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Learn the Filipino Alphabet from A to Z!

Learning to speak a new language is exciting; learning to write a new language is even more exciting! It will open new worlds for you. So, dig into these tips and advice for learning how to master the Filipino alphabet easily - at FilipinoPod101 we make it easy, fun and relevant for you!

Starting anything from scratch can be challenging, especially if you learn how to write in a language completely different from your own. It is really like navigating through a territory that is completely unknown to you.

However, this need not be a big hurdle or a problem! At FilipinoPod101, we introduce you to Filipino writing in simple, easy-to-follow steps, and you can ask for advice or help anywhere along the way. It is important to master the Filipino alphabet completely from the start.

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Introduction to Filipino Writing


The Filipino language has 5 vowels, A, E, I, O, U and 15 consonants, B, K, D, G, H, L, M, N, NG, P, R, S, T, W, Y

The Filipino alphabet, also known as Abakada, consists of same letters as the English Alphabet but excludes C, F,  J, Q, V, X, Z and includes Ñ and NG.

Though the Abakada alphabet is the first system that the Filipino language was based upon, and the adoption of the English language in Filipino itself has allowed the system to adjust and apply a more modern version of the alphabet, which includes all of the initially excluded letters in Abakada: C, F, J, Q, V, X, Z.

Filipino is written the way it is spoken, which helps when learning the language. For example, words such as “Radio” would be written as Radyo and pronounced the same way.

Ñ and Ng

The Ng is pronounced as it would be in the word “Thing,” but often times come with a vowel afterwards. As an example, the word Hinga (”breath,” “breathe”) and Ngayon (”Today,” “Now”).

The Ñ in Abakada derives from the Spanish language and is pronounced as énye. The Ñ is mostly only used towards names that derive from the Spanish language. Examples are Malacañang Palace or Parañaque City.

Learning Other Languages

Filipino has many loanwords from Spanish, English, Malay, and Chamorro (which is spoken in Guam and Micronesia).

So let’s take a look at some examples of loanwords in Filipino from different languages.


Kumusta: This would probably be the most famous loanword from Spanish which also has the same meaning as the original word “Como estast. (How are you?)

Oras: This comes from the word “Horas” which means time or hour. EX: “Ano oras na?” “What time is it?”

Edukasyon: Comes from “Educacion” in Spanish meaning “Education.” School in FIlipino is “Eskwela” which also comes from “Escuela”

Swerte: Comes from “Suerte” from Spanish.

Spanish numbers are still used to this day in the Philippines. Often they are used in telling the time and in negotiations or money usage.

Like the example above, often the loanwords from Spanish are pronounced the same way as in Filipino but the spelling rules are changed to adopt to the Filipino spelling rules.


Basketbol - “Basketball”

Nars - “Nurse”

Direk - “Director”

Biswal - “Visual”

Istampid - “Stampede”

A similar pattern can be seen in loanwords from English as with Spanish; you can see that they are exactly the same but only vary in spelling and pronunciation. Vocabulary related to technology and science often consists of loanwords from English or completely uses English.

The loanwords themselves are written using both English spelling and/or Filipino spelling.


Apelyido: comes form the word “Apiyidu” in Chamarro which means “Family Name.”

Araw: comes from “Atdao” in Chamarro means “Sun.”

Asawa: comes from “Asagua” meaning “wife” or “husband.”

Gamot: comes from “Amot” meaning “medicine.”

Tulay: comes from “tolai” meaning “bridge.”

Unlike Spanish and English, these loanwords are less identical to its loanwords, but they still sound the same and have similar spellings.


Ako: “Aku” in Malay means “I.” This is one of the most useful words in Filipino.

Mura: “Murah” means “cheap.” “Mahal” also comes from “Mahal” in Malay which means “expensive.” In Filipino, this can also mean “love.”

Sarap: “Sedap” means “delicious” in Malay. In Filipino, “Masarap” means “delicious” and “Sarap” may be used as “taste” or “flavor.”

Halaga: comes from “Harga” which means “price.”

Buwan: “comes from “Bulan” meaning “moon” or “month.”

These are only a few examples of many loanwords form different languages. Along with the language loanwords there are also many cultural similarities with the Philippines and these countries.

Filipino Alphabet Chart


Without alphabets the modern language is not impossible to record, after all the Egyptians used hieroglyphs to “write” their stories and history, but it is easier to learn a language once you know its alphabet. Without this foundational base you will lose your bearings easily. If you want to learn the Filipino language you have to start with the alphabet.

Before you learn the Filipino alphabet you might be worried that it will be difficult, that the characters will be unrecognizable, and that you just won’t ever get it. Let go of your fears because the Filipino alphabet is incredibly easy to learn, especially if you are familiar with other Latin-based languages. The alphabet is based off the standard Latin alphabet and has 28 letters, including the five standard vowels. There are only two added letters and they are both consonants. That’s it the alphabet you may have been scared of up until now is really that simple.

Uppercase Lowercase
A a
B b
C c
D d
E e
F f
G g
H h
I i
J j
K k
L l
M m
N n
Ñ ñ
NG ng
O o
P p
Q q
R r
S s
T t
U u
V v
W w
X x
Y y
Z z

The two extra consonants in the alphabet are Ññ from the Spanish alphabet and NGng. The modern Filipino alphabet was actually only established as the national alphabet in the 1980s, up until then the alphabet was much the same but shorter. Before a Latin-based alphabet was introduced by the Spanish Filipino words used a completely different writing system.

Once you learn the modern alphabet you can then move on to learning Filipino words and phrases. Because you will have no difficulty learning the alphabet, words and phrases should also be relatively easy to learn. However if you find yourself having trouble try using memory aids such as flashcards and learning games. Remember how you learned your own alphabet as a young child? Most of us learned through cards, repeated writing of letters, and the alphabet song. In fact the alphabet song was probably the most influential way for us to learn. Try something similar when learning the Filipino language.

If you are interested in learning more about Filipino letters a filipino podcast might be the perfect learning experience for you. A podcast will help you learn the language in whatever amount of time you have available at whatever day and time works for you. Podcasts are the ultimate modern learning tool, because unlike a traditional classroom a podcast revolves around you not the other way around.

Why is Learning the Filipino Alphabet Important?

AlphabetA language’s alphabet is its building blocks. Trying to learn how to write in Filipino without first learning its alphabet is a bit like trying to build a brick house without touching the individual bricks! It is impossible to do a good job that way. So don’t believe language schools and methods that try to teach you otherwise. You will regret it later.

Also, once you start recognizing symbols and words, you will be encouraged by your own progress and motivated to learn even faster. Even just learning the basics of the alphabet will allow you to start recognizing simple Filipino words, and it will feel great!

Furthermore, knowing the alphabet even helps with pronunciation, as learning the individual letters of any language will start uncovering nuances and intricacies that are not always apparent when you’re simply listening to the words.

Completely mastering the Filipino alphabet, no matter how long it takes, will give you an excellent head start in learning how to write and read the language. It will offer you a solid foundation on which to build the other language skills, so set a goal to learn the alphabet so well that you’re able to recite it in your sleep!

Read on for helpful tips and secrets to learning the Filipino alphabet quickly and effectively.

How to Download Your Free Guide to Beginner Filipino

Download Your Free Guide to Beginner Filipino!

If you want to master the Filipino language and become fluent, get this Filipino eBook!
You need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Filipino learning beginners!

Free Filipino eBook

Download your Free Filipino practice sheets PDF today and learn the Filipino language in no time!
This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners

Log in with Your Free Lifetime Account and we’ll give you a bundle of PDF cheat sheet including Survival Phrases, Romantic Lines, Learning Tips… — absolutely Free!

3 Reasons to Learn Filipino Through PDF Lessons

Let’s now take a closer look at how studying Filipino lessons in PDF format can help you reach your dream in up to half the time of normal video or audio lessons!

① Saves Minutes on Your Data Plan

Learning Filipino through PDF lessons can dramatically reduce your data use. Once a lesson or tool is downloaded, you can then access it offline via your computer or smartphone any time or place regardless of Internet access. And once you’ve download the Filipino lessons in PDF format, you can actually access them faster than logging in and trying to do so via a live site. So not only will learning Filipino using PDF lessons save minutes on your data plan—it will save you some significant time as well as the lessons add up!

② Print and Take All Filipino Lessons and PDF Tools With You Anywhere

Sometimes, a tiny smartphone screen just isn’t adequate, especially when you are trying to learn something new. The great thing about PDF lessons, tools or files is that they can be quickly printed and taken anywhere after you download them. In fact, printing out Filipino lessons in PDF format can actually save you time when compared to going through the material on a smartphone with a small screen—even with the extra printing time!

③ Great Study Tool to Boost Retention and Mastery

Studying video or audio lessons online is a great way to learn a language because students can play and rewind sections as many times as needed until the lesson is mastered. But when you review the same Filipino lessons again in PDF format, an incredible thing happens: your retention dramatically improves! Thanks to Time Spaced Repetition, seeing the information again in written format helps reinforce the information in your mind and improves both retention and recall. The benefits of learning Filipino using PDF lessons quickly add up to significant time savings for you, your data plan, and your dream of learning a new language!

Why are we giving it away?

Learning to read and write is a must for all beginners. Although you get video lessons on how to write in Filipino at FilipinoPod101, you’ll still need physical worksheets to practice on. That’s why you’re getting this printable tutorial PDFs as a gift.

Secrets to Learning the Filipino Alphabet Fast

SecretWith a language, like with anything you have to learn from scratch, having a few mnemonic devices handy are key to learning it fast. A mnemonic device is basically any method or technique that helps you to retain or commit something to memory more easily.

Here are a few mnemonic devices to memorize the Filipino alphabet so you can speed up learning how to write in Filipino.

① Find and Learn an Alphabet Song or Poem in Filipino

Can you still remember your childhood alphabet song in your own language? The best way to commit it to memory so you can recite it is still your mom or first teacher’s way - with music, a song and/or a poem! Find a recording and learn to sing the song, or recite the poem along as best as you can. Ask your FilipinoPod101 teacher to help you understand exactly what you are singing or saying, and soon you’ll have reciting the alphabet under your belt! Repeat it out loud as often as possible.

However, you still need to learn how to write it.

② Study a Few Letters At a Time

Remember when you were young and learning to write for the first time? You didn’t start with words or sentences; you started with letters, one at a time!

Decide on tackling only a few letters each week, and then don’t move on from these till you are completely familiar with them. Don’t take on too many at once, or you may become discouraged. Also, remember to ask your teacher at FilipinoPod101 if you have questions!

Learn to incidentally spot the letters in books, road signs (If you’re living in the country), magazines, on TV, anywhere you encounter written Filipino. Remember to write them out!

③ Write Out the Letters of the Alphabet By Hand

Make it a goal to write out your week’s letters at least once a day, and commit to this goal. You can also do it every time you have a free moment. Get yourself a special notebook for this purpose that you can carry with you anywhere you go. Sitting on the train or bus? Waiting for someone somewhere? Whip out your notebook and write the Filipino alphabet, or the letters you are learning. Aim for about 20 repetitions, while silently saying the letter in your head as you write it out. This way, you will soon be able to form and write words all by yourself! Exciting, isn’t it?

Writing something down with a pen also seems to engrave it in the brain in a way that nothing else does. As an added benefit, it gives you the satisfaction of seeing a new language in your own writing!

Once you’ve mastered the whole alphabet, commit to writing it out in its entirety at least once a day, for at least one month. More repetitions are obviously better.

④ Involve Your Whole Body

Research has shown that the more senses and actions we use to learn something, the quicker the new information sticks in the memory and becomes habitual. To apply this principle while learning the Filipino alphabet, write out huge letters by tracing them in the soil, or with chalk on the floor. Now, while saying the letter out loud, walk on the lines you have just traced. In this way, you ‘write’ the letter by moving your whole body!

Having fun just makes it even easier to learn something, so why not ‘write’ the letters out with dance steps while moving to your favorite Filipino music!

This is a simple trick that seems silly, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you will commit intricate letters to memory this way. It really works!

⑤ Use Associations To Memorize Letters

This technique would involve saying the Filipino letter out loud, and then thinking of a word in your own language that sounds the same as the letter. That would then create a phonic association that should make it easier for you to remember the letter. Better even if the association is something you can draw or picture.

If the script of the new alphabet is very different from your own, look at it closely, and see if you can find an image that the letter reminds you of

⑥ Now Have Fun Trying To Write Words!

Try to write words from your own language in Filipino, and ask your friendly FilipinoPod101 teachers for feedback! Or post them on the forum and see if anyone can read them. You will be so pleased with yourself when you start writing words that are readable and recognizable by native speakers.

Related Lessons

How to Say Hello in Filipino
Do you know how to say hello in Filipino? It’s the most basic phrase that you’ll need to say and hear in everyday life. If you don’t know yet, learn 15 ways to say hello and greet others in Filipino. Why 15? The more variations you know, the more you can speak and the more fluent you become!
How to Introduce Yourself in Filipino
Can you introduce yourself in Filipino? Don’t worry! Check out the 10 Filipino Lines You Need To Introduce Yourself with this free Review Sheet. From “My name is…“ and “I live in…” down to “My hobbies are…” Just review the 10 lines. It will only take you 2 minutes. Then, introduce yourself in the comment section below!
Top Filipino Phrases
How good is your Filipino? Care to put it to the test? Here’s the deal! We’ve come up with this must-know Filipino Phrases List. Learn the top 25 Filipino phrases, hear the native pronunciation and put your Filipino to the test. Did you know them all? If not, review the list and master these easy phrases!
How to Say Thank You in Filipino
Has anyone thanked you today? We will. Thank you for reading this article and learning with us! In fact, today, you’ll learn the many different ways to say “Thank You” in Filipino. It’s one of the most important Filipino phrases. Check it out and watch the video too to practice your pronunciation.

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Tuesday at 01:34 PM
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Walang anuman, Randall!


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Monday at 11:44 PM
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Maraming salamat po guro!!!

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Wednesday at 07:54 PM
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Hi K!

Thanks for the happy emoji! 😄

We hope you enjoyed this article and learned new things!


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Tuesday at 05:22 PM
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