10 positive ways to say "Bahala na" in English.
Let’s bring the old sayings of Bahala na (or Bathala na) into the 21st century by uplifting and shifting the meanings to higher consciousness.
These 10 translations enlighten situations and deepen our understanding of the hidden wisdom of saying “Bahala na” that many times is translated as flippant fatalism or careless “whatever.” Learn how the saying can be more positive and empowering than many of us once thought.
“Bahala na” is a Philippine saying said in different ways—straight out “Bahala na” or “Bathala na” and also with variations such as “bahala ka na diyan” and “bahala na ako s’yo.” The latter two phrases roughly mean “I’m not gonna worry about it, it’s all up to you” and “don’t worry, I’ll take care of you,” respectively.
Bahala na and Bathala na are a little more cryptic to translate directly. Bathala means “great lord” and refers to the “Supreme God” of Pilipinos in olden days and refers to “God” in modern times. Na means “now” or “here and now.” To say Bathala na translates directly as “great lord here and now” or “God is here and now.” Bahala na is a derivative phrase.
Strangely enough, the American psychologists who came here during colonization translated it for Filipinos to mean “come what may” and attributed a fatalistic meaning to it. A lot of Filipinos may use the saying of Bathala Na or Bahala Na to mean that they release responsibility for their actions.
But really, Bahala na or Bathala na means much more than that. For many other Filipinos the deeper meaning of these phrases is that all things take place in a bigger picture that they can’t quite comprehend but it’s something in which they trust.
Where I grew up in the Philippines, Visayans tend to say “Bahala Na.” In other regions of the Philippines, people tend to say “Bathala Na.” No matter how it is said, the exploration below includes both ways of saying it. So the way that YOU tend to say it is right for you…
Here are 10 positive ways of translating Bahala Na into English phrases:
- I don’t know how or why, but I trust in God’s wisdom and it is so.
- I align myself with the balance & wisdom of the Universe/God.
- God sometimes takes us into troubled waters not to drown us but to cleanse us.
- Spirit, lead me to where my courage is boundless.
- Everything I want is on the other side of my fear.
(“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” — Jack Canfield)
- I let go of things I cannot control.
- I trust in God’s Plan.
- I am open to receiving all that the Universe has to offer.
- I am not afraid of what comes next.
- Things always turn out for the best.
By coming to rediscover the meanings and concepts of Bathala Na and Bahala Na, Filipinos can uncover their spiritual roots and the ways of the ancient islanders of the Philippines, karunungan ng ating mga ninuno or wisdom of our ancestors, have always carried Universal Wisdom. I have a special blog called the Bahala Na Meditations, and there I’ll be posting a total of 111 different ways of saying “Bahala Na” in English.
You can read more different ways of saying Bahala Na and the explorations at BahalaNaMeditations.com.
Some of my friends insist they’ve only heard it said “bathala na” or they insist on “bahala na.” I’d love to hear from you. How do you say this phrase in your circles? In your area of the Philippines or the world? What is the deeper meaning for you? What does “bahala ka” or “bahala ako s’yo” mean for you? Please comment below.
Other resources online:
- Sikolohiyang Pilipino – Bahala Na (Tacit Trust)
- “Bahala Na”, The Filipino Way
- 5 Traits Filipino Can’t Be Proud Of
- Understanding the Filipino, The Filipino Mind
- Sikolohiyang Pilipino
- What is the meaning of “Bahala na”?
- BAHALA NA (Come what may), a novel by Rosalinda Rosales Morgan
- Bahala na (Come what may), novel by Earle Dixon
Omehra is also known as Inday Perla, Perla Daly, BagongPinay and NewFilipina.
She has been publishing websites to empower Filipinos for 20 years. More about her art, blogs, events, publishing and organizations at BagongPinay.