Tagalog 101

The Tagalog homeland, or Katagalugan, covers roughly much of the central to southern parts of the island of Luzon - particularly in Aurora, Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Metro Manila, Nueva Ecija, Quezon, and Rizal. Tagalog is also spoken natively by inhabitants living on the islands of Lubang, Marinduque, and the northern and eastern parts of Mindoro. According to the Philippine Census of 2000, 21,485,927 out of 76,332,470 Filipinos claimed Tagalog as their first language. An estimated 50 million Filipinos speak it in varying degrees of proficiency.
Predominantly Tagalog-speaking regions in the Philippines.
Predominantly Tagalog-speaking regions in the Philippines.

Tagalog speakers are to be found in other parts of the Philippines as well as throughout the world; it is the sixth most-spoken language in the United States.

Official status

After weeks of study and deliberation, Tagalog was chosen by the National Language Institute, a committee composed of seven members who represents various regions in the Philippines. President Manuel L. Quezon then proclaimed Tagalog the national language or wikang pambansâ of the Philippines on December 30, 1937. This was made official upon the Philippines' restoration of independence from the United States on July 4, 1946.

From 1961 to 1987, Tagalog was also known as Pilipino. Since 1987, the name Filipino has been used to refer to a Tagalog-based national language that borrows from other languages.

Since 1940, Tagalog has been taught in schools throughout the Philippines. It is the only one out of over 170 Philippine languages that is officially used in schools

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