"Ho" and "Po" are both words to show respect and are used about equally.
There is no rule about which one to use and when. "Po" may be considered more formal. Maybe that's because we might initially tend to use "po" when the seniority of the other person is obvious, but once that acknowledgment has been established then using either one would not matter anymore.
In situations, like addressing a jeepney driver or any other stranger inside the jeep, "ho" would serve as a generic respectful expression in the sense that age difference need not considered. A "po" might be unflattering to those who may not be that old.
In general though, it does not really matter whether we say "po" or "ho".
When it comes to using "po!" and "ho!" in responding to a call, for example, a parent calling a child who's at a distance or in another room, we might resort to using "po!". This is because it might be easier to say it aloud and the "exploding" 'p' might help project the sound further than aspirating it with an "h". (Note: these "po!" and "ho!" responses are just the clipped "opo!" and "oho!", which are the respectful "yes!" responses)
Formal Rank: #572 Casual Rank: #387 ** A lower rank means the word is used more frequently. For example, rank #1 would be the most frequently used word.
Method: This script ranks all words by frequency using both formal sources (mostly newspaper articles) and informal sources (a combination of over 100 hours of transcribed audio, internet comments, and amateur fiction writing) to roughly determine whether a word is used more frequency in casual or formal contexts.
Ho Example Sentences in Tagalog: (4)
Example sentences created by professional Filipino teachers and writers.