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10 positive ways to say "Bahala na" in English.

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:

  1. I don’t know how or why, but I trust in God’s wisdom and it is so.
    I don’t know how or why, but I trust in God’s wisdom and it is so. 10 positive ways of saying "Bahala na" in English. #Pinaydotcom
  2. I align myself with the balance & wisdom of the Universe/God.
    I align myself with the balance & wisdom of the Universe/God. 10 positive ways of saying "Bahala na" in English. #Pinaydotcom
  3. God sometimes takes us into troubled waters not to drown us but to cleanse us.
    God sometimes takes us into troubled waters not to drown us but to cleanse us. 10 positive ways of saying "Bahala na" in English. #Pinaydotcom
  4. Spirit, lead me to where my courage is boundless.
    Spirit, lead me to where my courage is boundless. 10 positive ways of saying "Bahala na" in English. #Pinaydotcom
  5. Everything I want is on the other side of my fear.
    Everything I want is on the other side of my fear.—Jack Canfied. Positve ways to say Bahala Na in English.
    (“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” — Jack Canfield)
  6. I let go of things I cannot control.
    I let go of things I cannot control. 10 positive ways of saying "Bahala na" in English. #Pinaydotcom
  7. I trust in God’s Plan.
    I trust in God’s Plan. 10 positive ways of saying "Bahala na" in English. #Pinaydotcom
  8. I am open to receiving all that the Universe has to offer.
    I am open to receiving all that the Universe has to offer. 10 positive ways of saying "Bahala na" in English. #Pinaydotcom
  9. I am not afraid of what comes next.
    I am not afraid of what comes next. 10 positive ways of saying "Bahala na" in English. #Pinaydotcom
  10. Things always turn out for the best.
    Things always turn out for the best. 10 positive ways of saying "Bahala na" in English. #Pinaydotcom

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:

Omehra
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Omehra

Omehra Sigahne is a life coach, multimedia artist, and leader who collaborates with artists, writers, healers, activists, professionals and organizers around the world in digital collage, poetry, photography, painting, online communities, publications, workshops, conferencesand organizations.

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.
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Comments

  1. My Tita Marilyn likes to say “bahala na si Batman kag si Robin.” LOL

  2. A modern interpretation that came along for “Bahala na” is “whatever!”

    Still, that’s pretty negative too. So let’s embrace the positive possibilities for “Bahala na” and “Bathala na.”

  3. lissadeg

    Hi Perla! I really enjoyed this article. Will definitely use these empowering ways of saying Bathala na. As a Filipino who grew up not knowing the true origin of the phrase, I always said it with a corresponding sensation of letting go, surrendering the outcome to the higher power. So much deeper than a plain “whatever”. For me, use of the phrase is predicated by an honest effort to accomplish one’s goal, and then letting go of the outcome because one knows not everything is within one’s control. It’s good to be reminded of that. Thank you 🙂

  4. Mona Sabalones Gonzalez

    I always felt like Tagalog is so beautiful, that’s why I like Filipino songs. But this article makes me feel very, very proud because it adds so much more depth to the meaning of this very common phrase. It also shows the Filipino spirit, and I thank you very much for that:)

  5. Marissa J. Hartwig

    I grew up believing that “Bahala na” was synonymous to laziness and fatalism. I had never heard of “Bathala na” or “Bathala nawa”. Having been initiated into the world of spirit, I have come to believe in the power of those two words. For me, it is trusting the universe, believing that everything happens for a reason, and that I need to have faith in The Source. “It is what it is” doesn’t have to be a negative connotation.
    Thank you for enlightening us on the positive energy these two words evoke.

  6. In Pampanga, the Batala is a sacred bird, the kingfisher, that can be used as a messenger by deities and wizards. The absence or presence of the bird may be seen a a sign of good or bad fortune depending on the circumstances.

    Thus, to say ‘Batala na’ would be to refer to the presence of the sacred omen bird. In some cases, the bird itself may be seen as an embodiment or an avatar of a deity or shaman/sorcerer (of any sex).

    In this sense, one is saying that he/she is resigned to fate or divine destiny.

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