Do You Need to Learn Tagalog? (2+2 Forum Fight)

This is an easy question for me, and if you follow this blog and think you will lead a life similar to mine when  then clearly the answer is no. Learning Tagalog would have almost no tangible benefit on my lifestyle.

It may impress a few girls, but for the most part girls are happy to talk in English and it’s not hard to have a conversation. With Facebook and Youtube and so much American culture here most girls know enough English to have a conversation.


IF I learnt Tagalog this might be the only book I read

Older people may not know a lot, but they know enough that you can buy your rice or bottle of coke from them with no problems.

Since I basically never really talk to anyone other than girls under 30 learning Tagalog would be a giant waste of time and money. It may impress a few girls, but you really don’t need to impress girls here.

And the hours and hours I spent learning the language would have been much better used looking for other girls to talk to.

Not to mention that there are so many different dialects. On Luzon (Manila and Angeles) they speak Tagalog but on Cebu they speak Visaya… am I really supposed to learn both? Apparently there are hundreds of languages in the Philippines (Wikipedia).

Who May Want To Learn Tagalog

I don’t need to ever talk to any Filipinos for work related purposes. If you wanted to get a job here and have daily work interactions with the locals then learning the language would have advantages.

You would have a better chance at getting a good job if you had showed the initiative to learn the language.

And you would be far more productive because many of the business meetings would either be in the local language or a combination of the local language and English.

If you are wanting to go off out into the province and live there then you would probably want to have at least some knowledge of the language. People out there won’t speak English as well as those in the city.

Outside of those two reasons I can’t really think of why anyone would need to learn the languages here. That is one of the main reasons to choose the Philippines: they already speak English.

And with the internet and everyone young being taught English in school it will continue to get better and better. If you are going to learn a dialect Tagalog would probably be the best, unless you knew that you would only be living in Cebu.

Arguing on the Internet


I got a lot of flak before from a guy named ‘SaltyWetFish’ on a messageboard called 2+2. It started here or you can read the best bits below. It all started when I posted that I spam message all the girls in my phonebook once a week ‘have a great weekend na‘ or something similar, to keep me in their minds.

For your own good, stop randomly adding “na” to the end of a sentence. It only heightens your sexpat status and the type of people you are learning Tagalog from. On a serious note, you do realize that more than half of your nonstop rants about the Philippines would be resolved if you actually tried to learn proper Tagalog, instead of using the ridiculous low level Taglish you mistakenly believe to help you communicate effectively. I was set up with my tutor shortly after I arrived. I did once a day for 2 hours a session, 6 days a week for 5 months. It is a huge advantage to speak Tagalog. Something as simple as asking for more vinegar in a restaurant is easy, just say it in Filipino if he doesn’t understand you in English. The English-only foreigner is forced to run circles, and for some reason, I’ve seen them just say it louder until they are screaming. The Filipino will nod and return with a bottle of ketchup.

To which I reply ‘lol at randomly throwing na in once every 50 posts here is me “trying to speak taglish”. None of my recent “Filipino rants” (cant really remember many recent ones other than one post about the texts) would be solved by speaking tagalog, not in the slightest.

Poor people don’t understand the time value of money. That’s why only losers spend so much time trying to save a few cents when they could earn far more if they used that time for more productive uses (i.e. for a poker player, improving their game instead of whining about bad beats). Using “na” is not taglish. It’s you and most sexpats thinking that this is taglish. You aren’t even using it correctly, which is a clear give away of the company you keep. And speaking proper Tagalog would help you avoid all these rant-worthy stories of yours. For instance, perhaps you wouldn’t have such banking issues if you could properly communicate with the locals. And no, regardless of what is published, fluent English is not commonly spoken in the Philippines. If you are dealing with businessmen, graduates, and the middle-upper working class, yes it’s much better but far from perfect. For you, since you interact largely with hookers, poor provincial girls, salesladies, and fast food workers, your cultural and language gap would be huge. Cliffs: You can’t be bothered to learn how to be better in poker or the language of the country you live in. Thus, you rant about how poker is dying and how companies in the Philippines conspire to cheat you of a few bucks to try and justify your continued existence.

(I have a reputation as a broke loser on forums 🙂 ) Anyway so I replied to that saying speaking Tagalog wouldn’t have magically resolved the bank requirements, they speak perfect English. And I just throw in na at random times because I like the word.

In almost all cases gross misunderstandings can be avoided in the Philippines by speaking fluent Tagalog (local language). This is the case in almost every country, so arguing the point is useless if you can’t accept this. You THINK that all the people in immigration, banks, etc can speak fluent English and will not misunderstand you. You are mistaken. As an employer, I can tell you that the hardest thing to do is to hire people with good English ability, written and/or spoken. Even graduates coming from the top 3 schools most often have poor English skills. They have conversational skills, but they usually do not understand anything technical or industry-specific, metaphors, nuances, and especially slang. And LOL on your information about banks. You can open them without an ACR. And if you are understood, they will give you the proper processes in advance. What you have experienced there is likely a language or comprehension problem. You have often over-informed us on your attempts to pick up girls and hookers in the malls and online, on the street, eating from street side stalls, etc … and you don’t interact with these kind of people? Please. You are not even using “na” right. You’ve obviously learned this from chatting often with uneducated girls or hookers. I see my friends from US/Europe get into this habit after a couple of months here. It’s normal, but you should stop it to avoid middle-class people from laughing about you. This is actually good advice, you’ll just ignore it anyways. You don’t study poker, your main source of income. You bumhunt and basically complain that you don’t play for months in a year because the games are bad. This is working all the hours you can? I don’t think any poker player here will agree you are working all the hours you can, unless you are physically and mentally disabled. And spare us the stories about how you have some great business/scam/enterprise up and coming. Next you’ll be telling us about some awesome website/blog you’ve got coming, although some losers might pay to listen to your degen stories, so you might want to give that a try.

He was totally going off the deep end at this point, as some expats do. Many seem to think they’re ‘big time’.

I wasn’t allowed to open a dollar account at 2 different BDOs, 2 different BPIs, and 1 Metro Bank without an ACR, there are signs clearly stating you must have an ACR to open an account as a foreigner at the side area where you sign up… maybe some branches will let you but none of the ones I went to.

As stated, if you can’t understand the value of speaking the local language in the foreign country, there is no point arguing with the oblivious. It’s good that you don’t care that people are laughing at you. For you that’s an obvious survival skill. If you have never had a problem because of language, then good for you. Extremely unlikely, but believe what you like, that’s your personality anyways. Again, rules are rules, but if you actually spoke Tagalog, you might have figured out the way to open an account without an ACR.

Or I could just get the ACR which I have to do anyways? I’m sure there would have been a few times where knowing tagalog might have saved me 10 minutes of hassle. Is that worth spending 100 hours to learn it?

So 1) improving your skills for your primary source of income and 2) learning a life skill (language) is not worth the time invested? But texting 100+ girls, most of whom didn’t reply back to you is worth the time investment. Great priorities. You go man.

I explain I dont what deep conversations with girls, I dont live the life he does, I don’t do business deals / go to bars / socialize with locals, learning tagalog would be a complete waste of time for me, maybe after 30 years I would have run into enough times where it cost me some time not knowing it that it evened out with all the time it takes to learn it, ill roll those dice though and also save that money.

You dont need to speak perfectly or fluently here, every text or message on a dating site I send is spoken improperly because it gives me lols, I say things like “you so cute na!!!!!” and it works, I fully understand that it doesnt make sense but I still do it and it still works.

By the way this guy’s very first post on the forum was ‘lots of misinformation here, I’ve been living in the Philippines 10 years now so hopefully I can rectify that‘.

I have nothing to say to that because it’s just pathetic but yeah, if this is your only priority as a poor sexpat. I’m not saying you can skip the ACR by learning Tagalog. You should actually get both. When I ran into trouble the first time at the bank, I got an assistant (educated and not some girl I met at a dating site) to help me translate. Instant bank account and I got a local credit card in the bargain. I can’t live your life better than you, you are the best at living the desperado whining sexpat, and you know those requirements better than any. You like to bring up the fact that I described myself as somebody who has been in the Philippines for over a decade. You take that in a negative way. You shouldn’t. It’s not a guarantee, but it generally means I would know a lot about this place by now, and would be able to answer questions in a realistic and competent way. Instead, you rather base it on your rather limited experiences, well that’s fine, whatever you like.

I explain again that I sit at home alone 20 hours / day, the other 4 are either going to the mall to get food which learning Tagalog is useless for, or talking with girls that don’t care if I know the lingo. Once every 2 months I go to immigration and 90% of the time there is no issue, and the few issues I’ve had speaking Tagalog wouldn’t have solved. Every 6 months I have some issue with the bank, Tagalog wouldnt solve it.

I explain I’m quite happy with my life, I’d much rather make 1k a month living in Asia than 3k a month living in the Western world and it’s not even close.

Living in a third world country, with no medical insurance, with no growth or advancement opportunities, no training, and with no job skills or career path and a huge hole in your resume. How long you think that mentality is valid for? I imagine that’s only valid until you turn 25 at best. 30 if you are a late bloomer lol. Unless somebody asks about how to live like a beggar in a third world country, banging online dating site chicks without paying, and scaring and raping innocent girls, all your posts are just pure drivel. I guess you don’t need to have so much experience to be pro in those, so in these, you are clearly the expert, and I bow down before you in these aspects of life. I’m not worthy. Frankly speaking I think that the majority of poker players in the Philippines are a couple buy ins away from busto. They stay mainly in their condos/apartments, eat 8 pesos Lucky Me instant noodles, and drink cheap beer. They also usually have some Filipina girl coming over for free or for 500-1500 for when the urge hits them. To them, this is continuing in pursuit of the dream. They wear ratty clothes, 80% of which are poker tournament freebies, freak out if you suggest to eat somewhere better than McDonalds, and flat out refuse to go out because they are afraid it might be more than they can afford.

I explain my not going out much has nothing to do with not being able to afford it, it’s just that I don’t want to. As far as eating, I generally eat whatever I want, just have no interest in fancy restaurants. Not everyone is materialistic.

I can guarantee no matter how much money I had I would never be flying to Hong Kong tailors to get my suits hemmed (he mentioned this once).

YOU DON’T EVEN WEAR A SUIT, AND YOU KNOW JACK ABOUT IT. If you did, you’d understand that having the right fit, and getting the right material for a tropical country is very important. Also, it is generally cheaper for the same quality in Hong Kong versus the Philippines, even after factoring in the air fare and hotel. From what I remember, you wear cheap flip flops and shoes coupled with raggedly andy clothing. The truth is, you live at the very bottom of the human population, and your inability to see further than your nose is the piles of steaming excrement that surrounds your pathetic life. It’s sad but true. Go home man.

And it went on and on 🙂

Back on the topic of learning Tagalog, one reasonable guy on that messageboard mentioned that for his lessons he used these guys It’s run by Agnes & Moneli. Both will travel to wherever you are for about 500 pesos for 90 mins and are very flexible with scheduling.


Moving to SEA in 2011, Dante is the author of ‘Get More Bang for Your Buck in Asia’, ‘Filipina Girls 101’, ‘Your First Trip to Angeles City’, and more Amazon ebooks.

4 Responses

  1. jspilljspill says:

    ‘Next you’ll be telling us about some awesome website/blog you’ve got coming’
    😀 😀 😀 Should send him a link to this blog.

  2. kick2dantekick2dante says:

    getting people to go on full tilt on message boards (when i am not even trying) is clearly my greatest life skill, there must be some way to monetize it………. i truly may be the best in the world at it

  3. Guy says:

    You’re right. For your uses, I don’t see learning Tagalog helping much. It does endear Filipinos to you in my experience, but really for that you just need to know a few simple phrases to get them excited. But let’s say you spend all that effort learning Tagalog fluently, then decide you’d rather move to Davao? Oops, all that effort is wasted na, now you need to forget it all and learn Bisaya.

    It’s always interesting to see guys meltdown at other people, and tell them they need to be doing what they think they should be doing. The anger shows that they’re not satisfied with life, otherwise they wouldn’t need to lash out at others.

    My guess is, this guy is putting in all this work to get and keep Pinays, then he sees you, a guy barely putting in much money or effort and getting effortless bangs with many women. Something his ego can’t accept, so he finds something that he thinks makes him better than you. In high school it was ‘But at least I’m smarter than the dumb jocks’, and now it’s ‘but at least I know Tagalog and he doesn’t’. He’s just being jealous.

  4. kick2dantekick2dante says:

    he was a weird one from the start, his first post on the forum was basically you guys are all stupid and im gonna set you straight……..problem was we didnt care to live the life that he wanted us to live and he could never get that through his dense skull

    eventually after i pwned him good and hard after about a year he just disappeared, one of my favorite ‘scalps’ ive got 🙂

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