Tagalog people

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Tagalog dress, early 1800s.jpg
Traditional Tagalog attires during the early 1800s.
Total population
22 million
Regions with significant populations
(Aurora, Bataan, Batangas, Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, Marinduque, Metro Manila, Nueva Ecija, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Quezon, Rizal, and Zambales)
Tagalog, Filipino, Chabacano de Cavite/Ternate, and English
Christianity (Predominantly Roman Catholic, with a minority of Protestants)
Related ethnic groups
Other Filipinos

Tagalog is a major ethnic group in the Philippines. They form a majority in the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Batangas, Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, Marinduque, Metro Manila, Nueva Ecija, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Quezon, and Rizal. Other provinces with some significant Tagalog populations include the provinces of Palawan, and in Zambales.


The name Tagalog comes from either the native term tagá-ilog, meaning 'people living along the river', or another native term, tagá-alog, meaning 'people living along the ford', a ford being a shallow part of a river or stream where people, animals, or vehicles can cross it. The prefix taga- means "coming from" or "native of", while the word ilog means 'river'. Translated, tagá-ilog means 'coming from the river' or 'native of the river', and tagá-alog means 'coming from the ford' or 'native of the ford' with 'the' being implied in both cases. Either way, the original name has been contracted to become simply Tagalog.[1] In more recent times, the people of this ethnolinguistic group rarely refer to themselves as "Tagalog", and instead, refer to themselves simply as "Filipino".

In 1821, Edmund Roberts called the Tagalog, Tagalor in his memoirs about his trips to the Philippines.[2]


Tagalog people number about 28.1% of the Total Filipino population making them the second largest major indigenous Filipino ethnic group, second to Visayans.[3][4][5][6] Tagalogs speak the Tagalog language, with many dialectal variations, although all Tagalog dialects are considered to be mutually comprehensible to each other. The main religion of Tagalogs is Christianity, mainly Roman Catholicism with a minority practicing Islam, mainly the Quiapo district of Manila.

Predominantly Tagalog-speaking regions in the Philippines. The color-schemes represent the 4 dialect zones of the language: Northern, Central, Southern, and Marinduque.

Tagalogs have ancestries in other ethnic groups such as East Asian and as well as some other South East Asian people that migrated/settled to Manila and CALABARZON that assimilated to Tagalog or came even long before the Spanish Conquest. That could have established several native Tagalog communities formed by the assimilation of various indigenous Philippine kingdoms.[7]


Emilio Aguinaldo c. 1898

The Tagalog culture of the Pre-Hispanic times was totally different from its forms today. Traditionally, the Tagalogs are agriculturists, although there are a few who engage in fishing. Tagalogs have a very strict adherence to conduct politeness and respect, and this is exemplified by practices and their language structure. Tagalogs are also depicted by examples of bravery and courage, as manifested by historical events, e.g., the Philippine Revolution and World War II.


The present "center" of the Tagalog culture and people is Taal, Batangas, being its birthplace, and is still the "Heartland of the Tagalog Culture". Most of the culture of the Tagalog people is passed on by oral tradition, despite the existence of a writing system. This is because even if they were literate and had a written tradition before the Spaniards arrived, they wrote their ideas on perishable leaves and branches.

The Tagalogs were the first settlers of Manila. In the late 16th century, Spain chose Manila as the capital of its Philippine colony. From then onwards, it has been the political and economic center of the Philippines. Manila and the surrounding Tagalog areas played a leading role in the Philippine Revolution and the People Power Revolution. Throughout the centuries, there have been massive migrations by other ethnic groups to Manila, and many of them have intermarried with the Tagalog people.

A number of Philippine national heroes are of Tagalog heritage. The Tagalogs staged numerous revolts against Spanish colonization, and were also among the earliest. One such revolt was that of Apolinario de la Cruz (Hermano Pule), which was religious in orientation.

The Philippines National hero José Rizal, was a native Tagalog who hailed from Calamba, Laguna,

In 1898, many leaders of the Philippine Revolution were Tagalogs, including Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, Andrés Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto, among others.

Since Aguinaldo, other Tagalogs have assumed the presidency: Manuel L. Quezon (who was a Filipino mestizo of Tagalog descent), José P. Laurel, and Joseph Ejercito Estrada. Early Philippine history has always been actively participated by the struggles and triumphs of the Tagalog people and the Tagalogs came to take an active part in the present Philippine economy and politics.

See also[edit]


  • CCP Encyclopedia or Philippine Art, Peoples of the Philippines, Tagalog
  1. ^ "Tagalog, tagailog, Tagal, Katagalugan". English, Leo James. Tagalog-English Dictionary. 1990. 
  2. ^ Roberts, Edmund (1837). Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 59. 
  3. ^ http://www.buzzle.com/articles/list-of-different-ethnic-groups-in-the-philippines.html "Indigenous Ethnic Groups: These include Visayan: The Visayan people are mainly found in the Visayas region and also in some parts of Mindanao. The Visayans speak a large number of dialects that they collectively call the Bisaya language. There more than 33 million speakers of these languages and most of them are Christians. Tagalog: The Tagalog is the most widely spread ethnic group in the Philippines that inhabit Manila, Mindoro, and Marinduque. There are about 22 million speakers of the Tagalog Language that was chosen as the official language of the nation in 1930". Date retrieved 29 DEC 2010.
  4. ^ Philippines' People
  5. ^ http://www.filipinoplanet.com/filipino-ethnic-groups.html "Visayan: As of 2010 there are 98 million people in the Philippines. Visayans are the largest Filipino ethnic group making up the majority - about 33 million people. Visayans originally come from the Visayas, the middle section of the Philippines. The language of Visayans is Bisaya, however, there are many languages considered Visayan including Aklanon, Cebuano, Ilonggo and Waray-Waray. Tagalog: There are approximately 25 million Tagalog people in the Philippines. Tagalogs originally settled in Manila which then became the capital of the Philippines. Tagalogs speak Tagalog which was the basis for Wikang Filipino or the Filipino Language. The majority of Tagalogs are Christian. Many Filipino National heroes were of Tagalog descent including Jose Rizal, Emilio Aguinaldo and Andres Bonifacio." Date retrieved 29 DEC 2010.
  6. ^ https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/rp.html Date retrieved 29 DEC 2010.
  7. ^ tagalog