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  • Writer's pictureThe Katig Collective


Updated: Nov 17, 2022

Tadyawan [tdy] is classified as a threatened language (EGIDS 6b) spoken in east-central Oriental Mindoro and near Lake Naujan in the south. According to a 2010 census, it has 2,620 users within an ethnic population of 5,100. Most Tadyawans can speak Tau-buid [twb] due to intermarriage between the two Mangyan subgroups (Eberhard et al., 2022). Tweddell (1970) reports that the people used to call themselves Balaban, and the term Tadyawan might have been coined by lowlanders by combining the Tagalog [tgl] prefix taga- (‘belonging to, coming from’) and Yawan, the Balaban name for the Pola River. The group eventually adopted the etic name to refer to themselves and their language.

There is not much research done on Tadyawan that can serve as a basis to identify the actual causes of language endangerment. However, like other Mangyan people, they deal with issues concerning their land and socioeconomic situation. As an illustration, it was only in late July 2022 that two Tadyawan and Tau-buid communities were awarded a certificate of ancestral domain title (CADT) that covers 3,270.78 hectares of land. The CADT solidified their ownership of parts of Sabang in Pinamalayan and Buong Lupa in Gloria after 24 years of waiting (Virola, 2022). The coordinator of Tugdaan Mangyan Center for Learning and Development, an educational institution that aims to serve the Mangyan people, once stressed the importance of education in “defend[ing] their ancestral lands from the educated, rich and powerful” (Lintawagin as cited in Virola, 2015), but isolation and poverty continue to hinder the Mangyans from attending school.


Eberhard, D. M., Simons, G. F., & Fennig, C. D. (Eds.). (2022). Tadyawan. Ethnologue: Languages of the world (25th ed.).

Hammarström, H., Forkel, R., Haspelmath, M., & Bank, S. (Eds.). (2022). Spoken L1 language: Tadyawan. Glottolog 4.6.

Open Language Archives Community. (n.d.). OLAC resources in and about the Tadyawan language.

Tweddell, C. E. (1970). The identity and distribution of the Mangyan tribes of Mindoro, Philippines. Anthropological Linguistics, 12(6), 189-207.

Virola, M. (2015, June 18). Education still tough Mangyan goal.

Virola, M. (2022, July 23). Oriental Mindoro’s Mangyan tribe finally gets title to ancestral domain.

Zorc, R. D. (1974). Internal and external relationships of the Mangyan languages. Oceanic Linguistics, 13(1/2), 561-600.

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