How to Say "Love" in Different Philippine Languages

13 February 2023
How to Say Love in Different Philippine Languages v2

"Mahal kita."


That's how we say "I love you" in our national language. That's also what we teach our foreign guests when they come to visit our country and want to learn a few Filipino words as a way to show interest in learning a Tagalog word or two. But there is a manifold of Philippine languages to express love to one's romantic partner or family members.


As you head to the "City of Love" and celebrate Valentine's Day, learn other Filipino languages to express your affection to your sweetheart besides "mahal kita," "iniibig kita," and "mahal din kita" (I love you, too).


But before we translate the proverbial three words into our different mother tongues, let us first learn the many local translations of the word "love."


"Love" in Different Philippine Languages

  • Pagsintá (Tagalog)

  • Gúgma (Sebwano/Waray/Hiligaynon)

  • Pagkamúot (Bikol)

  • Amór (Chavacano)

  • Pagpangga (Sebwano)

  • Paggíliw (Tagalog)

  • Iddu (Ibanag)

  • Ayatén (Ilokano)

  • Pagmamahal (Tagalog)

  • Chadao (Ivatan)

  • Pag-írog (Tagalog)

  • Pamalsintá (Kapampangan)

  • Pag-ibig (Tagalog)

  • Pagkiog (Maguindanao)

  • Dálit (Pangasinan)



"Mahal Kita" But in 9 Other Filipino Languages

Tagalog is the country's binding language, but there are other equally beautiful and rich languages and dialects that we must be aware of. Learning them is best when starting with the basics. This Valentine's Day, learn to say "I love you" in Ilocano, Pangasinan, Kapampangan, and Hiligaynon, to name a few.


Lumina Homes have built communities in strategic locations around the country. All of these nine languages are spoken within communities where Lumina Homes have developed affordable housing for Filipinos of varying cultural and linguistic backgrounds. These are as follows.



Ilocano: Ay Aya Tenka

The Ilocanos of the Ilocos region, Cordillera, and parts of Northern Luzon are notorious (and stereotyped) for being thrifty (derogatory: kuripot). Sure, there may be some grain of truth in that, but one thing is more certain: Ilocanos are generously loving! Telling someone "ay aya tenka" is a genuine gesture of expressing love to a partner or spouse.


Lumina Homes Project Location: Brgy. Calincamasan, San Juan, La Union



Pangasinan: Inaro Taka

At the northern end of Tarlac is where Pangasinan begins. While many Pangasinenses speak Ilocano, they have their own native tongue that is unique to their region. "Inaro taka" is their version of saying "mahal kita" in Tagalog and "ay aya tenka" in Ilocano. If you know someone in Pangasinan, surprise them by uttering the words in your local accent. They'd surely appreciate the gesture!


Lumina Homes Project Location: Brgy. Sapang, Manaoag, Pangasinan



Waray: Pinaura Ta Ikaw

Predominantly spoken in Eastern and Northern parts of Samar as well as in Leyte, "Pinaura Ta Ikaw" may not ring a bell, but it's the "mahal kita" version of Waray-speaking Filipinos in the Visayas. Waray is part of three languages (Cebuano and Hiligaynon being the other two), which form a larger group called Visayan. That's why "love" in Waray, Cebuano, and Hiligaynon are all "gúgma."


Lumina Homes Project Location: Brgy. Macabog, Sorsogon City, Sorsogon



Kapampangan: Kaluguran Da Ka

The Kapampangans are known for their excellent cuisine, loud-talking nature, rich history, and more. Don't you just love the sound that "Kaluguran daka" makes when spoken aloud in your sweet tone? If you haven't come across it yet, listen to Ara Muna's "O 'Jo Kaluguran Daka," the Kapampangan version of "Sometimes When We Touch."


Lumina Homes Project Location: Brgy. Panipuan, Mexico, Pampanga, and Brgy. Maliwalo, Tarlac, Tarlac City



Bikolano: Namumutan Ta Ka

Aside from the famous Bicol Express, Bikolandia is known for having a very religious community as a whole. Naga City in Camarines Sur is where the Our Lady of Peñafrancia, an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is permanently enshrined, particularly in the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Peñafrancia. Wherever you are, say "namumutan ta ka" to express your love in another equally beautiful, sweet Filipino language.


Lumina Homes Project Location: Brgy. Cabanbanan, San Vicente, Camarines Norte; Sitio San Jose, Brgy. Maslog Legazpi City, Albay, and Brgy. Macabog, Sorsogon City, Sorsogon



Hiligaynon: Ginahigugma Ko Ikaw

Also referred to as Ilonggo, the Hiligaynon language is perhaps the sweetest when spoken aloud with an Ilonggo accent. After all, Ilonggos are known to be soft-spoken that, when they're angry, you wouldn't really notice that they are (if you're not a native Ilonggo, that is). "Ginahigugma ko ikaw" is the Ilonggos' love language, and we think that's beautiful.


Lumina Homes Project Location: Brgy. Abilay Norte, Oton, Iloilo, and Brgy. Vista Alegre, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental



Chavacano: Ta Ama Iyo Contigo

Chavacano is a famously Spanish-based creole that serves as the mother tongue of Zamboanga residents. A whopping 85 percent of Chavacano's vocabulary is Spanish, although reports say that it has been reduced to just 60 percent because it has been mixed with other local dialects. "Ta ama iyo contigo" is how Zamboangueños speak their love. If Kapampangans had the famous "Kaluguran Da Ka" song, Zamboangueños have "Porque" sung by Maldita. Released in 2011, "Porque" was so famous during its time that it has been repeatedly played (and requested) on almost all radio stations in the country.


Lumina Homes Project Location: Brgy. Tiguma, Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur



Tausug: Kalasahan Ta Kaw

The Tausug language is natively spoken in the Sulu Archipelago, Zamboanga Peninsula, and also in Southern Palawan and Eastern Sabah in Malaysia. Tausugs are recognized as the bravest and most courageous in combat. But learning how they express love in words, which is "Kalasahan ta kaw," you know even the toughest-looking ethnic group has a soft side (don't we all?).


Lumina Homes Project Location: Brgy. Tiguma, Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur



Cebuano/Bisaya: Gihigugma Ko Ikaw

Cebuano is the second most spoken Philippine language after Tagalog. The Filipino word "mahal" is "hinigugma" in Cebuano. The language, though, is generically called Bisaya, but they're not the same. Bisaya serves as the umbrella term for the languages in the Visayas, but Cebuano is the language spoken by the Cebuanos. But either way, learning a new local language almost always puts Bisaya on top of the list. They have a distinct accent that makes them unique from the rest of the Filipinos, and in a very good way.


Lumina Homes Project Location: Brgy. Can-asujan, Carcar City, Cebu; Brgy. Taguibo, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte; Purok Maharlika, Bgy. Cuambogan, Tagum City, and Barangay Casisang Diversion Road, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon


Meanwhile, here are other Lumina Homes communities in provinces with Tagalog as the people's primary language:

  • Lumina Binangonan, Rizal

  • Lumina Pililla, Rizal

  • Lumina Baras, Rizal

  • Lumina Pandi, Bulacan

  • Lumina Plaridel, Bulacan

  • Lumina Baliwag, Bulacan

  • Lumina San Miguel, Bulacan

  • Lumina Calumpit, Bulacan

  • Lumina Tanza, Cavite

  • Lumina Balanga, Bataan

  • Lumina Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija

  • Lumina San Jose, Nueva Ecija

  • Lumina Sto. Tomas, Batangas

  • Lumina Tanauan, Batangas

  • Lumina Lipa, Batangas

  • Lumina Bauan, Batangas

  • Lumina Rosario, Batangas

  • Lumina Tayabas, Quezon

  • Lumina Sariaya, Quezon



This Love Month, "mahal kita" is overrated: say it to your partner in Bisaya, Tausug, Chavacano, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Kapampangan, and a lot more! Anything but your mother tongue and love in Tagalog. If you're happily single, utter these beautiful words to yourself and take yourself on a date. Valentine's Day is not just for couples!


With over 50 key housing communities in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, Lumina Homes built a nationwide presence to cater to Filipino families who dream of owning quality yet relatively affordable house and lot for sale. With recognitions earned from Pag-IBIG Fund and Carousell Property Awards for our affordable house and lot provisions, Lumina Homes intend to continue serving more and more Filipinos to own their dream house and lot in the Philippines.


Secure your real estate investment with Lumina Homes this Valentine's Day and make it the financial gift for yourself and your family!

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