How to say “I love you” in Tagalog (Filipino)


Mahal kita           I love you


When to use “mahal kita”

Mahal kita is a phrase mostly used for the romantic kind of love. So if you want to say you love your Filipino spouse, girlfriend, or boyfriend, say “Mahal kita”. When a Filipino person hears “mahal kita”, it means more to them than the English translation “I love you”, not only because it is in the Filipino language, but also because Filipinos don’t use “mahal kita” frivolously. The word “mahal” is used sparingly, such as in an intimate conversation or occasion.

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 What if you want to say, “I love you” to your parents or friends?

It was uncommon for the older generation Filipinos to express their feelings to one another. But the younger generation now (20s and younger) are a lot more expressive, and they usually would just say “I love you “, “love you”, or “lab you”.


Endearing terms Filipinos use for their significant others

Mahal, love, honey, baby   


Relevant Phrases expressing Romantic Love 

Mahal na mahal kita                       I love you very much

Mahal na kita                                  I already love you

Mahal ko                                         My love

Mahal mo ba ako?                          Do you love me?

Miss kita                                          I miss you

Miss na kita                                     I already miss you

Miss mo ba ako?                            Do you miss me?

Yakapin mo ako                              Hug me

 Halikan mo ako                             Kiss me


Mahal kita is the more common way of saying I love you, but another phrase for it in Tagalog is iniibig kita. However, “iniibig kita” is outdated and rarely used.

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