Tagalog is an Austronesian language which is closely related Malay and Indonesian languages. It is spoken in the Philippines by about 60-70 percent of the population and is the primary language in the following regions: Central Luzon, the National Capital Region, Southern Tagalog, and Eastern Tagalog. It is also the basis of Filipino, the national and official language of the Philippines.
The word Tagalog is said to have been derived from taga ilog, which means river dweller.
Tagalog vis-a-vis Filipino
- In 1937, Tagalog was selected as the basis of the national language of the Philippines by the National Language Institute.
- Pres. Manuel L. Quezon named the national language “Wikang Pambansa” (i.e. “National Language”) in 1939.
- Twenty years later, in 1959, it was renamed by the Secretary of Education, Jose Romero, as Pilipino to give it a national rather than ethnic label and connotation.
- In 1971, a “universalist” approach to the national language, to be called Filipino rather than Pilipino, was adopted.
- In the new constitution of 1987, Filipino was named the national language, specifying that as the Filipino language evolves, it shall be further developed and enriched on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages.