Annual Festivals of the Philippines

February 1 – March 25, 2017: Kaamulan Festival of Bukidnon

Listahan ng Mga Taunang Kapistahan sa Pilipinas

Filipino Celebrations: Feasts & Festivals
Filipino Celebrations: Feasts & Festivals


Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo, Aklan – January

Sinulog Festival of Cebu – third Sunday of January

Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo – January 20-22, 2017

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What is Tagalog?

The Philippines is a country with a population of over 100 million. A citizen of the Philippines is called a Filipino.

Filipinos are not one ethnic group. Among the large ethnic groups in the Philippines are the Ilocano, Cebuano, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Bicolano and Tagalog.

Tagalog is the name of an ethnic group in the Philippines. The language they speak is Tagalog.

The Tagalogs (the Tagalog people) speak the Tagalog language. Likewise, the Ilocanos speak the Ilocano language, and the Pangasinense speak the Pangansinan language. These are all very different languages; they are NOT just dialects.

Many of the Tagalog people live near Manila, the political and economic capital of the Philippines. When the 1935 constitution was drafted by government officials, they selected Tagalog as the basis of the national language.

In order not to slight the other ethnic groups, the national language was not called Tagalog, but Pilipino. Later, in the 1987 constitution, the national language was called Filipino, with an F.

The national language (Filipino) is to include not only words from Tagalog, but also from other Philippine and foreign languages.

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Filipino? Tagalog? Pilipino?

The basis for the Philippine national language is Tagalog, which had primarily been spoken only in Manila and the surrounding provinces when the Commonwealth constitution was drawn up in the 1930s. That constitution provided for a national language, but did not specifically designate it as Tagalog because of objections raised by representatives from other parts of the country where Tagalog was not spoken. It merely stated that a national language acceptable to the entire populace (and ideally incorporating elements from the diverse languages spoken throughout the islands) would be a future goal. Tagalog, of course, by virtue of being the lingua franca of those who lived in or near the government capital, was the predominant candidate.

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In the English language, the word Filipino often refers to something from or related to the Philippines.

For examples:

  • Filipino cuisine – food associated with the Philippines
  • Filipino people – ethnic group that identifies with the Philippines
  • Filipino language – national language of the Philippines
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    National Symbols of the Philippines

    Pambansang Awit: Lupang Hinirang (the entire song is translated into English as “Land of the Morning“). National Anthem: Lupang Hinirang

    Pambansang Ibon: Agila ng Pilipinas (Pithecophaga jeffery)
    National Bird: Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jeffery)

    Kalabaw / Carabao
    Kalabaw / Carabao

    Pambansang Hayop: Kalabaw (Bubalus bubalis)
    National Animal: Carabao (Bubalus bubalis)

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    Panatang Makabayan

    This patriotic oath is legally required to be recited at all public and private schools in which the majority of students are Filipinos.

    Patriotic Oath of the Philippines

    Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas, aking lupang sinilangan,
    Tahanan ng aking lahi, kinukupkop ako at tinutulungang
    Maging malakas, masipag at marangal
    Dahil mahal ko ang Pilipinas,
    Diringgin ko ang payo ng aking magulang,
    Susundin ko ang tuntunin ng paaralan,
    Tutuparin ko ang mga tungkulin ng isang mamamayang makabayan,
    Naglilingkod, nag-aaral at nagdarasal nang buong katapatan.
    Iaalay ko ang aking buhay, pangarap, pagsisikap
    Sa bansang Pilipinas.

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    Basic Cebuano Phrases

    Sebuwano is a language very distinct from Tagalog, but we get enough inquiries about Cebuano that we decided to list a few basic phrases.

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    Ilocano or Ilokano

    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. Continue reading “Ilocano or Ilokano”