Further clarity on whether or not Tagalog is a dialect and whether there is such a thing as a 'Filipino language'

Some people refer to the Philippine Constitution for some sort of "evidence" that Tagalog is a "language" and not a "dialect". I found this snippet presumably quoted verbatim from the Constitution that was pasted on a message thread in the Get Real Philippines Community Facebook group...

Section 6. The national language of the Philippines is Filipino. As it evolves, it shall be further developed and enriched on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages.

Subject to provisions of law and as the Congress may deem appropriate, the Government shall take steps to initiate and sustain the use of Filipino as a medium of official communication and as language of instruction in the educational system.

I'm not really sure what this proves, but from what I read above, all this says is that we Filipinos are supposedly possessing of a national "language" henceforth known as "Filipino". Presumably, we being subjects of this proud nation are directed to believe this edict stipulated in said nation's Charter.

But what is the "Filipino language" essentially? Well golly gee; there seems to be quite a bit of insurmountable evidence that it is no more than an ideological construct (a figment of the imagination of some of the framers of our Constitution) used as a label on what is no more than the Tagalog dialect. By some of this message thread's members' reckoning, a "90+% adaptation". Some would beg to differ and even quibble on the exact percentage (the basis of said quibbling, I fail to find).

Yet so far, I find no convincing argument that weakens in any way my assertions that:

(1) the "Filipino language" is essentially Tagalog; and that,

(2) Tagalog is a dialect spoken by a quaint bunch of people who inhabit the southern bit of the biggest island of an archipelago named after a Spanish king a few-odd centuries ago.

Has any clarity been gained so far? Perhaps 10 percent more clarity. But then I fail to find a basis for that estimate. It's just something I believe to be true.


  1. Filipino language doesn't only consist of Tagalog words. Some Ilocano, Cebuano, Waray, etc, words were added in the Filipino dictionary, which UP updates yearly. I forgot those words given as example by my Filipino professor.


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