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 alphabet of the Fourth Republic. Today, the Modern Filipino alphabet may also be used as the alphabet for all autochthonous languages of the Philippines and in writing Chavacano, a Spanish-derived creole.
The letters are called títik or létra that represents a spoken sound. It is made up of patínig or bokáblo and katínig or konsonánte which is vowels and consonants in English respectively. The Alpabetong Filipino is made up of 28 letters pronounced the same with English, except for Ñ /enje/.
|B b||bi||/b/||sometimes indistinguishable with v|
|C c||si||/k/, /s/||used in loan words from Castilian|
|E e||i||/e/, /i/||pronounced as a schwa when used with an umlaut, like Mëranaw|
|F f||ef||/f/, /p/||sometimes indistinguishable with p|
|G g||dyi||/g/, /dʒ/, /h/|
|I i||ay||/i/, /e/|
|J j||dyey||/dʒ/, /h/||used in loan words from Castilian, Arabic like masjid|
|O o||o||/o/, /u/|
|P p||pi||/p/||sometimes indistinguishable with f|
|Q q||kyu||/k/||used in loan words from Castilian|
|S s||es||/s/||sometimes indistinguishable with z|
|U u||yu||/u/, /o/|
|V v||vi||/v/, /b/||sometimes indistinguishable with b|
|Z z||zi||/z/, /s/||sometimes indistinguishable with s|
The Abakada or the previous alphabet in the early 20th century has fewer consonants. In the middle of the century the letters where added and later on reduced. By the release of the Ortograpiyang Pambansa in 2014, the eight previously not added letters are officially named, C, F, J, Ñ, Q, V, X, Z. This is a radical change to add these letters to modernise the writing system and to preserve the sounds that were found in the native languages of the Philippines. The letters F, J, V, and Z are very important to give proper respect to the sounds found in some of these languages, including Ifugaw and Ivatan.
Examples of the added letters:
|falendag||Tinuray||a kind of flute that is covered with a leaf when played through the mouth|
|feyu||Kalinga||a pipe made from reeds|
|masjid||Tausug, Mëranaw from Arabic||mosque|
|vakul||Ivatan||a kind of a head covering made from a certain kind of grass|
Before Spain conquered the Philippines, most languages in the Philippines had three vowels, /a/ /i/, and /u/. Spain introduced many words and added /e/ and /o/ in the long run. However, even in modern times, /i/ and /e/, and /u/ and /o/ are still interchangeable (eg. "pangit", "panget"), and when stressed, /e/ and /o/ are sometimes even diphthonized to /ai/ and /au/.
Since the conception of the Abakada, Lope K. Santos introduced the diacritics, namely Pahilís (´), acute, Paiwâ (`), grave, and Pakupyâ (^), circumflex, each of which is usually added above the vowel of the final syllable in a multi-syllable word.
Pahilís symbolizes stress or prolongation (mabilís). Paiwâ symbolizes a glottal stop (mayumì) in an unstressed syllable. Pakupyâ symbolizes a stress and glottal stop (maragsâ). Paiwâ, Pahilís, and Pakupyâ correspond, respectively, to the second, third, and fourth accents, mayumì, mabilís, and maragsâ. The first accent, malumay, has no diacritic. (Paiwâ means grave, though the word "paiwâ" itself uses a circumflex A because of its maragsâ accent.)
|malumay (slow)||malumay, bote, marami, tao||Stress is on the penultimate syllable.|
|mayumì (slow & stopped)||paiwâ (grave)||`||batà, togè, mayumì, maluhò||Stress is on the penultimate syllable. Words with this accent always end with a vowel and a glottal stop.|
|mabilís (fast)||pahilís (acute)||´||Bataán, mabilís, guló, balút||Stress is on the last syllable.|
|maragsâ (fast & stopped)||pakupyâ (circumflex)||^||paiwâ, naihî, kulô||Stress is on the last syllable. Words with this accent always end with a vowel and a glottal stop.|
In 2014, the Commission on the Filipino Language introduced the Patuldók na E, Ëë or umlaut e. This symbolizes the schwa sound in many native languages in the Philippines, one of which is Mëranaw, previously spelled as Maranao or Meranao.