Philippines - Languages
There are two official languages: Pilipino (based on Tagalog), the national language adopted in 1946 and understood by a majority of Filipinos; and English, which is also widely spoken and understood. Spanish, introduced in the 16th century and an official language until 1973, is now spoken by only a small minority of the population. More than 80 indigenous languages and dialects (basically of Malay-Indonesian origin) are spoken. Besides Tagalog, which is spoken around Manila, the principal languages include Cebuano (spoken in the Visayas), Ilocano (spoken in northern Luzon), and Panay-Hiligaynon. The teaching of Pilipino is mandatory in public and private primary schools, and its use is encouraged by the government.