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.
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.
Sebuwano is a language very distinct from Tagalog, but we get enough inquiries about Cebuano that we decided to list a few basic phrases.
In the English language, the word Filipino often refers to something from or related to the Philippines.
Kapampangan or Capampan͠gan refers to the language and people of Pampanga province. It is also known as Pampango or Pampangueño. A woman from Pampanga is called a Pampangueña.
Are you a native of Pampanga?
Marunong ka bang magsalita ng Kapampangan?
= Marunong ka bang mangapampangan?
Do you know how to speak Capampangan?
Note that Kapampangan is not a mere dialect, but a language very distinct from Tagalog.
Click here for examples of Kapampangan words and phrases!
Before the Spanish arrived in the Philippines in the 16th century, the people of the islands used a writing script called baybayin. It was the Spaniards who introduced Western letters to the Philippines.
In the 1930s, the renowned scholar Lope K. Santos developed the abakada which is an alphabet representing the sounds in the Tagalog language. It consists of twenty letters (five vowels and fifteen consonants). Continue reading “History of the Filipino Alphabet”