Native toPhilippines
RegionSurigao del Norte, most parts of Surigao del Sur, and some portion of Dinagat Islands, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Davao Oriental
Native speakers
500,000 (2009)[1]
Official status
Official language in
Regional language in the Philippines
Regulated byKomisyon sa Wikang Filipino
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
sgd – Surigaonon
tgn – Tandaganon
Surigaonon language map.png
Area where Surigaonon is spoken according to Ethnologue

Surigaonon is an Austronesian language spoken by Surigaonon people. As a regional Philippine language, it is spoken in the province of Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Sur, and some portions of Agusan del Norte, especially the towns near the Mainit Lake, Agusan del Sur and Davao Oriental.

External relationships

Surigaonon is a member of the Bisayan languages.[2][3] It has been heavily influenced by Cebuano due to the influx of many Cebuanos in the region. However, most Cebuano speakers can hardly understand Surigaonon speakers, except for Cebuanos who have been living in the region for years.

Surigaonon is very closely related to the Tausug language of Sulu and the Butuanon language of Butuan.



Tandaganon[4] (also called Tinandag, Naturalis, Tagon-on) is a closely related variety spoken in Tandag and central Surigao del Sur municipalities of San Miguel, Tago, Bayabas, Cagwait, Marihatag, San Agustin, and most of Lianga. It can be classified as a separate language or alternatively as a southern variety of Surigaonon. There are about 100,000 speakers.

Surigaonon (also called Jaun-Jaun, Waya-Waya) itself on the other hand is the northern (Surigao del Norte) variety, with about 400,000 speakers. Surigaonon speakers are distributed throughout Surigao del Norte, northern Surigao del Sur, and northern Agusan del Norte.[5] Surigaonon and Tandaganon speakers can understand each other well, even if they use their own languages in conversation (similar to the mutual intelligibility between the Boholano dialect and the general Cebuano dialect).

Together, Surigaonon and Tandaganon are spoken in Surigao del Norte and most parts of Surigao del Sur, except in the City of Bislig, municipalities of Barobo, Hinatuan, Lingig, and Tagbina. In the non-Surigaonons-speaking areas of Surigao, most of the inhabitants are descended from Cebuano-speaking migrants, and the rest are natives who speak Kamayo, a Mansakan language.


According to Dumanig (2015),[6] Surigaonon has a similar phonological inventory as its sister Bisayan languages, Cebuano and Boholano.


Below is the vowel system of Surigaonon.

Surigaonon vowels[6]
Front Central Back
Close i u
Open a


Below is a chart of Surigaonon consonants.

Surigaonon consonants[6]
Bilabial Dental Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive Voiceless p t k ʔ
Voiced b d ɡ
Affricate d͡ʒ
Fricative s h
Flap ɾ
Lateral l
Approximant w j

Note: [j] is spelled y, [d͡ʒ] is spelled j and [ŋ] is spelled ng.


Surigaonon has 25 consonant clusters (br, bl, bw, by, dr, dy, dw, gr, gw, kr, kl, kw, mw, my, nw, pr, pl, pw, py, sw, sy, tr, tw, ty, hw) and 4 diphthongs (aw, ay, iw, uy), which is similar to Cebuano.[6]

Comparison between Surigaonon, Cebuano, and Tausug

English Tausug Surigaonon Cebuano
What is your name? Unu in ngān mu? Omay imo ngayan? / Umay pangayan mo? (Surigaonon), Unu an ngayan mu? / Unu may imo pangayan? / Unu an pangayan nimo? / Unu'y pangan mo? (Tandaganon) Unsa ang ngalan (ngān) nimo?
My name is Juan In ngān ku Juan An ako ngayan kay Juan / An ngayan ko kay Juan (Surigaonon), An ngayan ku kay Juan / An ako ngayan kay Juan / Ang pangayan ko si Juan / An ako pangan (ngan) kay Juan (Tandaganon) Ang ngalan (ngān) nako kay Juan
How are you? Maunu-unu nakaw? Kumusta naman kaw? / "Kumusta na kaw? / Mauno naman kaw?" (Surigaonon), "Kumusta nasa kaw?" (Tandaganon) Kumusta na ka?
I am fine, (too) Marayaw da (isab) Madayaw da (sab, isab, or da nu-un) aku (Tandaganon) or Marajaw da / ra i- / (sab) aku (Surigaonon) Maayo ra (usab)
Where is Ahmad? Hawnu hi Ahmad? Hain si Ahmad? (Tandaganon) / Haman si Ahmad? / Ha-i si Ahmad? Hain (Asa) man si Ahmad?
He is in the house Ha bāy siya Sa bay siya or yaun siya sa bahay (Tandaganon) / Jaon sija sa bayay? or jadto sija sa bayay (Surigaonon) Naa siya sa balay (bāy)
Thank you Magsukul Salamat Salamat
‘I am staying at’ or ‘I live at’ Naghuhula’ aku ha ___ Yaghuya aku sa (Tandaganon) / Naghuya aku sa (Surigaonon) or taga ___ Nagpuyo ako sa ___
I am here at the house. Yari aku ha bay. Yadi aku sa bay (Tandaganon). / Jari aku sa bayay Dia ko sa balay (bāy)
I am hungry. Hiyapdi' aku. In-gutom aku or Paga-gutom ako (Tandaganon). / Tag gutom ako / Tag gusla ako / In-gutom ako Gi-gutom ko.
He is there, at school. Yadtu siya ha iskul. Yadtu siya sa iskuylahan (Tandaganon). / Jadto sija sa iskuylahan / Dadto sija sa iskuylahan Tu-a (Didto) siya sa iskwelahan
Person Tau Tao (Tandaganon) Tawo (Surigaonon) Taw / Tawo
(Sea / River) current Sūg Suwg (Tandaganon) Suyug (Surigaonon) Sulog (sūg)
Day Adlaw Buntag (Tandaganon) Buntag / Adlaw (Surigaonon) Adlaw / Buntag
Night Duwm Gabi-i / Duwm (Tandaganon) / Duyum (Surigaonon) Gabi-i
Today Biháun Kuman na adlaw (Tandaganon and Surigaonon) Karon na adlaw / Karong adlawa
Yesterday Káhapun Káhapun Gahapon
The day before yesterday Ta’kisa Min-agi na adlaw (Tandaganon) Nin-agi na adlaw / Una na adlaw (Surigaonon) Niagi na (nga) adlaw / Miaging adlaw
Tomorrow Kunsuwm Siluwm / Silom (Tandaganon) Silum (Surigaonon) Ugma
The day after tomorrow Ku’nisa Sunod na adlaw (Surigaonon / Tandaganon) Sunod na (nga) adlaw
Tonight Duwm ini Kuman na duwm or Kuman duwm (Tandaganon) / Kuman na duyum or Kuman duyum (Surigaonon) Karon na (nga) gabi-i / Karong gabi-i
Last night Kábi-i Kábi-i (Surigaonon / Tandaganon) Kagabi-i
Morning Mahinaat / Maynaat Buntag (Surigaonon / Tandaganon) Buntag
Afternoon Mahapun Hapun (Surigaonon / Tandaganon) Hapon
Noon Mataas Suga Gabi-i (Tandaganon) Udto (Surigaonon) Udto
Midnight Tungaan Duwm Tunga-tunga nan Duwn or Tunga'y Duwm (Tandaganon) Tungay-duyum (Surigaonon) Tunga sa gabi-i / Tungang gabi-i
What day is today? Adlaw unu biháun? Unu na adlaw kuman? or Unu kuman na adlawa? (Tandaganon) Oman na adlaw kuman? / Umay adlaw kuman? (Surigaonon) Unsa na (nga) adlaw karon? / Unsang adlawa karon?
What day will you leave? Adlaw unu kaw tumulak? Unu na adlaw kaw mu-larga or Kun-o kaw mo-larga / Kun-o man kaw mugikan/mupanaw? (Surigaonon) / Kanus-a kaw mu-larga (mu-panaw) (Tandaganon) Unsa na (nga) adlaw ka mu-larga? / Unsang adlawa ka mu-larga
My walk last Saturday. Miyanaw aku sin sabtu’ yaun. An ako panaw adton sabado (Surigaonon) – An ako panaw nan sabado yadtu. (Tandaganon) Ang lakaw nako niadtong sabado.
When did they eat? Ka’nu sila kimaun? Kagan-o sila nangaon? (Surigaonon), Kinun-u sila kin-maun? / Kagan-o sila nangaon (mikaon) ? (Tandaganon) Kanus-a sila mikaon?
When did you arrive? Ka’nu kamu dimatung? Kagan-o man kaw nin-abot? (Surigaonon), Kinun-u / Kagan-o kamu (kaw) min-abot? Kanus-a kamo miabot? / Kanus-a mo niabot?
When are going to school? Ku’nu kaw pa iskul? Kun-o man kaw mukadto sa iskuylahan? (Surigaonon), kinun-u / Kun-o kaw mokadto sa iskuylahan? (Tandaganon) Kanus-a ka mo-adto sa iskwelahan?
Where are you going? Pakain kamu manaw? Haman kaw pasingud? / haman kaw mukadto? / Ha-i kaw pasingud? (Surigaonon), Pahain kamu mamanaw? (Tandaganon) / Hain kaw pasingud? (Tandaganon) Hain (Asa) ka pa-ingon? / Hain (Asa) ka padulong?
Who is that guy? Hisiyu in usug yaun? Siman jaon? / siman jaon sija? / Sin-o man ton? (Surigaonon), Sin-o yaun? / Sin-o taraw yaon (informal) ? (Tandaganon) Kinsa na nga tawhana?
Who own this shirt? Kansiyu in badju ini? Kanin-o ini baro? / simay tag-ija ini na baro? / Kaman ini baro? (Surigaonon), Kanin-o ini badu? (Tandaganon) Kang kinsa nga sinina kini?
Where is mother? Hain hi Inah? Haman si mama? / Ha-i si Mama? (Surigaonon), Hain si nanay? (Tandaganon) Asa (Hain) si mama?
When was your birth date? Ka’nu kaw piyag-anak? Kagan-o man kaw natawo? or kagan-o man kaw tag-anak? (Surigaonon), Kinun-u kaw in anak? / Kagan-o kaw gi-anak? / Kagan-o kaw ya Tao (Tandaganon) Kanus-a ka gipanganak (natawo)?
Why are you crying? Mayta’ kaw timangis? Oman nag tuwaw (haja) man kaw? (Surigaonon), Nasa ga-hilak (ga-tyaho) sa kaw? (Tandaganon) Ngano nga nagahilak ka?
How do you sleep? Biyariin kaw magtuwg? Un-hon man nimo (mo) pagkatuyog? / Un-hon mo man pagkatuyog? (Surigaonon), Paga unu mo pagkaturog? (Tandaganon) / Paga unu mo sa taraw pagkaturug? (informal) Unsaon man nimo pagkatulog (pagkatūg)?
How is mother doing? Maunu-unu na hi Inah? Kumusta man si Mama? / Nauno(Mauno) na man si Mama? (Surigaonon), Ya-unu na sa si Ina? / Kumosta na si mama (nanay) ? (Tandaganon) Kumusta na man si mama?


  1. ^ Surigaonon at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Tandaganon at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Lobel (2013).
  3. ^ Zorc (1977).
  4. ^ ISO 639-3 Registration Authority (2009). "Request for New Language Code Element in ISO 639-3" (PDF). request number 2009-087.
  5. ^ "Surigaonon". Ethnologue.
  6. ^ a b c d Dumanig, Francisco Perlas (2015). "Descriptive Analysis of the Surigaonon Language". Polyglossia. 27: 1–10. doi:10.34382/00011430. hdl:10367/6111.

Further reading