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Filipino (; ''Wikang Filipino'', ) is the
national language A national language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed o ...
(''Wikang pambansa'' / ''Pambansang wika'') of the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
. Filipino is also designated, along with
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...
, as an
official language An official language is a language given a special status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically the term "official language" does not refer to the language used by a people or country, but by its government (e.g. judiciar ...

official language
of the country. It is a standardized variety of the
Tagalog language Tagalog (, ; ; Baybayin (, ''pre-kudlit'': , ''virama-krus-kudlit'': , ''virama-pamudpod'': ; also formerly commonly incorrectly known as alibata) is a Philippine script. The script Script may refer to: Writing systems * Script, a di ...
, an
Austronesian Austronesian may refer to: *The Austronesian languages *The historical Austronesian peoples who carried Austronesian languages on their migrations {{disambiguation ...
regional language A regional language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed o ...
that is widely spoken in the Philippines. Tagalog is the
first language A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1) is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', mean ...
of 24 million people or about one-fourth of the
Philippine population Demography of the Philippines records the human population, including its population density, ethnicity An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them ...
as of 2019, while 45 million speak Tagalog as their
second language A person's second language, or L2, is a language that is not the native language A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1) is a language A language is a struc ...
as of 2013. Tagalog is among the 185
languages of the Philippines There are some 120 to 187 languages spoken in the Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, R ...
identified in the ''
Ethnologue ''Ethnologue: Languages of the World'' (stylized as Ethnoloɠue) is an annual reference publication in print and online that provides statistics and other information on the living language A language is a structured system of communicatio ...
''. Officially, Filipino is defined by the
Commission on the Filipino Language , logo = , logo_width = , logo_caption = , seal = Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF).svg , seal_width = , seal_caption = , formed = 1937 (first formation)1991 (reformed) , preceding1 = , dissolved = , superseding = , jurisdiction = ...
(''Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino'' in Filipino or simply KWF) as "the native dialect, spoken and written, in
Metro Manila Metropolitan Manila (often shortened as Metro Manila; fil, Kalakhang Maynila), officially the National Capital Region (NCR; fil, Pambansang Punong Rehiyon), is the seat of government The seat of government is (as defined by ''Brewer's Po ...

Metro Manila
, the National Capital Region, and in other urban centers of the archipelago". As of 2000, over 90% of the population could speak Tagalog, approximately 80% could speak Filipino and 60% could speak English. Filipino, like other Austronesian languages, commonly uses verb-subject-object order but can also use subject-verb-object order as well. It has head-initial directionality. It is an
agglutinative language An agglutinative language is a type of synthetic language A synthetic language uses inflection In linguistic morphology, inflection (or inflexion) is a process of word formation, in which a word is modified to express different grammatica ...
but can also display
inflection In linguistic morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refer to: Disciplines * Morphology (archaeology), study of the shapes or forms of artifacts * Morphology (astronomy), study of the shape of astronomical ob ...
. It is not a
tonal language Tone is the use of pitch Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency * Pitch (music), the perceived frequency of sound including "definite pitch" and "indefinite pitch" ** Absolute pitch or "perfect pitch" ** Pitch class, a set of all pitches tha ...
and can be considered a
pitch-accent language A pitch-accent language is a language that has word accents in which one syllable in a word or morpheme is more prominent than the others, but the accentuated syllable is indicated by a contrasting pitch Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency ...
and a syllable-timed language. Filipino is officially taken to be a
pluricentric language A pluricentric language or polycentric language is a language with several interacting codified standard forms, often corresponding to different countries. Many examples of such languages can be found worldwide among the most-spoken languages, incl ...
, as it is further enriched and developed by the other existing Philippine languages according to the mandate of the
1987 Constitution The Constitution of the Philippines ( Filipino: ''Saligang Batas ng Pilipinas'' or ''Konstitusyon ng Pilipinas'', Spanish: ''Constitución de la República de Filipinas'') is the constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental ...
. The emergence of varieties of Filipino with grammatical properties differing from Tagalog has been observed in
Metro Cebu Metropolitan Cebu, or simply Metro Cebu, ( ceb, Kaulohang Sugbo; fil, Kalakhang Cebu), is the main urban center of the province of Cebu Cebu (; ceb, Sugbo), officially the Province of Cebu ( ceb, Lalawigan sa Sugbo; tl, Lalawigan ng Ceb ...
and
Metro Davao Metro Davao, officially called Metropolitan Davao ( ceb, Kaulohang Dabaw), fil, Kalakhang Davao, is a metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core Urban means "related to a city ...

Metro Davao
. These and Metro Manila together comprise the three largest metropolitan areas in the Philippines.


Background

The Philippines is a multilingual state with more than 175 living languages originating and spoken by various ethno-linguistic groups. Many of these languages descend from a common
Malayo-Polynesian language The Malayo-Polynesian languages are a subgroup of the Austronesian languages The Austronesian languages (, , , ) are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), ...
due to the Austronesian migration from Taiwan; however, there are languages brought by the Negritos. The common Malayo-Polynesian language split into different languages and these languages borrowed words from other languages such as
Hokkien Hokkien () is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucr ...
,
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
,
Tamil Tamil may refer to: * Tamils, an ethnic group native to India, Sri Lanka and some other parts of Asia **Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamil people native to Sri Lanka **Tamil Malaysians, Tamil people native to Malaysia * Tamil language, a Dravidian languages, ...

Tamil
, and
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
. There was no single common language across every cultural group in the Philippine archipelago when the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, although chroniclers of the time noted that the kings or chiefs of small polities normally spoke five languages. A Spanish exploratory mission under
Ferdinand Magellan Ferdinand Magellan ( or ; pt, Fernão de Magalhães, ; es, link=no, Fernando de Magallanes, ; c. 1480 – 27 April 1521) was a Portuguese explorer Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery of information In ...

Ferdinand Magellan
arrived in the Philippines in 1521, and Spanish colonization of the islands followed. The eventual capital established by Spain in the Philippines was
Manila Manila ( , ; fil, Maynila, ), officially the City of Manila ( fil, Lungsod ng Maynila, ), is the capital city, capital of the Philippines, and its second most populous city. It is Cities of the Philippines#Independent cities, highly urbanize ...

Manila
, situated in a Tagalog-speaking region, after the conquest of Manila from both the Muslim communities of
Rajah Sulayman Rajah Sulayman, sometimes referred to as Sulayman III (: स्ललैअह्, : سليمان, : ''Suláimán'') (1558–1575), was the of , a fortified Muslim polity on the southern half of the , when a Spanish expedition arrived in the ...
and
Rajah Matanda Rajah Ache ( Abecedario: ''Rája Aché'' pronounced ''Aki''), better known by his title Rajah Matanda (1480–1572), was one of the rulers of Maynila, a pre-colonial Indianized Tagalog polity along the Pasig River The Pasig River ( fil, Ilog ...
and the Hindu-Buddhist
Kingdom of Tondo In early Philippine history, the Tagalog settlement at Tondo (; Baybayin: ) was a major trade hub located on the northern part of the Pasig River delta, on Luzon island.Abinales, Patricio N. and Donna J. Amoroso, State and Society in the P ...
ruled by
Lakan Dula Lakan Dula ( Baybayin: , Abecedario: ''Lácandólá'') was the regnal name of the last '' Lakan'' (paramount ruler) of pre-colonial Tondo when the Spaniards or * Aragonese and ca, espanyols ** ** * gl, españóis * oc, espanhò ...

Lakan Dula
. Manila was made capital of the new colony both because of fears of raids from the Portuguese and the Dutch, and because of its strategic location. The first dictionary of Tagalog, published as the ''Vocabulario de la lengua tagala'', was written by the
Franciscan , image = FrancescoCoA PioM.svg , image_size = 250px , caption = A cross, Christ's arm and Saint Francis's arm, a universal symbol of the Franciscans , abbreviation = OFM , predecessor = , ...
Pedro de San Buenaventura, and published in 1613 by the "Father of Filipino Printing"
Tomas PinpinTomas may refer to: People * Tomás (given name), a Spanish, Portuguese, and Gaelic given name * Tomas (given name), a Swedish, Dutch, and Lithuanian given name * Tomáš, a Czech and Slovak given name * Tomas (surname), a French and Croatian sur ...
in Pila,
Laguna Laguna (Italian and Spanish for lagoon) may refer to: People * Abe Laguna (born 1992), American DJ known as Ookay * Andrés Laguna (1499–1559), Spanish humanist physician, pharmacologist, and botanist * Ana Laguna (born 1955), Spanish-Swedish ba ...
. A latter book of the same name was written by
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A countr ...
Jesuit , image = Ihs-logo.svg , caption = Christogram A Christogram (Latin ') is a monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ, traditionally used as a Christian symbolism ...
missionary Paul Klein (known locally as Pablo Clain) at the beginning of the 18th century. Klein spoke Tagalog and used it actively in several of his books. He wrote a dictionary, which he later passed to Francisco Jansens and José Hernández. Further compilation of his substantial work was prepared by Juan de Noceda and Pedro de Sanlúcar and published as '' Vocabulario de la lengua tagala'' in Manila in 1754 and then repeatedly re-edited, with the latest edition being published in 2013 in Manila.
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
served in an official capacity as language of the government during the Spanish colonial period, originally of the Mexican-Spanish variety during the rule of the
Viceroyalty of New Spain New Spain, officially the Viceroyalty of New Spain ( es, Virreinato de Nueva España, ), or Kingdom of New Spain, was an integral territorial entity of the Spanish Empire The Spanish Empire ( es, link=no, Imperio Español), also known as t ...
and then replaced by Peninsular Spanish under direct Spanish rule. During the American colonial period,
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
became an additional official language of the Philippines alongside Spanish; however, the number of speakers of Spanish steadily decreased.


Designation as the national language

While Spanish and English were considered "official languages" during the American colonial period, there existed no "national language" initially. Article XIII, section 3 of the 1935 constitution establishing the
Commonwealth of the Philippines The Commonwealth of the Philippines ( es, Commonwealth de Filipinas or ''Mancomunidad de Filipinas''; tl, Kómonwélt ng Pilipinas or ''Malasariling Pámahalaán ng Pilipinas'') was the administrative body that governed the Philippines ...
provided that: On November 13, 1936, the first National Assembly of the Philippine Commonwealth approved Commonwealth Act No. 184; creating the Institute of National Language (later the Surián ng Wikang Pambansâ or SWP) and tasking it with making a study and survey of each existing native language, hoping to choose which was to be the base for a standardized national language. Later, President
Manuel L. Quezon Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina, (, ; 19 August 1878 – 1 August 1944), also referred to by his initials MLQ, was a Filipino people, Filipino statesman, soldier and politician who served as president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 193 ...
later appointed representatives for each major regional language to form the NLI. Led by Jaime C. De Veyra, who sat as the chair of the Institute and as the representative of Samar-Leyte-Visayans, the Institute's members were composed of Santiago A. Fonacier (representing the Ilokano-speaking regions),
Filemon Sotto Filemon Sotto y Yap (November 22, 1872 – October 10, 1966) was a Filipinos, Filipino Visayans, Visayan lawyer, legislator, and politician from Cebu, Philippines. He was a newspaper publisher and founded the periodicals ''El Imperial'', ''Ang Kal ...
(the Cebu-Visayans), Casimiro Perfecto (the ), Felix S. Sales Rodriguez (the Panay-Visayans), Hadji Butu (the languages of
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...
Filipinos), and Cecilio Lopez (the Tagalogs). The Institute of National Language adopted a resolution on November 9, 1937 recommending Tagalog to be basis of the national language. On December 30, President Quezon issued Executive Order No. 134, s. 1937, approving the adoption of Tagalog as the language of the Philippines, and proclaimed the national language of the Philippines so based on the Tagalog language. The order stated that it would take effect two years from its promulgation. On December 31 of the same year, Quezon proclaimed Tagalog as the basis of the '' Wikang Pambansâ'' (National Language) giving the following factors: #Tagalog is widely spoken and is the most understood language in all the Philippine Regions. #It is not divided into smaller daughter languages, as
Visayan Visayans ( Visayan: ''Mga Bisaya'', ) or Visayan people, are a Philippine ethnolinguistic group native to the whole Visayas The Visayas ( ), or the Visayan Islands (Bisayan languages, Visayan: ''Kabisay-an'', ; tl, Kabisayaan ), are one of th ...

Visayan
or are. #Its literary tradition is the richest of all native Philippine languages, the most developed and extensive (mirroring that of the
Tuscan language Tuscan ( it, dialetto toscano ; it, vernacolo, label=locally) is a set of Italo-Dalmatian The Italo-Dalmatian languages, or Central Romance languages, are a group of Romance languages The Romance languages (less commonly Latin languages ...
''vis-à-vis''
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
). More books are written in Tagalog than in any other
autochthonous River ecosystems are flowing waters that drain the landscape, and include the Biotic component, biotic (living) interactions amongst plants, animals and micro-organisms, as well as abiotic (nonliving) physical and chemical interactions of its many ...
Philippine language but Spanish, but this is mainly by virtue of law. #Tagalog has always been the language of
Manila Manila ( , ; fil, Maynila, ), officially the City of Manila ( fil, Lungsod ng Maynila, ), is the capital city, capital of the Philippines, and its second most populous city. It is Cities of the Philippines#Independent cities, highly urbanize ...

Manila
, the political and economic center of the Philippines during the Spanish and American eras. #Spanish was the language of the 1896
Revolution In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, suc ...
and the
Katipunan The Katipunan, officially known as the Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (KKK; en, Supreme and Venerable Association of the Children of the Nation; es, Suprema y Venerable Asociación de los Hijos del Pueblo), was ...
, but the revolution was led by people who also spoke Tagalog. On June 7, 1940, the Philippine National Assembly passed Commonwealth Act No. 570 declaring that the Filipino national language would be considered an official language effective July 4, 1946 (coinciding with the country's expected date of independence from the United States). That same year, the ''Balarílà ng Wikang Pambansâ'' ( en, Grammar of the National Language) of grammarian
Lope K. Santos Lope K. Santos (born Lope Santos y Canseco, September 25, 1879 – May 1, 1963) was a Filipino Tagalog-language writer and former senator The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curi ...

Lope K. Santos
introduced the 20-letter
Abakada alphabet The Abakada alphabet was an "indigenized" Latin script, Latin alphabet adopted for the Tagalog language, Tagalog-based Filipino language, Filipino national language in 1940. '' The alphabet, which contains 20 Letter (alphabet), letters, was intro ...
which became the standard of the national language. The alphabet was officially adopted by the Institute for the Tagalog-Based National Language.


Further history

In 1959, the language became known as ''Pilipino'' in an effort to disassociate it from the Tagalog ethnic group. The changing of the name did not, however, result in universal acceptance among non- Tagalogs, especially Cebuanos who had previously not accepted the 1937 selection. The 1960s saw the rise of the purist movement where new words were being coined to replace loanwords. This era of "purism" by the SWP sparked criticisms by a number of persons. Two counter-movements emerged during this period of "purism": one campaigning against Tagalog and the other campaigning for more inclusiveness in the national language. In 1963,
Negros Occidental Negros Occidental ( hil, Nakatungdang Negros; tl, Kanlurang Negros) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative regi ...
congressman Innocencio V. Ferrer took a case reaching the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the choice of Tagalog as the basis of the national language (a case ruled in favor of the national language in 1970). Accusing the national language as simply being Tagalog and lacking any substantial input from other Philippine languages, Congressman Geruncio Lacuesta eventually led a "Modernizing the Language Approach Movement" (MOLAM). Lacuesta hosted a number of "anti-purist" conferences and promoted a “Manila Lingua Franca” which would be more inclusive of loanwords of both foreign and local languages. Lacuesta managed to get nine congressmen to propose a bill aiming to abolish the SWP with an ''Akademia ng Wikang Filipino'', to replace the ''balarila'' with a ''Gramatica ng Wikang Filipino'', to replace the 20-letter Abakada with a 32-letter alphabet, and to prohibit the creation of neologisms and the respelling of loanwords. This movement quietened down following the death of Lacuesta. The national language issue was revived once more during the 1971 Constitutional Convention. While there was a sizable number of delegates in favor of retaining the Tagalog-based national language, majority of the delegates who were non-Tagalogs were even in favor of scrapping the idea of a "national language" altogether. A compromise was reached and the wording on the 1973 constitution made no mention of dropping the national language Pilipino or made any mention of Tagalog. Instead, the 1973 Constitution, in both its original form and as amended in 1976, designated English and Pilipino as official languages and provided for development and formal adoption of a common national language, termed ''Filipino'', to replace Pilipino. Neither the original nor the amended version specified either Tagalog or Pilipino as the basis for Filipino; Instead, tasking the
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber. Thus, a ''unicameral parliam ...
to: In 1987, a new constitution designated Filipino as the national language and, along with English, as an official language. That constitution included several provisions related to the Filipino language. Article XIV, Section 6, omits any mention of Tagalog as the basis for Filipino, and states that: And also states in the article: and: Section 17(d) of Executive Order 117 of January 30, 1987 renamed the ''Institute of National Language'' as ''Institute of Philippine Languages''. Republic Act No. 7104, approved on August 14, 1991, created the ''Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino'' (Commission on the Filipino Language, or KWF), superseding the Institute of Philippine Languages. The KWF reports directly to the President and was tasked to undertake, coordinate and promote researches for the development, propagation and preservation of Filipino and other Philippine languages. On May 13, 1992, the commission issued Resolution 92-1, specifying that Filipino is the However, as with the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions, 92-1 went neither so far as to categorically identify, nor so far as to dis-identify this language as Tagalog. Definite, absolute, and unambiguous interpretation of 92–1 is the prerogative of the
Supreme Court A supreme court is the highest court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of just ...

Supreme Court
in the absence of directives from the KWF, otherwise the sole legal arbiter of the Filipino language. Filipino was presented and registered with the
International Organization for Standardization The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm Norm, the Norm or NORM may refer to: In academic discipline ...
(ISO), by Ateneo de Manila University student Martin Gomez, and was added to the ISO registry of languages on September 21, 2004, with it receiving the ISO 639-2 code ''fil''. On August 22, 2007, it was reported that three
Malolos City , officially the ( tl, Lungsod ng ), is a and capital of the province of , . According to the , it has a population of people. It is the capital city of the province of Bulacan Bulacan, officially the Province of Bulacan ( tgl, Lalawi ...
regional trial courts in
Bulacan Bulacan, officially the Province of Bulacan ( tgl, Lalawigan ng Bulacan; pam, Lalawigan ning Bulacan) (PSGC031400000 ISO: PH-BUL) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administra ...
decided to use Filipino, instead of
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...
, in order to promote the national language. Twelve
stenographers Shorthand is an abbreviated symbolic writing method that increases speed and brevity of writing as compared to longhand{{Short pages monitor *''Diksyunaryong Filipino–English'', Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, *''New English–Filipino Filipino–English Dictionary'', by Maria Odulio de Guzman *''[ "When I was a child I spoke as a child": Reflecting on the Limits of a Nationalist Language Policy]'' by Danilo Manarpaac. In: ''[ The politics of English as a world language: new horizons in postcolonial cultural studies]'' by Christian Mair. Rodopi; 2003 . p. 479–492.


Further reading


Commission on the Filipino LanguageLanguage planning in multilingual countries: The case of the Philippines
discussion by linguist and educator Andrew Gonzalez * "...a third of the Filipino language is derived from Spanish words, constituting some 4,000 'loan words'". * * * Published online: April 18, 2012 {{DEFAULTSORT:Filipino language Filipino language, Standard languages Tagalog dialects National symbols of the Philippines