Tagalog people

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Total population
28 million
Regions with significant populations
(Manila,o Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan, Camarines Norte, Nueva Viscaya)
United StatesUnited States, CanadaCanada
Filipino, English, Spanish, Malay, Mandarin, Hokkien, Chavacano, Arabic, Philippine Sign Language
Christianity (Catholic and Protestant)
Islam, Buddhism, Irreligion
Related ethnic groups
Other Filipinos

The Tagalog are a major ethnic group in the Philippines. They form a majority in Manila, Marinduque and southern Luzon, and a plurality in Central Luzon and the islands of Mindoro, Palawan, and Romblon.


The name Tagalog comes from either the term tagá-ilog, which means 'people living along the river', or another term, tagá-alog, which means 'people living along the ford' (the prefix taga- meaning "coming from" or "native of").[1]

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


The Tagalog are part of the Austronesian migration from Taiwan into the Philippines at around 4000 BCE.[3] The earliest written record of the Tagalog is a 9th-century document known as the Laguna Copperplate Inscription which is about a pardon of debt on behalf of the ruler of Tagalog Tondo.[4] Contact with the rest of Southeast Asia led to the creation Baybayin later used in the book Doctrina Cristiana which is written by the 16th century Spanish colonizers.[5]

The Tagalog played an active role during the Philippine Revolution and many of its leaders were either from Manila or surrounding provinces.[6] The Katipunan once intended to name the Philippines as "Katagalugan" or the Tagalog Republic.[7]


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

The Tagalog number around 25.5 million in the Philippines making them the second largest indigenous Filipino ethnic group after the Visayans.[3]

The Tagalog speak the a language with many dialects although all are mutually comprehensible to each other. The Tagalog mostly practice Christianity (Catholicism and Protestantism) with a minority practicing Islam, Buddhism, and Irreligion.[8]

Tagalog settlements are found on riverbanks, specifically near the delta and the "wawa" or the mouth of the river.[9]

The traditional clothing of the Tagalog, the Barong Tagalog, is the folk costume of the Philippines.[10]


  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. ^ a b Ethnic Groups of South Asia and the Pacific: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. 2012. ISBN 978-1-59884-659-1. 
  4. ^ Ocampo, Ambeth (2012). Looking Back 6: Prehistoric Philippines. Mandaluyong City, Philippines: Anvil Publishing, Inc. pp. 51–56. ISBN 978-971-27-2767-2. 
  5. ^ "Doctrina Cristiana". Project Gutenberg. 
  6. ^ Guererro, Milagros; Encarnacion, Emmanuel; Villegas, Ramon (1996), "Andrés Bonifacio and the 1896 Revolution", Sulyap Kultura (National Commission for Culture and the Arts) 1 (2): 3–12 
  7. ^ Guererro, Milagros; Schumacher, S.J., John (1998), Reform and Revolution, Kasaysayan: The History of the Filipino People 5, Asia Publishing Company Limited, ISBN 962-258-228-1 
  8. ^ "Lowland Cultural Group of the Tagalogs". National Commission for Culture and the Arts. pp. page on the 4th paragraph. 
  9. ^ "Lowland Cultural Group of the Tagalogs". National Commission for Culture and the Arts. pp. page on the 9th and 10th paragraph. 
  10. ^ Radio Television Malacañang. "Corazon C. Aquino, First State of the Nation Address, July 27, 1987" (Video). RTVM. Retrieved 6 September 2013.