Pagdaloy, Flow of Life

picture of Tagalog


Ang mga Banal na Krus ng Mayo

Considered to be the largest of the Filipino ethnic groups, the Tagalog are concentrated in the metropolitan area of Manila and spread out as the major population of nearby provinces, such as Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Bulacan, and Nueva Ecija. This is a highly urbanized group occupying the very well-developed regions of the country, where the centers of national government are located.

The national language is actually being built around Tagalog, which is now understood and spoken in other parts of the country. One of the oldest forms of the spoken language is called sinaunang tagalog, and used to be spoken in the municipality of Tanay, Rizal. During the introduction of the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian family of anguages, it was pushed northeastward to the areas around the Zambales mountain ranges. Only a small group of Negrito at the foot of Mt. Pinatubo speak the language today.

The Tagalog are associated with all kinds of agricultural production, usually monocropping with rice as the main crop, silviculture, animal husbandry, and industrial production. They are also engaged in international marketing, politics, and foreign relations. They are equally adept at fish culture--both marine and freshwater--in man-made ponds and cages in waterways.

The kinship structure is essentially bilateral, with offspring considered linked equally to both parents, and inheritance following the same pattern, although in practice, it takes on a more cognatic nature. In the urban areas and where large properties are concerned, there is a tendency for a lineal distribution of wealth and property in the manner of corporations. Members of the group are involved in all sectors of government practice and in private institutions at the national and international levels. Such an advantage is reflected in the development of the Tagalog in contrast with other ethnic groups. Presently, however, with the development of infrastructure throughout the country, a larger portion of the population is now part of mainstream culture. The index of culture has leveled out within the group such that the subgroups are indistinguishable from one another, except in terms of spoken language.

The Tagalog are highly Christianized, with the majority belonging to the Roman Catholic Church and the rest dispersed in various homegrown sects, such as the nationalistic Aglipay and the Iglesia ni Cristo. Thus, much of the festivities are founded on Christian liturgy and belief systems.

▶ Play Video 5. Ang mga Banal na Krus ng Mayo

This episode was first aired on Filipino television on June 6, 1996. This episode has been modified from its original format.