Tagalog people

Infobox Ethnic group
group = Tagalog people

population = Estimated: 26 Million
caption =
regions = Philippines, United States
languages = Tagalog, Filipino and English
religions = Christianity (Predominantly Roman Catholic, with a minority of Protestants)
related-c = Other Filipino people
The Tagalog people (Tgl:"Tagalog") is the second largest Filipino ethnolinguistic group. The name Tagalog comes from the native term "taga-ilog", meaning 'people living in the river'. The prefix "taga-" means "coming from" or "native of", while the word "ilog" means 'river'. Transliterated, "taga-ilog" means 'coming from the river' or 'native of the river', with 'the' being implied.

The Tagalogs are the most widespread in the Philippines. They form a majority in the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Batangas, Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, Metro Manila, Nueva Ecija, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Quezon, Marinduque, and Rizal. Other provinces with significant Tagalog populations include the provinces of Palawan, Tarlac, and in Zambales.


Tagalogs number about 15,876,000 making them the second largest Filipino ethnic group. The origin of the Tagalogs is still disputed, whether their cultivating homeland was in (what is now) Taal, Batangas, or ascending from the south where their closer linguistic kinsmen (the Visayans) dwelled. Nonetheless, the Tagalogs (like other aboriginal Philippine ethnicities) are likely the descendants of Austronesian-speaking immigrants from prehistoric Taiwan (see Taiwanese aboriginals). Tagalogs speak the Tagalog language, with many dialectal variations, although all Tagalog dialects are considered to be mutually comprehensible to each other. Tagalog people mostly of Merdika and mixed Merdika and Spanish blood in Ternate, Cavite speak Ternateño dialect of Chabacano. The main religion of Tagalogs is Christianity, mostly Roman Catholicism as well as Protestantism. There are also some Muslims.There are many Tagalog Mestizos. Many Tagalogs are a mix of mainly Chinese and Filipino descent with only a minority of Tagalogs having Spanish or American descent.


The Tagalog culture of the Pre-Hispanic times was totally different from its forms today. From a former tattooing tribe, the Tagalog culture grew steadily to accept foreign, especially Hispanic, Chinese, and American cultural influences, and their culture today remains the backbone and the representative of all other Filipino cultures. Traditionally, the Tagalogs are for the most part agriculturalists, although there are some who engage in fishing. Tagalogs have a very strict adherence to conduct 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.

Tagalogs are also focused on food preparation and culinary activities. Women (and sometimes, men) are trained early on to become culinary experts. This is depicted in lavish celebrations during Fiestas and gatherings.


Although the present center of the Tagalog Culture and Tagalog people is Taal, Batangas, being its birthplace, is still the Heartland of the Tagalog Culture. Most of the origins of the Tagalog people is based on oral tradition. Because even if they were literate and had a written tradition before the Spaniards arrived, they wrote their ideas on perishable leaves and branches.

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

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

Since Aguinaldo, four other Tagalogs assumed the presidency: Manuel L. Quezon (who was a Spanish-mestizo with mostly Tagalog native ancestry), Jose P. Laurel, Corazon Aquino partly of Tagalog and descent, from her maternal side) and Joseph 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. Tagalog prominence in the national character is well-founded, as Philippine history has always shown Tagalogs to be in frontlines, persevering and always forwarding the Filipino spirit.

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