The Filipino Language was declared national in 1987.

Tagalog is a native language of the Philippines and is the main language of central and southern Luzon. Tagalog is also widely spoken throughout the Philippines.

In 1937 Tagalog was selected as the new Philippine national language. In 1961 Tagalog became known as Pilipino. In 1987 the Constitution of the Philippines, stated that “the national language of the Philippines would be Filipino.”

The inter-relationship between Tagalog, Pilipino and Filipino has many misunderstandings and is quite confusing.

In the Constitution of the Philippines "The national language of the Philippines is Filipino. As it evolves, it shall be further developed and enriched on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages." However, there was no language called "Filipino" prior to the 1987 Constitution. Whether the Filipino language should be based on Tagalog is not stated, although a large number of people assumed that the Filipino language is the same as, or at least be based on, the Pilipino language, which was the national language at that time and was clearly defined to be based on Tagalog.

So to say that the Filipino language is evolving as time progresses is an understatement. Throw in some English and Spanish words and you will get closer to where the Filipino language is coming from and going to.

Tagalog History & Tagalog Language

For more information on the history of Tagalog and the Tagalog language have a look here.


Filipino Phrases

You do not need to master Filipino to be able to converse with basic questions. Even if you get the pronunciation completely wrong, the Filipino people will love you the more because you have tried.

For some basic Filipino Phrases and Words have a look here.

Body Language & Signs

Filipino body language and signs are an important part of the way Filipinos communicate with each other.

Pursed Lips
Pursed lips are used at times instead of pointing to something. If you see a Filipino pursing his or her lips in a certain direction, they are actually giving you directions to which you should follow.

Raised Eyebrows
Raised eyebrows are generally a reflection of a warm greeting. When you first see someone, raising your eyebrows with a friendly smile would indicate a hello.

Hissing
Hissing is used to gain someone’s attention. If for example you are in a restaurant then to get the waiter or waitresses attention, a general hiss will get you service. Also if you are in a restaurant and you want the bill, just make the sign of a square or rectangle in the air with your fingers, which will indicate you would like the bill.

Tolerance
The ability of Filipinos to be able to laugh off embarrassing situations and be tolerant of foreigners indiscretions is legendary. I’m constantly humbled by there generosity in hardship.