Here are some common greetings that may come in handy when talking to a Filipino or Tagalog speaker:
Kumusta came from the Spanish greeting “Como Estas” which literally means “How are you.” In the Philippines, it is also often used to say “Hi!” or “Hello!”
Magandang umaga means “Good morning.”
Magandang tanghali means “Good afternoon.” “Tanghali” literally means “noon,” so it is usually used around 12:00 noon or the hour immediately preceding or following it.
Magandang hapon also means “Good afternoon.” It is a lot more flexible compared to “Magandang tanghali” as it can be used anytime between 12:00 noon to around the time the sun sets.
Magandang gabi means “Good evening.” Aside from that, it can also be used to bid someone good night.
Magandang araw means “Good Day.” This is often used during daytime, but it can also be used as a greeting signaling the conclusion of a long day.
Maligayang kaarawan means “Happy birthday.” Filipinos just usually use “Happy birthday” when greeting friends and acquaintances, but if you want to go out of your way and greet them in their own language, you can use this one instead.
Maligayang pasko means “Merry Christmas.” Alternatively, you can also use “Masayang Pasko” which means the same thing (Happy Christmas), although the first one is more commonly used.
Maligayang bagong taon means “Happy New Year,” but when greeting people during Christmas, we usually say, “Maligayang Pasko at manigong bagong taon” which literally means,”Happy Christmas and a prosperous new year (“manigo” means prosperous).
Tao po literally means “Is there a person there?” and is used as the equivalent of the English question “Anybody home?”
Ako si… means “I am” and is used to introduce yourself. Alternatively, you can also say “Ang pangalan ko ay…” which means “My name is…” or “Ako nga pala si…” which translates to “By the way, I am…”
Maligayang pagbabalik means “Welcome back” or “Welcome home.”
Hanggang sa muling pagkikita means “Until we meet again.” It can be shortened to “Hanggang sa muli” which translates to “Until then.”
The greetings mentioned above were in their casual form. If you are talking to someone older than you are or someone who is in a position of higher authority, the polite way to go would be to add an additional “po” at the end of the greeting like “Magandang umaga po” or “Kumusta po.”
There are a bunch of other common greetings that you can use, but I guess my post is getting kinda long, so if you’d like to know more or if there’s anything you’d like to clarify or ask, feel free to leave a comment. (^_^)