How To Say “Hello” In Tagalog And Other Dialects

The Filipino people are one of the friendliest people in the world. They are very hospitable to visitors and even to foreigners who visit the country. In the airport or any restaurant, you can hear them saying “Mabuhay!.” 

Since Hello or Hi has no Filipino equivalent, you can often hear Filipinos saying “Kumusta ka?” which means (How are you?” in English. Those are the words of Filipinos who want to greet you. Moreover, Filipinos tend to say Hello or Hi, but if you prefer the authentic way of saying it, they say “Kumusta.”

I know that you are interested in learning the Filipino equivalent of Hello. Though Kumusta is the most common Filipino word for saying hello to someone, there are more ways to say the word. To furtherly know more about saying Hello in the Filipino language, consider reading more below.

Many Ways of Saying Hello in Filipino

There are various ways on how to say Hello in Tagalog. You might be surprised that it can vary depending on the situation of the location. It also varies depending on the place since the country has many dialects.

Greeting a Friend

1. Kumusta ka? or How are you?

“Kumusta ka?” is the formal way of greeting a friend, especially if you haven’t seen each other for a long time. You can also say “Kumusta?” as the informal version of the language. It is as if talking to a friend who you haven’t spoken to for hours or days. Some provinces also say “Musta?” as an informal question for “How are You?

2. Kumusta kana? or How have you been?

“Kumusta kana?” is slightly different from “Kumusta ka?” since “Kumusta ka na” means “How have you been?” This greeting is mainly for an acquaintance who you have not seen for so long and a simple way of asking a person about his current condition. It can also be applied to asking for a friend who is sick and has just recovered. 

3. Musta?

Musta is the shortened or the informal way of saying “Kumusta.” It is usually asked by a familiar acquaintance, friend, or relative. It is another way of informally asking someone what he is up to. 

4. Anong Balita? or What’s Up?

“Anong balita?” is an informal and straightforward greeting of a Filipino to a close friend or relative. It is typically asking balita or news from their lives. This greeting is also a personal question of asking details about someone’s life and is generally asked by someone who knows you well.

Greeting a Group of People

1. Kumusta kayo? or How are you?

Kumusta kayo is a question for a group of people. It means that you are asking a group of people how they’ve been. For example, you are in a gathering, you go to a table of your old acquaintances, and you ask them, “Kumusta kayo?”

2. Greeting an Elderly or a Person in Authority

Kumusta po kayo?

“Po” is a Filipino word that indicates respect. So if you are talking to an elderly person or a high-ranking person, you have to say, “Kumusta po kayo?” However, there are some instances where “po” is eliminated. The greeting can be said this way: “Kumusta kayo?”, “kayo” still denotes respect.

More Ways of Saying Hello

Different Times of The Day

The listed greeting below is the appropriate way of greeting someone based on the time of the day.

Magandang Araw. – “Good day.”

Magandang Umaga. – “Good morning.”

Magandang Tanghali. – “Good noon.”

Magandang Hapon. – “Good afternoon.”

Magandang Gabi. – “Good evening.”

Greeting One Person or a Group or People

For formal greetings you can say “Ikinagagalak kong makilala ka/kayo.” It means, “It’s nice to meet you.” or “It’s a pleasure meeting you.” “Ka” denotes only one person, and “Kayo” means a group of more than one person.

Formal Greeting

Mabuhay! That is a widely known greeting in the country. You can typically hear that in airports, hotels, and restaurants. Mabuhay is an alternative greeting to Kumusta. 

The expression Mabuhay became famous when the Miss Universe 1994 was held in the Philippines. All seventy-seven contestants greeted everyone with the word “Mabuhay.” which means life, so in other terms, the Mabuhay is equivalent to Long Live!

How to Respond in Kumusta?

In responding to Kumusta you can answer ” Mabuti naman ako. Salamat.” or translated as ” I am fine. Thank you.” You can also say “Okay lang ako” or “Ayos lang ako” which can be translated as “I’m okay” or “I’m fine.”

How to Say Hello in DIfferent Filipino Dialects

DialectHow To Say it
English Hello
Aklanon or Aklanhay
Asi or BantoanonKumusta
Binol-anon or Boholano CebuanoKumusta
Bolinao or Binubolinao Kumusta
Bontoc or FinaligKumusta
Botolan Kumusta
Butuanon Kumusta
Bicolano Kumusta
Albay Bikol or AlbayanonKumusta
Central Bikol or Bikol NagaKumusta
Rinconada Bikol Kumusta
Pandan BikolKumusta
Capiznon Kumusta
Cebuano or BisayaKumusta
Chavacano Ola
Cuyonon Komosta
Ibanag Kunnasi ka? (How are you?)
Ilokano Kablaaw
Itawis Ma-ngo
Hiligaynon or IlonggoKumusta
Bajaw or Jama MapunBuwatingaru ka? (How are you)
Kapampangan or PampangoKumusta
Kabalian or KinabalianKumusta
Karay-a or Kinaray-aKumusta
Manobo Moppiya (general greeting)
Maranao Assalamu alaikum (General Muslim greeting)
Masbateño Kumusta
Romblomanon Kumusta
Sambal or SambaliKumusta
Sangirese or SangliKumusta
Sinama or Sama Assalamu alaikum (General Muslim greeting)
Español or Spanish(Language used by Filipinoes during the Spanish colonization)Hola
Surigaonon Kumusta
Sorsoganon Kumusta
Filipino or Tagalog Kumusta
Tausug Uyah/ UyAssalamu alaikum (General Muslim greeting)
Waray Maupay (General Greeting)
Yakan Ohah (General Greeting)Salaam  (General Greeting)Assalamu alaikum (General Muslim greeting)


The Filipino language has no equivalent word for the word Hello. Rather, Filipinos greet Kumusta as a way of saying Hello. In some formal greetings, you can also say Mabuhay, which means Long Live. Saying kumusta can be done in various ways. It depends upon whom you are talking, depends on the time of the day, and can be done formally or informally. Filipinos are very friendly and hospitable and tend to greet you to make you feel welcome and respected.

Regina and Joe

Hello! It's Regina and Joe here. Like many other couples, we met online and after a long-distance relationship, Joe decided to move to the Philippines, where we married and live together since 2017. In this blog, we will teach you how to enjoy the Philippines to the fullest and what to expect from Filipino culture. Who more than us can understand both the West and the East?

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