Languages in the Philippines.
More than 7000 islands with between 120-175 languages make up the Philippines. However only 2 of these languages are national. These are none other than Filipino and English. The rest 19 are just but auxiliary languages. As such, there tend to be a diverse mix which confuses majority of language experts.
History of Philippines languages.
For a number of centuries, the official language of the Philippines used to be Spanish since the country was under the Spanish colonial rule for more than three centuries. From the early half of the 20th century that is in1935, English was then introduced into schools under the US occupation. Two years later, there was need to establish a national language which was to be based on one of the existing native languages. Years went by and in 1973, Filipino became the joint official language alongside English.
Filipino is a variant of Tagalog. This simply means that Filipino is mostly composed of Tagalog and commonly spoken in the Manila region. About a third of the Philippines population speaks Tagalog as their first language. Two third of the population use Tagalog as their second language.
Although Filipino is the official language of education, it is not considered as important as English in schools. This answers the question why most Filipino in the urban areas can speak English language decently. This is so beneficial to foreigners as they can settle in and have a normal life. Cinemas and broadcast media use Filipino as their main language. However, print media relies mostly on the English language.
These are the existing and recognized indigenous languages in the Philippines. The languages also happens to be the main dialects as ordered by the department of education in the Philippines. Surprisingly, one or more of these dialects is spoken by over 90% of the Philippines population.
These languages nclude:
Cebuano. This is mainly spoken in Central Visayas and Mindanao.
Ilokanon. Spoken in Luzon and other Islands
Hiligaynon. Also known as Ilongo and is commonly spoken in Western Visayas.
Bikol. Mainly in Bicolandia.
These others are spoken almost everywhere in the Philippines.
This is just an overview which gives you an insight of the languages in the Philippines. Depending on your classification method, there can be so many auxiliary languages in the Philippines but only Filipino and English which are national. The hundreds of dialects in the Philippines represent a variation of not less than 120 different languages.