How to speak Tagalog

Lesson 7 Eating in a Restaurant


This phrase literally means A Request For. Use this when you are requesting something. It has become tradition in the Philippines to spell NANG with only NG. They sound exactly the same. This practice, which is impossible to change, makes written Tagalog seem cryptic to beginning readers because NG has no vowel. This practice violates the cardinal rule of Tagalog - spell it the way it sounds. 

Pahingi ng tubig.
Give me water, please.

Pahingi ng kutsara.
Give me spoon, please.

Pahingi ng tinidor.
Give me fork, please.

Pahingi ng asin.
Give me salt, please.

Pahingi ng paminta.
Give me pepper, please.

Pahingi ng asin at paminta.
Give me salt and pepper, please.

Pahingi ng pamunas.
Give me napkin, please.


This phrase means A Request  For That. You have to use your index finger to point at the item. Using your middle finger for pointing is not an offense. This is the most common way of ordering because the same kind of dish have different names; it depends on the region.

Pahingi niyan.
Give me that, please.

Ito ba?
This one?

Oo, iyan nga.
Yes, that's the one.

Hindi iyan.
Not that one.

Iyong isa.
The other one.

Pahingi pa niyan.
Give me more of that.

Gaano karami?
How much?

Para sa dalawang tao.
For two persons.

Para sa limang tao.
For five persons.

Para sa sampung tao.
For ten persons.

Para sa dalwampung tao.
For twenty persons.

To go, please.

Kakain dito.
We'll eat here.


Masarap ba?
Is it good?

Masarap din.
Yeah, it's good. (Not really)

Ay, masarap.
Oh, it's good.

Gusto ko ito.
I like this.

Ang asim!
Too sour.

Ang alat!
Too salty.

Ang pait!
Too bitter.

Ang kunat!
Too tough.

May I try that?

Hoy, dahan-dahan.
Hey, slow down.

Gusto mong tikman?
You want to try it?

Ayaw ko.
I don't want it.

Gusto mo pa?
Do you want more?

Oo, gusto ko pa.
Yes, I want more.

Hindi, ayaw ko na.
No, I had enough.

Ang sama ng lasa.
This tastes awful.

Tubig nga.
Water please.

Hoy, baka malunod ka.
Hey, don't drown yourself.

Alin ang paborito mo?
Which do you like best?

Gutom pa ako.
I'm still hungry.


In the past, courtship was best done by a visit at home. Not anymore. Most courtship now take place in restaurants. Your little knowledge of Tagalog, mixed with clean humor, can be put to good use in a restaurant. What you want to accomplish is meet your friend's family.

Salamat sa pagdalo mo, ha?
Thank you for coming, okay?

Hoy, hindi, gusto ko talagang pumunta.
Oh no, I really wanted to come.

Bakit, gusto mo ang pagkain dito?
Why, you like the food here?

Oo, at gusto ko ang serbis dito.
Yes, and I like the service here.

Iyong damit ng manga weyter, gusto mo?
The uniform of waiters, do you like them too?

Hoy, palabiro ka pala.
Hey, you have a sense of humor.

Hindi, nag-e-enjoy lang.
No, I'm just enjoying myself.

Masarap ba iyang napili mo?
Do you like what you ordered?

Gusto mong bumalik dito?
Would you like to come here again?

Oo ba, kung kasama ka.
Oh yeah, if you're coming too.

Mahilig ka bang magluto?
Do you like cooking?

Depende, kung may lulutuin.
It depends, if there's something to cook.

Ay kung ako bibili ng rekado, magluluto ka?
If I buy the ingredients, will you cook?

Para sa ilang tao?
For how many people?

Ikaw, ako, at manga kaibigan mo.
You, me, and your friends.

Eh, iyong manga kapatid mo?
Um, how about your brothers and sisters?

Pati mga kapit-bahay?
And the neighbors, too?

Hoy, hindi, sobrang dami na.
Oh no, that's too many.


Sa Sabado. Tanghalian.
On Saturday. Lunch time.

O sige.
Okay, that's fine.

Ano ang bibilhin natin?
What are we going to buy?

Gagawa ako ng lista.
I'll make a list.

Ay kung magkasama tayong mamalengke?
What if we go to the market together?

O sige. Kailan tayo mamimili?
Okay, that's fine. When are we shopping?

Sabado ng umaga.
Saturday morning.

Susunduin mo ako?
You will pick me up?

Susunduin kita?
Should I pick you up?

O sige.
That's fine.

Anong oras?
What time?

A las nuwebe ng umaga?
At nine in the morning?

Hindi, a las nuebe ng gabi.
No, at nine in the evening.

Heh he, nagpapatawa.
Hah, you're trying to be funny.

O sige, magkita tayo ika-siyam ng umaga. Sabado.
Okay, let's meet at nine in the morning. Saturday.


Ano, uwi na tayo?
Are you ready to go?

Oo, tayo na.
Yes, let's go.

Weyter, tapos na kami.
Waiter, we're done.

Pakikuwenta nga.
Please compute the tab.

Ako na ang magbabayad.
I will handle the payment.

Hoy hindi, ako na.
Oh no, let me do it.

Ako ngayon, ikaw sa susunod.
I'll do it now, you do it next time.

O sige, sa susunod ako naman.
Okay, next time it's my turn.

Sabihin mo lang, may karga ako ngayon.
Just let me know, I'm loaded tonight.

Tagalog people like to pay for company dinner, even if they have to borrow for it. Be on the watch without looking at your friend's wallet. If the paying takes longer than usual, offer to pay today and your friend can pay the next dinner. If you end up rescuing your friend, just say next time you'll eat twice more so it will cost him/her more.

Sa susunod, magpapagutom muna ako.
Next time, I'll starve myself first.

Money transactions in restaurants are mostly done in English.

About Ray Colorado

Ray Colorado was born in the island of Mindoro, Philippines, where people speak different Filipino languages. Tagalog was his first language. He also speaks Ilocano, Bicol, English and Spanish. He learned these languages because of his father's job - Methodist Evangelist and Pastor. They moved every two years, living in places where people spoke differently. He had to learn each local language in order to survive and win new friends. He also formally studied English and Pilipino, the national language, in elementary, high school, and the University of the Philippines. He started creating Web-based Tagalog lessons in 1999. He moved to United States in 1984. He lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with his wife, former Lura Eden Alampay, and their three sons Marc Dexter, Maxwell Lucas, and Hexel James. He may be reached at