Tagalog people


Tagalog people
Katagalugan (Baybayin: ᜃᜆᜄᜎᜓᜄᜈ᜔) / Mga Tagalog / Lahing Tagalog
Naturales 5.png
A Maginoo (noble class) couple, both wearing blue-coloured clothing articles (blue being the distinctive colour of their class).
Total population
c. 30 million (in the Philippines)[1]
Regions with significant populations
(Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Central Luzon, Mimaropa)
Canada Canada
Palau Palau
United States United States
Guam Guam
Federated States of Micronesia Federated States of Micronesia
Northern Mariana Islands Northern Mariana Islands
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia
Hong Kong Hong Kong
Tagalog (Filipino)
English (auxiliary)
Old Malay (historically)
Predominantly Christianity (mostly Catholic),
minority Muslim, Buddhist, Anitism (Tagalog religion) minorities
Related ethnic groups
Other Filipino ethnic groups, other Austronesian people

The Tagalog people (Filipino: Mga Tagalog) are the second largest ethnolinguistic group in the Philippines after the Visayan people[citation needed], numbering at around 30 million. An Austronesian people, the Tagalog have a well developed society due to their cultural heartland, Manila, being the capital city of the Philippines. They are native to the Metro Manila and Calabarzon regions of southern Luzon, as well as being the largest group in the provinces of Bulacan, Bataan, Nueva Ecija and Aurora in Central Luzon and in the islands of Marinduque and Mindoro in Mimaropa.


The commonly perpetuated origin for the endonym "Tagalog" is the term tagá-ilog, which means "people from [along] the river". However, this explanation is a mistranslation of the term "Tagalog". Instead, the term is derived from tagá-árog, which means "people from the ford" (the prefix tagá- meaning "coming from" or "native of").[2][3] Kapampangan legends talk of a war between the taga-ilug led by Dayang Makiling, and Kapampangans led by Apung Suku.[4]

In 1821, American diplomat Edmund Roberts called the Tagalog "Tagalor" in his memoirs about his trips to the Philippines.[5]

According to William Henry Scott, the term Tagalog was originally used to differentiate the river dwellers (taga-ilog) from the mountain dwellers (taga-bundok) between Nagcarlan (Laguna) and Lamon Bay, even though they spoke the same language. Father Juan de Oliver, preaching to Batangueños on God's being Father of all people, distinguished Kumintang (Batangas) from Tagalog, Spanish, and Chinese. The Tagalogs called themselves tawo (person), a term they did not apply to other tribes or nations: foreigners who spoke other languages were called  samot or samok.[6] The Tagalogs of the mountain were also referred to as Tingues,[7] and they had some customs different from those of the lowlanders. [8]


La Bulaqueña (1895) by Juan Luna depicts a woman from Bulacan, Central Luzon, wearing a traditional María Clara gown.

10th Century 13th century

The earliest written record of Tagalog is a late 9th-century document known as the Laguna Copperplate Inscription which is about a remission of debt on behalf of the ruler of Tondo.[9] Inscribed on it is year 822 of the Saka Era, the month of Waisaka, and the fourth day of the waning moon, which corresponds to Monday, April 21, 900 CE in the Proleptic Gregorian calendar.[10] The writing system used is the Kawi script, while the language is a variety of Old Malay, and contains numerous loanwords from Sanskrit and a few non-Malay vocabulary elements whose origin may be Old Javanese. Some contend it is between Old Tagalog and Old Javanese.[11] The document states that it releases its bearers, the children of Namwaran, from a debt in gold amounting to 1 kati and 8 suwarnas (865 grams).[12][10] Around the creation of the copperplate, a complex society with sarcophagi burial practices developed in the Bondok peninsula in Quezon province. Also, the polities in Namayan, Manila, and Tondo, all in the Pasig river tributary, were established. Various Tagalog societies were also established in Calatagan, Tayabas, shores of Lake Laguna, Marinduque, and Malolos.

14th-16th centuries

The enhancements of these Tagalog societies until the middle of the 16th century made it possible for other Tagalog societies to spread and develop various cultural practices such as those concerning the dambana. During the reign of Sultan Bolkiah in 1485 to 1521, the Sultanate of Brunei decided to break Tondo's monopoly in the China trade by attacking Tondo and establishing Selurung as a Bruneian satellite-state.[13][14] The most known unification of barangays in pre-colonial Tagalog history are the unification of Tondo barangays (those at the northern edge of the Pasig river), the unification of Manila barangays (those at the southern edge of the Pasig river), the unification of Namayan barangays (those upstream of the Pasig), the unification of Kumintang barangays (those west of Batangas), and the unification of Pangil barangays (those east and south of Laguna de Bay). The first two barangay unification were most likely triggered by conflicts between the two Tagalog sides of the river, while the Namayan unification was most likely triggered by economic means as all trade between the barangays around Laguna de Bay and barangays at Manila Bay need to pass through Namayan via the Pasig river. The unification of Kumintang barangays was probably due to economic ties as traders from East Asia flocked the area, while the unification of Pangil barangays was said to be due to a certain Gat Pangilwhil[clarification needed] unified the barangays under his lakanship. Present-day Tondo is the southern section of Manila's Tondo district, while present-day Maynila is Manila's Intramuros district. Present-day Namayan is Manila's Santa Ana district. Present-day Pangil is the eastern and southern shores of Laguna and a small portion of northern Quezon province. Present-day Kumintang is the areas of western Batangas. The Kumintang barangays are sometimes referred as the 'homeland' of the Tagalog people, however, it is contested by the Tagalogs of Manila.[15] Tomé Pires noted that the Luções or people from Luzon were "mostly heathen" and were not much esteemed in Malacca at the time he was there, although he also noted that they were strong, industrious, given to useful pursuits. Pires' exploration led him to discover that in their own country, the Luções had foodstuffs, wax, honey, inferior grade gold, had no king, and were governed instead by a group of elders. They traded with tribes from Borneo and Indonesia and Filipino historians note that the language of the Luções was one of the 80 different languages spoken in Malacca.[16] When Magellan's ship arrived in the Philippines, Pigafetta noted that there were Luções there collecting sandalwood.[17] Contact with the rest of Southeast Asia led to the creation of Baybayin script that was later used in the book Doctrina Cristiana, which is written by the 16th century Spanish colonizers.[18]

Costume typical of a family belonging to the Principalía wearing Barong Tagalog and baro't saya.

16th century onwards

On May 19, 1571, Miguel López de Legazpi gave the title "city" to the colony of Manila.[19] The title was certified on June 19, 1572.[19] Under Spain, Manila became the colonial entrepot in the Far East. The Philippines was a Spanish colony administered under the Viceroyalty of New Spain and the Governor-General of the Philippines who ruled from Manila was sub-ordinate to the Viceroy in Mexico City.[20] Throughout the 333 years of Spanish rule, various grammars and dictionaries were written by Spanish clergymen, including Vocabulario de la lengua tagala by Pedro de San Buenaventura (Pila, Laguna, 1613), Pablo Clain's Vocabulario de la lengua tagala (beginning of the 18th century), Vocabulario de la lengua tagala (1835), and Arte de la lengua tagala y manual tagalog para la administración de los Santos Sacramentos (1850) in addition to early studies of the language.[21] The first substantial dictionary of Tagalog language was written by the Czech Jesuit missionary Pablo Clain in the beginning of the 18th century.[22] Further compilation of his substantial work was prepared by P. Juan de Noceda and P. Pedro de Sanlucar and published as Vocabulario de la lengua tagala in Manila in 1754 and then repeatedly[23] re-edited, with the last edition being in 2013 in Manila.[24] The indigenous poet Francisco Baltazar (1788–1862) is regarded as the foremost Tagalog writer, his most notable work being the early 19th-century epic Florante at Laura.[25]

Group of Tagalog revolutionaries during the Spanish–American War of 1898

Prior to Spanish arrival and Catholic seeding, the ancient Tagalog people used to cover the following: present-day Calabarzon region except the Polillo Islands, northern Quezon, Alabat island, the Bondoc Peninsula, and easternmost Quezon; Marinduque; Bulacan except for its eastern part; and southwest Nueva Ecija, as much of Nueva Ecija used to be a vast rainforest where numerous nomadic ethnic groups stayed and left. When the polities of Tondo and Maynila fell due to the Spanish, the Tagalog-majority areas grew through Tagalog migrations in portions of Central Luzon and north Mimaropa as a Tagalog migration policy was implemented by Spain. This was continued by the Americans when they defeated Spain in a war.[citation needed]

The first Asian-origin people known to arrive in North America after the beginning of European colonization were a group of Filipinos known as "Luzonians" or Luzon Indians who were part of the crew and landing party of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de la Buena Esperanza. The ship set sail from Macau and landed in Morro Bay in what is now the California coast on October 17, 1587, as part of the Galleon Trade between the Spanish East Indies (the colonial name for what would become the Philippines) and New Spain (Spain's Viceroyalty in North America).[26] More Filipino sailors arrived along the California coast when both places were part of the Spanish Empire.[27] By 1763, "Manila men" or "Tagalas" had established a settlement called St. Malo on the outskirts of New Orleans, Louisiana.[28]

First official flag of the Philippine Republic and used during the Philippine Revolution which is mainly used by the Tagalog revolutionaries.
Andrés Bonifacio, one of the founders of Katipunan.

The Tagalog played an active role during the 1896 Philippine Revolution and many of its leaders were either from Manila or surrounding provinces.[29] The Katipunan once intended to name the Philippines as "Katagalugan" or the Tagalog Republic,[30] and extended the meaning of these terms to all natives in the Philippine islands.[31][32] Miguel de Unamuno described Filipino propagandist José Rizal (1861–1896) as the "Tagalog Hamlet" and said of him “a soul that dreads the revolution although deep down desires it. He pivots between fear and hope, between faith and despair.”[33] In 1902, Macario Sakay formed his own Republika ng Katagalugan in the mountains of Morong (today, the province of Rizal), and held the presidency with Francisco Carreón as vice president.[34]

19th century onwards

Tagalog was declared the official language by the first constitution in the Philippines, the Constitution of Biak-na-Bato in 1897.[35] In 1935, the Philippine constitution designated English and Spanish as official languages, but mandated the development and adoption of a common national language based on one of the existing native languages.[36] After study and deliberation, the National Language Institute, a committee composed of seven members who represented various regions in the Philippines, chose Tagalog as the basis for the evolution and adoption of the national language of the Philippines.[37][38] President Manuel L. Quezon then, on December 30, 1937, proclaimed the selection of the Tagalog language to be used as the basis for the evolution and adoption of the national language of the Philippines.[37] In 1939, President Quezon renamed the proposed Tagalog-based national language as wikang pambansâ (national language).[38] In 1959, the language was further renamed as "Pilipino".[38] The 1973 constitution designated the Tagalog-based "Pilipino", along with English, as an official language and mandated the development and formal adoption of a common national language to be known as Filipino.[39] The 1987 constitution designated Filipino as the national language mandating that as it evolves, it shall be further developed and enriched on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages.[40]


The Tagalog number around 30 million, making them the largest indigenous Filipino ethno-linguistic group in the country. The second largest is the Sebwano with around 20 million.[41] Tagalog settlements are generally lowland, and are commonly sited on the banks near the delta and "wawà" or mouth of a river.[42] The traditional clothing of the Tagalog, the Barong Tagalog, is the folk costume of the Philippines, while the national language of the Philippines, which is Filipino, is derived mainly from the Tagalog language.[43]

The Tagalog mostly practice Christianity (majority Catholicism and minority Protestantism) with a minority practicing Islam, Buddhism, indigenous Philippine folk religions (Tagalog religion), and other religions as well as no religion.[42]


Sinigang, a Filipino soup or stew to have come from the Tagalogs, is commonly served across the country with other versions found in the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Sinigang is therefore a very popular dish in all of the Philippines.

Bulacan is popular for chicharon (crunchy pork rind), steamed rice and tuber cakes like puto. It is a center for panghimagas or desserts, like brown rice cake or kutsinta, sapin-sapin, suman, cassava cake, halaya ube and the king of sweets, in San Miguel, Bulacan, the famous carabao milk candy pastillas de leche, with its pabalat wrapper.[44] Antipolo, the capital of Rizal province, straddled mid-level in the mountainous regions of the Philippine Sierra Madre, is a city known for its suman and cashew products. Cainta, also in Rizal, is also known for its suman rice cakes and puddings. These are usually topped with latik, a mixture of coconut milk and brown sugar, reduced to a dry crumbly texture. A more modern and time saving alternative to latik are coconut flakes toasted in a frying pan.

Laguna is known for buko pie (coconut pie) and panutsa (peanut brittle). Batangas is home to Taal Lake, a body of water that surrounds Taal Volcano. The lake is home to 75 species of freshwater fish. Among these, the maliputo and tawilis are two not commonly found elsewhere. These fish are delicious native delicacies. Batangas is also known for its special coffee, the strong-tasting kapeng barako. Bistek Tagalog is a dish of strips of sirloin beef slowly cooked in soy sauce, calamansi juice, vinegar and onions. Records have also shown that kare-kare is the Tagalog dish that the Spanish first tasted when they landed in pre-colonial Tondo.[45]


Tagalog clothing during the 19th century. From Aventures d'un Gentilhomme Breton aux iles Philippines by Paul de la Gironiere, published in 1855.
A working-class Tagalog man, c. 1900
A Tagalog woman in traditional dress, c. 1900

The majority of Tagalogs before colonization wore garments woven by the locals, much of which showed sophisticated designs and techniques. The Boxer Codex also illuminates the intricate and high standard in Tagalog clothing, especially among the gold-draped high society. High society members, which include the datu and the katolonan, also wore accessories made of prized materials. Slaves on the other hand wore simple clothing, seldom loincloths.

During later centuries, Tagalog nobles would wear the barong tagalog for men and the baro't saya for women. When the Philippines became independent, the barong Tagalog became popularised as the national costume of the country, as the wearers were the majority in the new capital, Manila.


The Tagalog people were also craftsmen. The katolanan, specifically, of each barangay is tasked as the holder of arts and culture, and usually trains craftfolks if ever no craftfolks are living in the barangay. If the barangay has a craftsfolk, the present crafts-folks would teach their crafts to gifted students. Notable crafts made by ancient Tagalogs are boats, fans, agricultural materials, livestock instruments, spears, arrows, shields, accessories, jewelries, clothing, houses, paddles, fish gears, mortar and pestles, food utensils, musical instruments, bamboo and metal wears for inscribing messages, clay wears, toys, and many others.

Belief on the soul and pangangaluluwa

The Tagalog people traditionally believe in the two forms of the soul. The first is known as the kakambal (literally means twin), which is the soul of the living. Every time a person sleeps, the kakambal may travel to many mundane and supernatural places which sometimes leads to nightmares if a terrible event is encountered while the kakambal is travelling. When a person dies, the kakambal is ultimately transformed into the second form of the Tagalog soul, which is the kaluluwa (literally means spirit). In traditional Tagalog religion, the kaluluwa then travels to either Kasanaan (if the person was evil when he was living) or Maca (if the person was good when he was living) through sacred tomb-equipped psychopomp creatures known as buwaya[46] or through divine intervention. Both domains are ruled by Bathala, though Kasanaan is also ruled by the deity of souls.[47]

In addition to the belief in the kaluluwa, a tradition called pangangaluluwa sprang. The pangangaluluwa is a traditional Tagalog way of aiding ancestor spirits to arrive well in Maca (place where good spirits go) or to make ancestor spirits that may have been sent to Kasanaan/Kasamaan (place where bad spirits go) be given a chance to be cleansed and go to Maca. The tradition includes the peoples (which represent the kaluluwa of people who have passed on), and their oral tradition conducted through a recitation or song. The people also ask for alms from townsfolk, where the alms are offered to the kaluluwa afterwards. This tradition, now absorbed even in the Christian beliefs of Tagalogs, is modernly-held between October 27 to November 1, although it may be held on any day of the year if need be during the old days. The traditional pangangaluluwa song's composition is:[48][49] Kaluluwa’y dumaratal (The second souls are arriving); Sa tapat ng durungawan (In front of the window); Kampanilya’y tinatantang (The bells are ringing); Ginigising ang may buhay (Waking up those who still have life); Kung kami po’y lilimusan (If we are to be asked to give alms); Dali-daliin po lamang (Make it faster); Baka kami’y mapagsarhan (We may be shut); Ng Pinto ng Kalangitan (From the doors of heaven).[48] The Kalangitan in the lyrics would have been kaluwalhatian during the classical era.[48][49]

Additional lyrics are present in some localities. An example is the additional 4 lines from Nueva Ecija:[48][49] Bukas po ng umaga (Tomorrow morning); Tayong lahat ay magsisimba (We will go to the shrine); Doon natin makikita (There, we will see); Ang misa ng kaluluwa! (The mass of the second souls!)[48]

Belief on dreams

The Tagalog people traditionally believe that when a person sleeps, he may or may not dream the omens of Bathala. The omens are either hazy illusions within a dream, the appearance of an omen creature such as tigmamanukan, or sightings from the future. The dream omens do not leave traces on what a person must do to prevent or let the dream come true as it is up to the person to make the proper actions to prevent or make the dream come true. The omen dreams are only warnings and possibilities 'drafted by Bathala'.

Additionally, a person may sometimes encounter nightmares in dreams. There are two reasons why nightmares occur, the first is when the kakambal soul encounters a terrifying event while travelling from the body, or when a bangungot creature sits on top of the sleeping person in a bid of vengeance due to the cutting of her tree home. Majority of the nightmares are said to be due to the kakambal soul encountering terrifying events while travelling.[47][50]

Belief on the cosmos

Ancient Tagalogs initially believed that the first deity of the sun and moon was Bathala, as he is a primordial deity and the deity of everything. Later on, the title of deity of the moon was passed on to his favorite daughter, Mayari, while the title of deity of the sun was passed on to his grandson and honorary son, Apolaki. One of his daughters, Tala is the deity of the stars and is the primary deity of the constellations, while Hanan was the deity of mornings and the new age. The Tagalog cosmic beliefs is not exempted from the moon-swallowing serpent myths prevalent throughout the different ethnic peoples of the Philippines. But unlike the moon-swallowing serpent stories of other ethnic peoples, which usually portrays the serpent as a god, the Tagalog people believe that the serpent which causes eclipses is a monster dragon, called Laho, instead. The dragon, despite being strong, can easily be defeated by Mayari, the reason why the moon's darkness during eclipses diminishes within minutes.[51]

The Tagalogs also gave names for various constellations. An example is Balatik (Western counterpart is Orion) which is depicted as a hunting trap.[52]

Burial practices

The Tagalog people had numerous burial practices prior to Spanish colonization and Catholic introduction. These practices include, but not limited to, tree burials, cremation burials, sarcophagus burials, and underground burials.[53][54]

In rural areas of Cavite, trees are used as burial places. The dying person chooses the tree beforehand, thus when he or she becomes terminally ill or is evidently going to die because of old age, a hut is built close to the said tree. The deceased's corpse is then entombed vertically inside the hollowed-out tree trunk. Before colonization, a statue known as likha is also entombed with the dead inside the tree trunk. In Pila, Laguna, a complex cremation-burial practice existed, where the body is let alone to decompose first. It is then followed by a ritual performance. The body is burned afterwards through cremation because, according to the belief of ancient people, the “spirit is as clean as though washed in gold" once the body is set on fire. Likha statues were also found in various cremation burial sites.[54] In Mulanay, Quezon and nearby areas, the dead are entombed inside limestone sarcophagi along with a likha statue. However, the practice vanished in the 16th century due to Spanish colonization. In Calatagan, Batangas and nearby areas, the dead are buried under the earth along with likha statues. The statues, measuring 6–12 inches, are personified depictions of anitos. Likha statues are not limited to burial practices as they are also used in homes, prayers, agriculture, medicine, travel, and other means; when these statues are used as such, they are known as larauan, which literally means image.[53]

Additionally, these statues that were buried with the dead are afterwards collected and revered as representatives of the dead loved one. The statues afterwards serve as a connection of mortals to the divine and the afterlife.[55] When the Spanish arrived, they recorded these statues in some accounts. The Relacion de las Yslas Filipinas of 1582 noted that there were even houses that contained "one hundred or two hundred of these idols". In the name colonization, the Spanish destroyed these statues throughout the archipelago. In present-time, only two statues (made of stone) have been found in good condition. These two statues are currently housed in the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila.[55]

Sacred animals, trees, and number

The ancient Tagalogs believed that there are three fauna and three flora that are deemed the most sacred. The three sacred fauna include dogs which are blessed by the deities to guide and become allies with mankind, tigmamanukans which are the messengers of Bathala, crocodiles which are guardians of sacred swamps and believed to be psychopomps,[56] while the three sacred flora include coconut palms which are the first vegetation from the ashes of Galang Kaluluwa and Ulilang Kaluluwa, balete trees which are home to the supernaturals, and bamboos which is where mankind sprang from.[57][15][58] The number three is believed to be sacred in ancient Tagalog beliefs. When Bathala and Ulilang Kaluluwa battled during the cosmic creation, the war lasted for three days and three nights. Additionally, Bathala had three divine daughters (Mayari, Tala, and Hanan) from a mortal women, and there are three divine abodes, namely, Maca, Kasamaan, and Kaluwalhatian. Also, there were three divine beings during the cosmic creation, Bathala, Ulilang Kaluluwa, and Galang Kaluluwa. Later on, when Galang Kaluluwa and Ulilang Kaluluwa died, Aman Sinaya and Amihan joined Bathala in the trinity of deities. In later stories, Aman Sinaya chose to dwell underneath the ocean while Amihan chose to travel throughout the middleworld. During that time, the trinity of deities became Bathala, Lakapati, and Meylupa. Meylupa was later replaced by Sitan after Meylupa chose to live as a hermit. In the most recent trinity, after Bathala died (or went into a deep slumber according to other sources), the trinity consisted of Mayari, Apolaki, and Sitan.[55]

A 2018 archaeological research found that Tagalog dogs were indeed held in high regard prior to colonization and were treated as equals, backing the oral knowledge stating that dogs are beings blessed by the deities. Dogs were buried, never as sacrificial offerings or when a master dies, but always "individually", having their own right to proper burial practices. A burial site in Santa Ana, Manila exhibited a dog which was first buried, and after a few years, the dog's human child companion who died was buried above the dog's burial, exemplifying the human prestige given to dogs in ancient Tagalog beliefs.[59][60]


The Tagalog people initially had their own unique religion based on spirits called anitos; later some of their practices were subsumed into Folk Catholicism. Due to links to various Southeast Asian sultanates, many Tagalogs also practiced Islam.[61] When Spain annexed the Philippines, the Spaniards converted most of the Tagalog population into Catholicism, which is the majority religion of the Tagalogs to this day.[62] Some Tagalogs are members of various Protestant and Restorationist Christian sects, as well as Islam, with a few professing indigenous Tagalog faith or having no religion at all.

Indigenous Tagalog religion

The pre-Hispanic religion of the Tagalog people was a syncretic form of indigenous Tagalog belief system. The religion revolved around the community through the Katalonan and the dambana, known also as lambana in the Old Tagalog language.[63][64][65]

Roman Catholicism

The Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila, which is held at every 9th of January.

Roman Catholicism first arrived in Tagalog areas in the Philippines during the 16th century when the Spanish toppled the polities of Tondo and Maynila in the Pasig River. Later on, the Spanish embarked on a mass conversion campaign to Catholicism, suppressing and superseding indigenous Tagalog faiths. By the 18th century, majority of Tagalogs are Catholics; indigenous Tagalog religion was largely eliminated by Catholic evangelization though some beliefs were incorporated to Folk Catholicism The Tagalog god Bathala for example, was later used as a synonym for the Christian God. In present time, the majority of Tagalogs continue to adhere to Roman Catholicism. The biggest Catholic procession in the Philippines is currently the Pista ng Itim na Nazareno (Feast of the Black Nazarene), which is dominantly Tagalog in nature.


A minority of Tagalogs are also members of numerous Protestant and Restorationist faiths such as the Iglesia ni Cristo, the Aglipayans, and other denominations introduced during American rule.


A few Tagalogs practice Islam, mostly by former Christians either by study abroad or contact with Moro migrants from the southern Philippines.[66] By the early 16th century, some Tagalogs (especially merchants) were Muslim due to their links with Bruneian Malays.[67] The old Tagalog-speaking Kingdom of Maynila was ruled as a Muslim kingdom.[68]

Language and writing system


Baybayin, the traditional suyat script of the Tagalog people.
An example of a Baybayin character, Ka, was used in one of the flags of Katipunan and is currently seen in some government logos.

The language of the Tagalog people evolved from Old Tagalog to Modern Tagalog. Modern Tagalog has five distinct dialects:

  • The Northern Tagalog (Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, and Bataan) has words in-putted into it from the Kapampangan and Ilocano languages.
  • Southern Tagalog (Batangas and Quezon) is unique as it necessitate the use of Tagalog without the combination of the English languages.
  • In contrast, Central Tagalog (Manila, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal except Tanay) is predominantly a mixture of Tagalog and English.
  • The Tagalog of Tanay maintains usage of the most native words despite influx from other cultures; it is the only highly preserved Tagalog dialect in mainland Luzon and is the most endangered Tagalog dialect.
  • Lastly, the Marinduque Tagalog dialect is known as the purest of all Tagalog dialects with preserved Central Philippine languages' features shared with its neighbor, Visayan languages, as the dialect has little influence from past colonizers.

The writing suyat script of the indigenous Tagalogs is the Baybayin. Only few people today know how to read and write in Baybayin. Due to this, the ancient writing script of the Tagalog has been regarded as nearly extinct. A bill in Congress has been filed to make Baybayin the country's national script, however, it is still pending in the Senate and the House of Representatives. Nowadays, the Baybayin is artistically expressed in calligraphy, as it has been traditionally.

The Tagalog people are also known for their tanaga, an indigenous artistic poetic form of the Tagalog people's idioms, feelings, teachings, and ways of life. The tanaga strictly has four lines only, each having seven syllables only.


The Tagalog people were skilled Spanish speakers from the 18th to 19th centuries due to the Spanish colonial occupation era. When the Americans arrived, English became the most important language in the 20th century. At present-time, the language of the Tagalogs are Tagalog, English, and a mix of the two, known in Tagalog pop culture as Taglish. Some Spanish words are still used by the Tagalog, though sentence construction in Spanish is no longer used.

See also


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  2. ^ "Tagalog, tagailog, Tagal, Katagalugan". English, Leo James. Tagalog-English Dictionary. 1990.
  3. ^ Odal, Grace P. "Lowland Cultural Group of the Tagalogs". National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
  4. ^ Mallari, Julieta C. (2009). King Sinukwan Mythology and the Kapampangan Psyche. Universitat de Barcelona. OCLC 861047114.
  5. ^ Roberts, Edmund (1837). Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochin-China, Siam and Muscat. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 59.
  6. ^ Scott, William Henry (1994).Barangay: Sixteenth-century Philippine Culture and Society. Ateneo University Press, 1994. 9715501354, 9789715501354. Page 190.
  7. ^ Blumentritt, Ferdinand (1895). Diccionario mitologico de Filipinas. Madrid, 1895. Page 10.
  8. ^ Scott, William Henry (1994).Barangay: Sixteenth-century Philippine Culture and Society. Ateneo University Press, 1994. 9715501354, 9789715501354. Page 191
  9. ^ Ocampo, Ambeth (2012). Looking Back 6: Prehistoric Philippines. Mandaluyong, Philippines: Anvil Publishing, Inc. pp. 51–56. ISBN 978-971-27-2767-2.
  10. ^ a b "The Laguna Copperplate Inscription Archived 2014-11-21 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed September 04, 2008.
  11. ^ Postma, Antoon (June 27, 2008). "The Laguna Copper-Plate Inscription: Text and Commentary". Philippine Studies. 40 (2): 182–203.
  12. ^ Morrow, Paul (2006-07-14). "Laguna Copperplate Inscription" Archived 2008-02-05 at the Wayback Machine. Sarisari etc.
  13. ^ Scott 1984
  14. ^ Pusat Sejarah Brunei Archived 2015-04-15 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved February 07, 2009.
  15. ^ a b Sonia M. Zaide, Gregorio F. Zaide, pp. 69
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