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Rinconada Bikol
Pronunciation/riŋkonɑːdɑ biːkol/
Native toPhilippines
Native speakers
230,000 (2000 census)[1]
  • Sinabukid
  • Sinaranəw
Latin (Rinconada Bicol alphabet);
Baybayin (historical)
Official status
Official language in
Regional language in the Philippines
Regulated byKomisyon sa Wikang Filipino
Language codes
ISO 639-3bto
Geographic extent of Rinconada based on Ethnologue
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Rinconada Bikol or simply Rinconada, spoken in the province of Camarines Sur, Philippines, is one of several languages that compose the Inland Bikol (or Southern Bicol) group of the Bikol macrolanguage. It belongs to the Austronesian language family that also includes most Philippine languages, the Formosan languages of Taiwanese aborigines, Malay (Indonesian and Bahasa Malaysia), the Polynesian languages and Malagasy.

Rinconada is surrounded and shared common features with other Bikol languages. It is bordered by Coastal Bikol to the north, Buhinon to the east, and West Miraya language immediately to the south. The closest relatives to this language outside the Bicol region are Aklanon, Waray-Waray, and to a lesser extent, Tagalog, especially the variants used in Batangas and Marinduque.

Rinconada Bikol is the language adopted by the indigenous population of Agta/Aeta (the Negrito) in the surrounding mountainous areas of Mount Iriga (old name is Mount Asog). The Austronesian people that have migrated to the foot of Mount Asog from the lowland Nabua introduced the language to Negritos when they began conducting trade and commerce, thus replacing the native language of the latter. The original language of Negritos is Inagta also known to linguists as Mount Iriga Agta, an extinct or nearly extinct language. Inagta is said to have 86% intelligibility with Rinconada Bikol but with lexical similarity of 76%.[2] Most Negritos or commonly called as Agta or Aeta (Ŋod for camaraderie) today are fluent in Rinconada Bikol though with a different variation.


5th congressional district of Camarines Sur
5th congressional district of Camarines Sur

The name "Rinconada" is derived from the Rinconada District in Camarines Sur where the language originated, developed and is largely spoken. However, the precise origins of how the term "Rinconada" was assigned to the area are still unclear. Popular wisdom ascribes the name to have come from the Spanish arrinconada, "cornered", from the root rincón that means "corner or small district".[citation needed] Rinconada might have been given by the Spaniards to the then-newly explored and established colony in the southeastern corner of Luzon Island; natives formerly called the area Sumagang (Sumagaŋ), meaning "far east".

Adding credence to the theory of a Spanish origin are the localities of La Rinconada in Spain and La Rinconada in Chile, which was also a former Spanish colony.


The language is divided into two main dialects and subdivided into six variants:

Sinabukid (highland dialect)

(Strong accent, flat intonation only, and with /ə/)

Sinaranəw (lakeside dialect)

(Soft accent with different types of intonation, and without /ə/)

Dialectal Variation

Iriga variant
Highland dialect
Agta variant
Highland dialect
Nabua – Balatan variant
Lakeside dialect
Bato variant
Lakeside dialect
Baao variant
Lakeside dialect
Bula – Pili variant
Lakeside dialect
Coastal Bikol translation Filipino/Tagalog translation English translation
Namāmaɣəw iyā sadtō gilid ku sālog ku nabaretāan niyā na inarādo naŋgad ku igin niyā su ragâ, dāwâ ədâ pa tubig adtoŋ omā nirā. Namāmaɣəw iyā sadtō iris ku sālog ku nabaretāan niyā na inarādo naŋgad ku igin niyā su ragâ, dāwâ ədâ pa katbag adtoŋ omā nirā. Namāmaɣow 'yā sadtō gilid ku sālog ku nabaretāan niyā na inarādo naŋgad ku igin niyā su ragâ, dāwâ udâ pa tubig adtoŋ omā nirā. Namāmaɣow iyā sadtō gilid ku sālog ku nabaretāan niyā na inarādo naŋgad ku akos niyā su ragâ, dāwâ udâ pa tubig adtoŋ omā nirā. Namāmaɣow siyā sadtō gilid ku sālog ku nabaretāan niyā na inarādo jāday ku igin niyā su ragâ, dāwâ udâ pa kin tubig adtoŋ omā nindā. Namāmaɣow siyā sadtō gilid ku sālog ku nabaretāan niyā na inarādo dayday ku igin niyā su ragâ, dāwâ udâ pa tubig adtoŋ omā nindā. Namamahaw siya duman sa gilid nin salog kan mabaretaan niyang inarado giraray kan aki niya si daga, dawa dae pa nin tubig idtong oma ninda. Nag-áalmusal siya sa may tabí ng ilog nang mabalitaan niyáng inárarong mulî ng kaniyáng anák ang lupà, kahit na walâ pang tubig ang kaniláng bukirín. He was eating breakfast by the river when he heard news his child ploughed the land again, even as their rice field had not water yet.

Features and geographic distribution

List of phrases and expressions that are unique to each variant:

Baao variant: "Gaorag na!"
Nabua – Balatan variant: "Labinā kan."
Agta variant: "Mayaŋ na ŋod."
Bato variant: "Ay tarā?"
Bula – Pili variant: "Paiŋōrag.."
Iriga variant: "Labinā man nâ!"

Short imperatives

Like other Visayan and Bikol languages, Rinconada Bikol has a short form for the imperative.

The phrase "iyəwən mo" (grill it) is often shortened to "iyəwā" and the command phrase "punāsan mo a salmiŋ" (wipe the mirror) can be shortened to "punāsa a salmiŋ".

A special form is used when talking to elderly people in a polite manner. Instead of putting the letters "ā/a" after the root word of the verb, it has to be replaced by the letters "e/ē" if the statement will be politely delivered. The letter "e" or "ē" stands for "tābî" which means "please" in English, or "po" in Tagalog.

Example 1:

"iyəw" is a root word that means "grill".
"iyəwən" means "grill it".
"iyəwən mo" roughly means "you, grill it".
"iyəwā" is the shortcut of the command "iyəwən mo".
"iyəwē" is the shortened polite form for "iyəwən mo tābî" (grill it please).

Example 2:

"punas" is a root word that means "wipe".
"punasan" means "wipe it".
"punasan mo" roughly means "you, wipe it".
"punāsa" is the shortcut of the command "punāsan mo".
"punāse" is the shortened polite form for "punāsan mo tābî" (wipe it please).

Example 3:

"īmo" is a root word that means "prepare".
"imōɣon" means "prepare it".
"imōɣon mo" means "you, prepare it".
"imōɣa" is the shortcut of the command "imōɣon mo".
"imōɣe" is the shortened polite form for "imōɣon mo tābî" (please prepare it).


  Absolutive Ergative Oblique
1st person singular akō ko kanakə, saakə
2nd person singular ikā, ka mo kanimō, saimō
3rd person singular iyā, siyā niyā kaniyā, saiyā
1st person plural inclusive kitā ta kanatə, saatə
1st person plural exclusive kamī namə, amə kanamə, saamə
2nd person plural kamō ninyō kaninyō
3rd person plural sirā, sindā nirā, ninda kanirā, saindā, kandā


What is your name? - Onō a ŋaran mo?
My name is Joseph. - Usē a ŋaran ko. (Usē is a rinconadised name of Spanish José)
Where do you come from? - Tagasārî ikā?
I'm from Pili, Camarines Sur. - Taga-Pili, Camarines Sur akō.
I love you so much. - Payabâ takā sa igô./Payabâ ko ikā sa igô.
Do you like me? - Bəət mo 'kō?
What are you doing? - Onō a ginigībo mo?
I will go home. - Migpaulî na 'kō.
John is my brother - Ŋod ko si Uwan. (Uwan is a rinconadised name of Spanish Juan)
Do you want to eat breakfast? - Bəət mo na'ŋ mamaɣəw?
I'm already eating - Nagkākaən na 'kō.
What time is it?/May I know what time is it? - Onōŋ ōras na?/Onōŋ ōras na tābî?
I will go out - Migluwas akō.
I can't sleep. - Dirî akō makatorog.
Are you afraid of the dark? - Nakatātakot ikā sa maŋitŋit?
He said he will pick me up/fetch me. - Sabi niyā susuŋkātən konō 'kō.
How old are you? - Gaamnō na ikā (naykā) kaguraŋ?
When will you be back? - Kūnu ikā migbalik?

Family titles:
Amâ - Father
Inâ - Mother
Itay - Dad
Inay - Mom
Mānoy - older brother
Mānay - older sister
Tāta - Uncle
Nāna - Auntie

Basic question words:
Onō - What
Isay - Who
Kūnu - When
Ŋātâ - Why
Sārî - Where
Paōno - How
Arî - Which
Pirā - How many
Mamirā - How much
Gaamnō - (Indefinite question) Used to describe the degree or extent to which something is covered such as period or age, vastness or immensity, etc.


General Greetings:
Maray na aldəw - Good day (from sunrise to sunset)
Maray na gab-ī - Good evening (from sunset to sunrise)

Specific Greetings:
Maray na ramrag - Good morning (from 6AM to 11AM)
Maray na mudtū - Good noon (from 11AM to 1PM)
Maray na apon - Good afternoon (from 1PM to 6PM)
Maray na gab-ī - Good evening (from 6PM to 11PM)
Maray na lawəd - Good midnight (from 11PM to 1AM)
Maray na mararamrāgən - Good dawn (from 1AM to 6AM)

People of Rinconada classify dim or dark hours as nighttime and light hours as daytime. As such, even with the introduction of Modern Standard Time, they consider the hours of 12 midnight until 6 o'clock in the morning as nighttime. Therefore, the general greeting from 6AM to 6PM is "Maray na aldəw", and "Maray na gab-ī" for the hours that start from 6PM to 6AM.

e.g. Maray na mudtū tabî kaninyō ŋāmin!

Occasional Greetings:
Mamə̄yaŋ Pagkaməndag! - Happy Birthday.
Mamə̄yaŋ Bāgoŋ Taon! - Happy New Year.
Mamə̄yaŋ Anibersāryo! - Happy Anniversary.

Uniqueness and distinction

Rinconada Bikol vocabulary is rich in words with short or unstressed letter /i/ sound. In fact, most root words with letter /i/ are unstressed. However, not all words with /i/ should be read and pronounced as such since there are several words that have stressed /ī/, especially loanwords, e.g. sīli (chili). Native words (root word) with stressed /ī/ are seldom or rare.

The language retains the proto-Philippine schwa vowel /ə/ that have disappeared in most Philippine languages like Cebuano, Tagalog and even the neighboring Coastal Bikol language. In Nabua, Camarines Sur (where the language is believed to be originated), the vowel also disappeared through the normal development and evolution. However, it was preserved by those who moved and migrated to the highland part of Rinconada around Mount Iriga (formerly Mount Asog) due to severe flooding on lowland, particularly in Nabua and Bula. Thus, preserving the vowel and has survived until this day in Sinabukid dialect.

People who are new to the highland accent may find the Sinabukid dialect sounds like Ilokano, Pangasinense, or Karay-a of Antique province. The vowel can also be heard from the population in towns and cities speaking the Albay Bikol group of languages. The native word for this vowel in Rinconada is "gəpə", and this has divided the language into two dialects – Sinabukid or Highland (with /ə/) and Sinaranəw or Lakeside (without /ə/).

Aside from the vowel /ə/, the other interesting thing in Rinconada language is the occurrence of an extra consonant phoneme /ɣ/. This consonant bears the sound of mixed letters "h, y and "w". The neighboring language of Buhinon also uses this sound - a clear evidence of close ties between the two languages.[3] Unfortunately, this phoneme neither has a corresponding letter in Philippine alphabet nor an equivalent character on Philippine standard keyboard. Thus, Rinconada Bikol speakers have no option but to use "h" as an alternative letter. However, in the spoken Sinaranəw dialect, the consonant /ɣ/ and the vowel /ə/ are often replaced by the letters "w" and "o" respectively.

Examples of letter ⟨ɣ

  1. Mimaɣəw – will eat breakfast.
    (Mudtū na, mimaɣəw pa sanā ikā?)
  2. Baɣəw – cold cooked rice.
    (Naŋagnəw na man na kānən na adī, malākabaɣəw!)
  3. Taɣəp – a process of separating rice from its outside layer after milling. "Tahip" in Filipino/Tagalog.
    (A pagtaɣəp, əsad na gīboŋ dirî dāpat pinagdə̄dəlagan.)
  4. Daɣun – plant leaf.
    (Kadakəl ka daɣun ka tanəm ni Tāta Isko.)
  5. Taɣob – cover, protect, or conceal.
    (Pakarāyən mo a pagkātaɣob ka bobon ta mauŋkaŋ ikā sīton!)

Pronunciation of letters ⟨e⟩ and ⟨ē⟩

The letter ⟨e⟩ in Rinconada is not the typical pronunciation of the vowel /e/ in other languages - such as the word beg and bell in English language, or the word metung in Kapampangan that means "one" - which sounds [ɛ] in IPA (open- or low-mid front unrounded vowel). The letter ⟨e⟩ in Rinconada is pronounced similar to the letter-sequence ⟨ee⟩ in English, or the letter ⟨i⟩ of most languages, but mouth is more open and tongue is a bit relaxed. In IPA it is [e], a close- or high-mid front unrounded vowel. So its pronunciation lies in-between leed´s [i] sound and led´s [ɛ].

The difference between the letters ⟨e⟩ and ⟨ē⟩ is that the latter pronounced longer or prolonged.

Example: mutēte (IPA: muteːte) - chide, scold.

Rules for letter [j]

Unlike other letters in Rinconada native alphabet, letter /j/ is always accompanied by letter /d/ if it is in the middle of a word. Otherwise, single /j/ is to be placed. Moreover, it's the only non-gliding consonant that cannot be found at the end of a word in any native Rinconada vocabulary.

Some words in native Rinconada and rinconadized words of foreign origin with letter /j/:

jamantē - diamond (from Spanish 'diamante').
jāday - again, always.
jāryo - newspaper (from Spanish 'diario').
jōlen - marble (toy).
pastidjō - nuisance (from Spanish 'fastidio')
idjəw - a large and non venomous snake.
oodjon - *no counterpart in English and Filipino (nearest meaning: 'jealous' or 'envious').
sudjâ - prompted, investigated, an action for questioning.
kadjapā - a thorny plant abundant in Bicol region, 'kulitis' in Tagalog (scientific name: Amaranthus Spinosus).
padjak - a bicycle converted into tricycle powered by a human force (mode of transportation known in Metro Manila as 'kuliglig').
sodjaŋ - a sharp piece of wood, metal or bamboo that gets in and stuck to the flesh accidentally.
lokadjô - a word used to address a dislike person being discussed in a conversation. It is a word included in Bikol Angry Speech Register.
paŋadjî - prayer.

The consonant [h]

Through language evolution, Rinconada Bikol almost lost the phoneme /h/, hence, rare. It is often absent in most Rinconada words that are usually present in other Philippine languages.

There is no real /h/ sound in Rinconada. It is either silent or glided that sounds like a long tonal vowel, or vowel lengthening. The letter /h/ is omitted since it is silent, on the other hand, it is glided when in between vowels. The Tagalog words such as hangin, higop and hanggan are almost the same with Rinconada words but letter [h] is eliminated since it is not pronounced. The corresponding equivalent is aŋin, igop and aŋgan. Same with other Bikol words like harani, harayo, and habo which are arāni, arayô, and abə in Rinconada. While the glided /h/ sound can be found when it is in between the same vowels like in baha, saha, kohol, and mohon.

The disappearance of phoneme [h] is an occurrence comparable (but not the same degree) to that of Kapampangan language. Nevertheless, Rinconada Bikol speakers can pronounce it with clarity and emphasis whenever they are speaking other languages where it is present.


An election campaign sticker in Rinconada Bikol written in simplified alphabet. (Note the use of umlaut (ü) instead of the schwa vowel ⟨ə⟩ to aid the sinaranəw speakers in reading the message.)
An election campaign sticker in Rinconada Bikol written in simplified alphabet. (Note the use of umlaut (ü) instead of the schwa vowel ⟨ə⟩ to aid the sinaranəw speakers in reading the message.)

For centuries under Spanish rules, Rinconada has adopted many words from Spanish language. There is a considerable number of Latin loans (sometimes obscured by being subject to Rinconada phonology and grammar for centuries), for example: estar ("address or dwelling place", from estar that means "stay"), soltēro ("single" but only applicable to male, from soltero), ɣūben ("young" from joven), ilyābe ("key", from llave).

Older generations tend to use Spanish loanwords more often but younger generations tend to use Tagalog words and rinconadized words from English language especially the modern terminologies with no counterpart in native Rinconada Bikol vocabulary.


Bawas-bawāsan mo man ŋanî a pagkātiŋ mo lalô na kin arāni na a eksam. (Limit your habit of escaping class sessions especially when examination is approaching near).

The Tagalog word "bawas-bawāsan" is "inâ-ināan" in Rinconada and the word "lalô" is used in favor of the native word "orog". The word "kātiŋ" and "eksam" are rinconadized words of the English "cutting" (cutting classes or leaving the room during school hours with no permission), and "exam" (examination) respectively. However, the native word for cutting classes is "ləəm".

Angry speech register

The angry register is unique to Bicol languages as it cannot be found in other Austronesian languages inside and outside the Philippines. It is generally used only among same-age speakers or by older speakers to younger listeners, as usage by younger speakers in addressing their elders would constitute great disrespect. On occasion, the angry register is used in sarcasm or humor, but the majority of its usage is in anger.[4]

Rinconada Bikol has contributed much to this unique feature of spoken languages of Bicolanos.


  Normal Register Angry Register

Sinabukid pronunciation

Angry Register

Sinaranəw pronunciation

eye matā malsək malsok
clothing badô lamakdô lamakdô
eat kaən ablô / gətək ablô / gotok
mouth ŋaŋā ŋurāpak ŋurāpak
sleep torog tusmag tusmag
drink inom til-ab / lablab til-ab / lablab
child igin wagə̂ wagû
chicken manok soltok / galtok soltok / galtok
dog ayam damāyə̂ daŋab, damāyô
throw baribad barambaŋ barambaŋ
mountain bukid luskid luskid
run dalagan kurībaw kurībaw
water tubig kal-eg kal-eg
rain uran dunag dunag
rice bəgas lasgas lasgas
hungry aləp gəsləp / gəlsək guslup / gulsuk
woman babayī babaknit / siknit babaknit / siknit
ear taliŋā taliŋəgŋəg taliŋogŋog
old guraŋ gusnab / gusgus gusnab / gusgus


Sainigin is a group of selected words for babies and newly born. It is being used by parents to communicate with their babies easily and to train them how to talk, hence, an introductory language. It is often described as language for babies and commonly called as "sainigin" or "baby talk". Words are limited to two syllables and features basic command. Several letters are absent such as "r, g, s, j, and h". Sainigin literally means "talking or acting like a baby".

Normal words Sainigin words English equivalent
inom māmam drink
kaən pāpâ eat
ə̄la lālâ sit
atî āâ dirty
ədə̂ dōdô bowel
bādô dādô cloth
turog nānok sleep
wāwâ kakâ spit it out
tabid/īyî wīwî urinate
ədâ na nāna no more
erak wāwa pity



Table of Rinconada Bikol consonant phonemes[5]
Bilabial Alveolar Post-alveolar/Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ⟨ny, ñ⟩ ŋ ⟨ng⟩
Stop p b t d k ɡ ʔ
Affricate ⟨ts, ty, ch⟩ ⟨dy, j⟩
Fricative s ʃ ⟨sy, sh⟩ ɣ
Approximant l j ⟨y⟩ w
Rhotic ɾ ⟨r⟩



Table of Rinconada Bikol vowel phonemes
Front Central Back
Short Long Short Long Short Long
Close i ⟨i⟩ ⟨ī⟩ ɨ ⟨ə, ë, ö, ü⟩ ɨː ⟨ə̄, ë, ö, ü⟩ u ⟨u⟩ ⟨ū⟩
Mid e ⟨e⟩ ⟨ē⟩ o ⟨o⟩ ⟨ō⟩
Open a ⟨a⟩ ⟨ā⟩

Diphthong (saɣəy)

Rinconada Bikol has several diphthongs or gliding vowel.

Rinconada Bikol diphthongs
[ja] yamən 'play' [aw] balaw 'fermented shrimp or krill'
[je] baba 'woman/female' [w] sigew 'spine'
[ji] ta 'stitch' [iw] isiw 'chick'
[jo] pa 'head' [ow] aldow (sinaranəw dialect) 'sun'
[ju] ta 'nice/pretty' [uw] taluw (sinaranəw dialect) 'scared'
[jə] kk 'armpit' [əw] sabəw 'soup'
[wa] īwas 'wide, spacious' [ɤa] labāɣan 'laundry'
[we] su 'upside down' [ɤe] pondoɣē 'stop it please'
[wi] wig 'broad' [ɤi] ɣî 'race, ethnicity'
[wɔ] ta 'human/person' [ɤo] kaɣon 'box'
[wu] rawut (sinaranəw dialect) 'locked' [ɤu] daɣun 'leaf'
[wə] t 'stressful' [ɤə] baɣəw 'cold cooked rice'
[aj] maray 'good' [ɔj] kawoy (sinaranəw dialect) 'wood/tree'
[jɔ] baluy (sinaranəw dialect) 'house' [əɪ] sabləy 'hang'

Diacritics (kul-it)

Rinconada uses a variation of Latin alphabet modeled on the Tagalog alphabet. But unlike the modern Tagalog - Filipino, Rinconada retains and uses diacritics ('kul-it' in Rinconada Bikol, and 'kudlit' in Tagalog). This is to highlight the meaning of the words and to differentiate words with different meanings but the same spelling. In return, the diacritics provide Rinconada Bikol with a unique orthography among Philippine languages. Diacritics for this language are limited to the macron and circumflex which is unlike other languages, for example Vietnamese that has several. However, due to technical difficulties and a scarcity of resources, diacritics are sometimes not available. Thus, two Rinconada alphabets were created to meet the needs of the speakers: the NATIVE and the SIMPLIFIED. Both can be used at the same time depending on the situation, purpose and availability of resources.

Glottal stop (rəgsad)

The Rinconada name for the letter which represents the glottal stop is "rəgsad". This can only be found in the native form of alphabet, and it is limited to final vowels or vowels at the end of a word. Rəgsad is represented by the circumflex ( ˆ ).

For examples of the glottal stop, consider the Rinconada words salâ (wrong) and turô (drop of water/fluid), often simply sala and turo in the simplified alphabet and in Filipino and English orthographies.



The Rinconada Native alphabet has 6 short vowels, 6 long vowels, and 17 consonants, a total of 29 letters representing all phonemes in Rinconada Bikol. A long or stressed vowel is written with a macron (a diacritic placed above a vowel). It also includes the velar nasal special character /ŋ/ that represents "NG". Native alphabet contains phonemes that are native to Rinconada, thus considering it as the standard Rinconada Bikol alphabet.

Majuscule Forms (also called uppercase or capital letters)
A Ā B K D E Ē Ə ə̄ G H Ɣ I Ī J L M N Ŋ O Ō P R S T U Ū W Y
Minuscule Forms (also called lowercase or small letters)
a ā b k d e ē ə ə̄ g h ɣ i ī j l m n ŋ o ō p r s t u ū w y

Example of a Filipino proverb written in the Rinconada native alphabet:

"A dirî tattaoŋ maglīlî sa pinaŋgalinan, dirî makaaābot sa pig-iyānan." (Tagalog: Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan)

Letter Rinconada English translation
A aləp hungry
Ā ārak to flaunt
B bādô dress/cloth
K kamət hand
D dəlag escape
E erak pity
Ē kalē canal
Ə əŋət angry
ə̄ ə̄ sit
G gab-ī night
H sahâ offshoot
Ɣ baɣog feeds
I i you (singular)
Ī īkaw earring
J tadjok hit by a sharp pointed tool or thing
L lətəw floating
M matā eye
N nəknək small mosquitoes
ŋ ŋipən tooth
O oroŋ nose
Ō ōmol; sō a person who is not funny anymore; remote area or place
P parəy rice (unmilled)
R rayô far
S saləg floor
T tagbâ a way of harvesting with a use of bolo or knife
U uran rain
Ū ūri late
W warak scattered
Y yabâ love



The Rinconada Simplified alphabet is just the same as the Philippine alphabet. It has 28 letters:

Majuscule Forms (also called uppercase or capital letters)
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N Ñ Ng O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Minuscule Forms (also called lowercase or small letters)
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n ñ ng o p q r s t u v w x y z

The letters F, V and Z are included because they are native to other Philippine languages like Itawis and Ibanag. Letters C, Ñ, and Q are also included, but their usages are limited to foreign names, Filipinized words of foreign origins or loans, especially from Spanish, English and Arabic.

The simplified alphabet doesn't use diacritics like the macron ⟨◌̄⟩ for stressed and long vowels, the circumflex ⟨◌̂⟩ for glottal stop, or the letters for velar nasal ⟨ŋ⟩, schwa ⟨ə⟩, or velar fricative ⟨ɣ⟩, as they don't appear on a standard "qwerty" keyboard. The velar nasal ⟨ŋ⟩ is replaced by the digraph ⟨ng⟩, and the two latter sounds can be replaced by ⟨o⟩ and ⟨h⟩, ⟨w⟩, and ⟨y⟩ respectively. But even with the absence of diacritics in the modern and simplified alphabet, pronunciations in the spoken language are not altered. Moreover, the long vowel sound in a word should not be omitted. One good example of this is "bə̄ət" (kind) and "bəət" (want/like). The word bə̄ət in the native alphabet is written as bəət in the simplified alphabet making the two words the same in spelling albeit with different meanings. In this case, the pronunciation of the words depends on their place and usage in a sentence. To avoid confusion and aid in ease of reading, it is strongly recommended to use the native alphabet in writing Rinconada Bikol.


Numbers and words (in native alphabet) are as follow:

0 pōlô
1 əsad 11 samsad 21 darwamsad 31 tolomsad 41 pamsad 51 limamsad 61 nəmsad 71 pitomsad 81 walomsad 91 yamsad
2 darwā 12 samdarwā 22 darwamdarwā 32 tolomdarwā 42 pamdarwā 52 limamdarwā 62 nəmdarwā 72 pitomdarwā 82 walomdarwā 92 yamdarwā
3 tolō 13 samtolō 23 darwamtolō 33 tolomtolō 43 pamtolō 53 limamtolō 63 nəmtolō 73 pitomtolō 83 walomtolō 93 yamtolō
4 əpat 14 sampat 24 darwampat 34 tolompat 44 pampat 54 limampat 64 nəmpat 74 pitompat 84 walompat 94 yampat
5 limā 15 samlimā 25 darwamlimā 35 tolomlimā 45 pamlimā 55 limamlimā 65 nəmlimā 75 pitomlimā 85 walomlimā 95 yamlimā
6 ənəm 16 samnəm 26 darwamnəm 36 tolomnəm 46 pamnəm 56 limamnəm 66 nəmnəm 76 pitomnəm 86 walomnəm 96 yamnəm
7 pitō 17 sampitō 27 darwampitō 37 tolompitō 47 pampitō 57 limampitō 67 nəmpitō 77 pitompitō 87 walompitō 97 yampitō
8 walō 18 samwalō 28 darwamwalō 38 tolomwalō 48 pamwalō 58 limamwalō 68 nəmwalō 78 pitomwalō 88 walomwalō 98 yamwalō
9 siyam 19 samsiyam 29 darwamsiyam 39 tolomsiyam 49 pamsiyam 59 limamsiyam 69 nəmsiyam 79 pitomsiyam 89 walomsiyam 99 yamsiyam
10 sampōlô 20 darwampōlô 30 tolompōlô 40 pampōlô 50 limampōlô 60 nəmpōlô 70 pitompōlô 80 walompōlô 90 yampōlô 100 saŋgatos

There are no written records to indicate that Rinconada has native words for two-digit numbers (11 - 99). On the other hand, there is also no proof that the language has no indigenous words for those numbers. It is intriguing that Rinconada has native words for three-digit numbers (e.g. "sanggatos" for 100) but not for two digit numbers. Utilization and adaptation of foreign terminologies during the three hundred and thirty three (333) years of Spanish colonization could be one of the reasons why the native terminologies may not have been passed to the new generations. Noting that an established language needs a complete numbering system in words, thus the reconstruction of words for 11 to 99 is necessary but needs to follow and retain the indigenous or original structural form of Rinconada's orthography.


The number words of 1 to 10 and 100 are all native Rinconada while numbers 11 to 99 are all reconstructed. However, the reconstructed numbers are based on the original structure. Sampōlô (number ten) or sampu in Tagalog is the only two-digit number that has a native word with a perfect indigenous structural form. The evolution of the word "sampōlô" from "əsadnapōlô" follows the orthography of Rinconada and developed naturally over the years. Being said, it is imperative that all reconstructed numbers must follow the same format of number 10.

The word sampōlô is derived from a portmanteau of the words əsad + na + pōlô (əsadnapōlô) which is the based tenth of one. In the evolution of this number, the schwa letter ⟨ə⟩ of ⟨əsadnapōlô⟩ became silent and so the word became "sadnapōlô". Same with other Philippine languages, /na/ is converted into /ŋ/, replaces the last consonant letter of the first word (which is /d/) and become the connector to the second word (which is pōlô) - thus, the letter /d/ is omitted and the word became "saŋ". The connector /ŋ/ becomes /m/ naturally if the next letter is /p/ or /b/ (which is also the case in other Philippine languages). So then, the word became sampōlô.

Structure of sampōlô (10):

  1. əsad + na + pōlô = əsadnapōlô
  2. əsadnapōlô – /ə/ = sadnapōlô
  3. sadnapōlô – /d/ = sanapōlô
  4. /na/ replaced by /ŋ/ = saŋpōlô
  5. /ŋ/ replaced by /m/ before /p/ = sampōlô.

From sampōlô, all two-digit numbers were given a name that was copied from it. The number 40 (pampōlô) and 60 (nəmpōlô) follow the same exact format of sampōlô. The exception to the naming system of numbers is the number zero (0). Though zero (0) is single digit, there is no native word for it. Since sampōlô (10) is a combination of 1 and 0, the word pōlô was taken out from it to represent zero (0) rather than using "sīro" or "sēro". As a result, Rinconada has a complete basic set of numbers without using foreign words.

The number referenced in Php 356,817,142,590 can be translated into Rinconada Bikol as:
"Toloŋgatos limamnəm na bilyon, waloŋgatos sampitoŋ milyon, saŋgatos pamdarwaŋ rībo ag limaŋgatos yampōloŋ pīso."

In ENGLISH language it is:

"Three hundred fifty six billion, eight hundred seventeen million, one-hundred forty two thousand and five hundred ninety pesos."

In FILIPINO language it is:
"Tatlong daan limampu't anim na bilyon, walong daan at labing pitong milyon, sandaan at apatnapu't dalawang libo at limang raan siyamnapung piso."

Comparison chart

Decimal Numbers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
PAN, circa 4000 BC *isa *DuSa *telu *Sepat *lima *enem *pitu *walu *Siwa *puluq
Tagalog isá dalawá tatló ápat limá ánim pitó waló siyám sampu
Cebuano usá duhá tuló upat limá unom pitó waló siyám napulu
Rinconada əsad darwā tolō əpat limā ənəm pitō walō siyam sampōlô
Chamorro maisa/håcha hugua tulu fatfat lima gunum fiti guålu sigua månot/fulu
Malay satu dua tiga empat lima enam tujuh lapan sembilan sepuluh
Javanese siji loro telu papat limo nem pitu wolu songo sepuluh
Tongan taha ua tolu nima ono fitu valu hiva -fulu
Samoan tasi lua tolu lima ono fitu valu iva sefulu
Māori tahi rua toru whā rima ono whitu waru iwa tekau (archaic: ngahuru)
Marquesan e tahi e 'ua e to'u e fa e 'ima e ono e fitu e va'u e iva 'onohu'u


Coverage of Rinconada Bikol language (purple) Coverage of Albay Bikol languages:  Buhinon Bikol (dark blue)  Libon Bikol (violet) West Miraya Bikol (light blue)  East Miraya Bikol (blue-gray)
Coverage of Rinconada Bikol language (purple)
Coverage of Albay Bikol languages:
Buhinon Bikol (dark blue)
Libon Bikol (violet)
West Miraya Bikol (light blue)
East Miraya Bikol (blue-gray)

Although properly considered separate languages, speakers of Rinconada Bikol or Rinconada can communicate with Albay Bikol speakers with ease and without code switching. A student from Ligao City (West Miraya speaker) studying in a university in Iriga City can understand Rinconada (any variant) and can be understood by Rinconada speakers as well. The same thing will happen if a local tourist from Rinconada visits the Cagsawa Ruins in Albay or visits Donsol, Sorsogon (East Miraya speaker) for the annual whale shark sightings. The difference between Rinconada and Albay Bikol (both are included in Inland Bikol group) is comparable to German and Yiddish or Portuguese and Galician, while the differences between variants are comparable to those between English US, English British and English Australian. The mutual intelligibility of Rinconada and Albay Bikol is 80% to 85%, while intelligibility between variants is 95% to 98%.[citation needed]


Rinconada Bikol is a minority language in the Bicol region despite having hundreds of thousands of speakers. It is currently not used in commercial media (print, radio, television) despite the fact that there are numerous prominent Rinconada speakers in the music and entertainment industry, media, and Philippine politics. It is not among the recognized regional languages in the Philippines and remains unknown to many Filipinos as it is poorly documented, researched and promoted.

Currently, the major obstacle to the diffusion of the usage and teaching of Rinconada is the lack of written material in Rinconada Bikol language, namely books, newspapers, software, magazines, etc. Thus, Rinconada, along with other Inland Bikol languages and the minor indigenous languages of Bicol region, remains essentially a spoken language.

Due to everyday exposure of younger generations to Filipino/Tagalog and English languages in mass media and social networking sites, native words that are rarely used are now disappearing and being replaced by their counterparts from other languages. If cannot be salvaged by any means, this trend is more likely to continue and might endanger the language in the near future.


The only dictionary written for this language is Rinconada: Bikol-Filipino-English Phrasebook: with Mini-dictionary (2001) of Jason Lobel and Grace Bucad of Nabua, Camarines Sur. Several books were successfully created and published by native speakers and non-speakers alike. Some were published by Frank Peñones, Jason Chancoco, Rizaldy Manrique, Jonher Cañeba and Kristian Cordero of Iriga City. In 2004, the Ragang Rinaranga: mga rawitdawit which was published by Frank Peñones is the first anthology written in Rinconada Bikol.

On June 25, 2013, The Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges (CSPC), a state college in Nabua, Camarines Sur, established the Center for Rinconada Studies that will serve as the research center for Rinconada Bikol language and heritage.[6]

Modern culture

In Bicol region, the language and its speakers earned the moniker: Pa-sādi pa-san, pa-sīni pa-sīton, that literally means 'will go here will go there, will go here will go there' (two different Rinconada words with the same meaning, which is a form of humor if said repeatedly). The moniker is the result of the prominence of Rinconada speakers in the region. This is due to the fact that a native speaker travelling in the region can easily be distinguished and identified because his language is different from the vast majority of Bicolanos, and to the fact that several prominent Bicolanos in the Philippines are of Rinconada heritage, gives the language and the speakers a "familiarity" to others. That makes one throwing a humorous line (the moniker) to a person telling him that he is a Rinconada speaker.

Notable speakers

Joker Arroyo (Philippine senator)
Jorge Barlin (The first Filipino Catholic bishop)[7]
Beatriz "Bea" Saw (Pinoy Big Brother Season 2 winner)
Luis G. Dato (Bikolano Poet and Writer)[8]
Paolo Briones (Longest term of mayorship in the Philippines)[9]
Manuel Gaite (Securities and Exchange Commission commissioner, former Deputy Executive Secretary-Presidential Management Staff)
Venus Raj (Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up, actress & model)
Jericho Rosales (Filipino actor, model and band vocalist)[10]
Sofia Moran real name is Sofia Ballon (Filipina actress & model)[11]
Nora Aunor, real name is Nora Cabaltera Villamayor (Multi-awarded International Filipina actress, singer, producer, recording artist, & product endorser)[12]
Mila Ocampo, real name is Milagros Sumayao (Filipina actress [mother of Snooky Serna], first Miss Philippines Press Photography 1959)
Lou Bonnevie, real name is Maria Lourdes Rosario Perello Bonnevie (Filipina pop rock musician)
Victor Wood (Singer, musician & composer)[13]
Jaime Fábregas (Filipino veteran actor and musical scorer)
Gilda Gales (Filipina actress)[14]
Ronald Remy, real name is Ronald Kookooritchkin (Filipino actor and producer of the 1960s. Son of Russian emigre Eremes Kookooritchkin and Conchita Segovia)[15]
Eddie Villamayor, brother of Nora Aunor (Filipino actor and producer)
Rez Cortez (Filipino actor)
Zaldy Zhornack, real name is José Rizaldy Zshornack (Filipino actor of Polish descent)[16]
Eddie Ilarde (Former assemblyman, senator and congressman of the Philippines)
Emilia Boncodin (Former secretary of the Philippine Department of Budget and Management. One of the Ten Outstanding Women in Nation's Service (TOWNS))
Leila De Lima (Philippine senator)
Lilia De Lima (Director General, Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), undersecretary, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). One of the Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service (TOWNS))[17]
Julia Gonowon (The First Miss Millenial which was broadcast in Eat Bulaga)
Jonathan Malaya (Assistant Secretary for Special Projects of the Department of Education)
Efren Orbon (Major General; the former commanding general of the 2nd Infantry Division, Philippine Army)
Raul Nagrampa (Philippine NPO Deputy Director)
Juan K. Taduran (Filipino gold medalist in Decathlon in the then Far East Championship, 1921, 1923 & 1925)[18]
Genaro Saavedra (Filipino gold medalist in 100 Yards, High Jump, Pole Vault and Decathlon in the Far East Championships, 1915)[18]
Tshomlee Go (Taekwando Jin, Olympian; Taekwando World Cup Championship Silver medalist; 2005 SEA Games Gold medalist)
Ruben Ciron (Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP))[19]
McKing Alanis (Community Liaison and Special Assistant for Military and Veteran Affairs in California, USA. Outstanding Filipinos Abroad awardees)[20]
Dominic Almelor (ABS-CBN reporter)
Dianne Necio, from Polangui, Albay (Top 15 Miss International 2011)[21]
Angeline Tucio (1st Runner-up Mutya ng Pilipinas 2003)


Rinconada is spoken by majority in Bula, Baao, Nabua, Balatan, Iriga and Bato in Camarines Sur (politically the 5th district of Camarines Sur province except the municipality of Buhi, where the majority speaks Buhinon). The language is dominant and the lingua franca in the southern half of the provincial capital town of Pili, the west barangays of Ocampo, and the far west barangays of Buhi; it can also be heard in neighboring places such as the northern barangays of Polangui and Libon in Albay.


Town/City Population Percentage
Baao, Cam. Sur 54,971 100%
Balatan, Cam. Sur 28,699 100% (25% of the population is bilingual with Coastal Bikol)
Bato, Cam. Sur 48,306 100%
Buhi, Cam. Sur 24,603 1/3 of the population
Bula, Cam. Sur 68,011 100%
Iriga City 105,919 100%
Nabua, Cam. Sur 80,111 100%
Pili, Cam. Sur 41,153 (half of the population)
Polangui, Albay 27,435 (1/3 of the population)
Total 479,208

Based from the population of towns and city with a concentration of Rinconada Bikol speakers, the total number is 479,208 or almost half a million. This number is based from the population of the fifth district of Camarines Sur (Rinconada) and neighboring towns of Polangui and Pili, in which, Rinconada Bikol is their de facto daily language. Moreover, the total number does not include speakers outside Rinconada area. Some linguists place the native speaker population at 600,000 (estimate) because there are many speakers of this language outside the region who left in search for better job opportunities. Example of this are the Filipinos enlisted in US Navy that comes from Nabua, Camarines Sur which comprised the 10% of all Filipino US Servicemen. Most of these Rinconada speakers are now residing mostly in San Diego, California.[22]


  1. ^ Rinconada Bikol at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ "Ang A language of Philippines". Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  3. ^ "language of Buhi (Buhinon)" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Bikol Angry Register" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-02-22.
  5. ^ Tagalog (2005). Keith Brown (ed.). Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2 ed.). Elsevier. ISBN 0-08-044299-4.
  6. ^ CSPC@30 Kicks Off "CSPC@30 Kicks Off" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved Nov 24, 2015.
  7. ^ "JORGE IMPERIAL BARLIN(1852-1909)First Filipino Catholic Bishop" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 27, 2014. Retrieved February 25, 2015. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ "Luis G Dato". Luis G. Dato. Retrieved 2020-01-19.
  9. ^ "B for "Baao"". 2008-02-23. Retrieved February 23, 2008. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^ "Jericho Rosales bares his brand of fitness". Archived from the original on 24 February 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  11. ^ "SOFIA MORAN One of the Philippines sexiest women in the Entertainment Industry from the 1960s to the 1970s". Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  12. ^ "10 things we love about Nora". Retrieved 2012-05-21.
  13. ^ "Jukebox King". 2008-01-02. Retrieved 2015-05-26.
  14. ^ "Gilda Gales Biography". Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  15. ^ "Ronald Remy Biography". Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  17. ^ Chan Robles. "Congratulations to the FIRST BATCH OF SUCCESSFUL". Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  18. ^ a b "Iriga Historical Timeline". Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  19. ^ "Bicolman Military". 2010-09-29. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  20. ^ "THE BICOL GRANDMASTERS ORCHESTRA". Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  21. ^ "Warm welcome for Bb. Pilipinas Dianne Necio in Albay". Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  22. ^ "Filipino Retiress Live Good Life". Retrieved 17 February 2015.