Different Ethnic Groups in the Philippines

There are different ethnic groups in the Philippines. The people of the country are a mix of various dialects or languages and races. These factors, language and lineage, are also the basis on how Filipinos identify themselves with a specific ethnic group. However, one can immediately observe that the people themselves easily divide among themselves according to linguistic groups.

Among the different ethnic groups in the Philippines, the following are the most numerous within the country's population: the Visayan, the Kapampangan, the Pangasinan, the Tagalog, the Bicolano, and the Ilocano.


This is an indigenous ethnic group that lives chiefly in the country's Visayas Region. The Visayans are also found living in the island of Mindanao. Languages spoken by this ethnic group include Ilonggo (sometimes called Hiligaynon), Waray-Waray, and Cebuano.

If we classify the people in the Philippines by language alone then we may include the people of the Tausug, who also live in Mindanao, to be of this ethnicity. However, these people do not identify themselves as Visayan chiefly because they are Muslim and not Christian.

You'll find people of this ethnicity almost everywhere in the country. However, the major cities in the country that are chiefly Visayan include Cebu, Bacolod and Iloilo.


This is one of the different ethnic groups in the Philippines that can be found in the country's northern regions. These people come from the island of Luzon, mainly in the island's central plains. The stretch of provinces from Nueva Ecija to Bataan all belong to this ethnicity. Kapampangan is the language spoken by these people, which number more than two million. These people are known for their delicious and exotic cooking.


The ninth largest ethnic group in the country is the Pangasinan. It has been identified that these people come from Luzon's northwestern seaboard. They are known to be one of the first people in the Philippines to have trade relations with the Chinese. Some of these foreign traders have even established communities among the Pangasinan. Though not an established fact, it is disputed that those who dwell in the Cordilleras are related to the Pangasinan.


The founders of the nation's capital of Manila are of this ethnicity. Territories that have a major portion of the population who are of this ethnic group stretch all the way from Luzon's central plains to the Marinduque Island and Mindoro with more than 15 million speaking their language.

Among the different ethnic groups in the Philippines, this one is one of the most dominant. The country's national language is a liberalized version of this people's language. It is interesting to note that about 70% of the country's population can speak the national language.


The people of this ethnicity chiefly reside within the country's Bicol Region. Linguistically, there are several Bicol dialects. However, they all seem to derive from the same mother tongue. It is noted though that the dialects spoken of here are somewhat fragmented and have borrowings from other languages and dialects. There are more than three and a half million speakers of the Bicolano languages in the country.


This is also one of the different ethnic groups in the Philippines whose people have a tendency to migrate. You'll find these people thriving in all the major islands of the country. 85% of the Filipino-American population in Hawaii is of this ethnicity. Their language is the third most spoken language in the country with more than eight million native speakers. These people originate from the coastal areas and lowlands of northern Luzon.

Other Ethnic Groups

There are other different ethnic groups in the Philippines apart from the major groups spoken of above. For instance, the Moro comprises different ethnic/linguistic groups whose religion is Islam. Some of these are Maguindanao, Maranao, Tausug, Yakan, Banguingui, and Samal.

Some ethnic groups in the country are minorities including the Ibanag, Bontoc, Ifugao, and Kalinga. There are also non-indigenous ethnic groups in the country including the Spanish, Chinese, American, Arab, Japanese, Jewish, Indian, Korean, and Mexican.




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