Philippine Spanish

From Roses, Tulips, & Liberty
Philippine Spanish
Pronunciation[espaˈnjol de las ˈila filiˈpina]
Native toPhilippines
Language family
  • Romance
    • Ibero-Romance
      • Castillan
        • Spanish
          • Philippine Spanish
Early form
Mexican Spanish
DialectsPhilippine Spanish dialects
Writing system
Official status
Official language in
Recognised minority
language in

Philippine Spanish (español de las islas filipinas or castellano de las Filipinas, /espaˈnjol de las ˈila filiˈpina/), also called Filipino (/piliˈpino/), refers to varieties of Spanish spoken in the Philippines. First entering the country in the 16th century, the language was heavily influenced by the Spanish dialects of Mexico and Peru, as well as possessing substrate influence from indigenous languages like Tagalog and Cebuano. Often considered to have begun as a creole, the language has various registers. The most prestigious variety has been used as the official language of the Philippines since its independence from Spain in 1936.



Labial Dental Alveolar Post-alveolar-palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n (ɲ) ŋ
Plosive voiced b d g
voiceless p t k
Fricative (θ) s (ʃ) h
Approximant j w
Lateral l (ʎ)
Tap ɾ
Trill r
Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a
Diphthongs je ja jo ju wi we wa

ej aj oj uj iw ew aw

  • The phonemes [θ], [ʎ], & [ɲ] are only used by speakers familiar with Peninsular Spanish. They are respectively replaced with [s], [lj], & [nj] by the vast majority of speakers (as done in Mexico).
  • /s/ can be palatalized to [ʃ] in front of [j] and [i].
  • Pronunciation of h at the start of words, the aspiration of final s, and the deletion of final /l/ and /ɾ/ phonemes occur commonly in colloquial speech. These features of speech may carry social stigma in the Philippines.
  • [hɾ], [r], [l], and [ɹ] are allophones of the tap /ɾ/.
  • In words borrowed from indigenous languages like Tagalog, the final consonant is devoiced /it.ˈloɡ/ → [it.ˈlok].
  • Mid vowel raising is a common feature of Philippine Spanish, where mid vowels [e, o] are often raised to [i, u] respectively. This is a result of substrate influence from the trivocalic systems of Old Tagalog and other indigenous languages.
  • [e] and [i] often become [ɛ] and [ɪ] in unstressed positions. For example, /pisˈkaw/ → [pɪsˈkaw], meaning ‘fish'.
  • [ɔ] and [ʊ] are allophones of [o].




See also