Austronesian language of the Philippines, spoken as a first language by about 17 million people on the island of Luzon and by at least half a million immigrant Filipinos. As the language of Manila, the capital and chief city of the Philippines, Tagalog has long had an importance outside its own speech area. With vocabulary enrichment from other Philippine languages, it has been made the basis of Pilipino, the national language; widely used in education and the media, Pilipino is now understood by more than 60percnt of the Philippine population. Though a script ultimately of South Asian origin was in use for Tagalog in the 16th century (see Indic writing systems), all recent literature in the language has utilized adaptations of the Latin alphabet.
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Any member of the largest cultural-linguistic group in the Philippines. They are the dominant population of Manila and of several provinces near the city. Most are Roman Catholic, and most are farmers; their main cash crops are sugarcane and coconuts. Manila's dominance has given the urban Tagalog economic leadership in the Philippines. The Tagalog language is the basis of Pilipino, the national language.
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