WATCH: Common Languages and Dialects in the Philippines

The Philippines indeed has a lot of dialects known to its locals from its respective regions. Since all of us in the team are locals of Southern Tagalog, (we speak Tagalog which is basically the basis of the Filipino language) we got curious about how the other regions speak their local dialects while we are making our respective researches for this project.

After a few brainstorming and more researches, our group has arrived to this idea of gathering a few of the dialects in the country and compile it into a video. English, Filipino, Cebuano,  Waray, Bikolano, Kapampangan, Hiligaynon, and Ilokano terms of a few words are featured in this video.

Check out this video. 🙂




Remnants of an Ancient System: Writing Baybayin



Does anyone else here still know what that is?

As we go and grow with technology, some significant things from the past are unfortunately forgotten. There are inevitable factors but what saddens me is that we seem to forget those that signifies the origin of the Filipino race. Something that we are supposed to be proud of for having something that is really ours and is not an evidence of foreign influences.


An example of what I talk about is the Baybayin, a writing system here in Philippines that has been used until late 19th century. It is said that the system is already being used in the country even before traders and colonizers enter the country.

Here is an example of the Baybayin.


Baybayin has different meanings and sometimes very deep meaning.

Many Filipino doesn’t even know how to read and write using the basic baybayin writing system. Baybayin is not really dead though as historians would say, it’s just isolated. Most Filipinos just know it as “historical artifacts. “ Some even adapted it as part of their art like the other Filipinos having it as their tattoos.


Currently, Filipinos are more capable of using the English writing system, maybe due to some factors such as adequate level of literacy and the fact that all early Spanish reports agreed that pre-Hispanic Filipino literature was mainly oral rather than written and it can be the reason behind why most Filipinos took the Baybayin writing system for granted.



Even if some things are forgotten, there are really things in our history that no one could ever forget. His life was taught since Philippine history was introduced to all of us. But how much do we really know about him?


We are many but one!


Photo reference here.

The Philippines is known to be one of the countries in the world with such great diversity because it, as we all know, is an archipelago. With its number of islands which are more or less 7 500 that is further divided to 17 regions. Varying cultures, practices, rituals, and a lot more are exhibited on each region. Some of those may be a native thing , some may be of foreign influence as foreign traders and colonizers have been in and out of our country for the past centuries, but one can never deny the fact that amidst all of these, the Filipino identity is still imprinted within each and every Filipino as one of the sign is in the form of their National Language.

Whenever language is brought up, I always remember that meme that has been circulating in the web at one point. It was about a conversation in the elevator with the operator and and an employee.

Elevator Operator: “Going down?”

Employee: “Yes. Down please”

Filipino Translation:

Elevator Operator: “Bababa ba?”

Employee: “Oo. Bababa.”

And that according to the foreigners is the irony of the Filipino language. Foreigners don’t seem to understand why Filipinos were able to understand each other with just using a one or two repetitive syllables. Even though the words used in that Filipino conversation is somehow colloquial. Still it has a great impact on me. That may sound funny but the implication brought was something a few would immediately realize.

Language is the system of words or signs that people use to express thoughts and feelings to each other meanwhile the dialect is a form of a language that is spoken in a particular area and that uses some of its own word, grammar, and pronunciations. Here in the Philippines, there are roughly about 120-170 languages. Although the other dialects are somehow related or may sound almost the same but they still have differences in terms of pronunciation and grammar. I can’t really imagine if the Filipinos are still speaking such varied languages.

All thanks to the late President Manuel Quezon for dreaming of uniting the country through a realization that setting a National Language would ignite the fire of unity and progress as it is the start of easily understanding each other and harmonious living. Dating back to the year 1935 where it all started up to date, Filipino, as the national language has been the medium of communication in the country.

Furthermore, the country has only 8 major dialects which are Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligyanon, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Pangasinanense, Tagalog and Waray. Tagalog (which the Filipino language was based on) and Bikol remains to be the dialect that is predominantly spoken in the country. Followed by the Cebuano dialect which originated in Cebu in Visayas and the Ilocano dialect which is spread out from its origin in the Western Coast. (Ilocandia)

The use of the English language is also given such importance in the Philippines. In fact, the country is one of the places which has the most number of english-speaking population in the world. As it, together with the national language, is the medium of instruction in the schools and universities in the country regardless of the institution being public or private. I think one of the reasons besides the fact that it is a lingua franca, is that the current educational system in the country is outlined from the system brought by the Americans in the country during their colonizing period here.

Going back to that meme that I have mentioned earlier, the implication of unity can be achieved through language. In what sense? If you’ll ask me, it is the gift of understanding for the Filipinos in terms of communication. We, the citizens of the Philippines, may have a lot of differences. Different practices and beliefs in each region. We still have been brought by a many other things. And one of those is our National Language, FILIPINO.

We are many but one, indeed. Unity in diversity in the truest sense of the phrase.