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Other names

Cuyo, cuyono, cuyunon, kuyonon, kuyunin, kuyunon

Spoken in ...

Philippines: mainly in the province of Palawan (in the MIMAROPA region, also known as Region IV-B), specifically on the Cuyo Islands (to the northeast of the island of Palawan), on the island of Dumaran and in the north of the island of Palawan (in the city of Puerto Princesa and the municipality of Roxas).

Number of speakers


Legal status

Non-specific protection.

According to the country's 1987 constitution, the official languages of the Philippines are Filipino (a tongue based on Tagalog) and English. Filipino is also the national language of the state. Referred to as regional languages, the indigenous tongues of the Philippines are recognised as auxiliary official languages for the purposes of education in the territories in which they are spoken, and are to be preserved, developed and disseminated.


ASHER, R.E. and MOSELEY, C. (eds.) (2007) Atlas of the World's Languages. Routledge, London/New York.

LECLERC, J. (2007) L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde. Quebec: TLFQ, Université Laval.

MCFARLAND, C.D. (1981) A Linguistic Atlas of the Philippines. Manila: Linguistic Society of the Philippines.

PERALTA, Jesus T. (2000) Glimpses: Peoples of the Philippines. Pasig City, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 2003.

SAN JUAN, Erlinda D. (2006) 'The Cuyonon Verb System: a First Approximation' [online]. Available via the 10-ICAL web page.


Cuyonon is the tongue of one of the majority language communities of Palawan, the third largest island in the Philippines. After Tagalog (spoken by 28% of the total population), Cuyonon is the province of Palawan's second most widely used language (26%), followed by Palawano or Pinalawan (11%) and Hiligaynon (9.5%). Tagalog speakers outnumber those of Cuyonon in urban zones, while Cuyonon is the predominant language in rural areas.

The largest number of Cuyonon speakers can be found on the Cuyo Islands, which lie between the northern part of the island of Palawan and the island of Panay.

Some authors link the Cuyonon group to the Ratagnon (a Mangyan subgroup from Mindoro), as they are of the opinion that the Ratagnon are probably Cuyonon who emigrated to Mindoro.

A notable phonetic trait of the Cuyonon language is its combination of an accent with a glottal closure.

Number system

Direction in which language is written

Left to right



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    Meso Philippine, Central Philippine, Western Visayan


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