or food to eat for a meal.