In the English language, the word Filipino often refers to something from or related to the Philippines.

For examples:

  • Filipino cuisine – food associated with the Philippines
  • Filipino people – ethnic group that identifies with the Philippines
  • Filipino language – national language of the Philippines

  • Although the letter “F” has been officially included in the Filipino alphabet since at least the year 1987, the “f” sound is not native to the Philippines. There is still an overwhelming tendency for Filipinos to change “f” into “p” when pronouncing words.

    Ako ay Pilipino.
    I am Filipino.

    The younger generation of Filipinos who have grown up hearing the “f” sound in mass media have lesser difficulty pronouncing “f” and because many Spanish and American words are regularly used by Filipinos, there is more widespread non-judgemental use of “f” sounds.

    In fact, there is currently a strong campaign being spearheaded by members of the government to officially refer to the country as Filipinas instead of Pilipinas.

    Still, you are more likely hear the following:

    Pilipina ako.
    I’m Filipina.

    The official language of the Philippines is formally known as Filipino and not Tagalog.

    It is in the Philippine constitution that the national language is called Filipino.

    Most Filipinos do acknowledge that Tagalog is the basis of Filipino (and are practically one and the same language), although academics pedantically insist there is a distinction, with Filipino having been arbitrarily described as having more borrowings from other languages than “pure” Tagalog.

    A speaker of Tagalog refers to a chair as upuan. If a person uses the Spanish-derived word silya, the language would more likely be designated as Filipino.

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