Tagalog Origin

The origin of the Tagalogs is still disputed and speculation among linguists that the ancestors of the Tagalogs originated from their cultivating homeland or what is now Taal, Batangas, or from northeastern Mindanao or eastern Visayas (according to linguists such as Dr. David Zorc and Dr. Robert Blust) where their closer linguistic kinsmen (the Visayans) dwelled. The primary centers of Tagalog civilization were based in riverine deltas, especially those in what are now Manila, Taal in Batangas, Pila in Laguna, and scattered townships along Manila Bay.

Batangas is generally considered and accepted by linguists as the 'Heart of the Tagalog Language' as the dialect of Tagalog spoken here closely resembles the Tagalog spoken before the arrival of the Spanish. Therefore, a strong presence of the Tagalog Culture is clearly visible until now. Though generally intelligible to speakers of other dialects, such as the Manila and Tayabas dialects, the vocabulary of the Batangan Dialect is more closely related to the ancient Tagalog. Rarely do Batangueños use Taglish, name given to a mix of English and Tagalog, as the custom in Manila.

Although it is widely accepted that the term Tagalog came from the word 'Taga-Ilog' o river dwellers, (referring to the Pasig River of former Rizal province towns and Manila), Wang The-Ming pointed out in his writings that Batangas was the real centre of the Tagalog Tribe, which he then identified as Ma-yi. According to this Chinese Annals, Ma-yi had its centre in Batangas and extends northwards to Cavite, Bataan (thru Cavite), Laguna, Quezon, Manila, Rizal, and ending in Bulacan (the reason why Pampanga and some parts of Nueva Ecija is not infiltrated), and southwards in the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque and island of Lubang, some parts of Zambales (thru Bataan), Nueva Ecija (thru Bulacan) and Tarlac (thru Nueva Ecija) and now spreading in some parts of Aurora (thru Quezon and Bulacan), Palawan (thru Mindoro), Camarines Norte (thru Quezon) and northern part of Camarines Sur in Bicol. If you will notice, Batangas sits in the center of the whole Tagalog nation.

Maria Kalaw Katigbak, a Filipino historian, was quoted to call the Batangueños the Super-Tagalogs. This is because these group of people belonging to the Tagalog stock is the paramount example of what one can expect from this ethnolinguistic group. Added to that, many historians interchangeably use the term Tagalog and Batangueño. An extremely rare example of pre-Spanish Tagalog script was found in Calatagan, Batangas. The script is called Baybayin, and was derived from Javanese writing, which in turn is derived from Brahmi. This writing survives on an earthenware burial jar dated 1200s or 1300s.

Theoretically, if Manila had been the center of Tagalog, province of Pampanga and some parts of northern provinces in Luzon will be much widely infiltrated by the Tagalog language.


Which dialect is the most important?
To tell the truth, no language or dialect is inherently more important than the other. The dialect of Tagalog spoken in Manila is considered more important than those in Batangas because of the city itself. Had Balayan, Batangas been a city more important than Manila, then standard Tagalog may be slightly different.