Ilocano is a language very distinct from Tagalog. Variously spelled as Ilocano, Ilokano, Ilukano, Ilucano, Iluko, Iloco or Iloko, it is the third most-spoken language in the Philippines.
The ancestors of the Ilocano people arrived in the Philippines by viray or bilog, meaning ‘boat’. The word Ilokano comes from i- (‘from’) and looc (‘bay’). The Ilocanos are ‘people of the bay.’ Today they refer to themselves as Samtoy, a contraction of the Ilokano phrase sao mi ditoy, “our language here”.
To get a sense of how different Ilocano and Tagalog are, compare the same phrase in English, Ilocano and Tagalog:
English: What’s your name?
Tagalog: Anong pangalan mo?
Ilocano: Ania ti naganmo?
English: Good morning.
Tagalog: Magandang umaga.
Ilocano: Naimbag a bigatmo.
English: I love you.
Tagalog: Mahal kita.
Ilocano: Ayayaten ka.
Agsardengka is an Ilocano word that means “Shut up!”
Biag ni Lam-ang (The Life of Lam-ang) is a famous epic of the Ilocano people.
Other traditional Ilocano songs are Naraniag a Bulan (Shiny Moon), Ti Ayat ti Maysa nga Ubing (The Love of Child), the serenade No Duaduaem Pay (If You Still Doubt), Bannatiran (a mythical bird), Ilokana a Nadayag (Popular Ilocana) and Duayya ni Ayat.
stir fry; roasted
kinirog na kanin
lattan, nalaing, agtongtong
mabayag (long time), mabayag (before long)
Ti nakersang nga daculap, isut dalan ti pirac.
Rough hands are the pathway to money.
Ang dallot ng mga Ilokano ang pinakamatandang uri ng awit. Karaniwan itong ginagamit ng isang binata sa kanyang panliligaw, at tinutugon naman ng dalagang sinusuyo sa gayon ding paraan.