In the English language, the word Filipino often refers to something from or related to the Philippines.

For examples:

  • Filipino cuisine – food associated with the Philippines
  • Filipino people – ethnic group that identifies with the Philippines
  • Filipino language – national language of the Philippines
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    Filipino? Tagalog? Pilipino?

    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.

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    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.

    The Pampangos or Pampangueños are the fifth largest ethnolinguistic group in the Philippines with about two million Filipinos speaking Kapampangan as their native language. Another million Filipinos can speak Kapampangan as a second language.

    Kapampangan ka ba?
    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. It is a language very distinct from Tagalog. To give you an idea of how different they are, consider the following.

    Tagalog: Huwag mong kainin.
    Kapampangan: Eme kanan.
    English: Don’t eat it.

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    The Modern Filipino Alphabet

    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 Latin or 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 20 letters (five vowels and fifteen consonants).

    a, b, k, d, e, g, h, i, l, m, n, ng, o, p, r, s, t, u, w, y

    In 1976, the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) of the Philippines issued a revised alphabet which added the letters c, ch, f, j, ll, ñ, q, rr, v, x and z.

    Filipino Alphabet Pronunciation

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    orthodox Tagalog spelling: Panggasinense

    Pangasinense is one of the major languages of the Philippines. It is the language spoken in the province of Pangasinan, on the west-central seaboard of the island of Luzon along the Lingayen Gulf, the northern portion of Tarlac and southwestern La Union, most of whom belong to the Pangasinan ethnic group. Continue reading “PANGASINENSE”