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Most Filipinos today don’t use Hello in Tagalog when greeting someone. They simply say Hi or Hello as these words have no direct translation in the Filipino language.
However, one Tagalog word is considered the closest equivalent to this English greeting:
Kamusta is a Filipino word derived from the Spanish como esta. It is both used as a greeting (i.e., the closest Tagalog translation of Hello) or as a way to ask someone what he or she is up to:
Kamusta?/Kamusta ka?/Kamusta ka na?
How are you?
An alternative to Kamusta is the word Mabuhay, although the latter is more suitable when greeting someone formally. For example, foreigners visiting the Philippines are usually greeted with Mabuhay during airline flights and upon arrival at the airport to give them a warm welcome.
Another formal way of greeting someone in the Philippines is by adding “po” at the end of Kamusta. This is used when you’re talking to an elderly or someone respectable.
Kamusta po?/Kamusta po kayo?
Hello/How are you? (formal)
Take note that most Filipinos use the misspelled Kamusta instead of Kumusta. This is acceptable as long as you use it during an informal occasion or conversation.
Musta is a shortened and slang version of Kumusta. This is another way of informally greeting someone or asking what he’s up to. Musta is often used in Facebook chat conversations and text messages.
When greeted with Kamusta? or How are you?, Filipinos usually respond with:
Mabuti naman/Okey lang/Ayos naman/Ayos lang
Watch Video: How To Say Hello In Tagalog.
Learn more Tagalog words in FilipiKnow’s Tagalog-English Dictionary
Other Filipino expressions: