Batanes is known to have the nicest and kindest people in the Philippines. Aside from visiting the breathtaking places that our islands are known for, why not learn a few Ivatan words so you can strike a friendly conversation with the locals?
Although Ivatans have a good command of English and Tagalog, it will definitely put a smile in our faces if visitors throw in some of these handy phrases. Don't forget to bookmark this post as it will come in useful!
1. Dios Mamajes
Pronounced as: Di-os ma-ma-hes
Literally translated as "God will repay you", saying "Dios Mamajes" or "Thank you" is one of the most basic phrases you can use when dealing with the locals. Show gratitude to the hotel staff, tour guide, shop vendor or any Ivatan with a simple "Dios mamajes" and a bright smile.
2. Kapian ka pa nu Dios
Easily connect with the Ivatans by greeting us in our local language. "Kapian ka pa nu Dios" is a general greeting you can use anytime of the day. It is the equivalent of "Hello" but if translated, it means "May God be with you".
3. Ara ka mangu?
If you want to ask someone who s/he is doing, you can say so by using "Ara ka mangu?" This will be a nice icebreaker if you want to mingle with the locals.
4. Manyi pira?
Just like all other trips, you may encounter buying an item or two from a souvenir shop or any local store. That is when "Manyi pira?" comes in handy if you want to know the cost of a product. You can also say "Pira?" for a more casual tone — it is easier to remember too!
5. Dinu (name of place) aya?
Batanes is a small island so it is easy to navigate but in case you need to ask for some directions, you can use this casual phrase to get you to your destination. As we've mentioned, Batanes is small so it is likely that the first person you've asked directions to already knows the place.
We hope that you will be able to use these phrases to your upcoming Batanes trip. If you have not yet booked Batanes hotel and tour package, message us on facebook or our website to score affordable deals that will make your Batanes trip hassle-free.