Archive for Holidays in Tagalog

Happy Three Kings!

A funny greeting, no?

In the Philippines, January 6 is called Araw ng Tatlong Hari (Day of the Three Kings), after the magi or wise men who visited the Christ child bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. In Spanish-speaking parts of the world, the three kings are known as Los Reyes Magos de Oriente or Los Tres Reyes Magos. Also known as the Feast of Epiphany, this day marks the end of the twelve days of Christmas. However, in the United States and in English-speaking Christian countries, Epiphany is usually celebrated on the first Sunday of January, which this year was January 4.

Filipinos also recognize this day as Pasko ng Matatanda (Christmas of the Elderly), a day on which to honor senior citizens.

Maligayang Araw ng Tatlong Hari! Happy Three Kings’ Day!


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Happy New Year in Tagalog

The new year has already arrived in the Philippines. Thursday, January 1, 2009. You should greet your Filipino family and friends a ‘Happy New Year’ in Tagalog!

How to Say ‘Happy New Year’ in Tagalog

Thanks for all your support in 2008. Looking forward to serving you better in the new year. Mabuhay!

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Rizal Day (December 30) a Filipino Holiday

Araw ng Kabayanihan ni Rizal is Tagalog for Rizal’s Day of Heroism. It is observed in commemoration of the death of Filipino national hero Jose Rizal on December 30, 1896. He was executed by the Spanish colonial government in the Philippines for inciting rebellion. A firing squad was responsible for his death.

Rizal Day is a public holiday in the Philippines on December 30, 2008 (Tuesday). For the second year in a row, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will lead the commemoration in San Fernando City, La Union. It is the 112th Rizal Day celebration, and the ceremonies will televised live over the Philippine government’s TV stations.


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Tagalog Greetings for the New Year

My page on Tagalog greetings to use on Christmas gifts and cards was such a hit that I decided to do the same for the new year! So if you want to warm the hearts of your Filipino friends with a message in their language, here are a few

Tagalog greetings for the New Year

They’re Tagalog translations I did of English New Year’s greetings I came across on the web. They’re a mouthful. I’d recommend using the longer greetings on cards and notes, and the shorter phrases for maybe a toast on New Year’s Eve. I even included one romantic phrase promising unchanging love in the New Year and beyond. 😉

The least you have to know is how to say “Happy New Year” in Tagalog. The traditional Filipino new year’s greeting is Manigong Bagong Taon, which literally means A Prosperous New Year. Listen to the pronunciation:

How to Say “Happy New Year” in Tagalog

Also, I worked hard on this page outlining Filipino Customs on New Year’s Eve. Hope you like it!

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Merry Christmas in Tagalog!

MALIGAYANG PASKO! That’s ‘Merry Christmas’ in Tagalog

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Say “Happy Thanksgiving” in Tagalog!

People have been asking me to translate “Happy Thanksgiving” in Tagalog, a tricky task because the Pilgrims never made it to Asia, and Thanksgiving Day is not traditionally celebrated in the Philippines. But the Filipino and Filipino-American communities in the United States do enjoy Turkey Day and all the feasting associated with it. How do they say “Happy Thanksgiving?” Well, they actually say “Happy Thanksgiving” — in English.

If you insist on impressing your friends by expressing the holiday sentiment in Tagalog, let’s attempt a translation. We start by using the Tagalog word closest to “Thanksgiving” — Pasasalamat — which means the act of thanking. If you already know how to say “Thanks” in Tagalog (Salamat), then simply add the two syllables Pasa- at the beginning.

The Tagalog word used for expressing “Happy…” is Maligayang… The root word maligaya means “joyful” and this is same word used in the Tagalog equivalent of “Merry Christmas” (Maligayang Pasko). For the record, the literal translation of “happy” into Tagalog is masaya, but it’s not ordinarily used in holiday greetings.

We can say Maligayang Pasasalamat is the Tagalog translation for “Happy Thansgiving,” but that would not be exactly right. You see, when we say “Happy Thanksgiving” in English, we actually are wishing for the person to have a happy celebration of the day. The act itself of giving thanks is arguably solemn with many bowing their heads, closing their eyes and saying grace. Yes, we’re thankful and glad to have something to be thankful for, but it’s the celebration surrounding the very act of thanking that’s joyous.

That aside, it doesn’t sound right to simply say Maligayang Pasasalamat in Tagalog. It would sound better to translate the whole phrase “Happy Thanksgiving Day.” The word for “day” is araw and the phrase “Day of Thanksgiving” is Araw ng Pasasalamat with the ng meaning “of”.

In short, to wish someone a happy Thanksgiving day, say Maligayang Araw ng Pasasalamat. Listen to the pronunciation here.

And how about “Happy Turkey Day” in Tagalog?
Maligayang Araw ng Pabo!

The expression comes off as stilted in Tagalog, but for those students intent on honing their Tagalog skills, this is how that phrase breaks down. Maligayang… corresponds to “Happy…” and Araw ng Pabo means “Day of Turkey.” The Tagalog word for “turkey” is pabo. Some may argue that the country is eating a lot of turkeys, and not just one, so you may want to use the phrase Mga Pabo referring to many turkeys — mga is what makes the noun plural. “Happy Day of Turkeys” = Maligayang Araw ng Mga Pabo.


Pumpkins, the large orange variety we are familiar with in the United States, are not native to the Philippines. The closest gourd relative grown in Asia is a squash called kalabasa. It’s acceptable to say kalabasa for pumpkin and even substitute one for the other in recipes, although the image Filipinos would call to mind is a greener, smaller, less sweeter version.

Yams are also not a traditional crop in the Philippines, but kamote (sweet potato) is a favorite food of Filipinos who enjoy it either boiled with butter or as thick slices fried in sugar.


Uuwi ako. = I’m going home.

Magsasalu-salo ang pamilya. = The family will eat together.

Magpapasalamat kami. = We are going to give thanks.

Kakain kami ng marami. = We’re going to eat a lot.

Magluluto kami ng pabo. = We’re going to cook a turkey.

Sana masaya din ang iyong Araw ng Pasasalamat.
= I hope your Thanksgiving Day is happy as well.

Gusto mo bang makisalo sa amin? = Would you like to join us?

Iniimbita kita. = I’m inviting you (one person).

Iniimbita ko kayo. = I’m inviting you (many).

Maligayang Araw ng Pasasalamat!
Happy Thanksgiving Day!

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