The Philippines is one of the most beautiful countries in Southeast Asia. You can imagine how beautiful a country of more than seven thousand islands. With the diversity of these islands and regions, you expect to find different language for each region.
English is the most widely written language in the Philippines. Every Filipino knows how to speak and write in English , but it is not one of the local Filipino Languages. Local languages in the Philippines are so many. I think there are more than 120 languages and dialects in the Philippines. I will list the most common ones in this report , Tagalog is the most common. While the Principal Languages are English, Filipino, and Tagalog.
Filipino languages statistics:
The latest data available comes from the 2000 statistics , which reported the following breakdown:
- Tagalog, 28.1%
- Cebuano, 13.1%
- Ilocano, 9%
- Bisaya, 7.6%
- Hiligaynon, 7.5%
- Bikol, 6%
- Waray, 3.4%
- Other, 25.3%
Official languages in the Philippines
Spanish was the official language of the Philippines until the start of the 20th century. Then, , English alongside Spanish became the national language, under US occupation. Later, Tagalog was chosen as the base language and, in 1973, the Filipino, became the joint official language along with English. Filipino is almost composed of Tagalog. It is the official language of education, but is considered less important than English in schools.
Many of you may have heard about Tagalog. It is the most popular language in the Philippines that some of us may think that Tagalog is the only language in the Philippines. Tagalog is spoken in Manila and some of its neighboring areas like Patengas, Biolacan, Cavite and Laguna. It is the only language known and spoken by all Filipinos. More than 26 million Filipinos use Tagalog as their daily spoken language.
Here are some knows Tagalog words and sentences:
Kamusta?/Kamusta ka?/Kamusta ka na? = How are you?
Mabuhay! = Hello (formal)
Kamusta po?/Kamusta po kayo? = Hello/How are you? (formal)
Mabuti naman/Okey lang/Ayos naman/Ayos lang = I’m fine/Just fine/Good
Cebuano is the second indigenous language in the Philippines. Also referred to by most of its speakers simply as Bisaya.
Maayong buntag = Good morning
Maayong gabii = Good evening
Gihigugma ko ikaw = I love you
Expats from the US, UK and other English-speaking countries will be happy to know that English is one of the widely used languages in the Philippines. If you are an expat in the Philippines , speaking English, you will not find any difficulty communicating with the locals anywhere in the Philippines. However, once in a while you may meet native Filipinos who only speak their own language , like my own experience when I visited Catandaunes island , where i met Filipinos don’t speak except Bicol language and some spanish. If ever you experienced some difficulties, please comment below and let’s know your experience.