A Maginoo (noble class) couple, both wearing blue-coloured clothing articles (blue being the distinctive colour of their class).
|c. 30 million|
|Regions with significant populations|
(Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Central Luzon, MIMAROPA)
|Tagalog (Filipino) and other Philippine languages, English|
|Christianity: Catholic, Iglesia ni Cristo, Mormon and Protestant
Islam, Buddhism, Tagalog mythology
|Related ethnic groups|
|Kapampangans, Ilocanos, Malays, Visayans|
The Tagalog people (Baybayin: ᜆᜄᜎᜓᜄ᜔ ) are a major ethnolingustic group in the Philippines. They have a well developed society due to the cultural heartland, Manila, being the capital of the Philippines. Most of them inhabit and form a majority in the Metro Manila and Calabarzon regions of southern Luzon, as well as a plurality in the provinces of Bulacan, Bataan, Zambales, Nueva Ecija, and Aurora in Central Luzon and in the islands of Marinduque and Mindoro in MIMAROPA.
The commonly accepted origin for the endonym "Tagalog" is the term tagá-ilog, which means "people from [along] the river". An alternative theory states that the name is derived from tagá-alog, which means "people from the ford" (the prefix tagá- meaning "coming from" or "native of").
The earliest written record of Tagalog is a late 9th-century document known as the Laguna Copperplate Inscription which is about a remission of debt on behalf of the ruler of Tondo. Inscribed on it is year 822 of the Saka Era, the month of Waisaka, and the fourth day of the waning moon, which corresponds to Monday, April 21, 900 CE in the Proleptic Gregorian calendar. The writing system used is the Kawi script, while the language is a variety of Old Malay, and contains numerous loanwords from Sanskrit and a few non-Malay vocabulary elements whose origin may be Old Javanese. Some contend it is between Old Tagalog and Old Javanese. The document states that it releases its bearers, the children of Namwaran, from a debt in gold amounting to 1 kati and 8 suwarnas (865 grams). During the reign of Sultan Bolkiah in 1485 to 1521, the Sultanate of Brunei decided to break Tondo's monopoly in the China trade by attacking Tondo and establishing Selurung as a Bruneian satellite-state.
Tomé Pires noted that the Luções or people from Luzon were "mostly heathen" and were not much esteemed in Malacca at the time he was there, although he also noted that they were strong, industrious, given to useful pursuits. Pires' exploration led him to discover that in their own country, the Luções had foodstuffs, wax, honey, inferior grade gold, had no king, and were governed instead by a group of elders. They traded with tribes from Borneo and Indonesia and Filipino historians note that the language of the Luções was one of the 80 different languages spoken in Malacca. When Magellan's ship arrived in the Philippines, Pigafetta noted that there were Luções there collecting sandalwood. Contact with the rest of Southeast Asia led to the creation of Baybayin script that was later used in the book Doctrina Cristiana, which is written by the 16th century Spanish colonizers.
On May 19, 1571, Miguel López de Legazpi gave the title "city" to the colony of Manila. The title was certified on June 19, 1572. Under Spain, Manila became the colonial entrepot in the Far East. The Philippines was a Spanish colony administered under the Viceroyalty of New Spain and the Governor-General of the Philippines who ruled from Manila was sub-ordinate to the Viceroy in Mexico City. Throughout the 333 years of Spanish rule, various grammars and dictionaries were written by Spanish clergymen, including Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala by Pedro de San Buenaventura (Pila, Laguna, 1613), Pablo Clain's Vocabulario de la lengua tagala (beginning of the 18th century), Vocabulario de la lengua tagala (1835), and Arte de la lengua tagala y manual tagalog para la administración de los Santos Sacramentos (1850) in addition to early studies of the language. The first substantial dictionary of Tagalog language was written by the Czech Jesuit missionary Pablo Clain in the beginning of the 18th century. Further compilation of his substantial work was prepared by P. Juan de Noceda and P. Pedro de Sanlucar and published as Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala in Manila in 1754 and then repeatedly reedited, with the last edition being in 2013 in Manila. The indigenous poet Francisco Baltazar (1788–1862) is regarded as the foremost Tagalog writer, his most notable work being the early 19th-century epic Florante at Laura.
The first Asian-origin people known to arrive in North America after the beginning of European colonization were a group of Filipinos known as "Luzonians" or Luzon Indians who were part of the crew and landing party of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de la Buena Esperanza. The ship set sail from Macau and landed in Morro Bay in what is now the California coast on October 17 of 1587, as part of the Galleon Trade between the Spanish East Indies (the colonial name for what would become the Philippines) and New Spain (Spain's colonies in North America). More Filipino sailors arrived along the California coast when both places were part of the Spanish Empire. By 1763, "Manila men" or "Tagalas" had established a settlement called St. Malo on the outskirts of New Orleans, Louisiana.
The Tagalog played an active role during the 1896 Philippine Revolution and many of its leaders were either from Manila or surrounding provinces. The Katipunan once intended to name the Philippines as "Katagalugan" or the Tagalog Republic, and extended the meaning of these terms to all natives in the Philippine islands. Miguel de Unamuno described revolutionary leader José Rizal (1861–1896) as the "Tagalog Hamlet" and said of him “a soul that dreads the revolution although deep down desires it. He pivots between fear and hope, between faith and despair.” In 1902, Macario Sakay formed his own Republika ng Katagalugan in the mountains of Morong (today, the province of Rizal), and held the presidency with Francisco Carreón as vice president.
Tagalog was declared the official language by the first constitution in the Philippines, the Constitution of Biak-na-Bato in 1897. In 1935, the Philippine constitution designated English and Spanish as official languages, but mandated the development and adoption of a common national language based on one of the existing native languages. After study and deliberation, the National Language Institute, a committee composed of seven members who represented various regions in the Philippines, chose Tagalog as the basis for the evolution and adoption of the national language of the Philippines. President Manuel L. Quezon then, on December 30, 1937, proclaimed the selection of the Tagalog language to be used as the basis for the evolution and adoption of the national language of the Philippines. In 1939, President Quezon renamed the proposed Tagalog-based national language as wikang pambansâ (national language). In 1959, the language was further renamed as "Pilipino". The 1973 constitution designated the Tagalog-based "Pilipino", along with English, as an official language and mandated the development and formal adoption of a common national language to be known as Filipino. The 1987 constitution designated Filipino as the national language mandating that as it evolves, it shall be further developed and enriched on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages.
The Tagalog number around 30 million, making them the second largest indigenous Filipino ethnic group after the Visayans. Tagalog settlements are generally lowland, and are commonly sited on the banks near the delta and "wawà" or mouth of a river. The traditional clothing of the Tagalog, the Barong Tagalog, is the folk costume of the Philippines.
Bulacan is popular for chicharon (pork rinds) and steamed rice and tuber cakes like puto. It is a center for panghimagas or desserts, like brown rice cake or kutsinta, sapin-sapin, suman, cassava cake, halaya ube and the king of sweets, in San Miguel, Bulacan, the famous carabao milk candy pastillas de leche, with its pabalat wrapper. Cainta, in Rizal province east of Manila, is known for its Filipino rice cakes and puddings. These are usually topped with latik, a mixture of coconut milk and brown sugar, reduced to a dry crumbly texture. A more modern, and time saving alternative to latik are coconut flakes toasted in a frying pan.
Antipolo, straddled mid-level in the mountainous regions of the Philippine Sierra Madre, is a town known for its suman and cashew products. Laguna is known for buko pie (coconut pie) and panutsa (peanut brittle). Batangas is home to Taal Lake, a body of water that surrounds Taal Volcano. The lake is home to 75 species of freshwater fish. Among these, the maliputo and tawilis are two not commonly found elsewhere. These fish are delicious native delicacies. Batangas is also known for its special coffee, kapeng barako. Bistek Tagalog is a dish of strips of sirloin beef slowly cooked in soy sauce, calamansi juice, vinegar and onions.
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