Here are Tagalog lessons about phrases Filipinos utter when we’re near pregnant women and children.

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a barangay here in the Philippines to raise a child, even if the baby is still in the womb. There’s this familiar sense of community, as if one’s family went beyond extended relations and into neighbors, whether they’re next door, in the hallway, or in the adjacent cubicle.

Tagalog Words / Phrases

Hi, buntis! – Hello! (said to someone who’s pregnant)

Siguro, babae yan. – I think your baby is a girl.
Maganda ka kasi. – Because you’re pretty (maganda).
Maaliwalas ang mukha mo. – Your face (mukha) looks content (or at peace).
Mabilog ang tiyan mo. – Your stomach (tiyan) is round (mabilog).

NOTE: it’s ma-bi-log (please don’t mix your syllables!)

Siguro, lalaki yan. – I think your baby is a boy.
At bakit? – And why? (asked by the pregnant woman)
Ah, uh… – [It's hard to tell the truth, so just wait for the pregnant woman to say:]
Bakit? Kasi malaki ang ilong ko? – Why? Because my nose (ilong) is big (malaki)?
Maitim ang leeg ko? – My neck (leeg) is dark (maitim)?
Matulis ang tiyan ko? – My stomach is pointed/sharp (matulis)?

Kelan ang labas? – When are you due (to deliver)?
Anong ipapangalan mo? – What name will you give your baby?

Anong gusto mo, babae o lalaki? – What do you want, a girl or a boy?

Kahit ano. – Any will do.
Basta malusog. – As long as the baby’s healthy.

*** After the baby is born ***

Kamusta ka na, mommy? – Mommy, how are you?
Normal ba o CS? – Did you deliver normally or via C-Section?

Ang ganda ng baby mo! – Your baby is beautiful!
Ang gwapo ng bata! – The child is handsome!

Kanino nagmana? – Whom did the child take after?

Siyempre, sa tatay. – Of course, the child took after the father.
Siyempre, sa nanay. – Of course, the child took after the mother.

Ang lago ng buhok. – The child has a full head of hair.
Ang taba! – How fat!
Tabachichay! – Chubby!

Pwera usog. – Loose transation: No misfortune. Or knock on wood. (This is to counter potential hexes unwittingly placed by visitors on a child.)

Hoy, nag-alcohol na ba kayo? Hey, have you cleaned yourselves with alcohol?

Kelan ang binyag? – When’s the christening?
Ninong ako, ha? – Get me as godfather, ok?
Ninang ako, ha? – Get me as godmother, ok?
Ilista mo ako, ha? – List me as godparent, ok? (for proxy godparents who are far away)

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