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There are at least 77 major ethno-linguistic groups in the Philippine archipelago, which can be further subdivided into 244 sub-groupings depending on the variations of the central cultures. Classification and identification of groups is based on factors such as geography, environment, religion, language, rules on succession and social organization. 

In Luzon, the biggest island, the major groups are the: Ivatan/Itbayat; Ilocano; Tinggian; Apayao; Kalinga; Balangao; Kankanay; Kankanaey; Bago; Bontoc; Ifugao; Ibaloi; Ikalahan/Kalanguya; Iwak; Isinay; Pangasinan; Ga’dang; Ibanag; Itawit; Malaweg; Yogad; Ilongot; Kapampangan; Palanan; Tagalog; Bicol; Negrito; and Sambal.

In Visayas, the major groups are the: Masbateño; Abaknon; Rombloanon; Bantoanon; Aklanon; Kiniray-a/Hamtikanon; Hiligaynon; Sulod; Bukidnon; Boholano; Cebuano; and Waray.

In Mindoro, there is the Mangyan. In Palawan, there are the: Tagbanwa; Agutayanen; Kuyonen; Pala’wan; Molbog; Batak; and Tau’t Batu. In Sulu/Tawi-tawi, there are the: Yakan; Sama; Sama Dilaut; Tausug; and Jama Mapun.

In Mindanao, there are the: Manobo, Sangil/Sangir; Maranao; Ilanun; Magindanao; Tiruray; Tasaday; T’boli; B’laan; Subanun; Kamiguin; Mamanwa; Butuanon; Kamayo; Bagobo; Mandaya; Kalagan; and Kolibugan.

All these groups have their distinct culture and identity, contributing to the rich and diverse Philippine cultural heritage.

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Aklanon __ "Aklanon" refers to the people of Aklan province, their language and culture. Folk belief that Aklan derived its name from a river called Akean. When the Spaniards came, they asked the region's name from a man fishing in the river and the man thought they were asking him for the name of the river. The Aklanon belong to a larger group called Viasayan, and the Aklanon language is a subclassification of the Visayan language." This site discusses visual, literary, and performing arts. Also includes information on the customs, religious beliefs, history, and economy. - From Jo Anne Fontanilla - 

Alamat, A Philippine Folktales, Myths and Legends Page __ There are only three stories here now but the website looks as though it will grow. - from Arnold Arre - 

Alibata __ "Alibata is an ancient writing system that was used in what is now the Philippines. Although it was all but extinguished by Western colonization, variants of it are still used in parts of Mindoro and Palawan, and it is also increasingly used by Filipino youth as a way to express their identity." You will find considerable information and links. - from - 

The Ati-Atihan Festival __ "The Ati-Atihan, held every January in the town of Kalibo in the province of Aklan on the island of Panay, is the wildest among Philippine fiestas." Find out why in this excellent overview of the celebration. - illustrated - From Philippine History Group of Los Angeles -  
Celebrities of Filipino Descent __ A list of Filipino celebrities in the entertainment world. - illustrated - from -

Creation Myths __ An overview of Filipino creation myth. - from Penelope V. Flores, Ph.D. - 


The evolution of the native Tagalog alphabet by Guillermo Gomez Rivera, Opinion, EMANILA NEWS __ "When the Spanish missionaries came to the Philippine Islands in the 1560s they discovered that the native languages, particularly Tagalog, Ilocano and Visayan, had no native Alphabet to speak of. What passed for their Alphabet was some kind of a syllabary, called Baybayin or Alíbatá, inherited from a vague Arab influence that irradiated from the previously dominant Sultanate of Joló or Sulú." Find out what developed since. - From - 

Fiesta, The Filipino Ultimate Expressions __ "The fiesta is the most beloved institution in the Philippines, the microcosm of everything the Filipino hold dear. What does this tell us of the Filipino? The answer lies in the summary of the fiesta's part in his formation." A good article. - From Alejandro R. Roces - 

Filipino Ethnic Communities __ Several on-site articles and links to interesting off-site related material. - From - Austrian-Philippine Website - 

Filipino? Tagalog? Pilipino? Learn the difference __ "The basis for the Philippine national language is Tagalog, which had primarily been spoken only in Manila and the surrounding provinces when the Commonwealth constitution was drawn up in the early 1930s. That constitution provided for a national language, but did not specifically designate it as Tagalog because of objections raised by representatives from other parts of the country where Tagalog was not spoken. It merely stated that a national language acceptable to the entire populace (and ideally incorporating elements from the diverse languages spoken throughout the islands) would be a future goal. Tagalog, of course, by virtue of being the lingua franca of those who lived in or near the government capital, was the predominant candidate." Learn what has been happening since. - from - 


How to Save the Tiger That Is Pampanga __ This website proposes ways to protect Pampanga from losing its native language, Kapampangan. - from Ernie Turla -
The Ifugao - Mountain People of the Philippines __ "Despite the ongoing effort by both church and government to assimilate and convert the Ifugao, they have remained remarkably unchanged. The Ifugao, who number approximately 120,000, live in widely scattered groups over some 750 square miles of rugged, precipitous terrain where heavy rainstorms are frequently followed by slides, flash floods and washouts." Learn more in this interesting article. - From - 

The Metamorphosis of Filipino as National Language __ "Filipino -- the term used in both the 1973 and 1987 Philippine constitutions to designate as the "national language" of the Philippines, whether de jure or de facto, it matters not -- has come full-circle to prick the national consciousness and lay its vexing burden at the feet of our national planners, as well as of the academe." An article of interest to both linguistic anthropologists and historians. - from Philippine Daily Inquirer Online edition/Jessie Grace U. Rubrico - 

National Commission for Culture and the Arts __ "In 1987, then President Corazon C. Aquino penned Executive Order No. 118 creating the Presidential Commission on Culture and Arts. Five years later, in 1992, this presidential directive was enacted into law-- Republic Act 7356. The original bill was jointly authored by Senators Edgardo Angara, Heherson Alvarez, Leticia Ramos Shahani, and Congressman Carlos Padilla." You will find out what this organization has accomplished, read several articles, learn history and a lot more. - illustrated - From Government of the Philippines - 

A Philippine Leaf __ You will find three good articles about pre-contact Filipino writing. ""However, when Legazpi came to Manila in 1571 he observed that the inhabitants knew how to read and write. This was documented by Pedro Chirino, a Jesuit historian, who wrote in his 1604 Relacion de las Islas filipinas,...All these islanders are much given to reading and writing, and there is hardly a man, much less a woman, who does not read and write." - From Hector Santos - 


Philippines: The People __ "Halo-halo is a Filipino word that means mixture. While it describes a popular dessert, it could also describe the Filipinos. They look like Asians, write and speak English like Americans, worship like Spaniards, and have an outlook that is international." You will find a good overview with maps, history, food and more. Use the links at the right side of the page to access them. - From - 

Religious Beliefs and Cosmology of the Filipino __ "Any simple attempt at describing the belief systems native to the Filipino is likely to be inadequate. The religious beliefs were as varied as the languages of the country." This paper does an amazingly good job by concentrating on "areas of common ground that existed among many of the peoples throughout the islands." - From Unknown -

The Spanish and Chabacano(Creole Spanish) Situation in the Philippines __ A collection of click-to-read articles on the Spanish and Chabacano(Creole Spanish) spoken in the Philippines. - From Unknown -


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