List of regional languages of the Philippines

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This is the list of recognized regional languages in the Philippines as ordered and permitted by the Department of Education (Philippines) under the Mother Tongue-Based Multi-Lingual Education (MTB-MLE) strategy:[1]

  1. Aklanon
  2. Bikol
  3. Cebuano
  4. Chavacano
  5. Hiligaynon
  6. Ibanag
  7. Ilocano
  8. Ivatan
  9. Kapampangan
  10. Kinaray-a
  11. Maguindanao
  12. Maranao
  13. Pangasinan
  14. Sambal
  15. Surigaonon
  16. Tagalog
  17. Tausug
  18. Waray
  19. Yakan


The Philippines' Department of Education decided to implement the program starting school year 2012. The Mother Tongue is primarily taught at kindergarten and grades 1, 2 and 3. The adoption of regional languages as medium of teaching is based on studies which tend to show that using the mother tongue as the language of instruction in the classroom literacy among Filipinos bolster comprehension and critical thinking skills of Filipino children in the school and facilitate learning of second language such as English and the Philippines' national language called Filipino. Filipino is Tagalog-based which means that speakers of Tagalog are speakers of the Philippine national language.

Other languages[edit]

There are approximately more than 175 languages and dialects in the Philippines which form part of the regional languages group. A few of these languages and dialects are spoken by in islands communities such as Abaknon in Capul island.