When you’re visiting Hawaii, the person cleaning your room, parking your car, and helping at the front desk may be Filipino.
To make a nice impression, knowing a few words of Tagalog, the official language of the Philippines, is another way to say Aloha.
Over 20 percent of Hawaii’s population is Filipino. They came to Hawaii in the early 1900’s to work in the sugar industry and now many are in hospitality.
Here are some common phrases your Filipino hosts will be pleasantly surprised to hear. Another opportunity to speak Tagalog is when you call Hawaiian Airlines. Most of your calls will be answered in the Philippines.
Kum estah (similar to Spanish)
Magandang umaga (ma-gan-dang u-MA-ga)
If you want more Tagalog for your visit to Hawaii, check this English to Tagalog dictionary.
Aleks Witkowska says
Wow, thanks for the Tagalog 411, Rob. I have this little tradition when I travel and stay at hotels: I leave the cleaning lady a tip along with “thank you” written on a notepad in multiple local languages. If I know the cleaning ladies are mostly Spanish, I will include “muchas gracias” for example, or if they are Polish/Ukranian, I will write “Dzienkuje!” Now I can add “Salamat” to my list, which of course in Hawaii includes Mahalo 🙂
just a few corrections:
it’s “kamusta” not “kum estah,” and “salamat” is pronounced “sa-la-mat” not “sa-la-ma.”