Before the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, Tagalog was written with an alphabet called “baybayin”. Sometime in the 17th century, Latin letters were introduced to the Filipino culture and Tagalog language. Latin characters have since replaced the old baybayin characters. To learn Tagalog as it is spoken now, you must learn the Modern Filipino Alphabet which is improved from the Abakada alphabet.
In the early 19th century, the abakada was compiled and developed as the official alphabet to represent the sounds in the Tagalog language. It is comprised of 20 letters.
A B K D E G H I L M N Ng O P R S T U W Y
The majority of words in the Tagalog language will be comprised of “Abakada” letters, so get to know them well and practice your pronunciation!
Modern Filipino Alphabet
The Modern Filipino Alphabet takes the 20 letters from Abakada and adds 8 new consonants for a total of 28 letters.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N Ñ Ng O P Q R S T U V X Y Z
8 ADDED CONSONANTS: c, f, j, ñ, q, v, x, z