What is the meaning of BAHALA NA?

When we were editing my book, “BAHALA NA (Come What May)”, a phrase popped up few times and caught our attention. That was when we decided to change the title of the book and published it with the new title, “BAHALA NA (Come What May)”.

“Bahala na” is a philosophical expression Filipinos used when they are confronted with problems. They will say “Bahala Na”, meaning “come what may,” “whatever will be, will be,” ‘leave it to God’, like the Spanish word “que sera, sera”.  

“Bahala na”,comes from the phrase Bathala na, where Bathala means God. Bahala also means trust or custody. Na is used as an adverb of time just like already. So it can literally be translated as God already or God will take care already. It is used in the context of “Trust in God”, “God will take control”,“Leave it to God” because God will provide. In a sense, it can be construed as a negative attitude in life, a defeatist or fatalistic attitude where you are only willing to do so much and leave the rest to God. Some people believe it makes you irresponsible, careless and lazy. On the other hand, it stops you from worrying about your problem during uncertain times. It relieves stress knowing you did everything you could and God will take control of the rest.

When faced with challenging situations, Filipinos can do a daring act and they leave everything to God hoping God will take care of them. They accept what comes their way, appreciate what they have, and God will take care of the rest. In time of tragedy, they are not easily discouraged. They know they have done their best and with a strong faith, they leave everything to God, knowing God is on their side. True, the term signifies an attitude intended to surrender to fate which can be construed as a negative attitude but it enables them to take a chance and accept what fate has to offer. It can also be viewed as a positive thinking, in the sense that it gives them strength and confidence to tackle any job head on in the hope that everything will turn out for the best if God wills it.  

“Bahala na” is used in different ways such as:

  • Bahala na come what may
  • Akong bahala sa ‘yo.I’ll take care of you
  • Bahalawhatever
  • Bahala ka na – it’s up to you
  • Bahala ka na ngait’s up to you
  • Bahala na ang Diosit’s up to God
  • Bahala na kayoit’s up to you or the decision is yours
  •  Bahala na silaleave it to them
  • Bahala ka na sa akin – you’ll take care of me
  • Bahala na sina nanay at nanay – it’s up to mom and dad
  • Bahala na kayong lahat – it’s up to all of you
  • Bahala na kong anong mangyari.he/she will accept whatever will happen
  • Ikaw ang bahala d’yan you’re in charge of that.
  • Ipabahalato leave the responsibility to someone else
  • mabahala to be concerned, to feel worried.
  • Palagi ka nalang bahala nayou are always saying come what may
  • magwalang-bahalato disregard
  • walang-bahalignorant,negligent
  • Nabahala ako sa narinig koI was distressed by what I heard

In Cebuano, a dialect of Cebu province, “Bahala Na”  is translated as mahitabo kung mahitabo; dili na mahinungdanon kung unsa pa may mahitabo o dangatan. I think I’ll stay with Bahala Na. It’s easier to remember.

Copyright © 2013. By Rosalinda R Morgan, author of BAHALA NA (Come What May.

All rights reserved. What is the meaning of “BAHALA NA “?



The Philippines is one of those countries that are blessed with people who speak different tongues. It can be due to the fact that the country has been inhabited by people across the globe and those influences contribute to the richness of the languages. There are about 87 different languages and dialects spoken in the Philippines.Tagalog was made the national language in 1946 and was changed to Pilipino in 1962. English is also widely used.

BAHALA NA (Come What May) is enriched with the use of some of the Pilipino phrases mentioned below. With the influx of Filipinos everywhere, it might be a great idea if you learn a few words. It can also be beneficial if you decide to visit the Philippines for business or for pleasure. Pronunciation is a bit tricky since we put the emphasis on the second syllable instead of the first so you just have to watch it. The words are said phonetically. Have fun and I will come back every so often and add more words. Here are some useful phrases for beginners.

1.    Magandang Umaga Po – Good Morning Sir/Madam

2.    Magandang Hapon Po – Good Afternoon Sir/Madam

3.    Magandang Gabi – Good Evening

4.    Kumusta? – How are you?

5.    Mabuti – I’m fine

6.    Salamat – Thank you

7.    Walang Anuman – You’re welcome. Literally it means “It does not matter.”

8.    Sino – Who

9.    Ano – What

10.Bakit – Why

11.Saan – Where

12.Gaano – How much

13.Dito – Here

14.Duun – There

15.Bahala Na – Come What May

Copyright © 2013. By Rosalinda R Morgan, author of BAHALA NA (Come What May.



About the Philippines

The Philippines is a tropical paradise in Southeast Asia with spectacular beaches fringed with gently swaying palm trees on fine white, pink and in some areas almost black sand.  Some islands are well known and some are still deserted and undiscovered, home to underwater wrecks like Spanish galleons and Chinese junks surrounded by vast expanses of verdant landscapes and classic baroque churches.

The Philippine Islands consisting of about 7,100 separate islands largely of volcanic origin traversed from north to south by irregular mountain ranges spread more than 1,100 miles (1850 kilometers) from north to south and nearly 700 miles (1,100 kilometers) east to west at its widest.  Total land area is nearly 115,000 square miles (roughly 300,439 square kilometers), slightly larger than New Zealand, roughly the size of the state of Arizona of which about two-thirds is contained in Luzon and Mindanao.  The total water surface of the archipelago is 705,115 square miles.

The three main island groupings: Luzon on the north which includes the islands of Mindoro and Palawan; the Visayan Islands in the middle; and Mindanao in the south which includes the Sulu group.

The Philippine population is a mix of tribal and ethnic groups representing 111 linguistic, cultural and racial groups. The majority is of Filipino-Malayan descent with Japanese, Chinese, European and American added to the mix. The minority is the aboriginal group called Negritos whose average height is about 147 centimeters or 58 inches, dark brown to almost black skin color, wide noses and tight curly hair. The Negritos or Little Negroes are one of the dwarf Australoid people of the ancient populations of the world. However, there are about 87 different languages and dialects spoken in the Philippines. Tagalog was made the national language in 1946 and changed to Pilipino in 1962.   English is also widely used.

By Rosalinda R Morgan, author of Bahala Na (Come What May). For more info about Rosalinda R Morgan, visit her website at www.rosalindasgarden.com.