Location, Size & Boundaries

Location: The Philippines comprises an archipelago of some 7,107 islands located off Southeast Asia, between the South  China Sea on the west and the Philippine Sea on the east. The major islands are Luzon in the north, the Visayan Islands  in the middle, and Mindanao in the south. Continue reading “Location, Size & Boundaries”


Moriones Festival of Marinduque

Moriones Festival 2017

April 14 is Good Friday with flagellantes (self-flogging by penitents).

April 15 is Black Saturday (Pugutan or Beheading of Longhinus – Senakulo).

April 16 is Easter Sunday with the Salubong and Easter Holy Mass.

The Moriones Festival is a folk-religious event held annually during Holy Week on the island of Marinduque, considered the geographical heart of the Philippines.

Moriones Festival Costumes
Moriones Festival Costumes
The word “Morion” refers to the visor of the helmet that is associated with the armor of Roman soliders.  The  word “Moriones” refers to the local inhabitants who dress up in costumes and masks of Roman soldiers during Biblical times. These costumed locals are farmers and fishermen who engage in the street theater as a form of penitence.

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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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Basic Country Facts

The Philippines is an archipelago nation of more than 7,100 islands, with a coastline that stretches 10,850 miles — twice the length of the coastline of California. The islands are mountainous and in total have a land area of 115,831 square miles.

The country lies off the southeast coast of the Asian mainland between Borneo and Taiwan. It is surrounded in the west by the South China Sea, in the east by the Pacific Ocean, in the south by the Sulu and Celebes seas, and in the north by the Bashi Channel.

The islands are divided into three major regions: Luzon, the largest island in the north; the Visayas, an island group in the center; and Mindanao, the largest island in the south. Many Filipina girls are named Luzviminda (LUZ-on, VI-sayas, MIN-danao) by their parents. It’s a uniquely Filipino name.

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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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The Tagalogs of the Philippines

The Tagalog people are members of the most dominant cultural-linguistic group in the Philippines. Their status comes from their residence in the capital of Manila and the surrounding provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Batangas, Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, Marinduque, Nueva Ecija, Quezon and Rizal. Off the island of Luzon, there are native Tagalog-speaking people on the islands of Palawan and Mindoro. A majority of Tagalogs are Roman Catholics. Continue reading “The Tagalogs of the Philippines”

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”