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The Filipino people are the citizens of the Republic of the Philippinesmarker. The term is also often used to refer to a person having Filipino ancestry. There are about 92,000,000 Filipinos in the Philippines and about 11,000,000 outside the Philippines.Most Filipinos refer to themselves colloquially as "Pinoy" (feminine: "Pinay"), which is a slang word formed by taking the last four letters of "Pilipino" and adding the diminutive suffix "-y". The pre-1987 Philippine alphabet (Abakada)'s lack of the letter "F" had caused the letter "F" to be substituted with "P". This is the reason, when the 28-letter modern Filipino alphabet has been made official in 1987, the name Filipino was preferred over Pilipino.


The earliest human remains found in the Philippines are the fossilized fragments of a skull and jawbone, discovered in the 1960s by Dr. Robert B. Fox, a North American anthropologist of the National Museum. Anthropologists who have examined these human remains agreed that it belonged to modern human beings. These include the homo sapiens, as distinguished from the mid-Pleistocene homo erectus species. This indicates that the human remains were Pre-Mongoloid. Mongoloid being the term anthropologists applied to the ethnic group which migrated to Southeast Asia during the Holocene period and evolved into the Austronesian people, a group of Malay or Malayo-Polynesian speaking people, a dialect part of the Austronesian language, and Formosan language that is found in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Malagasy, and parts of Vietnam and Taiwan.

About 30,000 years ago, the Negritos, who became the ancestors of the Aeta, Agta, Ayta, Ati, Dumagat and other tribes of the Philippines forms about .003% of the total Philippine population. Approximately 2,000 years ago Taiwanese aborigines settled in what is now the Philippines by sailing or traveling in land bridges. The Indigenous peoples of the Philippines were also in contact with other Asian people such as Malaysian, Indonesian and Chinese. Various ethnic groups established several communities formed by the assimilation of various Indigenous Philippine kingdoms. By the 13th century, Islam was brought to the Philippines by Muslim traders from Malaysia and Indonesia. Most Indigenous tribes of the Philippines practised a mixture of Animism and Islam. There were native villages called Barangays ruled by Rajahs and Datus.

During the Spanish period, the Philippines was governed by Mexico Citymarker on behalf of the Spanish Empire. Early Spanish settlers were mostly explorers, soldiers, government official and religious missionares who were born in Spainmarker and Mexicomarker. The Peninsulares (Spanish governors born in Spain) settled in the islands to govern the territory. Intermarriage between Spaniards and the Indigenous people sometimes occurred, but was not common as it was in the Americas. Only a minority of intermarriage and inter-breeding took place between the two ethnic groups in the Philippines. Some settlers married the daughters of Rajahs and Datus (Chieftains) to reinforce the colonization of the islands while some married only other Spaniards. By the opening of the Suez Canalmarker in 1867, the Philippines were opened for International trade and there were some Europeans such as the British, German and French, who settled in the islands.

The name Filipino was derived from king Philip II of Spain, the Spanish name given to the Philippines in the 16th century, by Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos.

After the defeat of Spain during the Spanish-American War in 1898, General Wesley Merritt became the first American governors of the Philippines. On December 10, 1898, the Treaty of Paris formally ended the war, with Spain ceding the Philippines and other colonies to the United Statesmarker in exchange for $20 million dollars. United States civil governance was established in 1901, with William Howard Taft as the first American Governor-General, and a number of Americans settled in the islands. World War II was a period of American migration to the Philippines. The country gained independence from the United States in 1946.

Genetic studies

A Stanford Universitymarker study conducted during 2001 revealed that Haplogroup O3-M122 (labeled as "Haplogroup L" in this study) is the most common Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup found among Filipinos. This particular haplogroup is also predominant among Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese. Another haplogroup, Haplogroup O1a-M119 (labeled as "Haplogroup H" in this study), is also found among Filipinos. The rates of Haplogroup O1a are highest among the Taiwanese aborigines and Chamic-speaking people. Overall, the genetic frequencies found among Filipinos point to the Ami tribe of Taiwan as their nearest genetic ancestors. These findings are consistent with the theory that ancestors of the Filipino people have originated on continental East or Southeast Asia before migrating to the Philippines via Taiwan. A 2002 China Medical University study indicated that Filipinos shared chromosomes found among other Asian people, such as Taiwanese aborigines, Indonesians, Thais and Chinese. In a number of studies by the University of the Philippines, chromosomes were found in Filipinos which are shared by people from different parts of East Asia, and Southeast Asia. The predominant genotype detected was SC, the Southeast Asian genotype.

The official population of mixed-blood individuals in the Philippines remain unknown. However, according to a recent study conducted by Stanford University Asia-Pacific Research Center, less than 3.6% of the Philippine population has varying degrees of European ancestry from Spanish and United States colonization.


According to Ethnologue, there are about 180 languages spoken in the Philippines. The Constitution of the Philippines designates Filipino (which is based on Tagalog) as the national language and designates Filipino and English as official languages. Regional languages are designated as auxiliary official languages. The constitution also provides that Spanish and Arabic shall be promoted on a voluntary and optional basis.

Other major and minor languages in the country include Cebuano, Ilokano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Kapampangan, Bikol, Pangasinan, Tausug, Maguindanao, Maranao, Kinaray-a, Chavacano and Spanish. The 28-letter modern Filipino alphabet, adopted in 1987, is the official writing system.


Filipinos form a minority ethnic group in the Americas, Europe, Oceania, the Middle East and other countries in the world.

See also



  1. Philippines Statistics National Statistics Office projection. Retrieved 30 June 2009
  3. Article 3 of the treaty specifically associated the $20 million payment with the transfer of the Philippines.
  4. Article XIV, Section 6, The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines.

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