Tagalog is spoken by about 25% of the population of the Philippines and was declared the official language by the first constitution of the Philippines in 1897. The standardised version of the Tagalog is called Filipino, which along with English was declared the national language of Philippines in 1939, thus replacing Tagalog as the official variety. Tagalog is closely related to Hiligaynon, Cebuano and Bikol which are also spoken in the area.
The word Tagalog means “river dweller” (tagá + ilog). Although English is the second official language, Spanish has influenced the language as well due to colonial influences. The days and months in Tagalog are derived from Spanish e.g. Hunyo (from Spanish junio – June) or Sábado (from Spanish sábado – Saturday).
Tagalog is a member of Malayo-Polynesian language group. Other languages in this group include Maori and Malagasy.