Filipino alphabet

The modern Filipino alphabet (Filipino: makabagong alpabetong Filipino), otherwise known as the Filipino alphabet (Filipino: alpabetong Filipino), is the alphabet of the Filipino language, the official national language and one of the two official languages of the Philippines. The modern Filipino alphabet is made up of 28 letters, which includes the entire 26-letter set of the ISO basic Latin alphabet, the Spanish Ñ and the Ng digraph of Tagalog. It replaced the Pilipino Abakada alphabet of the Fourth Republic. Today, the modern Filipino alphabet may also be used to write all autochthonous languages of the Philippines and Chavacano, a Spanish-derived creole.

Filipino alphabet

In 2013, the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino released the Ortograpiyang Pambansa ("National Orthography"), a new set of guidelines that resolved phonemic representation problems previously encountered when writing some Philippine languages and dialects.


Filipino alphabet
Lower case abcdefghijklmnñngopqrstuvwxyz
IPA phonemes a b k, s d e f g h i , h k l m n ɲ ŋ o p k r s t u v, b w ks, z j z

C, F, J, Ñ, Q, V, X, and Z are not used in native Filipino words.


The 28 letters of the Alpabeto are called títik or létra, and each represents a spoken sound. These are classed either as patínig or bokáblo (vowels) and katínig or konsonánte (consonants).

The letters' names are pronounced and collated in the same way as English, except for Ñ /enje/.

Letters Name Phonemic Values Notes
A ey /a/
B bi /b/
C si /k/, /s/ used in the digraph ch /tʃ/, which is sometimes indistinguishable from the digraph ts, or in loan words from Castilian
D di /d/
E i /ɛ/
F ef /f/, /p/ sometimes indistinguishable with p
G dyi /g/, /dʒ/, /h/
H eyts /h/
I ay /i/
J dyey /dʒ/, /h/ used in the letter j /dʒ/, which is sometimes indistinguishable from the digraph dy, or in loan words from English; /h/ in loan words from Castilian
K key /k/
L el /l/ also used in the digraph ll /lj/ or /j/, which is sometimes indistinguishable from the digraph ly and y, or in loan words from Castilian
M em /m/
N en /n/
Ñ enye /ɲ/ Sometimes indistinguishable from the digraph ny, or in loan words from Castilian
Ng endyi /ŋ/
O o /o/
P pi /p/
Q kyu /k/ used in the digraph qu /k/, which is sometimes indistinguishable from the letter k, or in loan words from Castilian
R ar /ɾ/
S es /s/, /z/
T ti /t/
U yu /u/
V vi /v/, /b/ sometimes indistinguishable with b
W dobolyu /w/
X eks /ks/, /h/ used in the letter x /ks/, which is sometimes indistinguishable from the digraph ks, or in loan words from English; /h/ in loan words from Castilian
Y way /j/
Z zi /z/, /s/ sometimes indistinguishable with s


The Abakada developed in the early 20th century had fewer consonants. By the middle of the century, letters (baybayin) were added and later on reduced due to its ideology which is English that is approximately radical to English alphabet with the release of the Ortograpiyang Pambansa in 2014. It was a major change to add these letters and thus modernise the writing system and to preserve sounds that are found in native Philippine languages. The digraphs and manuscripts were chosen to be placed in other wordings for privileges and adaptations.

Examples of the added letters:

Words Language Meaning
chila Ibaloy tongue
chingching Ibaloy wall
alifuffug Itawes whirlwind
safot Ibaloy spiderweb
falendag Tiruray a flute that is covered with a leaf when played through the mouth
feyu Kalinga a pipe made from reeds
jambangán Tausug plants
masjid Tausug, Mëranaw; ultimately from Arabic مسجد mosque
julúp Tausug bad behavior
avid Ivatan beauty
vakul Ivatan a traditional, protective woman's headdress from Batanes woven from Phoenix hanceana[1]
kuvat Ibaloy war
tokwifi Igorot star
vulan Ibanag moon
kazzing Itawes goat
zigattu Ibanag east


Most languages in the Philippines share vowels /a/, /i/, and /u/. After centuries of Spanish colonisation and the standardisation of Filipino as the national lingua franca, the vowels /e/ and /o/ became more common.

See also


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-01-17. Retrieved 2018-01-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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