Rinconada Bikol language

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Rinconada Bikol
Native to Philippines
Region Bicol
Native speakers
230,000  (2000 census)[1]
Latin (Rinconada Bicol alphabet);
Historically Baybayin
Official status
Official language in
Regional language in the Philippines
Regulated by Commission on the Filipino Language
Language codes
ISO 639-3 bto
Glottolog irig1242[2]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Rinconada Bikol, spoken in Camarines Sur Province, Philippines, is one of several languages that compose the Inland Bikol group of the Bikol languages. It belongs to the Austronesian language family that also includes Māori, Hawaiian, Malagasy, Tagalog, Indonesian and Malay. The closest relatives to this language outside Bicol are Aklanon, Waray-waray and, to a lesser extent, Tagalog specifically the dialect of Batangas. Rinconada Bikol is considered by most Bicolanos to be one of the most difficult varieties of Bikol.[citation needed]

This is also the language adopted by the aboriginal or indigenous population of Agta/Aeta (the Negrito) in the surrounding mountainous areas. Rinconada was brought to the Negritos by the Austronesian people when they engaged in commerce and trade with them. The original language of the aboriginal people is unknown, but it is believed that it contributed to Rinconada's accent, vocabulary and lexicon.[citation needed]

The name of the language is derived from the name of the place where it originated, developed and is largely spoken: Rinconada District (in Camarines Sur province) which was formerly called "Sumagang". It is erroneously said to be from the Spanish word arrinconada which means cornered. There is a place in Spain that bears the same name (La Rinconada), adding credence to the suggestion that Rinconada is truly a Spanish word. It could have been the name that was given by the Spaniards to the then newly explored and colonized part of Bicol. Same logic can be attributed from the La Rinconada of Chile, which was also a Spanish colony. However, the origin of the word "Rinconada" is still a matter of debate.


The language is divided into two main dialects and subdivided into six variants:[citation needed]

Sinabukid (highland dialect)[edit]

(Strong accent, flat intonation only, and with /ə/)

  • Agta variant
  • Iriga variant (standard)

Sinaranəw (lowland dialect)[edit]

(Soft accent with different types of intonation, and without /ə/)

  • Nabua – Balatan variant
  • Baao variant
  • Bula – Pili variant
  • Bato variant

Dialectal Variation[edit]

Iriga variant
Highland dialect
Agta variant
Highland dialect
Nabua – Balatan variant
Lowland dialect
Bato variant
Lowland dialect
Baao variant
Lowland dialect
Bula – Pili variant
Lowland dialect
Filipino/Tagalog translation English translation
Namāmaɣəw iyā sadtō gilid ku sālog ku nabaretāan niyāŋ inarādo naŋgad ku igin niyā su ragâ, dāwâ ədâ pa tubig adtoŋ omā nirā. Namāmaɣəw iyā sadtō iris ku sālog ku nabaretāan niyāŋ inarādo naŋgad ku igin niyā su ragâ, dāwâ ədâ pa katbag adtoŋ omā nirā. Namāmaɣow 'yā sadtō gilid ku sālog ku nabaretāan niyāŋ inarādo naŋgad ku igin niyā su ragâ, dāwâ udâ pa tubig adtoŋ omā nirā. Namāmaɣow iyā sadtō gilid ku sālog ku nabaretāan niyāŋ inarādo naŋgad ku akos niyā su ragâ, dāwâ udâ pa tubig adtoŋ omā nirā. Namāmaɣow siyā sadtō gilid ku sālog ku nabaretāan niyāŋ inarādo jāday ku igin niyā su ragâ, dāwâ udâ pa kin tubig adtoŋ omā nindā. Namāmaɣow siyā sadtō gilid ku sālog ku nabaretāan niyāŋ inarādo dayday ku igin niyā su ragâ, dāwâ udâ pa tubig adtoŋ omā nindā. Nag-aalmusal siya sa may tabi ng ilog nang mabalitaan niyang inararong muli ng kaniyang anak ang lupa, kahit na wala pang tubig ang kanilang bukirin. He was eating breakfast by the river when he heard the news about his child plowed the land again, even though the rice field has no water yet.

Features and Geographic Distribution[edit]

Flag of Rinconada people and language
Proposed flag of Rinconada Bikol language and Rinconada people[citation needed]

• The Nabua-Balatan variant features high pitch intonation. Though it is the direct descendant of Rinconada Bikol but it lost some features of the original spoken language. The speakers can be found in the entire municipalities of Nabua and Balatan.

• Iriga variant on the other hand has the most speakers. The speakers are concentrated in the district's center - Iriga City, in some of the important barangays of Buhi (West and East Sta. Justina and De Los Angeles), and the urban barangay of Matacon located in Polangui, Albay. The Iriga variant has a flat intonation and is spoken rapidly.

• The Bato variant, on the other hand, has a distinctive mellow intonation. It is said that regardless of one's mood, the Bato speaker always sounds sleepy, as if they are chanting. The Bato variant is primarily being spoken in Bato, Camarines Sur and also spoken in Agos, Polangui, Albay.

• The Agta variant or Inagta is the smallest in the group. The speakers are exclusively the indigenous population of Agta/Aeta, the aboriginal people of different tribes surrounding Mount Iriga and Buhi lake. Like Iriga, the Agta variant also has a flat intonation but they speak the language with distinct form of pronunciation which can be traced from the group's extinct language.

• The variants of Baao and Bula-Pili are considered twins. They have the same accent and only slight differences in vocabulary. Of the two variants, Baao often uses rising intonation, while Bula-Pili is moderately flat but both are using high pitch when reasoning. The latter variant is used entirely in Bula and in the southern half of the provincial capital town of Pili. It also has significant speakers in Ocampo, Cam. Sur and Minalabac, Cam. Sur. These two variants have borrowed some vocabularies of Coastal Bikol but at the same time, Bikol-Partido (a dialect of Coastal Bikol) can be heard with borrowed vocabularies from these two variants.

List of phrases and expressions that are unique to each variant:

Baao variant: "Gaorag na!"
Nabua – Balatan variant: "Labinā kan."
Agta variant: "Mayaŋ na ŋod."
Bato variant: "Ay tarā?"
Bula – Pili variant: "Paiŋōrag.."
Iriga variant: "Labinā man nâ!"

Special Case[edit]

Like other Visayan and Bikol languages, Rinconada Bikol uses shorten commands.

The phrase "iyəwən mo" (grill it) is often shorten to "iyəwā" and the command phrase "punāsan mo a salmiŋ" (wipe the mirror) can be shorten to "punāsa a salmiŋ".

The uniqueness comes when talking to elderly or older person in a polite manner. Instead of putting the letters "ā/a" after the root word of the verb, it has to be replaced by the letters "e/ē" if the statement will be politely delivered. The letter "e" or "ē" stands for "tābî" which means "please" in English, or "po" in Tagalog.

Example 1:
"iyəw" is a root word that means "grill".
"iyəwən" means "grill it".
"iyəwən mo" roughly means "you, grill it".
"iyəwā" is the shortcut of the words "iyəwən mo".
"iyəwē" is the shorten polite word for "iyəwən mo tābî" (grill it please).

Example 2:
"punas" is a root word that means "wipe".
"punasan" means "wipe it".
"punasan mo" roughly means "you, wipe it".
"punāsa" is the shortcut of the words "punāsan mo".
"punāse" is the shorten polite word for "punāsan mo tābî" (wipe it please).

Example 3:
"īmo" is a root word that means "prepare".
"imōɣon" means "prepare it".
"imōɣon mo" means "you, prepare it".
"imōɣa" is the shortcut of the words "imōɣon mo".
"imōɣe" is the shorten polite word for "imōɣon mo tābî" (please prepare it).


  Absolutive Ergative Oblique
1st person singular akō ko kanakə^, saakə^
2nd person singular ikā, ka mo kanimō, saimō
3rd person singular iyā, siyā niyā kaniyā, saiyā
1st person plural inclusive kitā ta kanatə^, saatə^
1st person plural exclusive kamī namə^, amə^ kanamə^, saamə^
2nd person plural kamō ninyō kaninyō
3rd person plural sirā, sindā nirā, ninda kanirā, saindā, kandā


General Greetings
Maray na aldəw - Good day (from sunrise to sunset)
Maray na gab-ī - Good evening (from sunset to sunrise)

  • The said greetings can be shorten to "Aldəw" and "Gab-ī" as they are like "Bonjour" and "Bonsoir" of the French language.

Specific Greetings
Maray na ramrag - Good morning (from 6AM to 11AM)
Maray na mudtō - Good noon (from 11AM to 1PM)
Maray na apon - Good afternoon (from 1PM to 6PM)
Maray na gab-ī - Good evening (from 6PM to 11PM)
Maray na lawəd - Good midnight (from 11PM to 1AM)
Maray na mararamrāgən - Good dawn (from 1AM to 6AM)

People of Rinconada classify dim or dark hours as night time and light hours as day time. As such, even with the introduction of Modern Standard Time, they consider the hours of 12 midnight until 6 o'clock in the morning as night time. Therefore, the general greeting from 6AM to 6PM is "Maray na aldəw", and "Maray na gab-ī" for the hours that start from 6PM to 6AM.

e.g. Maray na mudtō tabî kaninyō ŋāmin!

Occasional Greetings
Maogmaŋ Pagkaməndag! - Happy Birthday.
Maogmaŋ Bagoŋ Taon! - Happy New Year.
Maogmaŋ Anibersaryo! - Happy Anniversary.

Uniqueness and Distinction[edit]

Rinconada Bikol or Rinconada is rampantly using short or unstressed letter "i" sound. In fact, most root words with letter "i" are unstressed. However, not all words with "i" should be read and pronounced as such since there are words that have stressed " ī " in them, especially loanwords, e.g. sīli (chili). Native words with stressed "ī" are very rare.

The language retains the proto-Philippine schwa vowel /ə/ that has been disappeared in most Philippine languages like Cebuano, Tagalog and even the neighboring Coastal Bikol language. In Nabua, Camarines Sur (where the language was originated), the vowel was also disappeared via the normal development and evolution. However, before this happened, the vowel/sound was taken to the mountainous area around Mount Iriga (formerly called Mount Asog) by the people migrated from Nabua due to severe flooding. As a result, the vowel only survived in Highland dialect or Sinabukid speakers. People who are new to the highland accent may find it sounds like Ilokano or Pangasinense. The vowel can also be found in towns and cities speaking the Albay Bikol group of languages. The native word for this vowel in Rinconada is "gəpə". The vowel has divided the language into two dialects – Sinabukid or Highland (with /ə/) and Sinaranəw or Lowland (without /ə/).

Aside from the vowel /ə/, the other interesting thing in Rinconada language is the occurrence of an extra consonant phoneme /ɣ/. This consonant bears the sound of mixed letters "h, y and "w". The neighboring language of Buhinon also uses this sound - a clear evidence of close ties between the two languages.[3] Unfortunately, this phoneme neither has a corresponding letter in Philippine alphabet nor an equivalent character on Philippine standard keyboard. Thus, Rinconada Bikol speakers are left no other option but to use "h" as an alternative letter. However, in the spoken Sinaranəw dialect, the consonant /ɣ/ and the vowel /ə/ are often replaced by the letters "w" and "o" respectively.

Examples of letter ɣ[edit]

1. Mimaɣəw – will eat breakfast. (Mudto na, mimaɣəw pa sanā ikā?)

2. Baɣəw – cold cooked rice. (Naŋagnəw na man na kānən na adī, malākabaɣəw!)

3. Taɣəp – a process of separating rice from its outside layer after milling. "Tahip" in Filipino/Tagalog. (A pagtaɣəp, əsad na gīboŋ dirî dāpat pinagdədəlagan.)

4. Daɣun – plant leaf. (Kadakəl ka daɣun ka tanəm ni Tāta Isko.)

5. Saɣəg – meat or fish mixed in a vegetable viand, "ulam". (The native word is "bangot" in Rinconada Bikol. *Saɣəg is one example of a borrowed word from Tagalog – "sahog"). (Ayaw ŋanî pagkuutā itō saɣəg ta pansalak iton sa gūlay!)

  • The special consonant phoneme /ɣ/ can easily be distinguished from the sound of letters "h,w and y" if it is placed before the vowel phoneme /ə/. It can be compared to the letter "j" of the Spanish word "Dios Mamajes".

Standard Rinconada Bikol[edit]

The Iriga variant is used as the de facto standard Rinconada Bikol for the following reasons:[citation needed]

1. It retains the proto-Austronesian schwa vowel /ə/ that helps eliminate homographs (words that are spelled the same way but have different pronunciations and meanings).
2. The consonant phoneme /ɣ/ is evident and pronounced more clearly.
3. It has a neutralized and flat intonation which serves to moderate between variants.
4. It has no continuum accent or fusion of variants in between boundaries.
One example of continuum accent can be heard in barangays bordering Bula and Nabua which the speakers have mixed accents of Bula-Pili variant and Nabua-Balatan variant. Same thing can be heard in the boundaries of Baao and Nabua.
5. Iriga City is the center of learning, trade and commerce in Rinconada.
6. It has fewer loan words and is less influenced by neighboring languages than any other variant except Agta.
7. It has been used for decades to represent Rinconada as a whole at the local and national level.
8. It has the most number of speakers inside and outside the Rinconada area.
9. There's no or little variation in accent among speakers. Whether a person resides in the northeasternmost part of Iriga bordering Bikol-Partido speakers or in the southernmost part of Matacon, Polangui bordering West Miraya speakers or in East Sta. Justina, Buhi bordering Buhinon speakers, all use the same accent with centralized intonation.

  • Even with the usage of Iriga variant (highland dialect) as the Rinconada standard (both in spelling and pronunciation), all other variants remain official in their respective municipalities. The standard spelling must be observed in all written forms but can be pronounced differently depending on the accent of the speakers.

e.g. "lawəd" (midnight) can be pronounced as "lawod, lawəd or lawud" by speakers but MUST be written officially as "lawəd" across variants.

The language is commonly called as Rinconada but officially called as Rinconada Bikol (de jure) and not Iriga Bikol, Irigueño, Baaoeño or Bikol Nabua.

Angry Speech Register[edit]

The angry register is unique to Bicol languages as it cannot be found in other Austronesian Languages inside and outside the Philippines. It is generally used only among same-age speakers or by older speakers to younger listeners, as usage by younger speakers in addressing their elders would constitute great disrespect. On occasion, the angry register is used in sarcasm or humor, but the majority of its usage is in anger.[4]

Rinconada Bikol has contributed much to this unique feature of spoken languages of Bicolanos.


  Normal Register Angry Register

Sinabukid pronunciation

Angry Register

Sinaranəw pronunciation

eye matā malsək malsok
clothing badô lamakdô lamakdô
eat kaən ablô / gətək ablô / gotok
mouth ŋaŋā ŋurāpak ŋurāpak
sleep turog tusmag tusmag
drink inom til-ab / lablab til-ab / lablab
child igin wagə^ wagû
chicken manok sultok / galtok sultok / galtok
dog ayam damāyə^ daŋab, damāyô
throw baribad barambaŋ barambaŋ
mountain bukid luskid luskid
run dalagan kurībaw kurībaw
water tubig kal-eg kal-eg
rain uran dunag dunag
rice bəgas lasgas lasgas
hungry aləp gəsləp / gəlsək guslop / gulsok
woman babayī babaknit / siknit babaknit / siknit
ear taliŋā taliŋəgŋəg taliŋogŋog
old guraŋ gusnab / gusgos gusnab / gusgos

Inigin or "baby talk"[edit]

Inigin is a group of selected words for babies and newly born. It is being used by parents to communicate with their babies easily and to train them how to talk, hence, an introductory language. It is often described as language for the babies and commonly called as "baby talk". Words are limited to two syllables and features basic command. Several letters are absent such as "r, g, s, j, and h".

Normal words Inigin words English equivalent
inom māmam drink
kaən pāpâ eat
ə̄la lālâ sit
atî āâ dirty
inay māma mother
ədə^ dōdô bowel
bādô dādô cloth
turog nānok sleep
wāwâ kakâ spit it out
itay pāpa father
tabid/īyî wīwî urinate
ədâ na nāna no more
erak wāwa pity


Diacritics (kul-it)[edit]

Rinconada uses a variation of Latin alphabet modeled on the Tagalog alphabet. But unlike the modern Tagalog - Filipino, Rinconada retains and uses diacritics ('kul-it' in Rinconada Bikol, and 'kudlit' in Tagalog). This is to highlight the meaning of the words and to differentiate words with different meanings but the same spelling. In return, the diacritics provide Rinconada Bikol with a unique orthography among Philippine languages. Diacritics for this language are limited to the macron and circumflex which is unlike other languages, for example Vietnamese that has several. However, due to technical difficulties and a scarcity of resources, diacritics are sometimes not available. Thus, two Rinconada alphabets were created to meet the needs of the speakers: the NATIVE and the SIMPLIFIED. Both can be used at the same time depending on the situation, purpose and availability of resources.

Glottal Stop (rəgsad)[edit]

The Rinconada name for the letter which represents the glottal stop is "rəgsad". This can only be found in the native form of alphabet, and it is limited to final vowels or vowels at the end of a word. Rəgsad is represented by the circumflex ( ˆ ).

For examples of the rəgsad, consider the Rinconada words salâ (wrong) and turô (drop of water/fluid), often simply sala and turo in the simplified alphabet and in Filipino and English orthographies.

  • With rəgsad and kul-it, the translation of the phrase I love you in Rinconada is "PAYABÂ KO IKĀ" (transliteration: love me you).


The Rinconada Native alphabet has 6 short vowels, 6 long vowels, and 17 consonants, a total of 29 letters. A long or stressed vowel is written with a macron (a diacritic placed above a vowel). This alphabet contains all sounds found in the native vocabulary of Rinconada. It also includes the velar nasal special character /ŋ/ that represents "NG" as one letter only.

Majuscule Forms (also called uppercase or capital letters)
A Ā B K D E Ē Ə ə̄ G H Ɣ I Ī J L M N ŋ O Ō P R S T U Ū W Y
Minuscule Forms (also called lowercase or small letters)
a ā b k d e ē ə ə̄ g h ɣ i ī j l m n ŋ o ō p r s t u ū w y

Example of a Filipino proverb written in the Rinconada native alphabet:

"A dirî tattaoŋ maglīlî sa pinaŋgalinan, dirî makaaābot sa paiiyānan." (Tagalog: Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan)

Letter Rinconada English translation
A aləp hungry
Ā ārak to flaunt
B bādô dress/cloth
K kamət hand
D dəlag escape
E erak pity
Ē kalē canal
Ə əŋət angry
ə̄ ə̄ sit
G gab-ī night
H sahâ offshoot
Ɣ baɣog feeds
I i you (singular)
Ī īkaw earring
J tadjok hit by a sharp pointed tool or thing
L lətəw floating
M matā eye
N nəknək small mosquitoes
ŋ ŋipən tooth
O oroŋ nose
Ō ōmol a person who is not funny anymore
P parəy rice (unmilled)
R rayô far
S saləg floor
T tagbâ a way of harvesting with a use of bolo or knife
U uran rain
Ū ūri late
W warak scattered
Y yabâ love
  • Exceptions to the rules of native alphabet are formal names like Juan Dela Cruz and placenames such as Laguna, Cebu and Manila. Those names must retain their official and simplified spelling instead of their native spellings Huwan Delā Krus, Lagūna, Sebū and Manīla. With the exception of names and places, all words in the native alphabet must be written with their respective spellings with their designated diacritics.


The Rinconada Simplified alphabet is just the same as the Philippine alphabet. It has 28 letters:

Majuscule Forms (also called uppercase or capital letters)
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N Ñ Ng O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Minuscule Forms (also called lowercase or small letters)
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n ñ ng o p q r s t u v w x y z

The letters F, V and Z are included because they are native to other Philippine languages like Itawis and Ibanag. Letters C, Ñ, and Q are also included, but their usages are limited to foreign names, Filipinized words of foreign origins or loans, especially from Spanish, English and Arabic.

The simplified alphabet doesn't use diacritics like the macron ◌̄ for stressed and long vowels, the circumflex ◌̂ for glottal stop, or the letters for velar nasal ŋ, schwa ə, or velar fricative ɣ, as they don't appear on a standard "qwerty" keyboard. The velar nasal ŋ is replaced by the digraph ng, and the two latter sounds can be replaced by o and h, w, and y respectively. But even with the absence of diacritics in the modern and simplified alphabet, pronunciations in the spoken language are not altered. Moreover, the long vowel sound in a word should not be omitted. One good example of this is "bə̄ət" (kind) and "bəət" (want/like). The word bə̄ət in the native alphabet is written as bəət in the simplified alphabet making the two words the same in spelling albeit with different meanings. In this case, the pronunciation of the words depends on their place and usage in a sentence. To avoid confusion and aid in ease of reading, it is strongly recommended to use the native alphabet in writing Rinconada Bikol.


Numbers and words (in native alphabet) are as follow:

0 pōlô
1 əsad 11 samsad 21 darwamsad 31 tolomsad 41 pamsad 51 limamsad 61 nəmsad 71 pitomsad 81 walomsad 91 yamsad
2 darwā 12 samdarwā 22 darwamdarwā 32 tolomdarwā 42 pamdarwā 52 limamdarwā 62 nəmdarwā 72 pitomdarwā 82 walomdarwā 92 yamdarwā
3 tolō 13 samtolō 23 darwamtolō 33 tolomtolō 43 pamtolō 53 limamtolō 63 nəmtolō 73 pitomtolō 83 walomtolō 93 yamtolō
4 əpat 14 sampat 24 darwampat 34 tolompat 44 pampat 54 limampat 64 nəmpat 74 pitompat 84 walompat 94 yampat
5 limā 15 samlimā 25 darwamlimā 35 tolomlimā 45 pamlimā 55 limamlimā 65 nəmlimā 75 pitomlimā 85 walomlimā 95 yamlimā
6 ənəm 16 samnəm 26 darwamnəm 36 tolomnəm 46 pamnəm 56 limamnəm 66 nəmnəm 76 pitomnəm 86 walomnəm 96 yamnəm
7 pitō 17 sampitō 27 darwampitō 37 tolompitō 47 pampitō 57 limampitō 67 nəmpitō 77 pitompitō 87 walompitō 97 yampitō
8 walō 18 samwalō 28 darwamwalō 38 tolomwalō 48 pamwalō 58 limamwalō 68 nəmwalō 78 pitomwalō 88 walomwalō 98 yamwalō
9 siyam 19 samsiyam 29 darwamsiyam 39 tolomsiyam 49 pamsiyam 59 limamsiyam 69 nəmsiyam 79 pitomsiyam 89 walomsiyam 99 yamsiyam
10 sampōlô 20 darwampōlô 30 tolompōlô 40 pampōlô 50 limampōlô 60 nəmpōlô 70 pitompōlô 80 walompōlô 90 yampōlô 100 saŋgatos

There are no written records to indicate that Rinconada has native words for two-digit numbers (11 - 99). On the other hand, there is also no proof that the language has no indigenous words for those numbers. It is intriguing that Rinconada has native words for three-digit numbers (e.g. "sanggatos" for 100) but not for two digit numbers. Utilization and adaptation of foreign words via 333 years of Spanish colonization could be a reason why the native terminologies may not have been passed to the new generations. But a long established language needs a complete numbering system in words. Therefore, the reconstruction of words for 11-99 is necessary but needs to follow and retain the indigenous or original structural form of Rinconada's orthography.


The number words of 1 to 10 and 100 are all native Rinconada while the numbers 11 to 99 are all reconstructed. However, as earlier mentioned, the reconstructed numbers must be based on the original structure. Sampōlô (number ten) or sampu in Filipino is the only two-digit number that has a native word with a perfect indigenous structural form. The evolution of the word "sampōlô" from "əsadnapōlô" follows the orthography of Rinconada and developed naturally over the years. Being said, it is imperative that all reconstructed numbers must follow the same format of number 10.

The word sampōlô is derived from a portmanteau of the words əsad + na + pōlô (əsadnapōlô) which is the based tenth of one. In the evolution of this number, the schwa letter ə of əsadnapōlô became silent and so the word became "sadnapōlô". Same with other Philippine languages, /na/ is converted into /ŋ/, replaces the last consonant letter of the first word (which is /d/) and become the connector to the second word (which is pōlô) - thus, the letter /d/ is omitted and the word became "saŋ". The connector /ŋ/ becomes /m/ naturally if the next letter is /p/ or /b/ (which is also the case in other Philippine languages). So then, the word became sampōlô.

Structure of sampōlô (10):
1. əsad + na + pōlô = əsadnapōlô
2. əsadnapōlô – /ə/ = sadnapōlô
3. sadnapōlô – /d/ = sanapōlô
4. /na/ replaced by /ŋ/ = saŋpōlô
5. /ŋ/ replaced by /m/ before /p/ = sampōlô.

From sampōlô, all two-digit numbers were given a name that was copied from it. The number 40 (pampōlô) and 60 (nəmpōlô) follow the same exact format of sampōlô. The exception to the naming system of numbers is the number zero (0). Though zero (0) is single digit, there is no native word for it. Since sampōlô (10) is a combination of 1 and 0, the word pōlô was taken out from it to represent zero (0) rather than using "sīro" or "sēro". As a result, Rinconada has a complete basic set of numbers without using foreign words.

The number referenced in Php 356,817,142,590 can be translated into Rinconada Bikol as:
"Toloŋgatos limamnəm na bilyon, waloŋgatos sampitoŋ milyon, saŋgatos pamdarwaŋ rībo ag limaŋgatos yampōloŋ pīso."

In ENGLISH language it is:

"Three hundred fifty six billion, eight hundred seventeen million, one-hundred forty two thousand and five hundred ninety pesos."

In FILIPINO language it is:
"Tatlong daan limampu't anim na bilyon, walong daan at labing pitong milyon, sandaan at apatnapu't dalawang libo at limang raan siyamnapung piso."

  • Rinconada numbers in words are very simple in structure. Translations are shorter than both Filipino and English languages.

Comparison chart[edit]

Decimal Numbers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
PAN, circa 4000 BC *isa *DuSa *telu *Sepat *lima *enem *pitu *walu *Siwa *puluq
Tagalog isá dalawá tatló ápat limá ánim pitó waló siyám sampu
Cebuano usá duhá tuló upat limá unom pitó waló siyám napulu
Rinconada əsad darwā tolō əpat limā ənəm pitō walō siyam sampōlô
Chamorro maisa/håcha hugua tulu fatfat lima gunum fiti guålu sigua månot/fulu
Malay satu dua tiga empat lima enam tujuh lapan sembilan sepuluh
Javanese siji loro telu papat limo nem pitu wolu songo sepuluh
Tongan taha ua tolu nima ono fitu valu hiva -fulu
Samoan tasi lua tolu lima ono fitu valu iva sefulu
Māori tahi rua toru whā rima ono whitu waru iwa tekau (archaic: ngahuru)
Marquesan e tahi e 'ua e to'u e fa e 'ima e ono e fitu e va'u e iva 'onohu'u


Coverage of Rinconada Bikol language (purple)
Coverage of Albay Bikol languages:
Buhinon Bikol (dark blue)
Libon Bikol (violet)
West Albay Bikol (light blue)
Miraya Bikol (blue-gray

Although properly considered separate languages, speakers of Rinconada Bikol or Rinconada can communicate with Albay Bikol speakers with ease and without code switching. A student from Ligao City (West Miraya speaker) studying in a university in Iriga City can understand Rinconada (any variant) and can be understood by Rinconada speakers as well. The same thing will happen if a local tourist from Rinconada visits the Cagsawa Ruins in Albay or visits Donsol, Sorsogon (East Miraya speaker) for the annual whale shark sightings. The difference between Rinconada and Albay Bikol (both are included in Inland Bikol group) is comparable to German and Yiddish or Portuguese and Galician, while the differences between variants are comparable to those between English US, English British and English Australian. The mutual intelligibility of Rinconada and Albay Bikol is 80% to 85%, while intelligibility between variants is 95% to 98%.[citation needed]


Rinconada Bikol having hundreds of thousands of speakers, is not among the recognized regional languages in the Philippines. There is no publication of local government of Camarines Sur written in this language and not a single local radio station in the province utilizes it as a medium of communication and broadcast. Rinconada speakers are linguistically marginalized by the dominant Coastal Bikol (Bikol Naga-Legazpi) speakers.[citation needed]

Some advocates are planning to submit a proposal for a Rinconada Bikol Language festival for survival and preservation of this language.[citation needed]

Modern culture[edit]

Due to the well-known mobility tendency of Rinconada speakers to move freely inside and outside the Bicol Region, the language earned the moniker: PASĀDI PASAN, PASĪNI PASĪTON LANGUAGE. Translated literally, this means the – will go here will go there, will go here will go there language.[citation needed]

Well-known speakers[edit]

  • Iriga variant

Nora Aunor (Multi-awarded International Filipina actress, singer, & producer)
Mila Ocampo (Filipina actress (mother of Snooky Serna), first Miss Philippines Press Photography)
Jaime Fabregas (Filipino veteran actor)
Rez Cortez (Filipino actor)
Eddie Ilarde (former assemblyman, senator and congressman of the Philippines)
Emilia Boncodin (former secretary of the Philippine Department of Budget and Management)
Leila De Lima (secretary of Philippine Department of Justice)
Efren Orbon (Major General; the former commanding general of the 2nd Infantry Division, Philippine Army)
Raul Nagrampa (Philippine NPO Deputy Director)
Tshomlee Go (Taekwando Jin, Olympian; Taekwando World Cup Championship Silver medalist; 2005 SEA Games Gold medalist)
Ruben F. Ciron (Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines)
Dominic Almelor (ABS-CBN reporter)
Dianne Necio (Top 15 Miss International 2011)
Angeline Tucio (1st Runner-up Mutya ng Pilipinas 2003)

  • Bato variant

Venus Raj (Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up)

  • Baao variant

Joker Arroyo (Philippine Senator)
Beatriz "Bea" Saw (Pinoy Big Brother season 2 winner)
Luis G. Dato (Bikolano Poet and Writer)

  • Bula-Pili variant

Jericho Rosales (Filipino Actor, Model and Band Vocalist)


Rinconada is spoken by majority in Bula, Baao, Nabua, Balatan, Iriga City and Bato in Camarines Sur (politically the 5th district of Camarines Sur province except the municipality of Buhi, where the majority speaks Buhinon). The language is dominant and the lingua franca in the southern half of the provincial capital town of Pili, the west barangays of Ocampo, and the far west barangays of Buhi; it can also be heard in neighboring places such as the northern barangays of Polangui and Libon in Albay.


Town/City Population Percentage
Baao, Cam. Sur 54,971 100%
Balatan, Cam. Sur 28,699 100% (25% of the population is bilingual with Coastal Bikol)
Bato, Cam. Sur 48,306 100%
Buhi, Cam. Sur 24,603 1/3 of the population
Bula, Cam. Sur 68,011 100%
Iriga City 105,919 100%
Nabua, Cam. Sur 80,111 100%
Pili, Cam. Sur 41,153 (half of the population)
Polangui, Albay 27,435 (1/3 of the population)
Total 479,208

Based from the population of towns and city with a concentration of Rinconada Bikol speakers, the total number is 479,208 or almost half a million. This number is based from the population of the fifth district of Camarines Sur (Rinconada) and neighboring towns of Polangui and Pili, in which, Rinconada Bikol is their de facto daily language. Moreover, the total number does not include speakers outside Rinconada area. Some linguists place the native speaker population at 600,000 (estimate) because there are many speakers of this language outside the region who left in search for better job opportunities. The population that consider Rinconada Bikol as their second language are believed to number 50,000.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Rinconada Bikol at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Iriga Bicolano". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ "language of Buhi (Buhinon)". 
  4. ^ "Bikol Angry Register".