How to Say "I Love You" in Tagalog: Filipino Words and Terms of Endearment

Updated on February 7, 2019
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Kerlyn is a proud Filipina who loves to share her culture with others, including recipes and more.

If you're looking to impress your Filipina wife/girlfriend or Filipino husband/boyfriend, or perhaps, you want to express love to your children, parents, friend, or family member, then use some of these common terms of endearment in Tagalog. They’ll be floored!

Filipinos believe in a true, everlasting love that will ride out the highs and lows of even a rollercoaster-ride-like relationship. There’s something about our culture that makes us expect love and makes us want to give even more love in return. This means that we're believers in love in its truest, purest, and yes, even cheesiest form!

So get ready, and start studying these Filipino words and expressions about love!

What is the word for "love" in Tagalog?


Ways to Say "I Love You" in Tagalog

1. "Mahal kita"

This is the most common way to say "I love you" in Tagalog. You can use this with a romantic partner or a family member. You will hear this phrase exchanged between parents and children as well as between lovers and spouses.

2. "Iniibig kita"

This is an archaic phrase that also translates to "I love you," but it is now outdated. I would not recommend using this. It is a phrase you might come across in old literature and is reserved for very serious lovers. It should not be used to express love between family members.

3. "Mahal din kita"

This phrase means "I love you too."

4. "Mahal na mahal kita"

"I love you very much." Reserved for when you want to place extra emphasis on how you feel about someone.

How Do People in the Philippines Express Love?

It is uncommon for the older generation to declare "I love you," but the younger generation today is more expressive and more heavily influenced by Western culture. As a result, you'll hear "mahal kita," as well as Taglish (Tagalog and English) words, such as "lab kita" or "lab you." They may even use plain English and say "I love you."

Flirty Phrases to Say to Your Crush

Ano ang pangalan mo?
What’s your name?
Saan ka nakatira?
Where do you live?
Puwede ba kitang tawagan?
May I call you?
Tawagan mo ako.
Call me.
Iniisip kita.
I'm thinking of you.
Ang ganda mo!
You’re so beautiful!
Ang guwapo!
So handsome!
Hihintayin kita.
I'll wait for you.
Ang bango mo.
You smell nice.
Ang ganda ng buhok mo.
Your hair is beautiful.
Ang ganda ng suot mo.
You’re dressed nice.
Sobrang init!
My, it’s hot!
Anong iniisip mo?
What are you thinking?
Akong bahala.
I’ll take care of it.
Basta para sa iyo!
As long as it’s for you!
Kahit ano, para sa iyo.
Anything for you.
Pasama naman.
Let me come along with you.
Pwede ba kitang samahan?
Can I go with you?
Ako na ang magdadala.
I’ll carry it.

Filipino Terms of Endearment


This is a commingling of the words "wish" and "heart." The origins are unclear, but the meaning of the word is similar to the word "sweetheart."


This word is short for honey. It is a very common term used by parents or grandparents to address their children or grandchildren.


This word simply means "love." This is very commonly used by couples who are dating or by married couples. It is sweet and simple.

Mahal kong anak

This term means "my beloved child," but it is a bit dramatic. To affectionately refer to your children, opt for "iho" (when addressing a son) or "iha" (when addressing a daughter).

Old-Fashioned Terms of Endearment

These are only used in poems and songs, but are otherwise obsolete.

  • Giliw (dear)
  • Irog (dear one)
  • Sinta (darling or sweetheart)

Did You Know?

The Philippines has over 170 languages, and they are broken up into 8 major dialects: Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon (Ilonggo), Ilocano, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, Tagalog, and Waray.

Terms of endearment vary from language to language. What are some pet names used in your family and what dialect do you use? Share in the comments below.

Other Terms of Endearment in Tagalog

mahal ko
my love
ang aking isa at natatangi
my one and only
aking irog
my beloved
husband or wife
marred couple
boyfriend or girlfriend
lola or lolo
grandma or grandpa

Deep Love Phrases in Tagalog

Filipino or Tagalog
Ang pag-ibig ko ay tunay.
My love is real.
Ang pag-ibig ko ay totoo
My love is true.
Ang pag-ibig ko ay wagas.
My love is lasting.
Ang pag-ibig ko ay walang hangganan.
My love is endless.
Mahal din kita.
I love you too/also.
Ikaw ang mahal ko.
You are the one I love.
Umiibig ako.
I am falling in love.
Umibig ako.
I fell in love.
Mamahalin kita magpakailan man.
I will love you forever.
Mamahalin kita habang-buhay.
I will love you all my life.

When You Miss Them

Filipino or Tagalog
Miss kita.
I miss you.
Miss na miss kita.
I miss you a lot.
Sobrang miss kita.
I miss you very much.
Na-miss kita.
I missed you.
Sobrang na-miss kita.
I missed you very much.
Miss ko ang aking asawa.
I miss my wife/husband.
Miss ko ang aking nobya.
I miss my girlfriend.
Miss ko ang aking nobyo.
I miss my boyfriend.
Na-miss mo ba ako?
Did you miss me?

Tagalog Basics

You never know when the love of your life will ask you a question in their native tongue. Surprise them by responding with a simple 'yes' or 'no'—or something in between!

Filipino or Tagalog
Of course.
Hindi gaano.
Not really.

When You Want Them Near

Filipino or Tagalog
Gusto kitang makita.
I want to see you.
Gusto ko siyang makita.
I want to see him/her.
Kailan kita makikita?
When will I see you?
Kailan tayo magkikita?
When will we see each other?
Kailan tayo magkikita?
When will we meet?
Hindi ako makahintay!
Can't wait!
Hindi ako makahintay na makita ka!
Can't wait to see you!

When You Want to Be Held

Filipino or Tagalog
Yakapin mo ako.
Hug me.
Yayakapin kita.
I will hug you.
Gusto kitang yakapin.
I want to hug you.
Bibigyan kita ng malaking yakap.
I will give you a big hug.
Yayakapin kita nang mahigpit.
I will hug you tightly.
Yayakapin mo ba ako?
Will you hug me?

How to Tell Someone You Like Them

Filipino or Tagalog
Gusto kita.
I like you.
May gusto ako sa iyo.
I have a crush on you.
Gustong gusto kita.
I really like you.
Sobrang gusto kita.
I like you very much.
May gusto ka ba sa akin?
Do you have a crush on me?
Gusto mo ba ako?
Do you like me?

When Marriage Is Afoot

Filipino or Tagalog
Pakasalan mo ako!
Marry me!
Papakasal ka ba sa akin?
Will you marry me?
Papakasalan mo ba ako?
Are you going to marry me?
Gusto kitang pakasalan.
I want to marry you.
Gusto mo bang magpakasal?
Do you want to get married?
Papakasalan kita!
I will marry you!
Kelan mo ako papakasalan?
When will you marry me?
Saan tayo magpapakasal?
Where will we get married?

Compliments in Tagalog

Filipino or Tagalog
Maganda ka.
You are beautiful.
Guwapo ka.
You are handsome.
Kyut ka.
You are cute.
May itsura ka.
You are good-looking.
Ang ganda ng mga mata mo.
Your eyes are beautiful.
And ganda ng buhok mo.
Your hair is beautiful.
Ang ganda ng mga labi mo.
Your lips are beautiful.
Ang bait mo.
You are kind.
Ang tapang mo.
You are brave.
Ang talino mo.
You are smart.
Ang galing mo.
You are great.
Ikaw ang lahat sa akin.
You are everything to me.


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    • profile image

      Eddie dockrill 

      7 weeks ago

      Thanks a million God blesse. Mahal PILIPINAS.

    • profile image

      Salama juma 

      7 weeks ago

      Mahalkita ❤️

    • profile image 

      4 months ago

      Mahal Kita, Kerlyn.

    • profile image

      Abdul Musaveer 

      5 months ago

      Very nice and easy to follow.

      Thank you for your articles.

    • profile image

      nora avila durano 

      6 months ago

      Thank you,ang laki ng tulong sa akin nito kc nahirapan akng mag English sa bf Kong foriegn nasasabi ko ng maayos sa kanya.hindi ko kc alam mag english kunti lng.

    • profile image


      7 months ago

      love your website, I throw words at my special lady and she always smiles

    • profile image


      11 months ago

      can you add like ways to tell your boyfriend that you want to take a break?

    • profile image

      jec britney 

      14 months ago

      I wanna know more

    • profile image


      14 months ago

      How do you say No, I won't send you money!" HAHAHAHA

    • profile image

      Hriday sk 

      15 months ago

      I want to know Filipino language

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      Please is there any Filipino love messages application?

    • profile image


      21 months ago


    • profile image


      22 months ago

      Am learning alot

    • profile image


      24 months ago

      I love you

    • profile image

      Vampire Shawn 

      2 years ago

      Thank you soo much. Now I am ready for talking with my Filipino girlfriend

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      hahaha wow really thankyou so much,,i learn more tagalog words from here

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Thanks a lot. My asawa ko is pretty stressed lately so I wanna surprise her with some of these. I'm getting a bit predictable with my low tagalog vocabulary so she'll get her smile

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      nice but just the pronounciation

    • profile image

      MahalKo DL 

      2 years ago

      OMG. I really love this. I get to use what I learn to talk with my boyfriend. I have a Filipino BF and he is so charming. Mahal Kita Baby

    • profile image

      2 years ago

      Hi, how to tell your family i love you in tagalog? Not lovers but family wise

    • profile image

      Ralph Ferris 

      3 years ago

      Use it every day now.. very useful, and my "Asawa ko loves it,that I speak a little Tagalog.. Thank You .......

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      my crush is a Filipino guy

    • profile image

      Rj sagar G 

      4 years ago

      This is verey good ..

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Great information for someone who is in love with a filipina

    • profile image

      ile mae 

      4 years ago


    • profile image


      5 years ago

      i have a fhilippino gf and this helps a lot to learn many things, thnx

    • profile image

      robin clavines 

      6 years ago

      it's very great i like it.

    • profile image

      robin clavines 

      6 years ago

      it's very great i like it.

    • tiagoz profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow I really liked this Hub, it has a lot to do with me.

    • Jack Burton profile image

      Jack Burton 

      8 years ago from The Midwest

      The first pinoy phrase I learned was "mahal kita" and it impressed my sweetheart so much we celebrated our 38th anniversary last Friday. It did catch her by surprise, though.

      I'll have to work on some of these new ones though and see if I can still surprise her. :-)

    • cebutouristspot profile image


      8 years ago from Cebu

      Nice hub. Are you teaching someone (foreigner) close to your heart how to win your heart :).

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very good phrases! I always love to learn new languages!

    • profile image

      Brianna Stuart 

      8 years ago

      This is very sweet! But I need to learn how to pronounce them lol. Voted up!


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