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10 Expressions Filipino Women Use in Relationships

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Any man who has had the pleasure of dating Filipino women can attest to their captivating charms. Their quirks, habits, and expressions all conspire to form the unmistakably Filipino allure we all know and love. They are famous for being sweet, gentle ladies with hearts bigger than the planet Venus.

The Filipino woman is so expressive of tongue that we can hardly imagine the person with the sound turned off. The Filipino language uses tones to express meaning. Filipinas are so proficient in their ability to manipulate tone that the word itself is almost unnecessary. This is perhaps most comparable to how Italians seamlessly meld their spoken language with animated hand gestures.

The Filipino language is a singing language. It is melodic in nature, ebbing and flowing like a breeze through the valley, its intonation so finely tuned with words it resembles actual song.

All this being the case, what does it have to do with dating a Filipina? Easy. While you may never end up speaking Filipino fluently, picking up basic expressions can help you determine one’s mood.

Filipinas almost never insist that their foreign partner learns Filipino beyond the most basic terms. For the most part, they adapt, speaking English or their partner’s mother tongue. And while many completely master their adopted language, these expressions will always be a part of them:

1. Sayang

The word sayang roughly translates to “What a waste,” or “What a pity.” It decries missed opportunities and wasted things. “Sayang” appropriately follows an instance where a birthday cake falls and splatters all over the floor. It is equally appropriate to use sayang when a famously handsome man finally marries, bemoaning his immediate departure for bachelorhood.

Sayang is spoken in a regretful tone. If you catch your girlfriend or wife saying this, ask her if she needs any remedy. She will appreciate the concern.

2. Bahala na

A derivative of Bathala, the supreme being of pre-Spanish Philippines, this is one of the most fundamental markers of Filipino-hood. It basically means “If god wills,” and depending on the tone, it could spell good or bad things for you.

It can also be used as an expression of irritated dismissal, much like the English phrase “Screw it!”

For example, if your girlfriend is studying for a driving exam, then she flips the table over and says, “Bahala na!” she means she has given up studying and is leaving the rest to fate. You are best advised to calm her down and make sure she is at least capable of not driving the car into a tree.

The “bahala na” attitude is one of the few disadvantages of marrying a Filipina. This sort of give-up-easy mentality is something you and your Filipina partner will need to sort out should it surface from time to time.

“Bahala ka!” is a more serious iteration of this phrase. It means “It’s up to you!”

When said in a gentle, loving manner, it is an endowment of trust. “You want to go to the supermarket now? Bahala ka.” However, when spoken with utter viciousness, along with an intense air of dismissal, you know you’re in trouble, and you need to fix it somehow.

3. Kilig

Kilig is one of those words that has no direct English translation. It is used for that giggly, fuzzy feeling of love and infatuation. Perhaps butterflies, even. It’s the feeling of excitement teenage girls have when they watch a romantic comedy.

Being kilig is one of the obvious signs a Filipina likes you. She can be “kilig” when you brush your hand against hers. When she blushes, it’s a sign she is kilig.

4. Gigil

Gigil is used to describe someone who can barely contain their excitement. Imagine your woman around babies, with their pillow-like cheeks and soft, fat legs.

But as mentioned, tone is everything. If said with great agitation, she means she can barely contain her frustration, where in this case, throw her a box of chocolates and wait for the situation to subside.

5. Ewan ko sayo! / Ambot nimo!

There’s no way else to put this. If you are at the receiving end of these phrases, you did something wrong, it’s your fault, and you are being thoroughly dismissed.

Sure, you have no idea what you did, but it doesn’t make you any less than a murderous bastard in her eyes. Think of it as “Whatever!” which can only be effectively countered with “I’m so sorry, honey!”

Filipinas seek a lot of attention from their partners. When she says this to you, it probably means you haven’t been giving her the attention she needs.

6. Nge!

“Nge!” is an encapsulation of disappointment, dismay, and confusion, all in a simple, monosyllabic utterance. There is never a more appropriate time to use such a word as for when you see a turtle on top of a fence post. A cousin of the English expression “Huh?” you may encounter this word when you have committed an act so inexplicable, so devoid of logic, true words escape your girlfriend’s mouth.

7. Aray!

Translation: “Ouch!” Stop stepping on her foot.

8. Basta

This word holds two meanings in practice usage, the first being “As long as.”

It indicates a conditional statement. “Basta, if you brush your teeth, you won’t get tooth decay.” When said as a single-word expression with a matching tone of frustration, she means “Whatever!” As per previous advice, give her chocolates as a peace offering and resolve your issues from there.

9. Hay nako! / Susmaryosep!

The etymology of this expression can be traced to its approximation of the phrase “Inay ko,” which is basically the Filipino version of “Mamma Mia.” It’s used as an expression of disappointment with a hint of surrender. When she says this, it means you messed up.

Unlike “Hay nako!” susmaryosep is a contraction of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph meant to convey the fact that you did something stupid. In this case, it is probably worse since it invokes the divine.

10. Mahal kita.

Finally, a truly positive expression. Mahal kita is the Filipino phrase for “I love you.” What makes this phrase more endearing is the fact that it isn’t tossed around like cheap candy.

Sometimes, “I love you” can be so casually said that its meaning loses gravity. Saying mahal kita is reserved for only the most sincere of occasions.

Beautiful Filipino women saying mahal kita, in their breathy, tender voice is like something out of a dream.

Through the course of your relationship with your Filipina partner, you are bound to hear the aforementioned words and phrases here and there. Learning to recognize them, along with how they are said, can help you handle your woman’s mood and feelings.

Where words fail, tone and expression surface. While not easy, this is your first step in understanding the subtleties and workings of Filipino women.

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