Bicolano (Iriga)
Riŋkonāda or Rinconada Bikol is one of the several languages that compose the Inland Bikol
Inland Bikol
Inland Bikol is one of the three groups of the Bikol languages. It is composed of Mt. Iriga Agta, Albay Bicolano, and Iriga Bicolano ....

 group of the Bikol languages. It belongs to Austronesian language family that also include Māori, Hawaiian, Malagasy, Tagalog, Indonesian and Malay. The closest relatives of this language outside Bicol are Aklanon, Waray and Tagalog to the lesser extent. This is also the language adopted and used by the aboriginal or indigenous population of Agta/Aeta (Negrito
The Negrito are a class of several ethnic groups who inhabit isolated parts of Southeast Asia.Their current populations include 12 Andamanese peoples of the Andaman Islands, six Semang peoples of Malaysia, the Mani of Thailand, and the Aeta, Agta, Ati, and 30 other peoples of the Philippines....

) in surrounding and mountainous areas. Riŋkonāda was brought to Negritos by the Austronesian people when they began engaging in commerce and trade with them. The original language of the aboriginal people is unknown but it is believed that they have contributed some of their tribal languages to Riŋkonāda's accent, vocabularies and lexicon. Riŋkonāda is considered by most Bicolanos as one of the most difficult variety of Bikol. The name of the language is derived from the name of the place where it was originated, developed and is largely spoken: Rinconada District.

The word "Rinconada" is erroneously referred as taken from Spanish word arrinconada which means cornered.


This language is divided into 2 main dialects and can be narrowly subdivided into 6 variants:

Highland Riŋkonāda Dialect

(Strong accent, flat intonation only, and with /ə/)
  • Agta variant
  • Iriga variant (standard)

Lowland Riŋkonāda Dialect

(Soft accent with different types of intonation, and without /ə/)
  • Nabua – Balatan variant
  • Baao variant
  • Bula – Pili variant
  • Bato variant

Dialectal Variation

Iriga variant
Highland Riŋkonāda dialect
Agta variant
Highland Riŋkonāda dialect
Nabua – Balatan variant
Lowland Riŋkonāda dialect
Bato variant
Lowland Riŋkonāda dialect
Baao variant
Lowland Riŋkonāda dialect
Bula – Pili
Lowland Riŋkonāda dialect
Filipino/Tagalog translation English translation
Namāmaɣəw iyā ku inarādo naŋgad ku igin niyā su ragâ dāwâ ədâ pa tubig adtong omā nirā. Namāmaɣəw iyā ku inarādo naŋgad ku igin niyā su ragâ dāwâ ədâ pa katbag adtong omā nirā. Namāmawow 'yā ku inarādo naŋgad ku igin niyā su ragâ dāwâ udâ pa tubig adtong omā nirā. Namāmawow iyā ku inarādo naŋgad ku akos niyā su ragâ dāwâ udâ pa tubig adtong omā nirā. Namāmawow siyā ku inarādo jāday ku igin niyā su ragâ dāwâ udâ pa kin tubig adtong omā nindā. Namāmawow siyā ku inarādo dayday ku igin niyā su ragâ dāwâ udâ pa tubig adtong omā nindā. Nag-aalmusal siya nang araruhing muli ng kaniyang anak ang lupa kahit na wala pang tubig ang kanilang bukirin. He was eating breakfast when his child plowed the land again even though the ricefield has no water yet.

Nabua-Balatan variant features high pitch intonation. It covers the entire municipality of Nabua, Camarines Sur and up to the jungles and shores of Balatan, Camarines Sur. It is the direct descendant of Rinconada Bikol and considered as the largest of all the variants. However, it is Iriga variant that has the most number of speakers. The speakers are concentrated in the populous city of Iriga and some of the important barangays of Buhi, Camarines Sur (West and East Sta. Justina and De los Angeles) and an urban barangay of Matacon, Polangui, Albay. Iriga variant has a flat intonation and being spoken rapidly. Bato variant on the other hand has a distinctive mellow intonation. It is also said that regardless of the mood, the speaker might always sound sleepy and chanting. Bato variant is also being used by the people in Agos, Polangui, Albay. Agta variant is the smallest in the group. The speakers are exclusively the indigenous population of Agta/Aeta or the aboriginal people of different tribes surrounding Mount Iriga
Mount Iriga
Mount Iriga, also known as Mount Asog, is one of the active volcanos in the Philippines, in the province of Camarines Sur, in the Philippines....

. Same with Iriga, Agta variant also has a flat intonation. The variants of Baao and Bula-Pili are considered as sisters. They have the same accent and slight differences in vocabulary. But of the two variants, Baao often uses rising intonation while Bula-Pili is moderately flat but both used high pitch when reasoning. The latter variant is being used entirely in Bula and in the southern half part of the provincial capital town of Pili. It also has a substantial population of speakers in Ocampo and Milaor, both in Camarines Sur. These two variants feature some lexicon of Coastal Bikol language but also believed to have influenced the vocabulary of Bikol-Partido (a dialect of Coastal Bikol).

List of phrases and expressions of each variant which they are known and unique to them:

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!"

Uniqueness and Distinction

Rinconada Bikol or Riŋkonāda rampantly uses 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. There are some words that have stressed "Ī" on it, especially loanwords, e.g. sīlī (chili). The short vowel "I" is written as the same both in simplified and native alphabets.

The language retains the proto-Philippine schwa vowel /ə/ that has been disappeared in most Philippine languages like Cebuano
Cebuano language
Cebuano, referred to by most of its speakers as Bisaya , is an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines by about 20 million people mostly in the Central Visayas. It is the most widely spoken of the languages within the so-named Bisayan subgroup and is closely related to other Filipino...

, Tagalog
Tagalog language
Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a third of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by most of the rest. It is the first language of the Philippine region IV and of Metro Manila...

 and even the neighboring Coastal Bikol language. In Nabua, Camarines Sur (where the language was originated), the vowel was lost through its development and evolution. However, it was carried out by the people that migrated to mountainous region of Rinconada due to severe flooding in Nabua. As a result, the vowel only survived and can only be heard in Highland Riŋkonāda speakers. People that are new to the highland accent may find it sounds like Ilokano
Ilokano language
Ilokano or Ilocano is the third most-spoken language of the Republic of the Philippines....

 or Pangasinense. The vowel can also be found in towns and cities speaking Albay Bikol group of languages. The native word for this vowel in Riŋkonāda is "gəpə". This vowel has made the language divided into two dialects – Highland (with /ə/) and Lowland (without /ə/).

Aside from the vowel /ə/, the other interesting thing in Riŋkonāda 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 letter - a clear evidence of close ties of the two languages. Unfortunately, the said consonant phoneme neither has corresponding letter in Philippine alphabet nor an equivalent character in Philippine standard keyboard. Thus, the Rinconada Bikol speakers left no other option but to use "h" as an alternative letter. In Lowland dialect, the consonant /ɣ/ and the vowel /ə/ are often being replaced by the letters "w" and "o" respectively.

Examples of letter ⟨ɣ⟩

1. Mimaɣəw – will eat breakfast.
(Mudtō na, mimaɣəw pa sanā ikā?)

2. Baɣəw – cold cooked rice.
(Naŋagnəw na man na kānən adī, malakabaɣəw!)

3. Taɣəp – a process of separating rice from its outside skin or outside layer after milling. "Tahip" in Filipino/Tagalog.
(A pagtaɣəp, əsad na gīboŋ dirî dāpat pinagdədəlagan.)

4. Daɣun – plant leaf.
(Kadakəl ka daɣun ka tanəm ni Tātā Isko.)

5. Saɣəg – meat or fish mixed in a vegetable viand, "ulam". (The native word for it is "bangot" in Rinconada Bikol. *Saɣəg is one example of a borrowed word from Tagalog – "sahog").
(Ayaw ŋanî pagkuutā itō saɣəg ta pansalak iton sa gūlay!)
  • The special consonant phoneme /ɣ/ can easily be distinguished from the sound of letters "h,w and y" if it will be placed before the vowel phoneme /ə/. It can be compared to the letter "j" of the Spanish word "Dios Mamajes".

Standard Rinconada Bikol

Iriga variant has been chosen as the standard Riŋkonāda for the following features and reasons:

1. It retains the proto-Austronesian schwa vowel /ə/ that helps eliminate homographs (words that are spelled the same way but have different pronunciations and meanings).

2. The consonant phoneme /ɣ/ is evident and pronounced more clearly.

3. It has a neutralized and flat intonation which serve as the moderator between variants.

4. It has no continuum accent or fusion of variants in between boundaries.
One example of continuum accent can be heard in barangays bordering Bula and Nabua which the speakers have mixed accents of Bula-Pili variant and Nabua-Balatan variant. Same thing can be heard in the boundaries of Baao and Nabua.

5. Iriga City is the center of learning, trade and commerce in Rinconada.

6. It has a lesser loan words and less influenced by neighboring languages than any other variants except Agta.

7. It has been used for decades to represent the entire Rinconada as a whole in local and national level.

8. It has the most number of speakers inside and outside Rinconada area.

9. There's no or little variation of accent between speakers. Whether a person is residing at the northeastern most part of Iriga bordering Bikol-Partido speakers, or a person residing in the southern most part of Matacon, Polangui bordering West Miraya speakers, or one residing in East Sta. Justina, Buhi bordering Buhinon speakers, all are using same accent with centralized intonation.
  • Even with the usage of Iriga variant (higland dialect) as the standard Riŋkonāda (both in spelling and pronunciation), all other variants are still remain official in their respective municipalities. However, the standard spelling must be observed in all written forms but can be pronounced in different ways depending on the accent of the speakers.

e.g. "lawəd" (midnight) can be pronounced as "lawod, lawəd or lawud" by speakers but MUST be written officially as "lawəd" across variants.

This language is officially called as Riŋkonāda (Rinconada Bikol) and not Iriga Bikol, Irigueño or Bikol Nabua.


Riŋkonāda is using a different variation of Latin alphabet that is patterned to Philippine alphabet. But unlike Filipino language, Riŋkonāda uses diacritics. This is to highlight or stress the meaning of the words being said or read, and to differentiate words with different meaning but are the same in spelling. In return, the diacritics placed and provided Rinconada Bikol the unique form of ortography in Philippine literature. Diacritics for this language is only limited to macron and circumflex which is unlike other languages, say for example Vietnamese
Vietnamese language
Vietnamese is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the mother tongue of 86% of Vietnam's population, and of about three million overseas Vietnamese. It is also spoken as a second language by many ethnic minorities of Vietnam...

 that has several. However, due to some technical difficulties and scarcity of resources, diacritics are sometimes not available. Thus, the two forms of Riŋkonāda alphabet were created to meet the needs of the speaker for both oral and written: NATIVE and SIMPLIFIED. However, both can be used at the same time depending on the situation, purpose and availability of resources.


The Riŋkonāda Native alphabet has 6 short vowels, 6 long vowels, and 17 consonants, a total of 29 letters. A long or stressed vowel is also called macron
A macron, from the Greek , meaning "long", is a diacritic placed above a vowel . It was originally used to mark a long or heavy syllable in Greco-Roman metrics, but now marks a long vowel...

 (a diacritic placed above a vowel). This alphabet contains all letters that can only be found exclusively in native vocabulary of Riŋkonāda. It also includes the velar nassal special character /ŋ/ that represents "NG" as one letter only.
Majuscule Forms (also called uppercase or capital letters)
A Ā B K D E Ē Ə 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 g h ɣ i ī j l m n ŋ o ō p r s t u ū w y

Example of a Filipino saying written in Riŋkonāda native alphabet:

"A dirî tattaong maglīlî sa pinaŋgalinan, dirî makaaābot sa paiiyānan." (Tagalog: Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan)
Letter Riŋkonāda 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
G gab-ī night
H sahâ offshoot
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 a person who is not funny anymore
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 wayəy gay
Y yabâ love

  • Exception to the rules of native alphabet are formal names like Juan Dela Cruz, name of places such as Laguna, Cebu and Manila. Those names must retain their official and simplified spelling instead of Huwan Delā Krus, Lagūna, Sebū and Manīla. With the exception of names and places, all words in native alphabet must be written in their respective spellings with their designated diacritics.


The Riŋkonāda Simplified alphabet is almost the same as the Philippine alphabet. It has 28 letters:
Majuscule Forms (also called uppercase or capital letters)
A is the first letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet. It is similar to the Ancient Greek letter Alpha, from which it derives.- Origins :...

B is the second letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet. It is used to represent a variety of bilabial sounds , most commonly a voiced bilabial plosive.-History:...

Ĉ or ĉ is a consonant in Esperanto orthography, representing the sound .Esperanto orthography uses a diacritic for all four of its postalveolar consonants, as do the Latin-based Slavic alphabets...

D is the fourth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.- History :The Semitic letter Dâlet may have developed from the logogram for a fish or a door. There are various Egyptian hieroglyphs that might have inspired this. In Semitic, Ancient Greek, and Latin, the letter represented ; in the...

E is the fifth letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet. It is the most commonly used letter in the Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Latin, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish languages.-History:...

F is the sixth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The origin of ⟨f⟩ is the Semitic letter vâv that represented a sound like or . Graphically, it originally probably depicted either a hook or a club...

G is the seventh letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The letter 'G' was introduced in the Old Latin period as a variant of ⟨c⟩ to distinguish voiced, from voiceless, . The recorded originator of ⟨g⟩ is freedman Spurius Carvilius Ruga, the first Roman to open a fee-paying school,...

H .) is the eighth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The Semitic letter ⟨ח⟩ most likely represented the voiceless pharyngeal fricative . The form of the letter probably stood for a fence or posts....

I is the ninth letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:In Semitic, the letter may have originated in a hieroglyph for an arm that represented a voiced pharyngeal fricative in Egyptian, but was reassigned to by Semites, because their word for "arm" began with that sound...

Ĵ or ĵ is a letter in Esperanto orthography representing the sound .While Esperanto orthography uses a diacritic for its four postalveolar consonants, as do the Latin-based Slavic alphabets, the base letters are Romano-Germanic...

K is the eleventh letter of the English and basic modern Latin alphabet.-History and usage:In English, the letter K usually represents the voiceless velar plosive; this sound is also transcribed by in the International Phonetic Alphabet and X-SAMPA....

Ł or ł, described in English as L with stroke, is a letter of the Polish, Kashubian, Sorbian, Łacinka , Łatynka , Wilamowicean, Navajo, Dene Suline, Inupiaq, Zuni, Hupa, and Dogrib alphabets, several proposed alphabets for the Venetian language, and the ISO 11940 romanization of the Thai alphabet...

M is the thirteenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The letter M is derived from the Phoenician Mem, via the Greek Mu . Semitic Mem probably originally pictured water...

N is the fourteenth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.- History of the forms :One of the most common hieroglyphs, snake, was used in Egyptian writing to stand for a sound like English ⟨J⟩, because the Egyptian word for "snake" was djet...

Ñ is a letter of the modern Latin alphabet, formed by an N with a diacritical tilde. It is used in the Spanish alphabet, Galician alphabet, Asturian alphabet, Basque alphabet, Aragonese old alphabet , Filipino alphabet, Chamorro alphabet and the Guarani alphabet, where it represents...

Ng O
O is the fifteenth letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet.The letter was derived from the Semitic `Ayin , which represented a consonant, probably , the sound represented by the Arabic letter ع called `Ayn. This Semitic letter in its original form seems to have been inspired by a...

P is the sixteenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Usage:In English and most other European languages, P is a voiceless bilabial plosive. Both initial and final Ps can be combined with many other discrete consonants in English words...

Q is the seventeenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.- History :The Semitic sound value of Qôp was , a sound common to Semitic languages, but not found in English or most Indo-European ones...

R is the eighteenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The original Semitic letter may have been inspired by an Egyptian hieroglyph for tp, "head". It was used for by Semites because in their language, the word for "head" was rêš . It developed into Greek Ρ and Latin R...

S is the nineteenth letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet.-History: Semitic Šîn represented a voiceless postalveolar fricative . Greek did not have this sound, so the Greek sigma came to represent...

T is the 20th letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet. It is the most commonly used consonant and the second most common letter in the English language.- History :Taw was the last letter of the Western Semitic and Hebrew alphabets...

U is the twenty-first letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The letter U ultimately comes from the Semitic letter Waw by way of the letter Y. See the letter Y for details....

V is the twenty-second letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Letter:The letter V comes from the Semitic letter Waw, as do the modern letters F, U, W, and Y. See F for details....

W is the 23rd letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.In other Germanic languages, including German, its pronunciation is similar or identical to that of English V...

X is the twenty-fourth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Uses:In mathematics, x is commonly used as the name for an independent variable or unknown value. The usage of x to represent an independent or unknown variable can be traced back to the Arabic word šay شيء = “thing,” used in Arabic...

Y is the twenty-fifth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet and represents either a vowel or a consonant in English.-Name:In Latin, Y was named Y Graeca "Greek Y". This was pronounced as I Graeca "Greek I", since Latin speakers had trouble pronouncing , which was not a native sound...

Z is the twenty-sixth and final letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Name and pronunciation:In most dialects of English, the letter's name is zed , reflecting its derivation from the Greek zeta but in American English, its name is zee , deriving from a late 17th century English dialectal...

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
Itawis, Itawit, or Tawit, is a Northern Philippine language which has close relationships to Ibanag, Ilocano, and other languages of the same order. Unlike the rest of Philippine languages, Itawit and its kin use the consonants z,f,j and v...

 and Ibanag
The Ibanags are an ethnolinguistic minority numbering a little more than half a million people, who inhabit the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya. They are one of the largest ethnolinguistic minorities in the Philippines. Ibanags speak the same language under the same name...

. Letters C, Ñ, and Q are also included but their usages are limited to foreign names and Filipinized words of foreign origins or loan words specially Spanish, English and Arabic.

The simplified alphabet doesn't use diacritics like the macron ⟨◌̄⟩ for stressed and long vowels or the circumflex ⟨◌̂⟩ for glottal stop, or the letters for velar nassal ⟨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 letters can be replaced by ⟨o⟩ and ⟨h⟩, ⟨w⟩, and ⟨y⟩ respectively. But one must understand that with the absence of diacritics in modern & simplified alphabet, the proper pronunciations are not altered. Moreover, the long vowel sound in a word should not be omitted as well. One good example of this is "" (kind) and "bəət" (want/like). The word in native alphabet is to be written as bəət in simplified alphabet making the two words the same in spelling albeit with different meanings. In this case, the pronunciation of the words depend and rely on their place and usage in a sentence. To avoid confusion and ease of reading, it is strongly recommended to write this language using the native alphabet as much as possible.

Glottal Stop

A Riŋkonāda 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 only limited to final vowels or vowel at the end of a word. Rəgsad is represented by the circumflex ( ˆ ).

For examples of the rəgsad, consider the Rinconada words salâ (wrong) and turô (drop of water/fluid), often simply sala and turo in simplified alphabet and in Filipino and English orthographies.
  • With rəgsad and diacritics, the translation of the phrase I Love You in Riŋkonāda is "PAYABÂ KO IKĀ" (transliteration: love me you).


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 has been no written records found that would say that Riŋkonāda has native words for two-digit numbers (11 - 99). On the other hand, there is also no proof that would say that the language has no indigenous words for those numbers. As a matter of fact, it is an intriguing issue for Riŋkonāda to have native words for three-digit numbers (e.g. "sanggatos" for 100) but not for two digits. Utilization and adaptation of foreign words being made through by colonization of Spain for 333 years could be the main reason why the native terminologies were not passed to the new generations. But for a long established language, it is only just and fair to have a complete numbering system in words. Therefore, creation by fabricating words is necessary but must follow and retain the indigenous or original structural form of Riŋkonāda's ortography.


The number in words of 1 to 10 and 100 are all native Riŋkonāda while numbers 11 to 99 are all fabricated. However, as earlier mentioned, the fabricated numbers are all based from the original structure. Fabricated numbers follow the same format of number 10 (sampōlô or sampu in Filipino). It is the only two-digit number that has a native name with a perfect indigenous structural form.

The word sampōlô is derived from the portmanteau words of əsad + na + pōlô (əsadnapōlô) which is the based th of one (1). 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/ and it replaces the last consonant letter of the first word (which is /d/) and becomes 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 of the other Philippine languages). So then, the word became sampōlô. The evolution of the word "sampōlô" from "əsadnapōlô" follows the ortography of Riŋkonāda and came naturally within it over the years.

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 are copied from it. The number 40 (pampōlô) and 60 (nəmpōlô) follow the same exact format of sampōlô. Exception to the naming system of numbers is the number zero (0). Though zero (0) is single digit but 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, Riŋkonāda has a complete basic set of numbers without using foreign words.

The amount of 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."
  • The Riŋkonāda number in words are very simple in structure. If to be observed, the translation is shorter than both Filipino and English languages.

Comparison chart

Decimal Numbers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Proto-Austronesian language
The Proto-Austronesian language is the reconstructed ancestor of the Austronesian languages, one of the world's major language families. However, Ross notes that what may be the most divergent languages, Tsou, Rukai, and Puyuma, are not addressed by the reconstructions, which therefore cannot...

, circa 4000 BC
*isa *DuSa *telu *Sepat *lima *enem *pitu *walu *Siwa *puluq
Tagalog language
Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a third of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by most of the rest. It is the first language of the Philippine region IV and of Metro Manila...

isá dalawá tatló ápat limá ánim pitó waló siyám sampu
Cebuano language
Cebuano, referred to by most of its speakers as Bisaya , is an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines by about 20 million people mostly in the Central Visayas. It is the most widely spoken of the languages within the so-named Bisayan subgroup and is closely related to other Filipino...

usá duhá tuló upat limá unom pitó waló siyám napulu
Riŋkonāda əsad darwā tolō əpat limā ənəm pitō walō siyam sampōlô
Chamorro language
Chamorro is a Malayo-Polynesian language, spoken on the Mariana Islands by about 47,000 people Chamorro (Chamorro: Fino' Chamoru or simply Chamoru) is a Malayo-Polynesian (Austronesian) language, spoken on the Mariana Islands (Guam, Rota, Tinian, and Saipan) by about 47,000 people Chamorro...

maisa/håcha hugua tulu fatfat lima gunum fiti guålu sigua månot/fulu
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

satu dua tiga empat lima enam tujuh lapan sembilan sepuluh
Javanese language
Javanese language is the language of the Javanese people from the central and eastern parts of the island of Java, in Indonesia. In addition, there are also some pockets of Javanese speakers in the northern coast of western Java...

siji loro telu papat limo nem pitu wolu songo sepuluh
Tongan language
Tongan is an Austronesian language spoken in Tonga. It has around 200,000 speakers and is a national language of Tonga. It is a VSO language.-Related languages:...

taha ua tolu nima ono fitu valu hiva -fulu
Samoan language
Samoan Samoan Samoan (Gagana Sāmoa, is the language of the Samoan Islands, comprising the independent country of Samoa and the United States territory of American Samoa. It is an official language—alongside English—in both jurisdictions. Samoan, a Polynesian language, is the first language for most...

tasi lua tolu lima ono fitu valu iva sefulu
Maori language
Māori or te reo Māori , commonly te reo , is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori. It has the status of an official language in New Zealand...

tahi rua toru whā rima ono whitu waru iwa tekau (archaic: ngahuru)
Marquesan language
Marquesan is a collection of East-Central Polynesian dialects, of the Marquesic group, spoken in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia. They are usually classified into two groups, North Marquesan and South Marquesan, roughly along geographic lines....

e tahi e 'ua e to'u e fa e 'ima e ono e fitu e va'u e iva 'onohu'u


Although considered as separate languages, speakers of Rinconada Bikol or Riŋkonāda 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 Riŋkonāda (any variant) and can be understood by his peers as well. Same thing will happen if a local tourist from Rinconada will visit the Cagsawa ruins in Albay or visit Donsol, Sorsogon for the annual whale shark sightings and talk with the population around it. The difference between Riŋkonāda and Albay Bikol (both are included in Inland Bikol group) is comparable to German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 and Yiddish
Yiddish language
Yiddish is a High German language of Ashkenazi Jewish origin, spoken throughout the world. It developed as a fusion of German dialects with Hebrew, Aramaic, Slavic languages and traces of Romance languages...

 or Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 and Galician
Galician language
Galician is a language of the Western Ibero-Romance branch, spoken in Galicia, an autonomous community located in northwestern Spain, where it is co-official with Castilian Spanish, as well as in border zones of the neighbouring territories of Asturias and Castile and León.Modern Galician and...

 while the difference between variants are comparable to English US, English British and English Australian. The mutual intelligibility of Riŋkonāda and Albay Bikol is set to as high as 80% to 85% while intelligibility between variants is 95% to 98%.


Despite Riŋkonāda has several thousands of speakers, the language is still one of the unrecognized regional languages in the Philippines. This is because the Commission on the Filipino Language (Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino) has seen no interest to seriously regulate and develop this language. Frustratingly, even the local government of Camarines Sur does not publish or circulate any papers written in this language and not even a single local radio station in the province utilizing it as their medium of broadcast. Thus, making the speakers of the language being marginalized by the dominant Coastal Bikol (Bikol Naga-Legazpi) speakers.

Modern Culture

Due to mobility of Riŋkonāda speakers inside and outside Bicol Region, the language has given the nickname: PASĀDI PASAN, PASĪNI PASĪTON LANGUAGE. Translated literally as – will go here will go there, will go here will go there.

Well-known speakers

  • Iriga variant

Nora Aunor (actress)

Rex Cortez (actor)

Emilia Boncodin (former secretary of the Philippine Department of Budget and Management)

Leila Magistrado De Lima (secretary of Philippine Department of Justice)

Dominic Almelor (ABS-CBN reporter)

Dianne Necio (Top 15 Miss International 2011)
  • Bato variant

Venus Raj (Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up)
  • Baao variant

Joker Arroyo (Senator)

Beatriz Saw (Pinoy Big Brother season 2 winner)


Riŋkonāda is spoken entirely in Bula, Baao, Nabua, Balatan, Iriga City
Iriga City
The City of Iriga is a 4th class city in the province of Camarines Sur, Philippines. It is located about 400 kilometers south of Manila, 37 kilometers south of Naga, and about 61 kilometers north of Legazpi City...

 and Bato in Camarines Sur
Camarines Sur
Camarines Sur is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Pili and the province borders Camarines Norte and Quezon to the north, and Albay to the south...

 (Politically the 5th district of Camarines Sur province except the Municipality of Buhi, which the majority speaks Buhinon). The language is used and dominant in the southern half part of the provincial capital town of Pili, west barangays of the town of Ocampo, far west barangays of the town of Buhi, all in Camarines Sur province; it can be heard as well in neighboring places such as the northern barangays of Polangui and Libon
Libon was a 5th century BC Greek architect. Born in Elis, he built the Doric temple to Zeus at Olympia in about 460 BC. Libon, through his work on the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, is said to have inspired the technique and design of the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis - though this was obviously...

 towns of the province of Albay
Albay is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Legazpi City and the province borders Camarines Sur to the north and Sorsogon to the south. Also to the northeast is Lagonoy Gulf....

. It has almost 250,000 native speakers excluding the speakers permanently residing in Metro Manila and overseas. Based from Ethnologue, as of year 2000, the number of speaker is 234, 361. This count can only be attributed to the population of the fifth ditrict of Camarines Sur
Camarines Sur
Camarines Sur is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Pili and the province borders Camarines Norte and Quezon to the north, and Albay to the south...

 (Rinconada), and as such, it does not include the speakers outside Rinconada district. Some has placed the total population of native speakers to 500,000 (estimate) because of a great number of speakers outside Rinconada due to the mass exodus of the population to other places searching and looking for better job opportunities. This is also known as Rinconada Bikolano diaspora
A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...

, which is also the same case with other ethnic groups in the Philippines. Secondary speakers of the language is believed to be numbered at 30,000 to 50,000.
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