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Filipino is the national language of the Philippines, and he mother tongue of about 15 million people, most of whom live in southern Luzon in an area that includes Manila, and Mindonoro. Its study has been strongly encouraged by the government and it is estimated that over 75 percent of the population at least understands the language. Filipino is a member of the Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) family of languages, belonging to the Indonesian subgroup. The three centuries of Spanish rule in the Philippines left a strong imprint on the vocabulary. It is also an important immigrant language, especially in the US. There has been an ever-increasing use of Filipino since the 1986 revolution. The 1987 amendment of the Constitution of the Philippines declared Filipino as the official language, which, properly speaking, is a slightly modified version of Tagalog (pronounced with the stress on the second syllable).
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