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38 Must-Know Bisaya Words and Phrases for Local Travel

The Philippines is a popular tourist destination for its famed white beaches, cerulean waves, tasty delicacies, and heart-warming Filipino hospitality.

One area that has tourists flocking into the country is located south, in the Visayan and Mindanao regions. There you’ll find some of the most spectacular marine sanctuaries like Nalusuan Island, pristine beaches like Boracay and Panglao, and amazing hiking trails, such as Mount Apo and Mount Tres Marias. 

If you plan on visiting the south in the future, it’s about time that you pick up some Cebuano words or Bisaya phrases for your trip! Bisaya is one of the eight major languages in the Philippines and is prevalently spoken in the islands of Visayas and some parts of Mindanao.

Travel like a local and enjoy the local scene with these Bisaya words and phrases to help you explore and mingle effortlessly among locals. 



Basic Greetings and Personal Introductions

Magellan Shrine

Make a good first impression and learn how to politely greet and introduce yourself to a local with these basic Cebuano phrases:

  • Maayong buntag! – Good morning!
  • Maayong adlaw! – Good day!
  • Maayong hapon! – Good afternoon!
  • Amping. – Goodbye/Take care.
  • Kumusta? – Hello, how are you?
  • Maayo raman ko, ikaw?/Okay raman ko, ikaw? – I’m good. And you?
  • Unsa imong ngalan? – What is your name?
  • Ang akong ngalan si [your name]. – My name is [your name].
  • Nag puyo ko sa [place]/Taga-[place] ko. – I live in [place].
  • Salamat! – Thank you!
  • Daghang salamat! – Thank you very much!
  • Wala ra to/Walay sapayan. – You’re welcome
  • Palihug. – Please.
  • Oo. – Yes.
  • Dili. – No.
  • Kani/Ni. – This.
  • Kana/Na. – That.

Read 10 Cebu City Tourist Spots You Need to See



There are several iconic Visayan dishes that you should definitely try on your visit such as kinilaw, chicken inasal, and lechon! Get a load of the local cuisine and put these phrases to good use!

  • Mangaon ta! – Let’s eat!
  • Gigutom na ko. – I’m hungry.
  • Gi-uhaw ko. – I’m thirsty.
  • Busog na ko. – I’m full.
  • Wala koy gana. – I have no appetite.
  • Kalami sa pagkaon. – That was a good meal.
  • Lami! – Delicious!
  • Ang bayronon palihug/Ang bill palihug. – The bill, please.

Read 10 Best Restaurants in Cebu City

Getting Around

Nalusuan Island

The islands of Visayas are dotted with pristine white beaches, historic sites, and plenty of nature and marine life activities. From the country’s oldest street, Colon street, in Cebu, to the picturesque Panglao Island in Bohol, this is the place to be if you’re looking for an adventure.

Check out these phrases to help you travel through the region:

  • Mogikan ko sa [place]. – I’m coming from [place].
  • Muadto ko sa [place]. – I’m going to [place].
  • Kita lang ta unya. – See you later.
  • Asa ko manaog? – Where do I get off?
  • Tagpila ang plete? – How much is the fare?
  • Asa ang [place]? – Where is the [place]?
  • Asa ang atanganan og bus? – Where is the bus stop? 
  • Unsay sakyan padung [place] – Which transport will take me to [place]?
  • Asa ni pa-ingon/padulong? – Where does this go? 
  • Mo-agi ba ni sa [place] – Is this going to pass through [place]?
  • Unsa ni? – What is this?
  • Tagpila? – How much?
  • Mubayad na ko. – I’d like to pay.

Read 10 Best Things to Do in Cebu City

Explore the Queen City of the South and its neighboring islands in the region like a local with these helpful Bisaya phrases. Find the best travel deals on Traveloka and plan your trip for the future!

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