How to say hi in Tagalog

“Hi” is a word people use whenever they see a familiar face. For instance, when I saw my best friend a few days ago at the supermarket after two long months of not seeing each other, the first thing I said was hi. After exchanging handshakes and greetings, we caught up with each other’s lives and what happened or changed for us after our graduation. The word “hi” is most often used informally to greet a friend.

In the Philippines, saying “hi” can be said by using the word “kumusta” or “musta” in short. The word “kumusta” is the Filipino (Tagalog) version of the Spanish words “como esta.” There is no definite Tagalog translation of the English word “hi” but word “kumusta” is a way of how to say “hi” in Tagalog.

Similarly, the word “Mabuhay” is also a word used to say “hi” as well as “hello.” However, the word “mabuhay” sounds too formal for everyday conversations and interactions. Therefore, “mabuhay” is usually heard most of the time in formal settings such as in hotels, airlines and similar places as a word for welcoming guests, greeting guests and customers. Therefore, informally “kumusta” is how to say “hi” with “mabuhay” the formal way of saying “hi / welcome.”

The loaned word “kumusta” has a few variations. One such variation that was already mentioned is “musta.” This is the slang version of “kumusta.” Another word that has the same meaning is “kamusta” which is more often used by Filipinos. Just to be clear, “kumusta” is really the standard spelling.

In the Philippines, other forms of greetings that are fondly used by Filipinos to express feelings of love and care for each other are: “where have you been” or “have you taken your breakfast/lunch/dinner already.” I have asked “where have you been” or “saan ka galing” many times, especially from my mother who has asked me this many times. “Have you taken your breakfast/lunch/dinner” or “kumain ka na ba” is also a familiar question. Although the question is about food, this question is mostly used by people to express concern for someone they value.

Saying “hi” or “kumusta” is a simple and easy way to greet friends informally. Among friends the word is cordial, pleasant way of greeting another person. Just make sure you accompany your “kamusta” with a big smile so you can maximize the impact of your greeting towards your friend.