Still, that doesn't mean Pinoys are any less romantic. In fact, if this list tells us anything, it's that Filipinos always find a way to express what's inside their hearts — love-related or otherwise. Without further ado, let's dig into them.
As we've mentioned in a previous article, kilig is a difficult word to translate into any other language. You could say it's the "thrill," "anticipation" or "delight" a person feels when it comes to love-related stuff, but that's not quite accurate. One thing's for sure, though: If a Filipino says Kinikilig ako sa iyo (I feel kilig towards you), it's a good sign.
Gusto has the same connotation as the English word "like." When a Filipino says Gusto kita ("I like you"), it means they have mostly positive feelings towards you. Whether those feelings are romantic or platonic, of course, depends on the context and intention of the speaker.
Now, this is a more straightforward expression of love. If a Filipino tells you Mahal kita, there's no question about it: They love you in that way. (Unless, of course, you're blood relatives, in which case Mahal kita has a more platonic connotation.)
Iniibig kita has essentially the same meaning as Mahal kita, except the former sounds more poetic and archaic. You don't really hear it much in casual conversation, but it definitely crops up a lot in songs and patriotic pieces like Pag-Ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa ("Love for the Mother Country") by Andres Bonifacio. Romantic Pinoys might still appreciate you saying it, though.
Generally, sagot means "answer" or "reply." But in the context of love, it means "requited/returned feelings." So if a Pinoy asks you Sinagot ka? (Did that person return your feelings?), there are only two possible answers. One is a happy "Oo! (Yes!)," while the other is…
As suggested in the previous sentence, sawi is the opposite of sagot. Like most broken-hearted people, Pinoys express their broken hearts through lamentations, drinking parties and — if they have the talent and resources for it — radio-worthy songs. Be careful when talking to a Pinoy in this state: They won't be in a joking mood. (Besides, sawi is also the Filipino word for "dead.")
In everyday parlance, hugot means "to pull up." So when a Pinoy describes a movie/show/fictional story as hugot, it means they can relate to it on some level, because it managed to "pull up" their deepest, darkest feelings. Usually, people who are sawi like to use this word.
You know those men who can't sum up the courage to tell the girl they love how they feel? Those are what Filipinos call torpe. Since Filipino men are expected to make the first move in a courtship, this is not a compliment.
Of course, if the woman doesn’t mind making the first move (as is usually the case in urban areas), being torpe doesn't make a difference. But if being torpe also means being ander de saya (lit. "under the skirt," an idiom for "henpecked husband"), that doesn't bode well for the poor guy.
If, after a long courtship, you and a Pinoy decide to hook up (or, in Filipino terms, naging kayo), this is what people would call you. Syota/Jowa are gender-neutral terms for "boyfriend/girlfriend," and are often used informally. Being English speakers, a Pinoy may also describe their lover as a BF/GF (shorthand for "boyfriend/girlfriend").
If a yearly celebration of marriage is an "anniversary," then a monthly celebration of a relationship is a "monthsary." We're not really sure if this is an exclusively Filipino term, though it has yet to be included in any recognized English or Filipino dictionary. Equivalent words include "mensual," "monthaversary," "monthiversary," "lunaversary" and "uncianniversary," though we imagine that none of those sound quite as memorable (and as easy to spell) as "monthsary."
Like all languages, Filipino keeps evolving throughout the years. That means we're bound to leave out some worthy contenders for this list, like "forever alone" (which isn't exclusive to the Philippines), "friendzone" (which isn't exclusive to the Philippines either) and NBSB/NGSB (No Boyfriend Since Birth/No Girlfriend Since Birth). Living in "The Social Networking Capital of the World," Pinoys can be expected to come up with increasingly creative ways to express love/heartbreak.
In the meantime, we'd like to hear from you readers as well. What Filipino words related to love do you like/dislike, and why? Sound off in the comments, and have a happy Valentine's Day with your loved ones!